The Alocasia boa is a unique plant, both mysterious as well as stunning in its ways. It’s popular among many homeowners thanks to its large foliage, sharply serrated edges, and sturdy stems.
This plant is also sometimes referred to as the Elephant ear plant, and no matter where you put it, it will look stunning.
This houseplant can fit cozily in any space and look great in your room if you’re ready for the challenge, and this comprehensive guide will take you through all you need to know about this plant’s care and grooming needs.
- What Is an Alocasia Boa Plant?
- Alocasia Boa Care
What Is an Alocasia Boa Plant?
Alocasia Boa originate from Asia and Australia’s tropical, subtropical regions, making them an inhabitant of high wetness and indirect sunlight. Leaves of this plant have zigzag edges. They develop on long stalks that converge at the base to create rhizomatous structures. The flowers are traditional hooded, growing on long stalks.
Alocasia Boa Care
Here’s a care guide to help you grow this gorgeous plant:
– Water Requirements
Before watering, you must wait until the first two to three inches of soil are completely dry. By doing this, you may avoid letting your plant remain in wet or too saturated soil, which can cause root rot and fungus infections.
Based on this, most gardeners discover that their Alocasias require watering twice a week. We suggest occasionally mulching the bed where you grow your boa and keeping it somewhat shaded so that your potting mix never dries out too quickly. Sometimes you need to water your plant once a week to be healthy.
Wondering what the best way is to determine whether you are overwatering your plant? Well, there’s a good indicator that you’re going too far if water begins to leak from the tips of the leaves.
Nonetheless, winter is a very challenging season. During this season, it goes into dormancy like other Alocasias, and as a result, there is a high likelihood of overwatering because it takes longer to dry up. You may reduce the frequency of watering in the winter to prevent this.
– Light Requirements
This plant usually has lighting conditions that closely resemble its natural environment. The plant is primarily found on the forest floor, beneath tree canopies, and in the wild.
It means it isn’t directly exposed to the sun. So make sure your boa isn’t exposed to the sun’s direct, harsh rays whether you’re growing it inside or outside.
You can put it close to an east- or west-facing windowsill if it doesn’t receive too much light. Consider purchasing a sheer curtain if the sunshine coming through your window is too intense. It will filter the light and guard against the burning of its foliage as a result. As an alternative, you may put it farther from the window.
Nevertheless, it cannot endure prolonged low light levels. In order to promote its growth, make sure you expose it to sunlight.
– Soil Requirements
Drainage is the most crucial factor to consider when selecting a potting media for your plant. Choose a light, fluffy potting mix that allows extra water to drain while retaining the ideal quantity of moisture around the roots.
Additionally, boas favor a thin, airy mixture. In this manner, the root system is given free access to the air, which supplies the oxygen required for growth.
We usually suggest a blend of organic potting soil and perlite for boa elephant ears to help drainage.
A little horticultural charcoal is another ingredient many people like to use because it has several uses. First, it takes up any salty residue to stop overfertilization from burning the roots.
In addition, it improves airflow and, third, it raises the pH of the soil. When raising this Alocasia, each of these three roles is essential.
If you don’t have access to these components, we also advise using a combination of loam soil, perlite, and peat. You are welcome to use coarse potting sand for perlite.
– Temperature Requirements
The plant has the ability to thrive in conditions similar to those seen in typical households is the primary feature that attracts most people. It specifically needs a temperature between 60 to 75 degree Fahrenheit.
Choosing the right location for this plant is super important. For instance, if you set it close to a heater or air conditioner vent, this will affect the temperature in its immediate environment and, as a result, its growth.
Similar to how frequent exposure to the wind gust that enters every time you open the door may eventually weaken or harm your plant. Place it far from regions exposed to heat or cold to avoid this.
– Humidity Requirements
This plant prefers humidity levels between 60 and 70 percent, though closer to 70 percent is preferable. Unfortunately, most homes have a humidity level between 40 and 50 percent.
If so, you will need to find methods of boosting moisture. You have various choices, including misting the plant, using pebble trays, installing a humidifier, and placing the plant someplace high in humidity (such as a bathroom).
The greatest option if you’re hunting for a plant that grows quickly is the Alocasia. It will quickly produce large leaves as long as you provide it with the proper nutrients and growing conditions.
– Fertilizing Requirements
The boa is no exception to the usual rule that alocasias are heavy feeders. Consider fertilizing every two to four weeks to sate its appetite. To encourage development, fertilizing should be done in the spring or summer. Applying fertilizer throughout the winter will prevent it from getting enough time to relax.
Gardeners frequently believe that indoor-grown boas shouldn’t receive fertilizer. You don’t want the plant to grow too tall, after all. However, this is untrue. Fertilizer should be applied equally often to boas planted in pots.
The growing container’s small size implies that nutrients are quickly lost when watering your plant. Thus, fertilization aids in replenishing those nutrients that have been washed away.
You may need to choose the fertilizer you use on your boa. Instead of choosing a quick-releasing fertilizer, use a slow-releasing one. The former is advanced because it gradually distributes nutrients, helping to support your Alocasia for a longer period. Because quick-release fertilizers are made to release nutrients all at once, they may produce fertilizer burn on your plant.
– Pruning Requirements
This plant doesn’t require a lot of heavy pruning, it is safe to say that you may only prune the parts that are dead, turned brown, and damaged. The reason why you should prune them is because they might be blocking the way for the new sprouts to grow. Hence, prune the dead ones for the growth of the new ones.
One new leaf per month is generally considered healthy; a little less is also acceptable and poses no cause for concern. If your plant hasn’t produced any new leaves in the past six months, you might want to consider repotting or fertilizing it (if you haven’t previously).
This is a tuberous Alocasia, which means it only emerges from a single rhizome. This means that it cannot be propagated from cuttings, as you would normally do with other houseplants. This does not, in any case, imply that it is difficult to spread. It’s actually a lot simpler.
The boa spreads outward from the core rhizome and forms clumps. Therefore, you would see multiple plant clumps if you were to take it out of the pot. These components are employed in propagation.
First, proceed by taking the plant out of the container and shaking off any extra soil. If the roots of your boa are excessively tangled, you could want to soak them in water or give them a hose-down to loosen them up.
The variety of clumps and young plants that make up the plant is visible once the roots are untangled. You’ll observe the roots connecting the clumps and young plants.
But it is extremely simple to separate them. Aside from that, you won’t even need to wait around for the plant to root because each clump has its unique root system. Therefore, remove one clump using gardening shears or a sharp knife.
The cluster only has to be planted in new potting soil. As we have indicated, aeration and drainage are the most crucial factors when selecting a potting mix.
Although enormous, this Alocasia has a soft side. It is prone to plant ailments like Xanthomonas, stem and root rot, and leaf spots.
Your plant might have one of these diseases if you detect dark brown patches on its leaves and a yellowish rim surrounding these regions.
The great news is that avoiding these circumstances is just as simple. Make sure not to overwater the plant, keep the leaves dry, and allow enough air circulation.
Some pests, particularly aphids, mealy bugs, spider mites, and scale insects, may also infest your plant. Mist your plant with soapy water once every two weeks to keep these pests at bay. This will not only keep pests at bay but also keep your plant in perfect health.
– Yellowing of Leaves
There are a few potential causes for yellowing your plant’s leaves. The most typical offender is overwatering, though. The leaves of your plant are prone to turn yellow if the soil is too wet. Decrease the quantity or frequency of watering to restore the plant’s natural green hue.
Other possible causes include bugs, a lack of nutrients, insufficient light, and excessively low humidity levels. Gradually alter the growing circumstances until you can identify the cause of the yellowing.
The stalk of the plant begins to soften and the leaves become unnaturally droopy, which is one of the first indications that your plant is dying. The leaf begins to yellow first at the edges and subsequently in the center. Once the yellowing starts, there is no way for the plant to recover.
You can do two things in this case in order to maintain the color of the leaves and not see it fade out. First, when the first two inches of soil feel dry, you should water only.
Afterwhich, you may want to use a fertilizer designed for the foliage of the plant. Additionally, grow the plant in a thin, airy, well-drained, and continuously moist soil or potting medium in order to maintain a high humidity level.
This beautiful plant’s leaves may suffer from sunburn when they are exposed to thorough sunlight directly coming towards the leaves. The edges will start to fade in their color, afterwhich, they will crisp up and lastly the leaves will burn.
What you have to do in this case is simply to avoid placing your Alocasia in the direct sun as the result of this neglect will be burned leaves.
– What Is The Alocasia Boa Best For?
The Elephant Ear has a wide range of uses. It can be used as a ground cover to prevent topsoil erosion. It also works as a background plant, acting as a screen for lesser plants. It can also be used as a plant border, creating an attractive walkway border.
We think another great use of this plant is displaying it as a centerpiece that catches all the attention in your living room. Its gorgeous foliage is sure to give your place an extra wow factor.
– When Does Alocasia Boa Bloom?
Almost all of these plants begin to bloom in the spring and continue through the summer. It can, however, sometimes fail to bloom in a given year, depending on the environment they are being cultivated in.
– Is The Alocasia Boa Toxic?
Although the boa is stunning, it is poisonous as well. It will emit crystal-like chemicals when chewed or bit into, which can irritate your GI tract. This implies that you must keep the plant out of your dogs’ reach. Watch out for these symptoms if you think your pet has consumed it:
Tearful eyes, inflammation, excessive drooling, oral pain, loss of appetite, and pawing at the mouth or face are all symptoms; If you see any of these symptoms in your pet, make sure to speak with or see your neighborhood veterinarian.
– Does the Alocasia Boa have Special Potting?
Yes, the size of the container is one of the most crucial factors to take into account during potting. The ideal container for it measures between 10 and 20 inches in diameter and is 10 inches deep.
The goal is to give the roots adequate room to expand. The plant will grow bigger and healthier as long as there is enough room for root development. We would suggest you prefer to move your boa to a little bigger container whenever you see it starting to get root-bound so it can keep growing.
But it’s important to remember that boas tend to be on the larger side of things. Boas grow to a height of four to five feet. Its leaves have a maximum width of 24 inches. If you’re growing it inside, you’ll need to set aside a sizable amount of area.
Alocasia boa makes a wonderful houseplant. It is very simple to maintain. It must be placed in a potting mix that drains properly, exposed to strong indirect light, and watered as needed. Some key takeaways you should leave here are:
- Growing alocasias entails watering only when the soil’s top layer becomes dry.
- Use a balanced fertilizer that you may use when the plant achieves its peak maturity and needs a lot of nutrients to survive.
- It’s not appropriate for all homeowners, though; It might not be appropriate for anyone with pets, toddlers, and children because it is poisonous.
- If you insist on keeping an alocasia, keep it out of the reach of pets and young children to avoid accidental intake.
The Alocasia will add a touch of luxury to your house with its distinctive beauty and require a very simple and easy maintenance regimen, making them the perfect addition to your plant collection.