The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Araceae.

Common name(s): Elephat's ear
Alocasia Genus of about 70 species of large, evergreen, mainly rhizomatous, sometimes tuberous-rooted perennials from tropical forest in S. and S.E. Asia. They are cultivated for their large, usually peltate, heavily veined, oblong to ovate, aroow-shaped leaves. The Alocasias are uncommon house plants. Unfortunately these spectacular plants are not easy to grow.

Contact with sap may irritate skin. All parts may cause mild stomach upset if ingested.

Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Warm - above 70F in summer and minimum 65F in winter.Semi-shade or bright light. Keep well away from direct sunlight. Keep compost moist at all tome. Water sparingly in winter. Mist leaves very frequently. Divide plants at repottihg time. Root stem cuttings from spring to early summer. Sow seed at 73 F (23 C) as soon as ripe.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

1st Dec 2007
I have had wonderful results with this plant as a hoseplant. It does not seem as fussy as others suggest. I water it about once a week and it is placed in indirect light. The large reef tank seems to provide enough humidity. I have never misted this plant, and I am simply too lazy to attempt now. Good luck.
23rd Mar 2008
So far, my Alocasia seems to be doing good. It did help to move it to a shadier spot...the leaves were burning a little where I used to have it. I need to keep it wetter, though, and mist the leaves a lot more.
Kris Seattle WA
17th Jun 2008
I have had some luck with this plant, I have tried to kill it a couple times, as it does not like the colder damp winters, but keep it in a window in my new house that is not drafty. I broke all the leaves off during my move, I cut them off and I see it is going to sprout a nice leaf now, the problem I have is it sprouts ONE leaf at a time, if another comes up the bigger more mature leaf dies. It is kinda of a nice plant to watch sprout a new leaf it uncurls slowly changing every single day. Will see if it does better in my new hous with a North facing indirect sunlight window.......
21st Aug 2008
I purchased one of these beauties @K-Mart this last spring - so far s0 good. It seems to grow in a pinwhell fashion. However, some leaves are humongeous and some are medium and the smaller ones never attain the heighth that the huge leaves do. I have mine facing a south window, but it is across the room from the window. My walls are a light color so the plant gets a reflection of the sun from the wall behind it. So far it is growing 1 large leaf followed by a medium or small one. I keep it moist but not wet. It came in a 4" pot and it has graduated up to a 7"pot, thats where it will stay until next spring.
Jennifer Nichols
22nd Aug 2008
I bought one two months ago, repotted it and put it on my side porch. It bloomed yesterday. The bloom looks like a peach lily bloom but prettier. The nursery I purchased it from said it was African though, not Asian. I've kept it shaded and I mist it often. The bloom was the best thing to happen all week. I had no clue it was possible.
20th May 2009
careing for a alocasia, I have replanted mine in a self watering pot and it is doing great, do not forget a little liquid fertilizer this time of the year, about four drops to each pint of water.
Dan D
2nd Sep 2009
I live in the inland desert area of Southern California. My plant was purchased over a year ago, I now have 4 plants. The parent is in a 24 inch pot under a carport and I thought it was well enough protected. aparently not, the leaves all got frosted leaving the plant looking a bit odd with all its stems pointing skyward minus their leaves. It not only recovered well but has bloomed and I will be attempting to start the seeds soon. The plant (including the pot) reaches about 8 feet in height.
Dan D
2nd Sep 2009
I should add, The leaves are easily shredded so they need protection from even relatively mild winds. I do not mist the plants. They are watered by a drip system on a timer. The dry desert air causes a bit of browning around the edges of the leaves but does not seem to adversely effect the plant. I suspect that misting would reduce or eliminate the browning. My Alocasias contrast in color and form with three varieties of Cannas and some Australian Tree Ferns under my patio and carport.
ontario, canada
14th Nov 2009
I grown my plant from single leaf which I find in the mall, before 4 years...Now my plant suddenly start blooming. And the flower is amazing
24th Mar 2010
I have a wonderful experience growing this spectacular plants. Perhaps the humidity in our country is just nice for their growth. I just put them under a shady spot with bright light and they are growing healthily with lots of new leaves.
14th Nov 2012
I bought this beauty 2 years ago, nearly killed it. I started watering a bit every day and used Superthrive to revive it. It was 2 brown stumps, no leaves, it now has 8 leaves that took about a year. It has bloomed twice this summer of 2012
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