Alocasia Lauterbachiana Care Infographic
Alocasia Lauterbachiana Care Infographic

The Alocasia lauterbachiana also called purple sword alocasia is a gorgeous plant that creates its leaves from the stem of the leaf that it last created.

It is fast-growing in summer and spring such that if provided with optimum conditions, can reach up to 8 feet wide and 15 feet tall.

Because of these characteristics, the Alocasia Lauterbachiana plant is a must-have for all gardeners, whether beginners or experts. This article will reveal many tips and tricks on how to care for this beautiful plant and make it thrive.

What Is Alocasia Lauterbachiana?

The Alocasia lauterbachiana is a tropical plant that has large, green leaves with a deep-purple underside and quite sturdy stems. Alocasia lauterbachiana leaves are narrow-shaped and decorated with scalloped waves that find their way to the edges. This plant belongs to the Araceae family and within its genus are over 70 varieties.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Care

Also known as the purple sword plant or sword leaf plant, Alocasia lauterbachiana is a houseplant that is easy to care for. Its ability to grow leaves that can be as long as 2 feet gives out its beauty and shows it off as a “must-have” houseplant.

Learn more about the care instructions for the purple sword plant in this section.

– Watering

Large Alocasia Lauterbachiana elephants ear house plantThe Alocasia lauterbachiana plant requires room temperature water. Make sure to provide it with regular amounts of water so that the soil remains moist.

Take care not to let the soil become soggy as this can make the plant more vulnerable to root rot. Also, avoid letting the soil become dry.

Your potting soil must have good drainage so that the roots of the Alocasia lauterbachiana do not remain wet. During the cold months, we recommend that you reduce your watering amounts and frequency.

Learning to assess the level of moisture in the soil will help you to know if your plant needs to be watered or not. Go ahead and stick your index finger into the soil to the point that your first or second knuckle reaches the topsoil.

If the soil feels moist or sticks to your finger, it means that the moisture levels are still good. However, if the topsoil feels dry, it’s a sign that you should water your plant.

– Light Requirements

The Alocasia lauterbachiana thrives in bright and indirect light. It is better for you to find the brightest spot in your house and place it there. The leaves of the Alocasia lauterbachiana are very delicate, so you should avoid placing it in direct sunlight for many hours.

Make sure that your plant gets adequate sunlight, as the Alocasia lauterbachiana plant can experience stunted growth if it lacks sunlight. Adequate sunlight is essential to Alocasia lauterbachiana as its presence results in brighter leaves in comparison to those with limited exposure to appropriate light.

You should strike a balance between bright indirect light and a few hours of direct sun to get the best out of your Alocasia lauterbachiana plant.

You will quickly notice if your plant is in need of more light as brownish spots will visibly appear on the plant’s leaves. These spots signify that the plant is stressed. Once Alocasia lauterbachiana receives more light, it will be fine again.

– Soil Requirements

A well-draining soil type is best when it comes to growing the Alocasia lauterbachiana. The soil does not have to be excessively heavy or light. Instead, it should be capable of retaining moisture but not soaking the plant roots. The Alocasia lauterbachiana will do well in a mixture of sandy or loamy soils.

For your Alocasia lauterbachiana to do well, you could also look for potting mixes that are designed for succulents or tropical plants. Potting mixes of these plant types contain perlite, peat moss, coarse sand, coconut coir, together with other materials that retain little moisture and permit water to pass through them easily.

The Alocasia lauterbachiana grows well in soil that has pH levels ranging from 5.5 to 6.0. This means that for the plant to grow well, the soil must be slightly acidic.

– Temperature Requirements

The Alocasia lauterbachiana is happy when it is provided with warm conditions. Most household temperatures that range between 65 F and 75 F are conducive for the upkeep of the purple sword plant.

If you own an Alocasia lauterbachiana plant, bear in mind that this plant does not tolerate the cold, so avoid placing your plant near an air conditioner.

Take note that your plant will begin to stress once the temperature goes below 60 F. Its growth will significantly slow down and the leaves will begin to drop. Therefore, always ensure that the Alocasia lauterbachiana is kept in a warm place, especially during winter.

It is best to make sure that you protect your plant from temperature fluctuations and sources of excess heat or cold. To help you in keeping an eye on the temperature, you can use a temperature monitoring device. This can be installed in the area where your plant is located.

– Fertilizing Requirements

It is best to use an all-purpose liquid plant fertilizer during the summer and spring months to encourage new growth. In cases where your Alocasia lauterbachiana is exposed to warmer or brighter conditions, you should increase the fertilizer provision.

This is because warm and bright conditions result in increased growth. Therefore, additional nutrients in the form of an all-purpose plant fertilizer will come in handy.  

Fertilizing will assist your plant to grow strong and at the same time give out remarkable foliage. It is best to fertilize your plant every two weeks during the spring and summer months. You may as well fertilize your plant once every four watering sessions. Take care to reduce your fertilizing to once every six months during the colder months.

If you have to use “Ready to Use” products, always ensure that you provide your plant with water prior to applying the fertilizer. If you fail to water your plant beforehand, you will be exposing it to a chemical root burn risk.

To make a weaker version of the fertilizer, dilute it to half-strength. This will protect your plant from fertilizer burn and excessive mineral build-up.

– Humidity Requirements

The Alocasia lauterbachiana is happy in humid conditions. The plant will do well when you occasionally mist it every now and then. Be careful, however, not to let the foliage remain wet for long durations of time. Humid conditions of approximately 70 percent are perfect for growing your Alocasia lauterbachiana.

The humidity requirements of the Alocasia lauterbachiana are very high for many households. Therefore, it is necessary to use other methods to increase the humidity in the area where the plant is located.

For instance, you could keep it in the bathroom, or another option would be to place it over a pebble tray that has water.

Grouping your Alocasia lauterbachiana with other plants also helps when you want to create humidity for your plant. You can use a plant humidifier to increase the moisture of the air around your Alocasia lauterbachiana. Bear in mind that the plant cannot tolerate humidity levels of less than 45 percent.

– Pruning

The Alocasia lauterbachiana requires regular maintenance and this includes pruning your plant. It may be natural that your plant’s leaves are turning yellow at the bottom. When you notice this, simply prune your plant. Go ahead and cut off the yellowing or dying leaves.

By pruning your Alocasia lauterbachiana, you will also help the plant to improve its growth rate. Pruning also assists in stopping the spread of fungal infections on your plant’s leaves.

As you prune your plant, make sure you use sterile and sharp pruning shears. This helps to lower the chances of spreading fungal or bacterial diseases. Moreover, sharp instruments assist you in making clean cuts that will not damage the plant.

– Grooming

To photosynthesize so that it can feed itself, an Alocasia lauterbachiana plant needs to have clean leaves. It is best to give your plant a full shower to get rid of any dust that might have accumulated over it. You can also wipe the leaves of your plant with a soft damp cloth in order to maximize photosynthesis.

It will also work to your advantage to regularly rotate your plant so that it grows symmetrically. This is because rotating it will allow all sides of the plant to have similar adequate access to sunlight. There won’t be a side that will grow leggy as it searches for light.

 

Propagation

The Alocasia lauterbachiana can be propagated from seeds or basal offset division. However, be aware that although seed propagation is possible, it may take a long time. The most commonly used method of propagation for Alocasia lauterbachiana is basal offset division.

– Offshoots

The Alocasia lauterbachiana can be propagated from offshoots which can be separated from the parent plant once it has an adequate root system. Whenever you want to propagate your plant, ensure that your equipment is sterile and that you have protective clothing on so you can prevent the spread of diseases.

– Step-by-Step Propagation Guide

To propagate the Alocasia lauterbachiana, loosen the soil around a mature plant. Carefully remove it from its pot and gently shake off any additional soil so that you expose the roots. When the roots are exposed, use a sterile blade or knife to cut about a third of the parent rhizome. Afterward, put the new baby plants in individual pots.

Make sure that the pots contain a well-draining substrate that is moist, together with a slow-release fertilizer at the base of the stem. Once settled, water your new plant, making sure that the soil is well-draining.

Finally, you can repot your Alocasia lauterbachiana parent plant and water it too. It will take about two years before you can repot your Alocasia lauterbachiana plant. After two years, your plant will be visibly too large for its current pot. It is better for you to look for a larger-sized pot that you can transfer your plant into so that it fits in well.

– Monitoring the Growth Timeline

When you successfully propagate your Alocasia lauterbachiana, you may be keen to know how the growth pattern will progress. We recommend that you keep monitoring your plant so that you can adjust its care requirements accordingly.

From day 1 to day 30, mildly water your plant regularly and be sure to provide it with a humid place that has indirect light. The second phase from day 30 to day 90 is characterized by the commencement of root development at the end of the first month.

You will see small shoots after approximately day 50. Plant requirements at this stage are similar to those of the last stage.

From day 90 going forward, no additional care is needed except for the regular instructions mentioned in previous sections. Enjoy the growth of your new purple sword plant from now on.

Problems

Your Alocasia lauterbachiana is susceptible to a number of problems ranging from pests to diseases. Some of the problems may arise due to deviations from the appropriate care instructions.

Let’s get more details on the types of pests and diseases that can affect the Alocasia lauterbachiana, as well as the possible solutions you can perform.

– Root Rot

The Alocasia lauterbachiana plant is prone to root rot, and one of the leading causes of root rot is overwatering. When the plant is exposed to wet soil such that it sits in there for a long time, the roots will have a hard time when it comes to breathing.

This then causes root rot to develop, which is often characterized by leaf surfaces with black spots that have yellow rings around them on leaf surfaces. In addition to the symptoms on the leaves, the roots will also turn black and mushy.

– What To Do

Root rot is an indication that your plant is in great need of air circulation and therefore, the watering has to be reduced. To counter the effects of root rot, remove your Alocasia lauterbachiana from soggy soil and rinse the roots with water.

In case you want to remove affected roots, clip them away using sterile shears or scissors. After removing the affected roots, the remainder of them that are unaffected can be made to go through a root rot supplement or fungicide solution.

– Pest Infestations

Pests such as aphids, spider mites and mealybugs are common problems of the Alocasia lauterbachiana. With regard to insect infestations, you can protect your plant using neem oil or spray them with alcohol. With these remedies, you can safeguard your plants from mites and other pests.

Another way to get rid of pest attacks is to use a soap solution that is made from castile soap.

– Curling Leaves

The leaves of your Alocasia lauterbachiana may start curling due to a lack of plant care. Leaf curling may come about as a result of inadequate light reception. If you are underwatering or overwatering your plant, the leaves may respond by curling as well. Another reason for leaf curling may be insufficient humidity.

Leaf curling may indicate the infestation of the plant by pests. The presence of excess feeding due to over-fertilizing may also be another trigger that causes your plant leaves to curl.

– What To Do

In order to help your plant to have normal leaves again, follow the care instructions mentioned earlier in this guide. These include placing your plant in an area where there is indirect light, using a humidifier, or placing it in the bathroom. Make sure that you provide your plant with adequate watering and fertilizer.

– Brown Spots

Brown spots on the edges of your Alocasia lauterbachiana’s leaves can be a signal that your plant has been affected by sunburn. In this scenario, simply place your plant away from direct sunlight.

Brown spots on leaves may also signify a pest infestation or the development of a fungal disease. Insufficient humidity or cooler temperatures can also result in the formation of brown spots on the leaves of the Alocasia lauterbachiana.

– Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves look great on trees in autumn. However, such is not the case when it comes to Alocasia lauterbachiana leaves. The leaves of Alocasia lauterbachiana can turn yellow due to a number of reasons such as overwatering or underwatering. Water quality issues are another reason that can give rise to yellowing leaves.

Other reasons such as aging leaves, incorrect lighting, nutrient and pH issues can give rise to yellowing of the leaves of your Alocasia lauterbachiana. Sometimes, it is best to snip the yellowing leaves because they could spread pests or decay pathogens.

– Dropping Leaves

Another common problem that your Alocasia lauterbachiana plant can face is dropping leaves. Leaf dropping can come about as a result of overwatering, underwatering, low temperatures or humidity, and excess direct sunlight.

Whenever leaf drop occurs, it can be difficult to point out the exact reason because there are several possible causes. It is best, therefore, to take proper care of your plant by carefully following the instructions that are laid out in this guide.

– Toxicity

Please note that the Alocasia lauterbachiana is toxic to horses, cats, dogs and humans. It contains a chemical called oxalate crystal, which when ingested, is extremely toxic. The symptoms of Alocasia lauterbachiana toxicity include pain in the abdomen and swelling in the mouth.

In addition, ingesting the leaves of the purple sword plant may cause extreme allergic conditions on your skin and eyes.

It is better for you to protect your kids and pets by making them stay away from the plant. In case a child or a pet has chewed the plant leaves by accident, quickly visit your nearest hospital or call the poison control center at once.

Conclusion

Comprehensive instructions for the care of the Alocasia lauterbachiana have been given in this guide. Let’s quickly go through them together so that they are always at your fingertips:

  • Alocasia lauterbachiana will do well in bright indirect sun. Avoid placing your plant in direct sunlight for long hours.
  • The plant must not be exposed to dry or soggy conditions. Use your index finger to stick into the soil to check if the soil has adequate moisture.
  • Your plant will thrive well in humidity conditions that are around 70 percent, and you can boost the growth of your Alocasia lauterbachiana by adding fertilizers during the summer and spring seasons.
  • Alocasia lauterbachiana can be propagated from seeds or basal offset division.
  • The most common problems that affect Alocasia lauterbachiana plants are pests and diseases.

This article has provided you with the necessary tools to take good care of your own Alocasia lauterbachiana. Enjoy nurturing your gorgeous plant!

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