Common Name: African Mask, Elephant Ears
Botanical name: Alocasia reginula
Alocasia Black Velvet is as exotic as it is dramatic. Its heart-shaped black foliage will take hold of you and draw you in, like an alluring jewel or evening gown. The leaves of this hard-to-find houseplant are accentuated by the subtlest of silvery veins. This rare beauty is a work of art and will add serious sophistication to any space. Jewel Alocasias, like the Black Velvet, need a little extra care to keep them radiant. The most critical care requirement is making your Jewel Alocasia feel at home by providing it with higher humidity levels. Read more to learn how to give them the care they need to flourish!
Light is critical for all plants, but especially for Alocasia houseplants. Bright indirect light for about six hours a day is enough to keep these houseplants healthy. Alocasia Black Velvet can handle lower light or fewer hours of bright indirect light, but in order for the plant to really thrive it needs plenty of bright indirect light.
Alocasia has medium water requirements, which means they don't like to completely dry out, but they also don't like to sit in standing water. You want to let the soil mostly dry out until maybe the top half of the soil is dry. When you water these houseplants, saturate the soil and let the water run through the drainage holes in the pot. Soil that drains well is very important for plants like Alocasia. These houseplants simply do not tolerate wet feet as the roots will rot if exposed to water for long periods of time.
Warmer temperatures are ideal for Alocasia houseplants. These tropical plants prefer to stay between 60-80 degrees. Avoid drafts that can occur near windows and doors and also avoid placing the plants near heating or cooling vents.
The more humidity the better for Alocasia Black Velvet. These beautiful indoor plants thrive with high humidity 60% or more,! Place the plant near a humidifier or use a pebble tray with water to provide the extra dampness they crave.
Proper nutrition will help your Alocasia push out big, beautiful leaves. Fertilize when the plant is actively growing during the warmer months. Use a ¼ diluted complete liquid fertilizer when watering or you can use seaweed or fish emulsion. Alocasia needs their beauty rest and they require a dormant period. Do not fertilize during the colder months when the plant is not growing.
Alocasia Black Velvet are slow growers but once established, they will reach heights of 20" or so! They are compact indoor plants and really do not get very large.
Pet Friend or Foe
These indoor plants are Toxic to pets! Foe
- Routinely treat the plant and the soil with horticultural oil like neem oil. These houseplants are prone to pests, so taking preventative steps can keep the plant healthy and beautiful.
- Plants need clean leaves to effectively complete the process of photosynthesis. Gently clean the leaves using a damp cloth to not only keep the houseplant looking amazing but also to allow the Alocasia to grow to its full potential.
- Don't be in a rush to re-pot. Alocasia likes to be slightly root bound and prefers to stay in the same pot for a while. When you notice the roots beginning to poke through the holes in the grow pot or creep out at the top of the soil then it is time to re-pot.