Alocasia regal shield care infographicThe Alocasia Regal Shield is a popular plant that can fill a room with its large heart-shaped leaves. It is not hard to grow, and you can expect to see it grow up to 6 feet tall with leaves up to 20 inches in diameter, so if you have a large, open space you want to fill up, this is your plant.

Read this article to learn about the proper care requirements for this amazing plant.

Quick Overview

Here is a handy table of this plant’s requirements.

Requirements Alocasia Regal Shield
Light Needs a well-lit area with a lot of filtered sunlight or a grow light
Water Water daily in the spring and summer; water once a week or less during the fall and winter
Soil Loves rich and well-draining soil, especially those with a pH between 5.5 and 7
Temperature Temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, leaning more toward 80
Humidity High humidity levels of more than 80 percent
Fertilizer High-quality typical houseplant fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer

What Is Alocasia Regal Shield?

The Regal Shield is a tropical perennial plant with large, dark-green leaves that almost look black and is a member of the Araceae family in the genus Alocasia that is a cultivar of the Alocasia Odora X and the Alocasia Reginula. These giant leaves grow on big, thick stalks that all connect together at the base of the plant.

– Where Does it Originate?

The Alocasia is a tropical plant native to Eastern Australia and Asia. However, the Regal Shield is a cultivar of the Odora, which comes from Southeast Asia and China, and the Reginula, which is another cultivar of two other Alocasias from Borneo.

– Other Names for the Alocasia Regal Shield

Your Alocasia Regal Shield is also known by several other names. Some of these include:

  • Elephant Ears Plant
  • Regal Shield Alocasia
  • Regal plant
  • Black Beauty
  • Black Velvet

Care

Caring for Alocasia Regal Shield is not difficult. As long as you give it some water, a lot of filtered sunlight and a little bit of fertilizer, you will have a happy, healthy plant on your hands. We will give you the details on exactly how to care for your tropical beauty

– Light Requirements

Alocasia Regal Shield - popular plantThe Alocasia Regal Shield needs a well-lit area with a lot of filtered sunlight or a grow light. A good place to put your plant is near a north or south-facing window. You will have to occasionally rotate it though, because it will grow towards the sunlight. 

Too much direct sunlight can burn or scorch the giant ears, which is really the main attraction of the Alocasia Regal Shield and why it is also called the Elephant Ears Plant. If you have to place it in an area with direct sunlight, you can use a shade cloth to keep it from getting burnt. 

– Water Requirements

Watering Alocasia Regal Shield once or twice a week is typically all it needs to keep it healthy and happy, but it depends on the size and the type of pot, the time of year, and the humidity in your home. Water when the top inch of soil is dry, but be careful to not overwater it. 

In the spring and summer, you may have to water your Elephant Ears Plant daily, but during the fall and winter, you may only need to water once a week or less if your plant goes dormant. Remember not to let it dry out completely. 

– Soil

Like most tropical plants, the Alocasia Regal Shield loves rich and well-draining soil. Any kind of houseplant soil that dries quickly is good for your plant, especially those with a pH between 5.5 and 7. They typically do not do well in rocky or sandy soil. 

– Temperature

You need to keep your plant warm with temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, leaning more toward 80. It is a tropical plant that needs to stay warm to grow lush and vigorous. If the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit for too long, your Alocasia may go permanently dormant. 

– Humidity Requirements

Just like its heat requirements, tropical plants like the Alocasia Regal Shield need high humidity as well. The preferable humidity should be more than 80 percent for best growth and vitality, but this can be hard to maintain. You may need to mist it every day to keep it moist and happy. 

Another option is to use a humidifier to keep your Alocasia humid. Try placing a warm air humidifier near your plant, or you can also use a pebble tray underneath the pot. 

– Feeding

You can use a typical houseplant fertilizer for your Alocasia Regal Shield during the spring and summer once a month. Make sure you use a high-quality brand because the cheaper brands have a high salt content that can kill your plant. Do not feed your plant during the fall and winter seasons at all. 

Propagate

Alocasia Regal Shield propagation is easy using rhizome (root) division. Before starting, get the new pots with fresh soil ready for the new rhizomes. Be sure to use rich, well-draining soil as you did in the original pot.

Gently loosen the soil around the base of the plant until you can see the root ball and remove it carefully. Cut the crown in half and then in half again so you have four rhizomes. Make sure you sterilize the knife or shears you will be using with rubbing alcohol first.

Replant each rhizome in its own pot, burying it about as deep as half of its width. In other words, if you have a two-inch-wide rhizome, bury it one inch under the soil. Keep them in a moist and warm spot with indirect light just like your original plant.

Repot

You will know when to repot Alocasia Regal Shield when the roots are growing out of the drain holes or it starts looking leggy. Of course, your Alocasia Regal Shield growth rate depends on more than just the pot you put it in.

If your plant seems to have stopped growing even though you are still feeding it, watering it, and giving it the proper light and humidity requirements, then you may need to repot it.

 

Growing the Alocasia Regal Shield Outdoors

Because your Alocasia Regal Shield needs warm and moist conditions, it is best to keep it indoors for most of the year. If you live in a warm climate like zones 9b to 11, you can plant it outside in an area that gets moderate indirect sunlight. Take note that you still have to keep it humid and watered all year long.

– For Those in Other Zones

If you live in zones 4a to 9b, you can still bring your plant outdoors during the spring and summer months, but keep it in the pot so you can bring it indoors when it gets below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not forget about your plant and leave it out in direct sunlight or in an area that is likely to be too dry for the Alocasia Regal Shield.

Problems 

All you have to do is take a look at your Alocasia Regal Shield leaves to see how healthy it is. You can tell when something is wrong by the color, texture and vitality of your plant’s foliage. Having droopy, crispy or yellow leaves are clear signs of problems.

– Brown Spots or Brown Edges

Your plant may not be getting enough water or humidity if the edges of its leaves are brown, or if there are brown spots developing on them. Your Alocasia needs high humidity and plenty of water to keep it from drying out, so if you see brown spots on its leaves, check the soil immediately. 

– Yellow Leaves

On the other hand, if you give your Alocasia Regal Shield too much water, the leaves will turn yellow. A little bit of yellow or yellow spots are more likely to be caused by pests, but if whole leaves are turning yellow, you need to dry out the roots. Remove the root ball from the soil and let it dry before replanting it in fresh, clean and dry soil. 

Common Pests

It may not be as common for the Alocasia Regal Shield to be infested with pests like garden plants, but it still happens. Some bugs are more commonly seen on these plants than others, and can come from infested bags of soil or even an open window or door. 

You will notice that neem oil and insecticidal soap are frequently used as insect repellents. You can buy these from any garden store or make your own by adding one tablespoon of mild liquid dish soap and ¼ cup of vegetable oil to a one-quart spray bottle and fill the rest with water.

In this section, we’ll look at some of the most common pests that can be found in the Alocasia Regal Shield plant.

– Aphids

If you see a bunch of little fat bugs that are red, black, brown, yellow or light green in color, your plant may have aphids. They usually hang out under the leaves, sucking all the sap out of your plant. When they eat the sap, they excrete a sugary substance called honeydew that attracts ants too. 

To get rid of these pesky pests, spray or wipe down the affected areas with a mixture of water and a tiny bit of mild dish soap. Then spray the plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap to get rid of any stragglers. Keep spraying every few days for several months to prevent them from coming back. 

– Fungus Gnats

These annoying little bugs fly around the plant, laying their eggs in the soil where their larvae can grow. As they grow, they take all the nutrients from your Alocasia Regal Shield’s roots, causing it to look unhealthy and withered.

Getting rid of these pests include removing the top two to three inches of soil to get rid of the larvae and any eggs that have not yet hatched. Next, spray the base of the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil. It is also good to add food-grade diatomaceous earth powder to the soil when you replace what you removed. 

– Spider Mites

Your Alocasia Regal Shield may have a spider infestation if you see thick, cottony white webs on the leaves of your plant. But don’t worry, these spiders do not bite humans, only plants. However, they can do a lot of damage to your plant so get rid of them quickly. 

If the infestation is bad and you cannot just scrape the webs away with a wet cloth or spray of alcohol, you will need to remove any of the leaves that have signs of spider mites. Put them in a sealed plastic baggie to keep them from getting out and reinfesting your plant, then spray the plant with neem oil or any insecticidal soap. 

– Mealybugs

The mealybug is a tiny and round yellow or brown bug with a white powdery wax coating. They live on your plant’s leaves and stems, taking all the nutrients and causing your tropical beauty to become yellow and droopy. If you do not get rid of them quickly, they will kill your Alocasia Regal Shield.

Remove any leaves that are infested and throw them in the trash in a secure plastic bag. Do not put them in a compost pile or anywhere outside or the bugs will spread to other plants. Then spray the bugs with a high-powered blast of water and soak the plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap. 

– Scale Bugs

Scale bugs come in two varieties: the hard shell and the soft shell ones, but they are both toxic to your plant in that they suck all the nutrients out, leaving your plant looking ill.

They are hard to spot since they often look like parts of the plant because they are a light brown or dark green that blends in, but if there are enough of them, you will see them on the plant stems at the base of the leaves.

If the infestation is not too bad, you can go ahead and use an old toothbrush or Q-tip dipped in 70 percent rubbing alcohol to wipe them away. The alcohol kills them, but you sometimes have to scrub away the hard shells to get to the soft insect underneath, because the shell protects them.

After you get rid of the original bugs, keep applying neem oil or insecticidal soap every few days for about a month to prevent a reinfestation.

Different Varieties of the Alocasia Genus

The hoya genus has 97 species, and the most common ones besides the Regal Shield include:

  • Alocasia Robusta is one of the most popular plants of this species and can grow the largest, with leaves that can reach up to 12 feet long with a height of 20 feet in the wild. Unfortunately, they do not get that large indoors, but they are one of the largest houseplants you can find, standing at about 15 feet with leaves about 6 feet long.
  • Alocasia Odora, also known as the Night Scented Lily, is another popular Alocasia with leaves that grow up to 2 feet long and a height of about 8 feet tall. The flowers are pale peach in color and have a nice smell in the evening. 
  • Alocasia Augustiana is a low-growing type from New Guinea that has lime-green leaves with dark-green veins. They are not very common, but you may be able to find one online.
  • Alocasia Macrorrhizos, also known as the Giant Taro, typically grows up to 12 feet tall with leaves that are about 5 feet long. It looks similar to the Robusta, but it has a yellowish-green flower.
  • Alocasia Cuprea is a gorgeous plant that is also called the Jewel or Mirror Plant because it has shiny red or purple leaves. These popular tropical wonders are smaller than most at about 3 feet tall with 20-inch leaves.
  • Alocasia Brisbanensis grows up to 5 feet tall with bright green leaves that are about 2 feet long. They produce cream-colored flowers that smell similar to a lily.
  • Alocasia Fornicata is another short plant that only grows up to 3 feet tall with leaves as long as the plant is tall. They can grow small white flowers that smell fruity

Toxicity

All of the plants in the Alocasia genus are toxic because of the raphide crystals of calcium oxalate present in their system, along with other irritants like proteases that can swell and numb the pharynx and the tongue.

This can cause a sharp pain in the mouth and throat as well as difficulty breathing. The lower parts of the plant contain the highest concentrations of these toxins. 

Conclusion

Regal Elephant Ears PlantEveryone wants to know as much as they can about the plants they buy, especially for beauties like the Alocasia Regal Shield. Here are some of the highlights from this article. 

  • The Alocasia Regal Shield is a popular tropical plant from the Araceae family, with large green leaves that look like elephant ears. 
  • Your Alocasia is from Eastern Australia, Asia, China or Borneo.
  • Some other names of the Alocasia Regal Shield include Elephant Ears Plant, Regal Shield Alocasia, Regal Plant, Black Beauty and Black Velvet.
  • The plant needs a full day of filtered sunlight to grow healthy and lush.
  • The Alocasia Regal Shield also needs to stay well-watered, but do not overwater it or it could get root rot. Only water the plant if the top inch of the soil is dry.
  • Your plant will need rich, well-draining soil made for houseplants with a pH between 5.5 and 7.
  • Because it is a tropical plant, your Alocasia Regal Shield needs heat to thrive. Keep it between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • It also needs to stay humid. You can mist it daily or use a pebble tray or humidifier to keep it moist. 
  • Give your plant high-quality houseplant fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer. It does not need any fertilizer during the winter and fall. 
  • You can easily propagate the Alocasia by removing the root ball and separating the rhizomes to make more plants. 
  • If you want to keep your plant outside, it has to be between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and cannot get too much direct sunlight. It is best to keep your plant in a pot so you can bring it back indoors when it gets cold.
  • The health of your Alocasia Regal Shield can be judged by its leaves. If they are a different color, droopy or dried out, your plant may have root rot, need more water or be damaged from too much sun or not enough humidity. 
  • Your plant can also be affected by aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale bugs and spider mites. 
  • The Alocasia genus has 98 varieties, but the most common ones besides the Regal Shield include the Robusta, Odora, Augustiana, Macrorrhizos, Cuprea, Brisbanensis and Fornicata. 
  • All the plants in the Alocasia genus are toxic to the skin and can also be very dangerous if ingested by children or pets.

Whether you have one Alocasia Regal Shield or 21, you can now have the confidence of knowing how to take care of these beautiful plants. With their giant leaves and stunning height, they will surely make a wonderful addition to your home all year long.

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