Common Name: Alocasia Dragon Scale
Botanical Name: Alocasia longiloba
This subtle version of the Dragon Scale Alocasia, maybe the same species, but it has a softer-looking leaf pattern. Alocasia longiloba has dominant silver margins on its leaves that will become more pronounced as they mature. These Elephant Ears can grow up to 3 feet indoors, developing new growth during the warm months. They are not prolific growers when the temperatures are low, so keep them warm. Learn more about their care requirements!
Moderate to bright sunlight is ideal for alocasia. For healthy growth, they require strong indirect light. It's crucial to keep it in a blinded window or a nook. Alocasia longiloba can also live at lower light levels, although they struggle in low light. Because this plant grows towards the sun, turning it when watering it will help it grow properly. Be careful because the plant's waxy leaves can quickly burn if exposed to direct sunlight.
Once-a-week watering sessions are ideal for alocasia. These plants prefer wet soil. However, they are prone to root rot if they get over-watered. So, it is preferable to soak this plant gently. When watering your Dragon Scale Alocasia, start at the top and work your way down till the water falls out the bottom. Because the long stems hold a lot of moisture, it's easy to tell when your plant needs water as they will start to gently wilt.
To avoid over-watering and root rot in the winter, leave the 2' of topsoil to dry in between watering. This plant is not resistant to dry weather, and prolonged periods of dehydration will brown the leaf margins. Learn when and how to water your indoor plants!
Alocasia longiloba needs a soil medium that can retain moisture but drain excess water to avoid the 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 alocasia into a compost-rich soil mixture. Learn how to create your own universal soil mixture for all of your indoor plants!
Maintaining an appropriate temperature range for Alocasia longiloba is one of the most critical aspects of its maintenance. Alocasias are sensitive to cold, and even a minor chill will result in leaf loss. They should be maintained at room temperature, within 60°F to 82°F. At a reduced temperature, their growth may become slow, thus temperature drafts should be avoided.
Because longiloba are from the rainforest, they require a humid climate to flourish properly. These plants will become sensitive to pests if their soil becomes too dry. If your home's atmosphere is dry or lacks humidity, consider placing a humidifier in the room. Or even placing a pebble-filled plate under the potted plant and filling it with water to offer the plant the moisture it needs. Some people like to put it in their bathroom window, where the zebrina plant will receive sufficient humidity and sunlight. Learn how to increase the humidity in the air around your indoor plants!
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 longiloba. Do not to feed your alocasia when the plant is dormant.
Alocasia plants make quite a statement with their distinctive, arrow-head-shaped leaves and long stalks. They grow best in the spring and early summer. Under optimal conditions, Alocasia longiloba grow to around 3 feet tall and develop leaves in two weeks.
Pet Friend or Foe
Alocasia longiloba is toxic for both animals and humans! Foe!
- Infections from pests are another concern for your Alocasia longiloba. Scales, spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids can readily infest your plant if there is too much moisture on the leaves' surface. Monitor the bottom part of your leaves regularly for insect infestation or illness. Furthermore, using neem oil or antibacterial soap to decrease the level of damage inflicted by these bugs and viruses is recommended.
- Using a pot with one or more holes drilled at the bottom is best. Excess moisture at the foot of the soil can cause various problems, including root rot; therefore, drainage is essential for Alocasia plants.
- The best time for propagation is in the spring and summer months. The rhizome should never be divided during the winter when the plant is resting.
- Find out the do’s and don’ts for your new indoor plants!
- Rotate the pot a quarter turn every time you water your alocasia. This will ensure the plant receives even sunlight and prevent it from growing towards the light and becoming top-heavy.
- Alocasia like 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 repot your alocasia, select a pot that is 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 root system. These thick roots will store extra water for the plant. The nodes are located on the roots, so 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.