Alocasias have some of the most unique foliage among the plant kingdom. My alocasia collection is quickly growing, I'm taking a "gotta catch em' all" approach. In this article, I'll share tips of how I keep my jewel alocasia happy. Shout out to my girl, Maud who shared many of these tips with me!
Context: I live in Montreal, Quebec, where winters are harsh, cold, dark and extremely dry. But the summers are very warm and sunny though brief. My plants are growing well in my environment, perhaps you would need to adapt some of my approaches to your environment.
All of my jewel alocasia (except cuprea, to be discussed later) are potted in New Zealand Sphagnum Moss. This brand is available on Amazon but currently at higher prices than what can be found at your local nursery. I have purchased 40 L bags for $39.99 at my local garden centre near Montreal.
In my experience, jewel alocasia enjoy lightly moist media, which makes sphagnum moss the perfect media. Sphagnum moss retains moisture longer than other airy media. Interesting fact, sphagnum moss actually has antibacterial properties. In fact, in World War I when doctors were struggling to find material to bandage soldier's wounds a Scottish surgeon and botanist came up with an ingenious idea to use sterile sphagnum moss to pack wounds and help heal injuries.
I pot them up tightly in moist sphagnum moss in net pots.
Jewel alocasias require bright indirect light, like regular alocasia, their stems can become etiolated (i.e. very long) if they lack light.
I live in Montreal, Canada, so winters are long, dark, and cold. My jewel alocasias have been happily growing in grow lights and during the summer, bright indirect sunlight.
I have had very good success with Sunblaster T5HO fluorescent lights.
If LED growlights are more your speed, Monios-L T5 grow lights are an affordable option that are very effective.
Watering and Humidity
Jewel alocasia like to be kept lightly moist and in moderate humidity (60-80%). Water when the sphagnum moss has become dry to touch.
You may notice that when your alocasia puts out a new leaf, it drops an old one. This is more likely to occur when the plant is immature or juvenile. Small alocasia plants aren't able to maintain that many leaves at a given time because their stalk is expanding. As the stalk expands, it forces the smaller leaves to fall off. But once the stalk becomes larger and thicker, it will be able to maintain more leaves at a time.
- Sphagnum moss media
- Net pots
- Bright indirect light
- Moderate humidity
- Water when dry