Alocasia melo plant is sought all across the world because of its gigantic jade colored leaves with deeply engraved grooves in them. This is a plant that needs a moderate amount of care.
Learn what are the things that make it tick in this guide from our Alocasia experts from across the world.
- What Is Alocasia Melo?
- Alocasia Melo Care
What Is Alocasia Melo?
The Alocasia melo plant, also known as Alocasia rugosa, has large leaves that are of a brilliant jade color and so thick that they almost look fake. These leaves have deep grooves on them, giving them an exotic appeal. Surprisingly, it’s very easy to grow and propagate at home.
Alocasia Melo Care
The care for the Alocasia melo plant by putting it under indirect light and watering only sparingly. Also provide high temperatures, humidity levels, and regular fertilizing during the growing months. Find out about all the care requirements in detail below.
– Water Requirements
Water the Alocasia melo plant with a moderate amount of water when the top two inches of the soil dry up and avoid overwatering at all costs. Read more below.
– Keep Away From Rain and Overwatering
The Alocasia melo plant is totally incapable of tolerating wet soil conditions even for a couple of hours. You should be very careful about overwatering it.
Don’t water them too often nor use too much water that the soil becomes runny and then takes a lot of time to dry.
When keeping them outdoors, keep a constant check on the weather. When it rains, move them under a shade right away. Also, ensure that the soil and the pot both have ample drainage potential.
– Light Requirements
The Alocasia melo plant needs bright light to grow but this light should be indirect only, as the best way to do this is to place the plant in the brightest room of your house. The direction of the windows matters a lot when it comes to deciding where in the room to place this plant.
However, if the window faces the east or the west, then you can place the plant near the windows. The reason why is that this window receives only a moderate intensity of light for a couple of hours a day.
Moreover, if the window in question faces the south, then it receives very intense light during mid-day. This light will scorch the Alocasia melo leaves in just a couple of hours because of how sensitive it is.
– Soil Requirements
The soil should be absolutely well-draining and not retain water because this plant cannot tolerate waterlogging at all. Take a regular potting mix and add some perlite or coco coir to it to improve drainage and aeration. Sand is another great option.
Adding peat or compost to the Alocasia melo soil in moderate amounts will increase the level of organic content in the soil. This is also important for the overall growth of the plant.
– Temperature Requirements
The ideal temperature range for the Alocasia melo plant is between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Below 60 degrees Fahrenheit is a no-go zone for this plant as it is not frost-hardy and will begin to die under such temperature conditions.
If you are growing it outdoors, don’t forget to move this plant indoors during the winter season. Even when inside the house, keep it away from direct air-conditioning or cold drafts from the vents. Also, don’t keep the windows open at night because the cold air from outside will also affect the leaves of the Alocasia melo plant adversely.
– Humidity Requirements
The Alocasia melo plant needs more than 75 percent humidity during the day and almost 95 percent at night. Seriously, the humidity needs of this plant are off the roof. The only way you can maintain such high humidity levels around them is by using a humidifier. Sure, it can be a bit expensive but totally worth it.
– Fertilizer Requirements
Feed Alocasia melo regularly during the growth period from spring till fall. This means at least once each month. Give fertilizing a break during the relatively quiet period from fall till next spring.
You can use any fertilizer with a normal NPK value. It is safe to dilute the fertilizer to half or even one-third of its original strength. Always fertilize right after watering the plant. Otherwise, you risk burning the leaves of the melo plant.
– Grooming Requirements
Once a year, take your gardening shears to the old leaves present on the lower side of the stem of this plant. This is particularly important because an abundance of the large leaves of this plant can lead to blockage of proper air circulation throughout the plant.
Make sure that the scissors you use are always properly sterilized and disinfected. We recommend using isopropyl alcohol because it is a fantastic disinfectant.
You can propagate the Alocasia melo plant through rhizomes during spring and summertime which is also when you repot this plant.
The Alocasia Melo plant can only be propagated when it is being repotted since it is propagated via rhizomes additionally, you can take hold of them only when you take the plant out of the soil.
The best time to repot Alocasia melo and also to propagate it is during the active growth period of this plant. That is, during spring or summer each year.
– Propagation of the Alocasia Melo Plant
The Alocasia melo plant is propagated through rhizomes which are underground stems through which this plant grows. When you take this plant out of its old pot for repotting, shake loose the soil from it.
Take gardening scissors and remove some clumps of rhizomes along with associated offsets from them. Only cut off one-third of each rhizome that you cut.
Place the rhizome in fresh soil that is moistened and soft. Then keep the pot in a warm, humid location in your house. In a few weeks, new shoots will begin to emerge and you will have a brand new baby plant at home. Furthermore, repot the parent in a larger pot than the one in which it was planted before.
The problems you are most likely to face with this plant are pests and fungal diseases. Direct exposure to sunlight will also destroy their exuberant foliage. Learn about all these problems in detail here.
The pests you need to be on the lookout for are aphids and mealybugs. Find out how to get rid of them by continuing ahead.
Aphids are very common bugs that affect the Alocasia melo plants in general. They feed on your plant’s sap and produce weakness in it.
You can identify an aphid attack by yellow spots on the leaves or the curling or browning of the Alocasia melo leaves. In cases of prolonged infestations, your plant’s growth will slow down and it will become stunted.
Mealybugs are pests that look like tiny balls of cotton candy. You can spot them visually lurking underneath the leaves of the affected plant.
They also cause yellowing of the leaves of the Alocasia melo plant. A sticky substance called honeydew is secreted by them on the surface of the leaves which then traps fungal spores. This can then lead to the development of mold as well.
– Treating Pests in Alocasia Melo
- Wash the plant very carefully with soap and water. Also scrub it to physically remove as many pests as you can.
- You can also apply neem oil on the affected leaves and the cluster of pests under the leaves. This viscous oil is a natural pest killer.
- Buy a moderately effective pesticide to get rid of these pests. This will prevent the plant from getting harmed by the chemicals in the process.
The most common diseases the Alocasia melo plant might face are root rot or powdery mildew.
– Root Rot
Overwatering or poor drainage of the plant will lead to the development of this fungal disease called root rot.
Moist, irregular rot spots will begin to appear on the leaves, stems, and roots of the affected plant. The leaves also start falling down and eventually, the plant also begins to die.
– Treating Root Rot
Remove the plant from its pot and soil. Also, discard the soil and the pot because they are infected and can spread it forward. Chop off all the rotten parts of the plant using gardening shears.
Then repot the diseased plant again in sterilized soil in a new pot. Apply fungicide regularly for a couple of weeks afterward.
– Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is also a fungal infection that might affect your Alocasia melo plant. Unlike root rot, it is not exactly dangerous or fatal. It does, however, make your plant look ugly and diseased.
Initially, white specks appear on the leaves of the affected Alocasia plant. Over time, they enlarge and join together. Eventually, the whole leaf appears as if dusted with white powder.
– Treating Powdery Mildew
- Apply neem oil regularly on the affected leaves as it is a natural fungicide.
- You can also use diluted vinegar mixed with water on this plant to get rid of powdery mildew.
- Spray regularly with a good quality fungicide.
Your Alocasia melo plant will get sunburnt when put under direct sunlight. Moreover, this sunburn will be even more severe if the light falls on it in the afternoon light.
Sunburnt Alocasia melo leaves will lose their jade color and turn brown and crinkle. Their characteristic grooves will take on the appearance of wrinkles.
The Alocasia melo is highly toxic whether it is ingested or even touched by bare skin. It has been known to produce allergies and rashes of moderate to serious intensity.
That is why it is important to note that if you have kids or pets at home, you must keep this plant away from them. Therefore, wear gloves when handling Alocasia melo, hence if accidentally eaten, take the animal or human to the emergency promptly.
Why is my Alocasia Melo turning yellow?
Alocasia Melo turning yellow may be due to overwatering, inadequate light, or pests. Check soil moisture, light levels, and inspect for bugs.
Is Alocasia Melo an air purifier?
Alocasia Melo can purify air by removing toxins, making it an excellent addition to your indoor space.
When and How To Water Alocasia Melo?
You should water the Alocasia melo plant when the top two inches of its soil becomes completely dry. How to tell that the soil has become dry? When you insert a stick in it, it comes out with dry and crumbly soil that is then easily removed from it as well.
During summers, on average you will need to water the plant after two or three days on average. Unless you live in a very hot or dry region in which case you should water the plant more often.
This plant needs only a moderate amount of water each time. Just give enough water to moisten the soil all the way through. There is no need to use copious water as with other plants of this species.
Let’s do a quick recap and have a look at a brief summary of this whole guide.
- The Alocasia melo plant has very large deeply engraved leaves that are better kept as an indoor plant. Place it in a brightly lit room indoors. When kept outside, maintain a shade over it.
- Water only when at least the top two inches of the soil become dry. You will need to water it every second or third day on average. This plant cannot tolerate being overwatered at all. Keep away from the rain too.
- Add sand, perlite, peat, and compost to a regular potting mix to make a well-balanced and airy sand with excellent drainage.
- Maintain temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Below this, your plant will go into cold shock and start to die. Fertilize the Alocasia melo plant every month in spring and summer. Always dilute the fertilizer to half its actual strength.
- You can only propagate the Alocasia melo plant using underground rhizomes. Couple propagation with repotting and select spring or summertime for this endeavor.
Now that you are well aware of how best to look after this plant, you will soon experience the large, grooved foliage of Alocasia melo thriving in your home. Just protect it from sunburn and overwatering at all costs!
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