Common Name: African Mask, Elephant Ears
Botanical Name: Alocasia rugosa
A five-o'clock shadow has nothing on this Alocasia Melo! Once you run your hands over the deeply ribbed and highly textured foliage, you will think you are caressing a walnut! These Jewel Alocasias have some thick cell walls so you won’t fear tearing their leaves as you smother them with affection! This species of Elephant Ear are rather slow growers, and rarely reach 2’ in height, so enjoy the slow road ahead and remember to only re-pot them when they have outgrown their original pots.
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 Melo 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 dry out until 3/4 of the soil is dry. These alocasia do not like to be overwatered so if you are unsure about if it's necessary to water them, it's best to err on the side of caution and refrain from the rain-head!
When you water these houseplants, saturate the soil and let the water run through the drainage holes in the pot. Well draining soil is very important for plants like Alocasia Melo. These houseplants simply do not tolerate wet feet.
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. These beautiful indoor plants thrive with high humidity, so placing the plant near a humidifier or using a pebble tray with water will provide the extra dampness they crave.
Proper nutrition will help your Alocasia Melo 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.
Alocasias need their beauty rest and they require a dormant period. Do not fertilize during the colder months when the plant is not growing.
Alocasia Melo are slow-medium growers with their maximum height reaching around 20-25”
Pet Friend or Foe
Alocasia Melo 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.