Common Name: Emerald Dragon Scale
Botanical Name: Alocasia bisma
It is easier to care for Alocasia bisma like all indoor plants when you understand more about its origin. These are subtropical plants that hail from Asia and Eastern Australia. In nature, these plants grow underneath a tree canopy, so the alocasia naturally develops large leaves to help give it an edge over other plants when it comes to soaking up sunlight. Alocasia bisma is a jewel alocasia and will never grow tall, but with the right care, it will develop into a compact and full-bodied table-top indoor plant! Expect your alocasia to proliferate during the warmer months. These fast-growing houseplants can push out new leaves almost weekly when actively growing. Alocasia will hold steady until the next growing season when the weather turns cold. Under the right conditions, your alocasia will bloom. The flowers feature a spathe and spadix but are typically concealed by the leaves. The foliage of alocasia is the real showstopper. Feel free to remove the blooms to redirect that energy into producing more gorgeous foliage!
Emerald Dragon Scale is adaptable and can handle a range of light from low to bright indirect. The amount of light the plant receives will dictate how quickly it grows. If you want your plant to push out new leaves during the growing season, then make sure the alocasia is in a spot where it can receive plenty of bright indirect light (6+ hours daily). The plant will survive but not grow as quickly when placed in an area with lower light levels. If you bring your alocasia outdoors in the warmer months, place it in a spot that receives partial shade. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves.
Water alocasia plants when the top couple of inches of the soil is dry. Alocasias have medium water requirements. Even consistent moisture is ideal. Allow your Emerald Dragon Scale to partially dry out between watering. They do not like to sit in soggy soil. Cut back on watering during the colder months if the plant is not actively growing.
All alocasia love loose, nutrient-rich potting soil. Use a soil medium that can retain moisture but also allows for draining excess water to avoid root rot. Most pre-mixed soils will suffice. Make sure that there is plenty of organic matter, like coco-coir, peat moss, or shredded leaves, and avoid soils that contain moisture retaining crystals. If your soil drains too quickly, we recommend re-potting your Emerald Dragon Scale into a compost-rich soil mixture with fewer drainage materials. Learn how to create your universal soil mixture for all of your indoor plants!
As a subtropical plant, alocasia prefers warmer temperatures more in line with their native environment. Average room temperatures above 60°F will be perfectly adequate! If you place your alocasia on a patio or outdoor area during the warmer months, then make sure to bring it back inside well before the temperatures drop below 50 °F. Avoid placing the plant near an exterior door, drafty window, or in front of an air conditioning or heating vent. These temperature fluctuations can inhibit growth and potentially damage the leaves. Keep in mind, alocasia will go dormant in the colder months. Although they may not lose all of their leaves, they will stop growing and should be kept in slightly lower temperatures to enjoy their downtime.
Alocasia houseplants thrive when they receive lots of humidity which makes sense given their subtropical origins. Placing the houseplant in an area with high humidity is ideal (0ver 50%). If you live in a drier climate or just don't have an area with enough humidity, then consider using a humidifier or a pebble tray with water. These options can help give these plants the extra boost of dampness they crave. Learn how to increase the humidity for your alocasia and other indoor plants!
Routine fertilizing, especially when Alocasia bisma is actively growing, can help these plants push out new growth. Varieties known for exceptionally large leaves can benefit from feedings. A diluted complete liquid fertilizer, a fish/seaweed emulsion, or a slow-release fertilizer are all excellent choices for alocasia. Do not fertilize your alocasia if the plant is dormant. Learn all about how to fertilize your indoor plants!
Spring and summer are peak growth seasons for Alocasia bisma indoor plants. Indoors they can grow to be 2’!
Pet Friend or Foe
Alocasia bisma is toxic to pets. It's a foe!
- Rotate the pot a quarter turn every time you water your Emerald Dragon Scale. This will ensure the plant receives even sunlight and prevent it from growing towards the light and becoming top-heavy.
- Alocasia likes to be a bit root bound, so there is seldom an urgent need to re-pot. However, these indoor plants tend to outgrow their pots since they can be fast growers. When it's time to re-pot your alocasia, select a pot 1-2" larger than the current pot or carefully separate the roots to divide the plant and re-pot into multiple containers. Routinely dividing the plant can help keep it at a more manageable size if space is limited.
- Alocasias have a rhizome-type root system. These thick roots will store extra water for the plant. The nodes are located on the roots, therefore, to propagate an alocasia, remove a section of the root and plant it in soil. A new plant will sprout from the rhizome with enough time and the right conditions.