Alocasia bulbs are the round ball-like structures near the roots of a mature Alocasia that store nutrients.
These have great growth potential and you can easily grow young Alocasias using these bulbs, which is what this expert guide is all about.
Continue reading as we discuss more than one method of growing alocasia bulbs so that you can propagate them as you wish.
- How To Grow Alocasia Bulbs
- Frequently Asked Questions
How To Grow Alocasia Bulbs
You can grow Alocasia bulbs in three different types of growing media: soil, water and moss. First, you need to collect them from the roots of an adult Alocasia. Alocasia bulbs for sale are often of poorer quality and should generally be avoided.
Read the in-depth details of all these steps as you scroll through this guide.
– Obtain Healthy Alocasia Bulbs
The first thing you need to do is to obtain healthy Alocasia bulbs for planting. You can buy these bulbs, but a safer option is to get them directly from the plant.
Choose an Alocasia species of your choice and take it out of its pot. Some really gorgeous ones are Alocasia odora and Alocasia corms.
Search the soil for the presence of these elephant ears bulbs. The most probable location where you will find them is near the roots of the parent plant. These are quite tiny and look like tiny little balls. An adult plant probably produces anywhere from around five to ten bulbs.
The more bulbs you collect and start with, the better. This is because not all of them will germinate so it’s better not to take a chance by using just one or two. Press on them gently to make sure they are firm. Very soft and squishy bulbs are rotten and have little chance of successful propagation.
– Grow Alocasia Bulbs in Water
The first method to propagate the night fragrant elephant ear plant is by placing the bulbs in water . This is one of the simplest methods and one we use quite often. Here is a brief rundown of this process:
- Take a transparent jar or food container and depending on its size, put the collected bulbs inside, making sure they are not too crowded.
- Pour clean water into the container such that only half of the bulbs are submerged in water. This way they will have access to both air and water.
- Cover the lid of the container and place it in an indirectly lit bright room with warm temperatures.
- Every day, remove the lid for one hour to allow the bulbs some breathing space.
- Every week, change the water with fresh, clean water.
- Within a month, you will see slender white roots emerging from the bulb. This is a sign that the propagation has been successful.
- Keep the bulbs in the water a little bit longer until leaves also appear.
- It is best to now transfer the baby plant to a proper growth medium like potting soil or leca. Leca is the best but it will need constant feeding because it lacks nutrients.
– Grow Alocasia Bulbs in Sphagnum Moss
This moss is the most widely used nutrition medium and soil amendment used in horticulture. You can totally use a good quality one to grow your Alocasia bulbs in.
Here are the steps of this process described in a brief manner:
- Buy the best quality moss that you can come across. Put it in water one night beforehand so that it can soak up as much moisture as possible.
- Again, take a transparent jar or plastic container with a lid and place moss inside. Take a fistful of moss and squeeze it gently to drain all the water out first. Ideally, the moss should be slightly damp and not soggy or dripping.
- Carefully place one or two of the bulbs over the moss. Take note that they should not be buried within it, then cover them with a light quantity of squeezed moss.
- Take the jar or the container to a room that is lit with intense indirect light for at least half the day. If natural light is not available, then artificial grow lights installed overhead will work just as well.
- Keep sprinkling some water in the moss every day to keep it from drying up.
- Within one to one and a half months, the newly sprouted baby plant will be ready enough to be transplanted in proper potting soil and pot.
– Propagate Them Directly in Soil
Elephant ear bulbs can also be grown directly in the soil. This method has the primary disadvantage that you will not be able to see the bulbs sprouting roots and shoots right in front of your eyes. Another difficulty you might encounter is providing the perfect levels of humidity.
Here are the steps that you need to go through:
- Take a small pot and fill its bottom with an appropriate potting medium. Make sure that the medium you use is rich in both organic matter and drainage elements.
- Place the bulbs over this layer at some distance from one another, then spread another layer of medium over them evenly.
- Sprinkle some water on the soil such that it is slightly damp but not actually moist.
- Take the pot to a greenhouse where it can get the levels of high humidity that it needs to grow.
- If the greenhouse is not available, you can cover the pot with a transparent plastic wrap instead. Just don’t forget to lift this wrap up every second or third day. This is to provide air to the growing bulbs and sprinkle some more water on the potting medium.
- In four to six weeks, poke the top layer of the soil to see if the bulbs have germinated. So far, we have had no problems with this method of growing Alocasia.
– Grow Alocasia Plant Bulbs in a Ziploc Bag
Yes, you read that right! Growing bulbs and seeds in Ziploc bags is one of the cleanest and quickest methods of propagation used by plant lovers all over the world.
Here is how a Ziploc bag comes in handy when growing bulbs:
- Take a paper towel of the highest quality that you can find and dampen it with water.
- Wrap the Alocasia frydek bulb or any other bulb that you have in this paper towel.
- Careful place it inside the ziplock bag and then close it.
- Every second or third day, open the bag for one hour to let the bulb breathe.
- If you find the paper towel becoming dry, sprinkle water over it to dampen it some more.
- In six to eight weeks, you will see your Alocasia bulb sprout into a tiny Alocasia plantlet that is now ready to be planted in a pot.
Frequently Asked Questions
We bet you have a question or two regarding growing Alocasia bulbs. Carry on to the next section as we answer the most pertinent ones.
– Can You Propagate Alocasia From Leaf?
No, it is not possible to propagate Alocasia from stem or leaf cuttings. The logic here lies in the fact that Alocasia is a tuberous plant. The growth and stem cells of such plants are located primarily in the rhizomes and the bulbs.
If you try to propagate it using cuttings taken from the stem or leaves, you will not be successful in getting a new plant.
– What Kind of Soil Does Alocasia Need?
The soil that is best for Alocasias like Alocasia polly and Alocasia macrorrhiza is one that has the best drainage and air circulation. It should have a perfect balance between draining all the extra water off and retaining the required levels of moisture for plant growth.
That is why we recommend creating the perfect soil yourself using one part potting mix with one part each of perlite and peat. You can substitute perlite with one part of sand too as it integrates better with the potting medium.
Peat is an essential component to add to Alocasia soil. In the presence of peat or sand, you need a moisture absorbent material like peat that can absorb water for long periods. It then releases this water slowly to your roots over time.
– Alocasia Polly Bulbs — Which Way Is Up?
The top side of the Alocasia bulbs is the side that is smooth on the touch and slightly rounder. This is the side that should be kept face-up in the pot, container or plastic bag during propagation.
It is very different from the bottom side which is flatter in comparison. It also feels corrugated if you run your fingers over it. Occasionally, the bottom side might be covered with very fine hair. This hair is missing on the top side.
– How Long Do Alocasia Plants Live?
In nature, the average lifespan of a healthy Alocasia plant is up to 15 years, but the same cannot be said for indoor plants. Homegrown Alocasia has been found to have an estimated lifespan of only 2 to 3 years.
However, that is nothing to worry about. If the care needs of the plant are provided to the tee and it is kept away from diseases and pests, you can get it to live far longer.
– What Humidity Percentage Is Needed for Alocasia Bulbs To Grow?
All Alocasias, whether they are Alocasia black or any other species, need 70 percent minimum humidity as part of their care guide. Most indoor living spaces have humidity in the range of 30 to 60 percent.
In order to provide these high levels of humidity around the bulbs, you must keep the growth medium moist. This is, of course, the case when you are growing bulbs in moss or soil.
Covering your pot or container will make sure that the evaporated moisture remains trapped inside, contributing further to the humidity levels.
We have discussed how to grow Alocasia bulbs today. This calls for a brief but thorough summary.
- Alocasia bulbs are the tubers of the parent plant that contain all the nutrients. What can you do with Alocasia bulbs? Grow them, ofcourse!
- You can grow these bulbs in water, moss, soil or even in a damp paper towel inside a Ziploc bag.
- Don’t forget to provide moisture to the bulbs from time to time as it is imperative for their growth.
- It will take around three to eight weeks for these bulbs to grow into a tiny plantlet.
You are now well-informed about not one but four different methods of growing Alocasia bulbs. Give your favorite method a chance and let us know how it goes!
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