Common Name: African Mask, Elephant Ears, Polly Alocasia
Botanical name: Alocasia x amazonica
The plant party just got a little more wild! Alocasia Polly (amazonica) is always a standout. Its dark green arrowhead-shaped leaves are marked by confident silvery-green veins.
Like all indoor plants, it is easier to care for the Alocasia when you understand more about its origin. These are subtropical plants that hail from Asia and Eastern Australia. Under the right conditions, your Alocasia will bloom. The flowers feature a spathe and spadix, but typically end up concealed by the leaves. The foliage of Alocasia is the real showstopper.
Important! Alocasia x amazonica are poisonous if ingested, so be very careful if you have pets and/or small children.
Alocasia houseplants are known for large leaves and while our Polly starts out small, it will still push out sizable leaves. For this reason, Alocasia houseplants need lots of light. The ideal spot will have medium or bright indirect light. Direct light can be damaging, so it should be avoided.
You want to make sure your Alocasia Polly receives at least six hours of light each day. This will help the plant develop large, healthy leaves.
Watering can sometimes be tricky when it comes to Alocasia. These easy-care houseplants prefer well draining soil and they like to be watered when the top few inches of the soil are dry. They do not like to be stuck in standing water, so make sure to empty the cache pot or saucer after watering.
Keep in mind that these plants like lots of light, so when they are in a sunny spot that may cause the soil to dry out more quickly.
The Alocasia Polly has subtropical origins which means they like to be kept warm. Typically, comfortable room temperature is good for Alocasia. Although, if you like to crank the air conditioning in the summer, your Alocasia may prefer to be in an area that is not climate controlled.
Alocasia can do very well during the warmer months in a shady area on a deck, patio or balcony, but make sure to bring the plant back inside well before the temperatures turn chilly.
Alocasia Polly loves high humidity. The more the better for this houseplant. Alocasia does best when placed near a humidifier or a pebble tray with water during the drier winter months. These houseplants may not need help staying damp during the summer, but monitor the leaves and if you notice the leaves curling or the edges becoming dry and crispy, then increase the humidity.
Alocasia really benefits from regular fertilization. Pushing out big, beautiful leaves is a lot of work and keeping the plant well-fed with a ¼ diluted complete liquid fertilizer or a seaweed or fish emulsion will help. Fertilize Alocasia Polly every other week during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing.
Take a break from fertilizing your Alocasia during the winter when the plant is dormant.
These indoor palms are slow growers with their maximum height reaching 2’.
Pet Friend or Foe
These indoor plants are Toxic to pets! Foe
- The foliage of the Alocasia are the real showstopper, but these houseplants do flower. However, the flowers tend to be insignificant. You can leave the flowers and remove them after they are done blooming, or you can remove the flowers as soon as they start to form. Removing the flowers will not harm the plant and it allows the Alocasia to put that energy back into the plant and new foliage.
- Alocasia plants grow from rhizomes, which means division is the best method of propagation. When repotting, separate the thick, tubular roots and repot into separate containers. It's generally best to divide a plant in the early spring.
- Regularly rotate the pot so the Alocasia receives even sunlight. This will keep the plant growing upright and prevent the leaves from reaching towards the light.