Alocasia Infernalis Care InfographicThe Alocasia infernalis is a rare plant that has oval-shaped leaves with big veins and can grow up to 23 inches.

Unlike the standard houseplants that you own or you have seen, this plant provides a unique element in any garden because of its metallic black shiny leaves that intensify as the plant grows.

This is also the reason why the plant is also called the “Black Magic” or “Alocasia Black Panther.” The Alocasia infernalis can live for several years with the right care and knowledge to keep it healthy.

In this care guide, you will find all the things you need to know when taking care of Alocasia infernalis.

What Is Alocasia Infernalis? 

The Alocasia infernalis belongs to the Alocasia scabriscula group. The Alocasia infernalis is one of the four rarest alocasias. It is well-known for being a rare collector’s plant. You may consider this lovely plant a perfect present for your friends and loved ones!

Alocasia Infernalis Care

Like other plants, growing Alocasia infernalis requires precise detail for the plant to reach its optimum health. You may want to follow these instructions and remember the tips you will find as you continue reading so that you can show your plant the love it deserves!

– Water Requirements

Alocasia Plant or Alocasia sanderiana BullJust like any other species of Alocasia, you have to avoid saturated soil and dry soil. This plant is sensitive when it comes to watering. Over-watering may cause root rot and may cause your plant to experience issues that are difficult to reverse. 

Meanwhile, under-watering may result in the browning of the leaf tips, and worse, it may cause the leaves to fall off. Inconsistent watering may lead your plant to have yellow spots on the leaves.

You only want to water your Alocasia Infernalis Black Magic once every six to seven days or when the top two inches of its soil are dry. Make sure to always check the soil first before watering.

– Light Requirements

Keep your Alocasia infernalis happy and healthy by giving it the right amount of light. Ensure that it receives bright sunlight to prevent it from losing chlorophyll, but make sure it is indirect sunlight to avoid scorching the leaves.

In nature, it is sheltered by trees and other bigger plants and is not directly touched by sunlight. Thus, medium to bright indirect sunlight is recommended.

You may want to place your lovely plant within two meters of a windowsill. Facing north, east, or west is recommended for optimum growth. If you are in a shadier location, clean your plant’s leaves occasionally to improve their light-capturing efficiency.

Don’t place your plant in an area with strong sunlight lasting for more than three hours a day because this may cause your plant to develop a washed-out appearance with brown patches.

– Soil Requirements

The Alocasia infernalis potting soil must be moist soil. Fast-draining or well-draining soil that has the ability to retain water, for example, is the preferred type of soil because it has components that absorb a certain amount of water that keeps the plant hydrated.

This helps to avoid over-watering or under-watering. To create a perfect soil mix, use a 1:1:1 measurement of perlite, peat, and coarse potting sand. Alternatively, you can use a premade well-draining aroid mix.

Some also recommend the use of topsoil components for any Alocasia plant: perlite and sphagnum peat moss. The perlite helps retain moisture and gives your plant the perfect hydration it needs.

At the same time, it doesn’t hold too much water because it facilitates aeration, which is very good for your plant. Meanwhile, the sphagnum peat moss also ensures that over-watering is avoided because it retains some of the extra water.

You may still want to use a plant pot with drainage holes in the bottom to keep the water flowing and to avoid standing water that may damage the roots. Let the soil dry out before watering your plant again. This is the general rule if you want your Alocasia infernalis to live long enough to keep giving your home purified air and a touch of uniqueness.

– Temperature Requirements

Alocasia Infernalis also requires a specific temperature for its surroundings. It needs a temperature that ranges from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the night. 

– Humidity Requirements

Given that the Alocasia infernalis naturally grows in a tropical region where the air is very humid and the temperature is high, maintaining high humidity in your home is also very important; this plant requires an 80 to 100 percent humidity range.

Excessive browning of the tips with yellow halos on the leaves is caused by low humidity for your Alocasia infernalis. Although the browning of the tips of the leaves is part of a leaf’s life cycle as the plant matures, you can still minimize this or prevent it.

If your home has a dry environment, mist your plant or rinse the foliage occasionally. Alternatively, you can use a humidifier, but if you don’t have one, you can try a simple approach, which is the pebble method where you only need three things: pebbles, a tray, and water.

The pebble method is the best and easiest way to increase humidity. All you need to do is spread pebbles over a tray and then fill the tray with water that doesn’t flow over the pebbles. After that, place your plant pot on top of the pebbles.

This will create moisture in the air that will go directly onto your plant as the water evaporates. Create a stable environment, and you will surely make your Black Magic happy as it really loves high humidity. 

– Fertilization Requirements 

Keep your Alocasia infernalis looking luxuriant by regularly fertilizing it. The fertilization should be done every two weeks during the warmer season to avoid losing leaves.

However, skip fertilization once the cold season arrives to prevent salt build-up that may cause burns to your plant’s roots. You may want to use an all-purpose fertilizer for your Alocasia infernalis. Simply dilute the fertilizer in water to halve its strength before using it for your plant.

– Pruning Requirements

Maintain your Alocasia infernalis by pruning or removing dying or yellow leaves and other plant debris to stimulate optimum growth. Make sure to always use sterilized shears or clean equipment to avoid bacterial and fungal diseases. Keep in mind that you should have clean incisions to prevent plant shock that causes a decline in health and stunted growth.

Re-pot your Alocasia infernalis once its roots are noticeably spreading out of its pot. Re-potting should be done every two years. You will want to use a plant pot that’s only a few inches bigger than the one you’ve used before so your plant won’t be stressed from having too much space.

 

How To Propagate the Alocasia Infernalis

There are four different ways to propagate Alocasia infernalis: division, offsets, water, or seeds. Propagating by division is well-recommended as it is the easiest and most successful method. Keep reading to learn the ways to properly propagate your Alocasia infernalis.

– Division Method

To do the division method, you would first need to remove the plant from its pot, cut up its rhizome using a sharp knife, and then repot the separated parts using a well-draining soil mix in a pot with drainage holes.

It is essential that you would be certain that there are many roots on both plants.

– Offsets Method

To achieve propagation by offsets, you have to cut the roots of the baby plant that are attached to the mother plant. Use a pair of pruning blades or a sharp knife, and repot that little plant into a pot with well-draining soil.

You may want to wait until the baby plant grows at least one inch before removing and separating it from the mother plant for more successful propagation.

– Propagating in Water

For this method, you need either Alocasia infernalis’ root clumps or baby offsets. You can get either one by carefully removing your plant from the plant pot. Shake it to remove some of the dirt attached to its roots, and make sure to not harm the roots while doing it.

Run water over the roots to clean them, but do not use highly pressurized water. This process ensures that the water will not get dirty, and you can see the roots clearly.

Once you’re done rinsing the roots, cut some that you want to work with. Use pruning shears that are sterilized using 70 percent alcohol. Then, prepare a clear bowl with tap water, provided that you have let the water sit out overnight to allow the chlorine to dissolve. After preparing the bowl with water, place the roots and submerge them completely under the water.

Place the bowl of roots in a window facing east or north to let them receive indirect sunlight; this process allows the roots to grow. Keep the water clean by replacing it once or twice a week to avoid bacterial growth. Once you see the roots grow for at least three or four inches, you can transfer them to a plant pot.

Prepare a plant pot with drainage holes, and fill it with fast-draining or well-draining soil. Delicately plant the roots, but make sure to pack the soil tightly around them. Now, you can take care of your new Alocasia infernalis like you used to.

– Seeds Method

The seeds method is considered a difficult one. As Alocasia infernalis is a rare plant, purchasing seeds might be difficult.

However, if you managed to buy one, the first step would be soaking the seeds in distilled water overnight and then sowing them one centimeter deep in a well-draining soil mix in a pot with drainage holes. Water the seeds delicately, and provide humidity by covering its pot with a plastic bag, making sure it receives bright indirect sunlight.

Wait for a couple of months until the seedlings reached the height of at least two inches. You can then carefully transfer them into a bigger pot while taking extra care to avoid damaging the roots.

Problems

As you grow your Alocasia infernalis, you also have to go through some difficulties along the way but don’t worry because with the steps you will find here, your life with your plant will be made easier.

– Infestation

There are a lot of problems that you may encounter with your Black Magic, and the most common would be plant pests, specifically spider mites. Spider mites are eight-legged insects that can infest your plant.

When you notice spider mites on your plant, you have to place a white sheet of paper at the base of the plant and shake your plant gently. The pests should drop on the sheet of paper where you can clearly see them.

Spider mites are thieves of healthy plants; they steal nourishment from your plant by feeding on the sap, which transports nutrition and hydration and prepares the plant for photosynthesis.

Another nuisance you may encounter would be thrips. These little insects looked like a thread, with a pointy straw-like mouth that allows them to suck the sap from your plant. If you see cotton-like fluff on the leaves of your plant, that is another insect that could cause an infestation called the mealybug. These insects love to hide under the leaves and suck your plant’s nutrition from there.

The good thing is that there is an all-natural solution for addressing plant infestations: neem oil. All you have to do is dilute this oil with water, put the mixed solution in a spraying bottle, and spray it all throughout the leaves.

This oil doesn’t have any negative effect on your plant; rather, it suffocates the plant pests and kills them within just minutes of spraying it. Make sure to repeat this method for a couple of days to ensure that there are no insect eggs left on your plant.

Another way you can avoid these pests is by cleaning the leaves regularly. Carefully wash the leaves of your plant once a month using warm water and a washcloth. This will improve growing conditions as you wash away a build-up of dust particles that can possibly clog up the pores of the plant, which lowers the leaves’ light-capturing efficiency.

– Drooping Leaves

Alocasia infernalis leaves sometimes experience drooping. This problem is caused by over-watering or under-watering. To determine the culprit between the two situations, the best thing you can do is touch the soil.

You are under-watering it if it is very dry, whereas you are over-watering it if it is very saturated. To avoid this situation, you may want to consider creating a watering schedule or checking the soil carefully before watering.

– Spots on the Leaves

If you find some spots on the leaves of your Black Magic, there could be one of two circumstances affecting it. It is either chlorine from the water or salt build-up from the fertilizer.

Alocasia infernalis is very sensitive to chlorine from water, so you may want to let your tap water stand for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to dissolve. An easier way is to switch to distilled water.

Meanwhile, the salt build-up from fertilizer happens if you fertilize while the soil is dry or if you over-fertilize your plant.

To solve this, you may want to replace the soil with fresh moist soil, or you can clean the soil by letting the water flow through it to drain all the excess minerals and salt. Make sure that you use non-pressurized water flow to avoid damaging the plant itself.

– Rusty Leaves

Rusty leaves are indicative of a fungal disease in the plant; it is also called Rust disease, in which case the leaves of your plant have orange spots that spread under its leaves. These spots will eventually turn into rust lesions and can kill the leaves of the plant. 

You may want to get rid of this issue as soon as possible by removing the affected leaves and using a fungicide to treat your plant and prevent the condition from spreading. Test a small area of your plant first to ensure that your plant has no bad reaction to fungicides because there is nothing else strong enough that can contend with fungal disease.

Clean the leaves regularly. A growth of dust particles can possibly clog up the plant’s pores, which will lower the efficiency of the plant’s light capturing ability. Although this is not really a problem, you may want to rinse the topsides of the leaves once a month to improve growing conditions.

 

– Mold or Mushrooms in the Soil

The problem of mold or mushroom developing in the soil of your Alocasia infernalis only means two things; you are over-watering it and providing it with too little light. Although this situation is harmless, the mold or mushrooms are unpleasant to look at.

You can address this by removing the mold and mushrooms and replacing the top two inches of the soil. Also, increase the amount of light that your plant receives, and decrease the frequency and amount of watering.

– Flowers

Who would have thought that a plant showing flowers can be considered a problem? This is unusual but, in some cases, the Alocasia infernalis’ flower may indicate that it is stressed due to environmental shock, irregular watering, or root rot. Your plant can bloom with flowers that could last up to three days, particularly during late spring.

Frequently Asked Question

– Is Alocasia Infernalis Toxic?

Yes, the Alocasia infernalis is considered poisonous to humans and animals because this plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause difficulty breathing and skin irritation. If someone has eaten any parts of the plant, nausea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite could occur. Seek medical assistance immediately.

Conclusion

You may consider your Black Magic a “high-maintenance” plant because it has very specific needs, but one thing is for sure: it will all be worth it to see your plant growing and flourishing wonderfully in your home.

  • Alocasia infernalis is one of the rare alocasias found.
  • It needs bright indirect sunlight and moist soil in order to grow healthy and thrive.
  • You need to water it carefully as it is very prone to both underwatering and overwatering.
  • Regular fertilizer application is essential so that it would stay healthy.
  • You can propagate this plant by different methods such as in water, through the division method, and even by seeds.

Using this care guide, you can easily remember the dos and don’ts of caring for your special Alocasia infernalis!

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