Common Name: African Mask, Hardy Elephant Ears
Botanical Name: Alocasia wentii
When you understand its origin, it is easier to care for Alocasia wentii. These are subtropical plants that hail from Asia and Eastern Australia. In nature, these plants grow underneath a tree canopy. Hence, the alocasia naturally develops large leaves to help give it an edge over other plants when it comes to soaking up sunlight. 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, but they can also experience a period of dormancy. Do not stress; they will re-grow when the weather warms up!
Under the right conditions, your Alocasia wentii will bloom. The flowers feature a spathe and spadix but are typically concealed by the leaves. The foliage of alocasia is the real showstopper.
Light is critical for all plants, but especially for Alocasia wentii. Bright indirect light for about six hours a day is enough to keep these houseplants healthy. Alocasia 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 wentii 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, its 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. These houseplants simply do not tolerate wet feet.
Alocasias are 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 actively and produce the large leaves it is known for, then make sure Alocasia wentii is in a spot where it can receive plenty of bright indirect light. 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 are dry. Alocasias have medium water requirements. Even consistent moisture is ideal. Alocasia like to partially dry out between waterings, but they do not like to be soggy. 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 alocasia into a compost-rich soil mixture, with less drainage materials. Learn how to create your own universal soil mixture for all of your indoor plants!
Warmer temperatures are ideal for Alocasia wentii. 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 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 wentii needs their beauty rest and they require a dormant period. Do not fertilize during the colder months when the plant is not growing.
These indoor plants are slow-medium growers with their maximum height reaching around 24”
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.