Alocasia Black Velvet is a stunning indoor plant. It has black, heart-shaped leaves that have some outstanding white or silvery veins on them. This unique trait makes the plant look gorgeous and makes it stand out.
Alocasia Black Velvet plants can be put on the floor or the table pots. This unusual and eye-catching plant gives a mesmerizing look to your surroundings, making it an ideal house plant. No wonder it is called the black beauty plant?
What is the Alocasia Black Velvet Plant?
– Alocasia Black Velvet Classification
- Family: Araceae
- Genus: Alocasia
- Species: A. Regina
- Cultivar: Black Velvet
- History of Alocasia Black Velvet: These species were from Borneo, East Asia
Genus Alocasia comprises 79 species. They are the natives of subtropical regions of Asia to East Australia. It is a flowering plant with broad-leaved foliage. The roots of Alocasia Black Velvet plants are in the form of tubes or rhizomes. Members belonging to this family and genus can get cultivated and hybridized to form new plants.
– Common Names of Alocasia Black Velvet:
- Queen alocasia
- The Little queen
- Alocasia velvet
- Black velvet elephant ear plant
Alocasia Black Velvet Plant Features
– Height and Structure
The average height of Alocasia Black Velvet is around 10 to 20 inches. The width of the plant is also similar. The body of the Alocasia Black Velvet is branched and rhizomatous. The plant grows through rhizomes which are in the form of clumps.
– Leaves and Flowers of Alocasia Black Velvet
The leaves of the Alocasia Black Velvet plant are around 2 inches wide. The color of Alocasia Black Velvet is black and underneath the black leaves has pale splashes or spots. The stem of Alocasia Black Velvet is thick and pale.
The length of the leaves is larger than the length of the stem. The flowers of Alocasia Black Velvet are small and anthurium-like. The plant has white sterile finger-like spadix. The spadix has a pale yellow petal-like modified leaf, known as the spathe.
If the growth conditions of the Alocasia Black Velvet plant are favorable, they bloom throughout the year.
The Alocasia Black Velvet plant is toxic, contains oxalic acid. It is highly harmful to humans and pets. Ingestion of these plants may lead to serious health issues. Always keep your kids and pets away from getting too close to the plant.
– Alocasia Black Velvet Growth Rate and Dormancy Season
Alocasia Black Velvet plants are fast-growing plants. They grow in the months of summer and spring. In the winters or on colder days, the Alocasia Black Velvet plant gets dormant. The plant undergoes dormancy.
During winter, you can change the direction of the plant and place it to a place where there is the brightest light without falling directly on its leaves. During winter, the plant may shed leaves and doesn’t show any growth. This condition doesn’t indicate that the plant is dead; they are in sleeping mode. After winters, the plant starts growing and getting healthy.
Ever wondered why the leaves of Alocasia Black Velvet are black? It’s a unique feature of this plant to have unusually dark and velvety leaves. It has a rough surface, which absorbs all the frequencies of the light falling on them and gives the leaf a particular black shade.
White veins are prominent on the black leaves. It reflects all the light giving a contrast to the leaf surface. It’s surprising that just like green leaves, green chlorophyll is inside these charcoal-like leaves.
How to Care for Alocasia Black Velvet
– Alocasia Black Velvet Water Requirements
The Alocasia Black Velvet plant needs a medium amount of water. Watering Alocasia Black plants is very simple and easy. In summer, water the plant when the upper layer of the soil gets 90 percent dry. During winters, allow the soil to dry before watering. Watering the plant once a week will be enough.
For summers, the watering frequency should be thrice a week. Soggy or waterlogged soil causes root rot. Avoid overwatering the plant.
– Alocasia Black Velvet Light Requirements
The Alocasia Black Velvet plant needs bright indirect sunlight. If indirect bright sunlight is not sufficiently available, strange an artificial light and place it at a minimum height of 15 inches from the plant. Avoid direct light because it may scorch out the delicate leaves of the plant.
– What are the signs that Alocasia Black Velvet needs more light?
The leaves of your Alocasia Black Velvet plants are drooping. It’s a sign that your plant isn’t getting enough light. Change the position of the plant, keep it closer to a window without leaving it in the direct sunlight.
– Alocasia Black Velvet Temperature Requirements
The Alocasia Black Velvet plant needs the optimal temperature to grow. The plant needs 55 to 80 F. It will withstand winters, but you need to shift it to a warmer place during the frosty weather. The Alocasia Black Velvet plants are sensitive to strong winds and drifts.
Keep the plant away from the proximity of heaters, fans, and air conditioners.
– Alocasia Black Velvet Soil Requirement
The Alocasia Black Velvet plants need well-drained soil with large particles to grow better. The sand must be loamy and sandy to go well with this plant.
– Humidity Requirements
The Alocasia Black Velvet plants can be grown in the kitchen or your bathrooms. Yes, that’s true. These plants are natives of rainforests. They need high levels of humidity for better growth. During the dry weather, the Alocasia Black Velvet plants need misting to provide reasonable moisture.
The other options to keep the plant moisturized are using a humidifier or a pebble-water tray under the pot. The ideal humidity level your Alocasia Black Velvet plant needs is between 60 to 75 percent. Your plant is at risk if the humidity level is below 50 to 40 percent.
Do not keep the foliage wet for long hours, which may cause the plant to rot or undergo fungal infection.
– Fertilizer Requirements
The Alocasia Black Velvet plants love to eat food. You can use a suitable fertilizer once a month. When the plant is in a dormant state, it doesn’t need any fertilizer.
Maintaining Alocasia Black Velvet
Regularly clean the leaves with a moist cloth. This practice will keep the plant dust-free and keep the velvety appearance of the plant dazzling. When the leaves are dusty, it doesn’t allow the plant to breathe.
Pruning is also a must for the Alocasia Black Velvet plant. The plant grows its new and healthy leaves from the center. It’s necessary to prune the outer leaves. You should trim off the dead outer leaves with sharp garden scissors.
Pull off the dead leaves. Prune a few leaves from lower branches to maintain the plant’s appearance.
It’s not necessary to repot your Alocasia plant. The plant needs to be repotted only when the roots are poking out through the drainage. The best season to repot your plant is Spring. You should only increase the pot one size every year or two.
Inspect the roots and soil of your plant by gently removing the plant from the pot.
Alocasia Black Velvet Problems
There are problems that the Alocasia Black Velvet plant faces during its growth. It is good to identify them earlier and solve them immediately. Following are some of the problems Alocasia Black Velvet plant faces and the solutions to solve them:
– Alocasia Black Velvet Root Rot
Root rot is a big problem and is also a leading killer of the plant. Root rot causes the leaves to become yellow and wilt. This root rot problem can be solved by watering the plant according to its need. Don’t water the plant. If the pot has a drainage system, root rot can be avoided.
Alocasia Black Velvet needs a sufficient amount of oxygen around its roots. If the soil is soggy, it will not provide the required amount of oxygen to the plant. Another reason for root rot is overpotting. Don’t repot the plant unless necessary.
– Insect Invasions
Sometimes, insect invasion keeps the plant in troublesome conditions. Mealybug damages the alocasia leaves. They stay on the leaves, take up the nutrients from the plant, and spread infection.
Early detection is also helpful for the plant. You can treat the plant after you see an insect infection with a mixture of warm water and liquid soap. Apply this mixture to the leaf to get rid of the insect. You can also use light pesticides to treat insect invasion.
– Leaves Are Dropping
You should not ignore the dropping of leaves of an Alocasia Black Velvet plant. The cause of this phenomenon is overwatering. There are many other reasons for the dropping of the Alocasia Black Velvet plant like:
- Low humidity
- Low light
– Leaves Are Turning Yellow
Yellowing of alocasia leaves is a problem faced by the plant. There are some common causes of yellowing of alocasia leaves:
- insufficient drainage
- Big pot
- Low humidity
- Low lighting
- Temperature extremes
- Fertilizer issues
– Spots on Alocasia Black Velvet Leaves
Alocasias black velvet plants love to grow in a humid environment. If humidity is low, brown spots or the edges of the leaves become crisp brown, which is quite obviously the luscious black leaves.
Other possible reasons for brown spots on the leaves are under-watering, fertilizer burn, pests, and fungal diseases.
– Attack of Spider Mites
Nasty Spider Mites attack Alocasia Black Velvet. Spider mites attack the plant when the plant is not getting bright light. You should keep the humidity level high because a high humidity level is harmful to spider mites. Shower the plants weekly to raise the humidity level and get rid of these mites.
How to Propagate Alocasia Black Velvet
There are different methods, by seed, division of the rhizome roots, by separating offsets.
Get some seeds from the market. Propagation through seeds is a slow process and might not always be successful.
The easiest way of propagation is plant offsets. You have to remove the offsets and plant them in a small pot. Use the soil where the parent plant is growing. Keep the soil moist until a baby plant grows.
– Division of rhizomes
Alocasia Black Velvet is rhizomatous. The plant grows through rhizomes. The propagation method used for rhizomatous plants is rhizome division. Spring and midsummer is the ideal time for propagation. Propagation is not possible in Winter. The plant is dormant.
- Select a healthy and mature Alocasia Black Velvet plant for the division
- Dig the Alocasia Black Velvet soil around 4 inches deep
- Take out the rhizome from the soil and split it
- Plant the divisions in the moist, rich, and slightly fertilized soil
- If you are planting more than one Alocasia Black Velvet plantlet in a pot, keep them 12 inches apart from each other. It will allow proper growth because it creates enough space to grow the tuber properly
- Place the pot in a warm and moist place with a sufficient amount of indirect sunlight
– Growth Timeline
Let us look at the pattern of the Alocasia Black Velvet plant’s growth.
Day 1 to Day 30:
Water the Alocasia Black Velvet plant moderately. You should not overwater the black velvet plant. Keep the Alocasia Black Velvet plant in warm, indirect light, and humid places.
Day 30 to Day 90:
The plantlet of the Alocasia Black Velvet plant will get settled at a new place in about 3 to 4 weeks. Tiny shoots start to grow in around the 6th week. A new Alocasia Black Velvet plant will be well grown in about three months.
Day 90 Onwards:
You should not need to be keenly vigilant now. You just need to follow the usual care routine for your black beauties to grow well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alocasia Black Velvet
Following are some frequently asked questions about the Alocasia Black Velvet plant.
1. Is Alocasia Black Velvet toxic?
The Alocasia Black Velvet is toxic. The plant contains insoluble oxalate crystals. When the plant gets in the mouth, crystals are released. It leads to irritation in the mouth and gastrointestinal system.
2. Is Alocasia Black Velvet a rare plant?
The Alocasia Black Velvet is rare. It is a unique plant with some unusual features.
3. Is Alocasia Black Velvet an indoor houseplant?
Alocasia is an indoor plant. Lives in humidity and warmth. These features make them live indoors.
4. Why are the leaves on my Alocasia Black Velvet brittle?
Crispy leaves are symptoms related to the humidity levels in the home. Depending upon the humidity level, the leaves lose water during the day at different rates.
5. What is the best way of cleaning the leaves?
You should clean Alocasia Black Velvet quite often with a wet cloth or by misting.
6. How big can this plant get?
The Alocasia Black Velvet is a small houseplant. It can reach no more than 15 inches. Place them on bedside tables, workspaces, apartments, or other spots around the house.
7. Why is my Alocasia not flowering?
The Alocasia Black Velvet plant is not a flowering plant. At times they flower but not quite often. Flowering takes place when the plant is under optimal conditions.
The Alocasia Black Velvet is called black beauty because of its stunning looks. It is also called the dwarf black queen. Let us recap what we learned about this perfect houseplant:
- Alocasia Black Velvet growth rate is fast. The average height of Alocasia Black Velvet is around 15 inches
- It gets dormant in the winter season. Do not fertilize the plant when it is in a dormant state
- The Alocasia Black Velvet needs a warm and humid place with indirect bright sunlight
- Alocasia Black Velvet plant is not a flowering plant
- A new Alocasia Black Velvet plant will get mature in about three months
- The Alocasia Black Velvet flourish in well-drained soil
- Propagation in the Alocasia Black Velvet plant takes place by the division of the rhizome
- The easiest way of propagation is plant offsets
- It’s not necessary to repot your Alocasia plant, but you should mist the Alocasia Black Velvet regularly
- Root rot is a big problem and is a leading cause of a dead plant
- Pruning is also a must for the Alocasia Black Velvet plant
- Alocasia Black Velvet has white sterile finger-like spadix. The spadix has a pale yellow petal-like modified leaf, known as the spathe
- Alocasia Black Velvet is a highly toxic plant. The plant contains insoluble oxalate crystals. Keep the plant away from your kids and pets
With its stunning looks, it can highlight a spot at your home. Keep it raised for a beautiful display. The black foliage is a show stopper and a must for indoor gardens. We hope that our carefully constructed guide helped you. Happy Growing!
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