Alocasia purple sword of the Araceae family is an easy-to-care houseplant that will charm you with its good looks. In this article, we give you tips and tricks on growing this in your home and garden.
Our detailed guide will take you through the care process as well as how you can propagate new offsets of this alocasia genus plant. Keep reading to know more.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- What Is a Alocasia Purple Sword?
- Alocasia Purple Sword Care
- Water Requirements
- Light Requirements
- Soil Requirements
- Temperature Requirements
- Fertilizing Requirements
- Humidity Requirements
- Common Problems
- 5 Expert Tips
What Is a Alocasia Purple Sword?
Alocasia purple sword is a tropical evergreen plant highly valued for its ornamental look. With its beautiful hues of green and purple, it can steal the hearts of not only plant lovers but even those who desire a beautiful home decor.
Alocasia Purple Sword Care
Purple sword alocasia is a stress-free plant and would not take much of your time and effort. All you need to do is focus on meeting its tropical requirement and you will find them growing into a healthy and thriving plant.
Water only when the topsoil is completely dry, moreover check the level of moisture by inserting your finger two inches into the soil before you decide to add in more. The plant needs slightly moist soil only, as against heavily watered or soggy soil.
Remember, do not overwater or underwater the plant.
An incorrect watering schedule can be most disastrous to the health of the plant.
Similar to its kind, this alocasia too prefers bright yet indirect light. The best setup would be to provide it with filtered light through a greenhouse effect. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight as this can scorch the leaves.
If you are growing the plant indoors, place them near an east-west window so that it can receive maximum light through the day. You can use UV filters or curtains to give it filtered light.
Purple sword alocasia requires light well-draining loamy soil. Mixing in a bit of perlite and peat moss will aid in bringing in aeration and will also drain excess moisture fast. Ensure the pH of the soil is between 5.5 to 6.5.
Give your alocasia purple sword a constant temperature range as sudden fluctuations or changes can damage the plant. It can hamper plant growth by scorching the leaves and making them wilt, at sudden high or low temperatures.
Furthemore, maintain the plant under a steady temperature that should range between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Alocasia purple sword is a heavy feeder and does well when it receives some over-the-top nutrition. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month, especially during the growing season.
Do not add any fertilizer during winters as the plant remains in a state of dormancy. In such a state adding fertilizer may kill the plant due to fertilizer burn.
Alocasia purple sword requires a humidity level between 50 percent to 75 percent. If you are growing your plant in an environment that is dry, mist your plant regularly to kick in some moisture around the plant. You can also group plants to create a collective humidity level. If indoors, use a humidifier around the plant.
The plant requires regular pruning to keep them contained and in shape. Additionally, cut and remove dried and decaying leaves to prevent bacterial and fungal infestations.
Repot the plant once a year to prevent root-bound. This will also aid in plant growth as the roots will be able to spread and establish themselves better in more soil. The ideal time to consider repotting is in the spring season. However, as you scroll down you’ll find more information on how you can repot the plant.
– Maintain Plant Hygiene
Keep the plant healthy and thriving by regularly cleaning the leaves with a damp cloth. This is a good way to help in better light absorption and keep the alocasia purple sword leaves dust-free as well.
The plant contains oxalate crystals and can be toxic if ingested. Keep the plant away from pets and children as they can cause irritations and swelling of the digestive tract on consumption.
Alocasia lauterbachiana can be easily propagated through rhizome division and seeds, though you will achieve results faster via division. The ideal time to propagate is between spring to early summer which will give the newly developed plants enough warmth to thrive.
– Rhizome Division
- Select a healthy and mature mother plant that will be your source of offsets.
- With the help of a spade, gently remove the plant from the soil, without causing any damage to the roots.
- Cut a section of the parent plant using a sterile and sharp pruner. Ensure it has nodes and at least two or three leaves intact.
- Plant this cut offset in the new potting mix. Place this in a warm place that receives indirect light.
- Water regularly to keep the soil moist. In a few weeks, the offset will establish its own set of roots and grow into an individual plant.
- Collect seeds from flower pods and rinse them clean.
- In a light soil mixed with peat moss and perlite, sow the seeds.
- Do not place them deep but just at the surface of the soil.
- Cover with a layer of potting mix and gently water to keep the soil moist.
- Place this in a warm spot that receives indirect sunlight.
- In about ninety days you will be able to notice tiny seedlings sprouting out of the soil.
Much as the plant is relatively easy to care for in comparison to its counterparts, it is still subject to a few common gardening problems. In this section below we address these very issues and give you tips to tackle them.
– Droopy Leaves
One of the most common issues with the alocasia lauterbachiana is the drooping of leaves. This is a result of an incorrect watering schedule, excessive light or dry conditions.
Monitor the plant and give it the care it requires. Watch your watering, place it under partial light and mist the leaves to give it some humidity. This will ensure the plant limps back to life.
– Pest Infestation
The plant can get infested with pests such as aphids, spider mites and mealybugs which feast on the leaves making them wilt.
Prevent infestations by keeping the plant dust-free. Isolate an infected plant to prevent its spread to nearby plants and foliage. Use a soapy organic insecticide to get rid of the pests that have infested the plant. You can also use an herbal neem oil spray to protect your plant from infestations.
– Brown Patches on Leaves
Brown patches on leaves are a result of exposure to excessive and direct sunlight. The leaves get stressed in such a condition and develop sunburn.
Prevent these brown patches by moving the plant into the partial shade. You can provide it with filtered light by creating a simple greenhouse effect.
– Root Rot
Root rot is a result of overwatering of the plant. Gently lift the plant from the soil and inspect for blackened sections of the root. Snip away the infected portions with a sterile garden pruner and repot in fresh potting soil.
– Black Spots With Yellow Rings on Leaf
If you find black spots on the surface of the leaf, it is an indication that your plant requires better air circulation. Move the plant to a spot where it can receive good ventilation. Avoid dingy corners if the plant is indoors.
– The Plant Is Losing More Leaves
Sometimes you will notice your plant losing more leaves in comparison to the growth of new ones. This is especially noticeable in young and immature plants when the stalk goes through a growth spurt. As the stalk expands in length the younger leaves tend to fall off the plant.
– Mold Growth
Mold growth on the soil may not be harmful to the plant. However, it can be quite an unpleasant sight. The growth is caused by overwatering coupled with low light conditions.
Tackle the issue by replacing the topsoil of the plant with fresh potting mix. Repot if the soil is soggy and move the plant to a spot with bright yet indirect light. It is crucial to note that when seen a mold, it is accompanied by yellowing leaves, hence this is a sign of root rot.
– Fungal Diseases
Fungal diseases such as botrytis and graphiola affect the plant bringing in fungi spores all over the surface of the leaf. Yet again, overwatering is the prime cause of this.
Tackle fungal disease by removing the infected leaves thereby preventing its spread. Prevent any occurrence by monitoring the watering schedule and maintaining slightly moist soil.
As mentioned in the above section, repotting is necessary to prevent plant root-bound. It aids in growth and promotes the good health of the alocasia. Here is how you need to go about it.
- The ideal time to begin the process of repotting is spring to early summer to give the plant warmth to pick up strength.
- Choose a pot at least two inches larger than the original one. Do not opt for a very large pot as more soil could result in either the plant getting less soil or comes with the risk of the roots being overwatered.
- Begin by watering the plant before repotting. This will keep the roots hydrated before the process.
- Gently loosen the plant from the pot. Untangle the roots without damaging the main rhizomes.
- Plant them in fresh potting soil in the larger container at the same depth it was originally in.
- Cover the topsoil with a fresh layer of potting mix and keep it in bright yet partial light. Water lightly to keep the soil moist.
5 Expert Tips
- Place the plant in the brightest spot of your home or garden. The longer the light the better are the hues displayed by the leaves. Just ensure the light isn’t direct but filtered.
- The plant dislikes cold drafts so do not set it near air conditioners, if indoors.
- Set the plant in a tray of water and pebbles to create humidity for the plant.
- Scale back on water and fertilizer during winters when the plant is in a state of dormancy.
- Remove all yellowed and dead leaves regularly to encourage plant growth.
Why is my Alocasia Purple Sword drooping?
Alocasia Purple Sword may droop due to overwatering or underwatering. Check soil moisture levels and adjust watering accordingly.
Can you propagate Alocasia Purple Sword from its leaves?
Yes, Alocasia Purple Sword can be propagated from leaf cuttings. Place cuttings in water or soil to encourage new growth.
What are some of the Features of Alocasia Purple?
The alocasia purple has different features, here are some of them:
- The plant comes with beautiful and long leaves which can touch a length of over two feet.
- The stems are sturdy and grow upright into hardy plants.
- It bears flowers of green and purple which bloom throughout the year.
- The waxy green leaves are pear-shaped and have a purple and reddish hue on the undersides. This is why it is popularly called the purple sword alocasia or alocasia lauterbachiana purple sword.
- The plant is easy to care for.
You have now read how the alocasia purple sword is not only a stunning plant but is also stress-free to grow. Let us summarize our learning from this article.
- Alocasia purple sword is a beautiful and ornamental plant with purple and red hues.
- The plant is also called purple sword alocasia or alocasia lauterbachiana purple sword due to its distinctive spear-shaped and colored leaves.
- It requires a tropical environment with bright sunlight, light loamy soil and warm temperatures.
- The plant can be easily propagated through rhizome division and seeds. The fastest way from the two options is rhizome division.
- The common problems of the plant can be tackled by correcting the watering schedule, light conditions, and keeping pests at bay.
The alocasia lauterbachiana adds a colorful touch to any space, indoors or outdoors. Therefore, bring them into your garden setting to make it more vibrant and beautiful.