Alocasia Polly is an attractive plant with a distinctive appearance that is a popular choice for indoor gardeners.
This comprehensive care guide explains the hows, whys, and whens of everything your Alocasia Polly requires to remain healthy.
Find out where you can get Alocasia plants and some fascinating characteristics and typical mistakes to avoid.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Alocasia Polly?
- 2 Where To Buy
- 3 Alocasia Polly Plant Size
- 4 Alocasia Polly Care Needs
- 5 Similar Plants
- 6 Conclusion
What Is Alocasia Polly?
The Alocasia Polly is known to some as the African Mask plant, Kris plant, Alocasia Amazonica, and Elephant Ears plant. It is a showy plant made famous by large dark green leaves with bright nerves.
This perennial belongs to the Arum family. Its deep green, arrowhead-shaped leaves love humidity when grown indoors.
If you are in hardiness zones 10-12, you have the option to raise your Alocasia Polly plants outdoors.
Origin And Family
From the genus Alocasia in the Arum family, the African mask plant is native to Southeast Asia but is also present in the Amazon rainforest.
Where To Buy
Alocasia Pollys are relatively affordable, ranging between $5-$10 for cuttings and $35 for mature plants, and Etsy offers some of the most competitive prices on Alocasia Polly. They provide a wide variety of plants that is certain to satisfy you.
Alocasia Polly Plant Size
On average, the Alocasia Polly grows up to 1-2 inches tall and 1-2 inches wide in indoor spaces. It usually grows at a fast pace, especially when it’s positioned in any low-light room.
Alocasia Polly Care Needs
Like any other houseplant, your Alocasia Polly will flourish with careful care. This plant enjoys dampness and year-round soil that is equally moist and damp.
For most growers, you’ll want to allow plenty of time for the excess water to flow through the pot’s drainage hole. Regarding lighting, the best way to let your Alocasia Polly bloom is to place it under medium to bright indirect sunlight to thrive.
Consult our complete care guide for more specific suggestions!
While all plants require some maintenance, most indoor gardeners believe the Kris plant to be moderately easy to care for. You can maintain this plant’s optimal health by providing the correct combination of conditions, such as moist but well-drained soil and plenty of light.
The growth of Elephant Ear plants is rapid, and they will reach a mature height of 1 to 2 inches indoors.
Alocasia polly needed her own photo shoot 💚🌿 pic.twitter.com/7QdSrM0YDf— 𝔸𝕟𝕘𝕖𝕝 🌺 (@green_angelee) March 25, 2021
In terms of potting material and size, it is usually recommended to use a small pot for this plant. An important aspect is the presence of at least one drainage hole in your container. African mask plants are susceptible to root rot if kept in excessive water.
As your plant grows and expands, you might consider upgrading from your current pot to a more giant vessel on an as-needed basis. Typically, the need to repot occurs every few years because this plant grows fast.
When repotting your Alocasia Polly, you can use a fresh batch of loam soil, which is the optimal growing medium.
Kris plant grows well in loam soil. You can also choose to make your own soil mix by adding houseplant soil, peat moss, and perlite. This plant likes to stay in evenly moist but not too soggy soil.
Furthermore, appropriate drainage is necessary to prevent fungal diseases, root rot, and other problems.
These are some recommended soil options:
Elephant Ear requires a soil pH ranging from neutral to acidic. A basic pH meter for soil testing can be ordered online if soil pH is an issue.
If the pH of your soil is abnormally high, sulfur or aluminum sulfate might be used to increase acidity. If the pH is too low, you can modify the soil with baking soda, calcitic or dolomitic lime, or wood ash.
Drainage holes and aerated soil are must-haves for African mask plants. Rule of thumb: You don’t want your plant sitting in water for an extended period.
Alocasia Polly prefers indirect, medium to bright sunshine. Remember that you attempt to mimic the same growing circumstances as other tropical plants in Southeast Asia. In most cases, placing this plant in a low-light environment is optimal.
When the leaves of your Alocasia Polly begin to scorch and dry up, you will know it is receiving too much light. However, substantial yellow/brown patches will emerge on the leaves if it does not receive enough light.
Plants, like people, need more food when they are actively growing because they are using up a lot of their energy. For the Kris plant, this growth spurt usually happens during its growing season in the spring and summer months. During this time, you can apply a general houseplant fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer once a month.
In winter, plants’ roots usually go dormant in the cold, so they won’t need extra food for growth.
Propagating Alocasia Polly
Using the correct method of propagation, you can reproduce your Alocasia Polly. The following are some alternatives to choose from and thorough instructions to assist you.
My long awaited new addition: alocasia polly. 💚 #houseplanthour #houseplant pic.twitter.com/9Qp8AmbzAQ— CandaceSotela (@CandaceSotela) February 1, 2022
The division is a common propagation technique for plants that produce pups from their roots. Follow these instructions to split the stem clusters of your Elephant Ear:
1. Dig up. Remove the plant from the container. You should be able to discern the natural divisions of the plant.
2. Separate. Using your fingertips, separate the parts gently apart, and you might require shears to trim any tangled roots.
3. Repot. Plant each part in new containers containing the same soil as before.
Humidity And Aeration
Your Alocasia Polly needs high humidity between 60-75% for rich-colored leaves and lush growth.
If you are concerned about humidity or if the edges of your plant’s leaves are browning, you can purchase a humidifier and place it near your plants. This supplement will significantly improve the health of your plant.
The ideal temperature for your Elephant Ear plant is between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and this showy houseplant will appreciate being kept under warm temperatures.
Importantly, you should avoid rapid temperature increases or decreases. Avoid using cold or hot water to water your Elephant Ear to avoid shocking its roots.
If you can provide the best conditions for your plant and keep it at its happiest, you might be able to see insignificant flowers. You must know, however, that most plants generally bloom in an outdoor environment.
You should be responsible when handling this plant if you have small children or pets. Toxic to humans and animals alike, the Kris plant is potentially dangerous if consumed. The following are possible side effects if eaten: skin irritation, swelling of the mouth and throat, and possibly a rash and itching. If enough of hte plant is ingested, it can be considered life-threatening.
Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems
I would conclude that the Alocasia Polly is not a disease- and insect-resistant plant. Here are some quick remedies for common ailments, as well as basic guidelines for maintaining the health of this plant.
Unfortunately, spider mites are widespread, especially in Elephant Ear plants. Spider mite damage will initially appear as little brown or yellow dots on the leaves of this plant. You may also observe stunted growth or leaves that unroll slowly.
As they are linked to spiders, spider mites construct webs (which is gross). Only one or two spiders will inhabit a spider’s web with a more sophisticated design. On the other hand, a spider mite infestation is indicated by a web that is fine, sticky, and teeming with numerous little red insects.
To treat spider mites on Elephant Ear, take your plant outside and thoroughly spray it down to eliminate the insects. When you bring it back inside, quarantine it from the rest of your plants until you are sure there are no remaining spider mites.
Neem oil, insecticidal soap, and horticultural oil are organic products that can do the trick if that doesn’t work!
Fungus gnats are tiny insects that feed on organic matter residing in the soil. Their larvae will consume the roots of your African mask plant, which is terrible news.
Hydrogen peroxide kills fungus gnat larvae on touch, making it a fast and simple method for eliminating these pests. Four parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide should be used to saturate the soil. Alternately, place bowls of apple cider vinegar and water near your plant to drown adult gnats. In addition, they are particularly drawn to the color yellow. Attach yellow adhesive cards to wooden skewers and bury them in the ground.
Powdery mildew is a fungus that grows on your Elephant Ear and is caused by heat and poor ventilation. It is distinguished by grey or white good patches on affected leaves or blooms.
This disease can be prevented by giving your plants constant airflow and a lot of breathing space. Prune back clustered leaf growth. Don’t crowd plants too close together. Water directly on the soil while taking care not to wet the leaves.
If the disease has spread heavily, you can mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda, 5 drops of liquid soap, 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, and 1 gallon of water. Generously apply this solution to the leaves of your Alocasia.
Whiteflies may be present if your plants have mottled, discolored leaves that are distorted or dropping off. These insects are closely related to mealybugs, scales, and aphids. Yellow glue-based traps can be used to attract and capture Whiteflies and aid in the early detection of their emergence. You can release a colony of natural predators into your indoor growing environment for a more natural approach. Without damaging your plants, ladybugs, lacewings, dragonflies, parasitic wasps, and praying mantises will consume various pests.
Adult scales are immobile and covered in a waxy coating, yet they give birth to little insects that crawl. Using an old ID card or your fingertips, you can scrape off armored scales, but you must be careful. Take care not to shred the leaves of the Alocasia Polly. It is possible to suffocate scale insects with pesticide soap, horticultural oil, or neem oil. When you detect active crawlers on a plant, apply a broad-spectrum insecticide to it. After a week, a second application should be submitted. We offer the following items:
Under leaf details on the Alocasia Polly 🌱🌱 pic.twitter.com/9jKmvtlNha— 🪴🌱K (@getplantywithme) May 21, 2021
Your ornamental houseplant may fall victim to an infestation of Mealybugs. By feeding on the plant’s sap via their sucking tubes, these parasites will weaken your Elephant Ear. I propose applying neem oil once a month to your houseplants as a preventative measure against various diseases. Remember to dilute the neem before spraying and only do so during cool weather. In the event of an infestation, combine one cup of rubbing alcohol and one teaspoon of unscented dish soap in a spray bottle with water. Spray this twice per week on Elephant Ear until the mealybugs are gone.
Brown Leaf Tips
If your African mask plant is not receiving enough moisture from the air and its roots, the edges of its leaves may darken. Check the relative humidity of your plant’s location to ensure that it meets its needs. You may also need to evaluate the quantity and frequency of fertilizer application. Overfeeding can scorch the foliage of your houseplants, which manifests as browning around the leaf margins.
Mealybugs and other pests that infest the Alocasia Polly can cause leaves to droop. This problem can also be caused by underwatering, lack of humidity, and lack of nutrients.
If you notice that the leaves of your Kris plant are turning yellow, you will need to trace any recent adjustments in your usual care practices or in the weather.
Overwatering, underwatering, over-fertilizing, under fertilizing, too much light, lack of light, root damage, temperature swings, and pests can cause yellowing leaves.
A typical cause of death for the Elephant Ears is root rot, which occurs when you overwater your plant. Poor drainage is another cause of root rot, and this Alocasia requires a well-draining loam soil.
When selecting a container for your plant, ensure it has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. Clay pots and unglazed ceramic planters can absorb and slowly release soil moisture into the air.
Appreciate African mask plants? Here are some additional related plant ideas to consider:
Alocasia Sanderiana– The Araceae family’s Alocasia sanderiana is a beautiful herbaceous perennial. This species is native to the Philippines and comes from tropical rainforest settings. It generally reaches a height of over a meter and has a thicker lower stem known as a corm. The leaves are formed in pairs and are huge, measuring up to 40cm long and 20cm wide at their largest. The leaves are arrow-shaped and strongly lobed, with a dark green upper surface, beautiful white veins, and a green-red underside.
Alocasia longiloba– This plant’s name, from the Latin word longilobus, was used to describe the plant’s adult leaf’s elongated lobes. Friedrich Anton Wilhelm Miquel initially discovered the Alocasia longiloba in South-East Asia, specifically the Philippines, in the early-mid 1800s.
If you’re looking for a houseplant with a bit of flair, the Alocasia Polly is an attractive choice. Large and odd-shaped leaves with bright nerves are a true treat.
You simply cannot get enough Alocasia plant guide books, can you? Check out these further Two Peas In A Condo blogs to discover what else we have to offer!
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