Common Name: Elephant Ear, Baginda Jewel, African Mask
Botanical Name: Alocasia heterophylla
Long, lean and lovely is only a few appropriate adjectives that describe the immense beauty of Alocasia Dragon's Breath. Very few indoor plants can compete with its devastating allure. The pendulous, silvery leaves are like cupid's arrows, casting eternal love for this rare Elephant Ear! These breath-taking indoor plants like higher than average humidity indoors and are thankful for access to bright indirect sunlight. Be sure to keep it out of the sun's direct rays, or else the leaves may scorch. Learn how to care for your Alocasia Dragon's Breath properly!
Alocasia Dragon's Breath 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 grow faster, make sure this Elephant Ear is in a spot where it can receive plenty of bright indirect light for at least 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. Alocasia Dragon's Breath has average water requirements but even, and consistent moisture is ideal. Alocasias in general, like to partially dry out between watering, but they should never stay dry for more than a day or two! Cut back on watering during the colder months if the plant is not actively growing or if your plant is getting less than 4 hours of light a day.
As a subtropical plant, Alocasia Dragon's Breath prefers warmer temperatures more in line with their native environment. Average room temperatures above 65°F are fine, but the sweet spot would be 75°F. 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 begin to drop below 50°F. Avoid placing the plant near an exterior door, drafty window, or in front of an air conditioning or heating vent, as these temperature fluctuations can inhibit growth and potentially damage the leaves.
Alocasias are indoor plants that thrive when they receive lots of humidity which makes sense given their subtropical origins. Placing the houseplant in an area with high humidity (50% or more!) is ideal. 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. Both of these options can help give these plants the extra boost of dampness they crave. Learn more about how to increase the humidity for your houseplants!
Routine fertilizing, especially when the houseplant is actively growing can help these plants push out new growth. A diluted complete liquid fertilizer, a fish/seaweed emulsion, or a slow-release fertilizer are all great choices for alocasia. Do not fertilize your Dragon's Breath when the plant is dormant (not actively growing).
These indoor plants are moderate growers with their maximum indoor height reaching around 3’ tall and equally as wide!
Pet Friend or Foe
These indoor plants are toxic to pets! Foe
- Rotate the pot a quarter turn every time you water your alocasia. This will ensure the plant receives even sunlight and will prevent it from growing towards the light and becoming top-heavy.
- Alocasias like to be a bit root bound so there is seldom an urgent need to re-pot.
- 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.
- Remove the flowers to help facilitate foliage growth!
- Make sure you clean the leaves and the stems every few weeks to help the plant photosynthesize and keep pests at bay!