Man hands wiping dust from plant leaves, taking care of houseplant Alocasia using wet cotton pad

Alocasia Houseplant Care: Troubleshooting Tips and Trendy Varieties Explained

With their bold, eye-catching leaves, Alocasia plants bring a touch of the tropics to your home. These houseplants not only add a unique aesthetic to your space but also come with specific care requirements that need attention.

Mastering Alocasia care will ensure your plant thrives and remains a stunning feature in your home.


Man hands wiping dust from plant leaves, taking care of houseplant Alocasia using wet cotton pad


From their watering needs to their temperature preferences, understanding Alocasia plants is crucial for their healthy growth. You may encounter challenges like pests or diseases and it's important to recognise and address these issues promptly. Keeping your Alocasia healthy requires knowing how to cater to its specific needs.

Whether you are dealing with repotting or simply looking to explore the diverse varieties of Alocasia, each plant has its quirks. From the Giant Taro to the Alocasia Polly, these plants require tailored care routines. By following the right care tips, you can effectively troubleshoot common problems and keep your Alocasia vibrant.

Key Takeaways

  • Alocasia plants need specific care to thrive.
  • Recognising and addressing issues like pests is crucial.
  • Proper care routines vary across different Alocasia varieties.

Understanding Alocasia

Alocasia is a genus of tropical plants native to the tropical regions of Asia. With over 100 species, these plants are known for their striking large leaves.

Key Traits

  • Leaves: Typically large, heart-shaped, and often with striking patterns.
  • Growth: Grows from corms, which store energy for new leaf growth.
  • Family: Belongs to the Araceae family.


These plants thrive in warm, humid conditions similar to their native tropical climates. They prefer environments with consistent temperatures ranging from 18°C to 26°C.

These plants originated in tropical rainforests from China to India, the South Pacific, and Eastern Australia.

Care Needs

  • Light: Alocasias prefer bright, indirect light. Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves.
  • Humidity: They thrive in high humidity, ideally between 60% to 80%.

Potting and Soil

Use a high-quality potting mix like our SOIL FRESHENER potting soil. Repotting every couple of years can help manage the plant's size and health. Using our SOIL BOOSTER organic fertiliser will add periodically the nutrients that Alocasia need to thrive and will prolong the life of its potting mix (without the need of repotting so often).

These key points provide a solid introduction to understanding Alocasia. By offering the right conditions, your Alocasia can thrive and become a stunning feature in your home. Emphasise consistent care and attention to their specific needs for the best results.


Essential Care for Alocasia Plants

Proper care for Alocasia involves specific watering, soil, and environmental needs to ensure your plant thrives. Focus on maintaining correct moisture levels and the right climate for healthy growth.


Watering Requirements

Alocasia plants require consistent watering to keep their soil moist but not waterlogged. Use a schedule that fits your plant's environment and adjust as needed. During the growing season, typically spring and summer, water your Alocasia when the top inch of soil feels dry.

Avoid letting the plant sit in standing water, as this can lead to root rot. Ensure your pot has drainage holes to help prevent this issue. During autumn and winter, reduce watering as the plant's growth slows down. Always use room temperature water to avoid shocking the roots.

Soil and Potting Mix

Selecting the right soil mix is crucial for maintaining your Alocasia's health. Alocasia plants thrive in well-draining soil that retains some moisture without becoming waterlogged. A high-quality potting mix like our SOIL FRESHENER potting soil provides the necessary balance of aeration and moisture retention.

Repot your Alocasia every one to two years in a slightly larger pot to accommodate growth and refresh the soil nutrients. When repotting, ensure you handle the roots carefully to avoid damage. Adding a layer of pebbles at the bottom of the pot can enhance drainage.

Temperature and Humidity

Alocasia plants are sensitive to temperature and humidity levels. They prefer a warm environment with temperatures ranging between 18°C and 26°C. Avoid exposing the plant to temperatures below 15°C, as this can cause stress and hinder growth. Use our PLANT FOOD organic liquid fertiliser and biostimulant all year round to increase plant resistance to the stress caused by severe temperature oscillations.

High humidity is essential for Alocasia species. Aim for humidity levels between 60% and 80%. Using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near the plant can help maintain these levels. You can also add a top layer of our SOIL TOPPER natural mulch to the soil surface to maintain a regular moisture content in the potting soil. Avoid placing your Alocasia near drafts, vents, or direct sunlight, as these can create unfavourable conditions.

By following these guidelines, you can create an environment where your Alocasia will flourish, showcasing its beautiful, lush leaves.


Dealing with Pest and Disease Issues

Alocasia houseplants, while beautiful and striking, can be susceptible to a range of pests and diseases. Understanding these issues and knowing how to treat them is crucial to maintaining a healthy plant.

Common Pests

Spider Mites: These tiny pests are often difficult to see but leave behind tell-tale signs such as fine webs and yellow or brown spots on the leaves. To treat spider mites, regularly rinse the leaves with cold water and consider using neem oil like our LEAF PROTECTOR natural insecticide for plants, or insecticidal soap like our LEAF CLEANSER natural soap for plants.

Mealybugs: Mealybugs appear as white, cotton-like masses on your plant. They can weaken your Alocasia by sucking out its sap. You can treat mealybugs by wiping the leaves with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and spraying with insecticidal soap if the infestation persists.

Leafminers: These pests tunnel within the leaves, creating streaks and spots. While they are usually not highly damaging, sticky traps can catch the egg-laying adults, and insecticidal soap can help reduce their numbers if necessary.

Cleaning and monitoring your plants regularly will help you catch any pest issues early, making treatment easier and more effective.

Typical Diseases

Root Rot: This common issue is caused by overwatering. Symptoms include yellowing leaves and a foul smell from the roots. To address root rot, remove the plant from its pot, trim away the rotted roots, and repot in fresh, well-draining soil.

Phytophthora: This waterborne fungal disease leads to white, powdery patches on leaves and can be quite harmful. Ensure your plant is not overwatered and use a fungicide if you notice these symptoms.

Leaf Spot: Typically caused by bacteria or fungi, leaf spot diseases show up as brown or black spots on leaves. Remove affected leaves promptly and improve air circulation around the plant to prevent the disease from spreading.

By being vigilant and proactive, you can manage pest and disease problems effectively, ensuring your Alocasia thrives.


Repotting and Propagation Techniques


Repotting and propagating your Alocasia is crucial to its health and growth. Repotting helps refresh the soil and gives the roots more space, while propagation allows you to multiply your plants.

When to Repot

You should repot your Alocasia when it becomes root-bound, usually every 1-2 years. Signs include roots growing out of the drainage holes or circling the soil surface.

Early spring is the best time for repotting as the plant enters its growing season. Choose a pot that is 2-5 centimeters larger in diameter than the current one and has good drainage. Use a well-draining mix, such as our SOIL FRESHENER potting soil.


  • Carefully remove the plant from its pot.
  • Gently loosen the root ball.
  • Position the Alocasia in the centre of the new pot.
  • Add potting mix around the root ball, pressing it down lightly.

How to Propagate

To propagate Alocasia, the most effective method is by dividing the plant's corms. This can be done during repotting.


  1. Unpot the plant and carefully wash off the soil to expose the corms.
  2. Use a clean, sharp knife or scissors to cut the corms into sections, each with at least one growth point.
  3. Plant each section in a pot with well-draining soil, like a mix of peat moss and perlite.
  4. Water lightly and place in a warm, humid environment.


  • Ensure each corm piece has a visible eye (growth point).
  • Propagating during active growth periods improves success rates.

With proper care, your Alocasia Polly and other Alocasia varieties will thrive and multiply, providing lush foliage for your indoor garden.


Popular Varieties and Their Features


Alocasias are known for their striking leaves and distinct features, making them popular among houseplant enthusiasts. Here, we delve into five notable Alocasia varieties, highlighting their unique characteristics and care needs.

Alocasia 'Polly'

Alocasia Amazonica Polly
Photo by Evangeline Bautista

Alocasia 'Polly', also known as Alocasia Amazonica 'Polly', is one of the most iconic varieties. It has dark green leaves with pronounced silver-white veins that draw attention. This plant usually reaches about 40 to 60 centimeters in height, making it a manageable size for indoor cultivation.

The leaves are arrowhead-shaped and grow from long, slender stems. Alocasia 'Polly' prefers bright but indirect light and thrives in a well-draining potting mix. It's vital to maintain high humidity and keep the soil consistently moist without waterlogging.

Alocasia Zebrina

Alocasia zebrina

Alocasia Zebrina is easily identifiable by its unique, zebra-like striped stems. The leaves are large, arrow-shaped, and typically reach about 90 centimetres in height, creating a bold statement in any indoor garden. Its stems and leaves grow quickly under the right conditions, bringing a tropical feel to your home.

This variety enjoys bright, indirect sunlight and regular watering. The soil should be kept slightly moist, but not soggy. High humidity levels are essential for this plant, so consider using a humidity tray or misting regularly.

Alocasia Frydek

Alocasia Frydek, or Green Velvet Alocasia
Photo by Smart Garden Guide


Alocasia Frydek, or Green Velvet Alocasia, features dark green, velvety leaves with stark white veins. It stands about 60 to 90 centimetres tall, making it an excellent houseplant. The leaves have a soft and velvety texture that adds a touch of elegance to your indoor space.

This plant prefers bright, indirect light and high humidity. Regular, but not excessive watering is crucial, as the plant is prone to root rot if overwatered. Ensure well-draining soil and avoid letting the plant sit in standing water.

Alocasia Black Velvet

Alocasia Black Velvet


Alocasia Black Velvet is known for its striking, dark leaves that feel almost like velvet. These leaves are smaller and more compact, growing about 25 to 40 centrimetres tall. The contrast of the deep green leaves with silvery veins makes it a visually appealing plant.

This variety requires less light than others, flourishing in low to medium light conditions. It's also less demanding in terms of humidity, although it still appreciates a humid environment. Watering should be done when the top inch of soil feels dry.

Variegated Alocasias

Alocasia variegated

Variegated Alocasias, including varieties like Alocasia 'Stingray' and Alocasia 'Wentii', are prized for their unique leaf patterns and colours. These plants usually feature leaves with patches of white, cream, or light green, creating a marbled effect.

These plants require bright, indirect light to maintain their variegation. Proper watering is crucial; the soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged. High humidity is beneficial, and regular misting can help mimic their natural tropical habitat.

Alocasia varieties bring a touch of the exotic to your home with their unique and striking foliage. With the right care, these plants can thrive and become a standout feature in any indoor garden. For more detailed information on these varieties, you can explore Just Houseplants and Epic Gardening.

Addressing Common Problems

Maintaining a healthy Alocasia involves addressing common issues such as overwatering, lighting concerns, and nutrient deficiencies. Each of these can impact the plant's appearance and overall health.

Overwatering Dilemmas

Overwatering is a frequent problem with Alocasias. This plant prefers soil that retains moisture yet drains well. Overly wet soil can lead to root rot, a serious condition. To avoid this, use a pot with drainage holes and ensure the soil mix can ensure good drainage.

Signs of Overwatering:

  • Yellow leaves
  • Wilting despite wet soil
  • Foul smell from the soil

To fix overwatering issues, let the soil dry out before the next watering. Also, consider checking the plant’s roots for rot. Trim away any mushy or blackened roots and repot the plant in fresh soil. Learn how to save an overwatered plant.

Lighting Concerns

Lighting is crucial for the growth of Alocasias. This plant thrives in bright, indirect light. Too much direct sun can scorch the leaves, while too little light can cause the leaves to yellow and the plant to grow leggy.

Ideal Lighting Conditions:

  • Place near a north or east-facing window
  • Use sheer curtains to diffuse direct sunlight

If your Alocasia gets too much direct sun, you may notice brown edges or patches on the leaves. On the other hand, insufficient light might result in yellow leaves and slow growth. Adjusting your plant's position can often resolve these issues.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies can affect Alocasia's vibrant foliage. This plant will benefit if you give her our PLANT FOOD organic liquid fertiliser, applied fortnightly during the growing season, and once a month during winter. This product not only encourages plant growth, but also strengthens the roots and increase plant resistance to pests and diseases. In addition, use our SOIL BOOSTER organic fertiliser to feed the potting soil and replenishing it with the nutrients most important for the plants.

Signs of Nutrient Deficiencies:

  • Yellowing leaves (Nitrogen deficiency)
  • Brown tips (Potassium deficiency)
  • Pale leaves with green veins (Magnesium deficiency)

Regular monitoring and timely fertilising can keep your Alocasia looking its best.

Safety and Toxicity Considerations

Alocasia plants are toxic to both humans and pets. The primary culprit is calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and other issues if ingested.

Symptoms of Ingestion:

  • Humans: Mouth and throat irritation, difficulty swallowing, and stomach pain.
  • Pets: Drooling, pawing at the mouth, vomiting, and decreased appetite.


  • Place Alocasia plants out of reach of children and pets.
  • Wear gloves when handling the plant to avoid skin irritation.

Emergency Steps:

  • If ingested: Rinse mouth with water and seek medical or veterinary advice immediately.
  • Skin contact: Wash the affected area with soap and water. If irritation persists, seek medical advice.

It's crucial to be aware of these risks to ensure the safety of everyone in your household.

Special Care Tips During Dormancy

Alocasia plants go dormant typically during the colder months. Understanding how to care for them during this period is crucial.

Reduce watering significantly. The plant's water consumption reduces, and the soil should be kept only slightly moist. Overwatering can lead to rot, as the plant is more susceptible during dormancy.

Move your Alocasia to a location that receives bright, indirect light. This helps keep the plant healthier and ready to spring back to growth after dormancy.

Ensure the room temperature does not drop below 15°C. Keeping your plant warm mimics its natural environment and prevents stress.

Maintain high humidity levels around the plant. You can use a humidifier or place a tray of water near the plant.

If your Alocasia shows yellowing or dying leaves, it’s normal. Trim the dead leaves using clean, sharp tools to keep your plant looking neat.

Ensure your Alocasia is in well-draining soil. You should keep the soil slightly drier during dormancy to prevent root rot.

The plant is conserving energy and might not show new growth until spring or summer. When growth resumes, gradually increase watering.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find helpful answers to common questions about caring for Alocasia plants, maintaining their health, and understanding their popular varieties.

How can I identify and remedy the cause of brown spots on my Alocasia leaves?

Brown spots on Alocasia leaves can be caused by overwatering, underwatering, or pests. Check the soil moisture to ensure it’s not too wet or too dry. Inspect your plant for pests like aphids or spider mites. Apply our PLANT FOOD organic liquid fertiliser to prevent brown spots on Alocasia leaves. Use a well-draining soil mix and water only when the top inch of soil is dry.

What are the watering requirements for Alocasia plants to thrive indoors?

Alocasia plants need consistent moisture, but not too much. Water them when the top inch of soil feels dry. During the growing season, they may need watering more frequently. Reduce watering in winter. Ensure your pot has good drainage to prevent root rot.

Could you list the benefits of keeping an Alocasia plant indoors?

Alocasia plants add a tropical touch to your indoor space with their dramatic foliage. They can improve indoor air quality and provide a sense of tranquillity. Their bold patterns and textures make them a stylish choice for modern décor.

What are the common issues faced by Alocasia 'Polly' and how can they be resolved?

Alocasia 'Polly' often faces root rot due to overwatering. Ensure well-draining soil and reduce watering if roots are soggy. Leaf yellowing may indicate improper light. Place your plant in bright, indirect light. Pests like spider mites can also be an issue, so inspect leaves regularly.

How does one maintain an Alocasia to ensure its continued happiness and growth?

To keep your Alocasia healthy, provide bright, indirect light and keep the temperature between 18°C to 26°C. Use well-draining soil and fertilise monthly with our SOIL BOOSTER organic fertiliser. Prune dead leaves to encourage new growth.

Could you elucidate the varied Alocasia species that have become popular amongst enthusiasts?

Some popular Alocasia species include Alocasia 'Polly', Alocasia Black Velvet, and Alocasia Elephant Ear. Each species has unique leaf shapes and patterns. Alocasia 'Polly' has glossy, green leaves with white veins, while Alocasia Black Velvet features dark green, velvet-like leaves. Alocasia Elephant Ear is admired for its large, dramatic leaves.

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