Native to the rainforests of South Asia, Alocasia sarian, with its glossy green leaves, can add a decorative touch to any corner of your house. Its heart-shaped rubbery leaves go against the many usual plants having soft and papery leaves, which makes it a bold and eye-catching plant.
All good things come with a cost, and Alocasia sarian plants do ask for a little extra care, but this should not stop you from decorating your indoors with these green lovelies! Let us look into the care requirements of the Alocasia sarian and what it takes to keep this plant healthy.
- What Is Alocasia Sarian?
- Alocasia Sarian Care Guide
What Is Alocasia Sarian?
Alocasia sarian, also known as Elephant’s Ear plant, is a tropical perennial with more than 70 varieties that is native to the tropical or subtropical regions of Asia. It can grow enormous leaves, and if in the right environment and dealt with care, can grow up to 6 feet tall.
Alocasia Sarian Care Guide
Now that we have had a glimpse of this plant, you might be wondering what environment is right for it and how to take care of the Alocasia sarian. Well, just continue reading!
– Water Requirements
The Alocasia is a water-addicted plant and cannot survive in droughts. However, excessive watering can also kill the plant. So how do we keep the balance? The more the plant gets exposure to bright indirect light, the more often it will need watering.
However, you would not want to mismanage the watering periods. Under-watering can lead to stunted plant growth, yellowing of leaves, and brown leaf edges, while overwatering can collapse the stem or simply kill the plant.
In both cases, the plant suffers, so the best way to balance the water level is by keeping the soil just moist at all times.
The Alocasia sarian loves water but only water it once the upper two inches of the soil is droughty. No doubt moist soil is ideal, but soil that is a little too soggy can cause different problems as the roots of the Alocasia can not withstand wet feet.
In addition, the plant asks for more water in summer as it is its growing period where it is highly active and requires extra energy, but when the plant enters the winter season, it is temporarily metabolically inactive or spends less energy, thus requiring less watering.
Keeping all of this in mind, you can make a schedule to water your Alocasia. However, we would not suggest that, as the other factors like humidity, temperature and light are not always constant.
– Light Requirements
Ideally, Alocasia sarian is an indoor plant dependent on balanced indirect light to maintain its foliage.
It glows differently in full to partial sun but placing the plant under the direct sun can cause burning of the plant.
You can keep it anywhere where you think the natural light is available in abundance. For healthy growth, you can expose it under the morning sun too, but not when the sun is full.
Furthermore, to make sure the plant grows healthy, rotate the pot frequently to make sure that all parts of the plant get fair exposure to light and grow symmetrically.
Although Alocasia sarian is an indoor plant, some people prefer to keep it outdoors. If you’re such an enthusiast, try to keep the plant in a shady place away from the harsh light of direct sun.
– Soil Requirements
Being a rhizomatous plant, Alocasia sarian prefers well-drained soil with the right amount of light and an airy environment for optimum growth. You can make the Alocasia sarian soil mixture with soil and perlite in an equal ratio for healthy growth of the plant.
However, avoid planting Alocasia in a heavy soil mixture or a rocky and sandy soil mixture as it can steadily disrupt the plant’s growth.
– Temperature Requirements
Having its origin in Southern Asia, Alocasia sarian does not adapt well to variations in temperatures. It can not withstand extreme temperatures and therefore prefers living in a mid-range of temperature, not too warm and not too cold, somewhere between 59-89 degrees Fahrenheit.
You may face issues with Alocasia like stunted growth in the winter or autumn season when the temperature dips lower than 29 degrees Fahrenheit. In that case, move the pot plant to a warmer room if it is already indoors, and place the pot inside if it is outdoors.
– Humidity Requirements
Alocasia is a humidity-fond plant that requires at least 60 percent of indoor humidity. Any less than that and the plant compromises its perfect health. In an ideal environment, 70 percent or more humidity will let the plant maintain its freshness and brightness of the leaves.
However, if the humidity is too low or too high, the Alocasia’s leaf tips will turn brown, and the edges will curl over. It is a sign that you need to fix the humidity level. How can we do that? There are many ways, artificial and natural, to increase humidity.
If the plant is under direct sunlight for too long, it may suffer from excessive humidity. You can change its location to somewhere where the light is indirect to retain the humidity to a normal level.
However, in the winter seasons, windows are usually not open, and heaters are on, so the indoor plants struggle with getting enough natural humidity. We have some solutions to share with you to help increase humidity for your Alocasia or other indoor plants.
– How To Increase Humidity
You can take a humidifier and place it near the plant to get artificial humidity, or if you are an innovative one, you can go for a humidity tray.
Moreover, if you have plenty of indoor pot plants, you can group them to reach the desired humidity level.
But if you are a single plant parent, you can mist spray your Alocasia to maintain humidity, although this will only work for some hours before the plant will again crave for humidity.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Fertilizers can boost the Alocasia sarian growth rate if you meet the requirements. Fertilizers are the supplementary food for the plants, which they need to grow healthy and at a faster rate. Unlike other plants,
Alocasia loves regular fertilizing. When it is growing in a warm and bright location, it will use more energy in growing and thus, will ask for more nutrients.
And as for which fertilizer to use, you can use all-purpose fertilizers to do the job. But we recommend using the specific houseplant labeled fertilizers as they contain other vital nutrients that will aid the plant to grow.
In addition, if you notice any growth in your plant, increase fertilization as it is in its growing phase. However, if you over-fertilize your Alocasia, it will reveal burning on the leaves, so you have to keep a count of the amount of fertilizer you use.
Sounds like too much effort? Well, you can alternatively use slow-release fertilizers on your Alocasia plant to save yourself some time, but make sure you feed the plant periodically.
If using slow-release fertilizer, mix 1 kg of fertilizer per 100 square feet before planting your Alocasias. Next, keep up with the regular fertilizing every two to four weeks, but discontinue fertilization during the dormancy period.
Alocasia is a fast-growing plant, and within six months, it grows enormous leaves in all directions. Pruning is a necessary step to keep the plant in shape and not let it invade other plants’ privacy. Furthermore, pruning is a way to remove any diseased part from the plant and stop further spreading.
You can cut a few Alocasia sarian leaves and stems that are growing out of the confines and utilize them for propagation purposes as you like. Read more in detail below!
To avoid any bacterial disease transfers while pruning, use sterilized scissors or shears and make clean cuts. Avoid cutting directly through yellowed tissue as this can cause further damage to the plant in terms of diseases and bacterial infections.
Other than maintenance costs, you only have to invest once to get the Alocasia plant. If you want another, you can propagate as many as possible.
Propagation is a neat technique to multiply the offspring of the plant. And for a plant like Alocasia sarian, which has a fast-growing rate, propagation is a popular exercise to grow its offspring.
However, it is in the best interests of this plant if you practice this activity in the growing seasons of the Alocasia, from early summer to mid-spring. Avoid propagation in the dormancy period, which is usually in winter.
Alocasia is a tuberous plant, and it sprouts from a central rhizome, making it unsuitable for cutting to propagate, but you can still do it using water propagation.
Furthermore, Alocasia grows offsets from its roots that are exact copies of the parent plant, which you can separate and plant away from the parent plant without breaking a sweat.
– How To Separate Rhizomes
Don’t know how to separate the offsets? Here are some simple steps to separate rhizomes.
First, carefully dig a hole in the surrounding of the Alocasia using a shovel or any other tool. Slowly take the plant out, and shake off the excess soil from its roots.
Once you have successfully exposed the roots, you will be able to distinguish some offsets tangled in clumps. You can gently separate the offsets and other roots using your hands.
However, if the roots are too tangled or clumped, you can separate them using a clean pair of scissors or a knife, and that’s it. Your new babies are ready for cultivation. Now you can either go for soil propagation or water propagation. Let’s discuss both in the following guide:
– Soil Propagation
Soil propagation is one of the most common methods on any plant enthusiast’s list. Soil is the common rooting medium for every plant with roots, and since the Alocasia offsets you separated before already have tiny roots, you have to plant it in a pot with fresh soil.
You can go with a regular nursery pot with drainage holes to oust the excess water. Fill the pot with moisturized soil and other appropriate mixtures, mainly coco coir and a handful of perlite, to get better results.
Once you are ready with your pot, dig a small hole, plant your Alocasia sarian, and drizzle some water on it. That is all it will take. Make sure to keep the pot under indirect sunlight because direct light is harmful to both parent and baby plants.
If you have given it adequate care and you still do not see any growth, there is nothing to worry about. Sometimes the transplant shocks the offspring, and it will take some time for it to adjust to the new environment.
You were so patient in the whole process, so why not hold your nerves for a little longer? And one day, you will find yourself awakening to the popped-up leaves!
– Water Propagation
Water propagation is the method applicable for both the offsets with roots and the stems or cuttings that do not have a root system and thus cannot grow in the soil. Here is what you can do alternatively.
Take a vase/jar or any container. You can also use a transparent container if you want to keep a close eye on the growth of your new plant. Fill the container with water and let the water rest for a day to clean it from chlorine and other impurities which are usually present in tap water.
Place the stem or root in the container, and make sure it has submerged. Once you have your container ready, place it where indirect sunlight is abundant. Avoid putting it under direct sunlight as it can increase the water temperature and cause algae to grow on the surface.
With this done and little maintenance checks regularly — which include cleaning the water and adding the water into the container if some has evaporated — you are ready to observe a new life growing. And yes, you can add liquid fertilizer to the container to boost the growth of the offspring.
Like any other plant, Alocasia sarian is also vulnerable to some health-affecting diseases depending on the care habits. Want to know more? Let’s give it a read.
– Spider Mites
The spider mite is a common pest that is a threat to the Alocasia sarian. You have to look out for them and take every major precaution to keep them away from your plant. They cause gray discolored patches on the alocasia sarian leaves, which further leads to poor health of the plant.
Although spider mites are alarming to the plant, you can easily spot them. If you observe small spider webs under the leaves or on the stems, know that these are spider mites.
To ensure the removal of these pests, you can use chemical pesticides but in a controlled quantity, as excess chemicals can be harmful to your plant.
If pesticides are not available, there is an alternative. You can manually wipe the leaves and the area where these webs are lying using a clean cloth and water or an herbal spray.
– Yellowing or Falling Out of Leaves
Your Alocasia sarian is likely to shed its leaves if you feed it with excessive or no water. Over or underwatering can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop as dead leaves.
To revive the plant with new and fresh leaves, you have to go through your watering routine. If you are skipping some days or raining extra water on the plant some days, rectify it. Moreover, ensure healthy air circulation for the plant to turnover with new green leaves.
– Browning of Leaves
Multiple factors can lead to the browning or burning of leaves. In low humidity, Alocasia sarian leaves turn brown with crispy or dry edges, which is a sign of burning. The situation is the same for the plant in extremely cold temperatures and when exposed to direct sunlight.
There is no way to bring the burnt leaves back to life, but stopping the spread is in your hands. You can remove the burnt leaves using the pruning method and examine the three causes to prevent any further damage. Once you know the cause, you can heal your plant, right?
– Rotting of Rhizome
The rhizome can rot in no time if you regularly overwater your Alocasia, so you should avoid doing this at all times. Furthermore, it can even rot in a cold environment for too long.
Since it is a tropical plant, you have to provide it with a similar environment to its native habitat. You can do so by using bottom heat mats to provide additional warmth.
With everything said and done, taking care of an Alocasia plant isn’t that difficult after all, right? You have to take care of some things, so let’s have a quick review of the guide:
- Alocasia sarian appreciates well-draining soil, but the soil should be moist at all times.
- Avoid placing it under direct sunlight, and if keeping it outside, remember it cannot survive in low temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Low humidity is not a healthy thing for Alocasia. You can use a humidifier or other means to improve humidity.
- You can use water propagation for leaves or stem cuttings in soil for small offsets with roots.
We hope our detailed guide helps you in taking care of your Alocasia. Although Alocasia does require time and attention, its resulting foliage will be well worth it!
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