The Alocasia stingray plant is commonly known as the Elephant ear because of the shape of its leaves. The Alocasia stingray adds a unique zest to your room, and with its subliminal effects, it can always keep you in a good mood.
Your room will look extra classy if you add this airy-stem-structured plant with monochromatic leaves to your collection of houseplants.
This article will help you learn how to care for this elegant plant and make it thrive.
- What Is Alocasia Stingray?
- Care For Alocasia Stingray
- How to Propagate
What Is Alocasia Stingray?
The Alocasia stingray is an incredible indoor plant with glossy green leaves with an upturning tail and a filtering system, which makes it well-loved by most gardeners. This plant requires minimum attention and has the capacity to grow up to 15 feet tall. The Alocasia stingray rarely produces flowers.
Care For Alocasia Stingray
Although the Alocasia stingray is easy to look after, neglecting it can jeopardize its well-being. Stick to its ideal growing conditions so that you can successfully care for this plant.
– Water Requirements
Watering Alocasia stingray should be done regularly during its active season using room temperature water. The Alocasia stingray growth rate is vigorous in spring and summer, which is why it needs more water during this time.
Make sure the pot has drainage holes so that excess water can escape.
This will help to free the plant roots from being soaked in water for a long time, a situation that may lead to the development of fungal diseases.
You should reduce watering your plant during the winter. The plant will be in the dormancy phase so less amount of water is required. The low temperatures also contribute to moisture retention for an extended time.
When watering the Alocasia stingray, do it in average amounts but make sure that the plant will have enough moisture for a stipulated time. You should also check if the two-inch topsoil is dry prior to the next watering. Make sure the potting mix can retain the moisture properly so that watering can be done once every week.
– Light Requirements
You should not expose your Alocasia stingray to direct sunlight but do not hinder it from bright light. If you are growing the Alocasia stingray indoors, placing it under the direct sun in the morning and late afternoon won’t be a threat to its growth. Remember to monitor the time so that the plant won’t sit in the sun for more than one hour.
The east-facing window can be ideal for the plant to get enough sunlight. You can also change the spot of your Alocasia stingray to the south-facing window if the sun falls on the east.
Put the Alocasia stingray a few feet away from the window and make sure you rotate it for the even growth of your plant. You can place the Alocasia stingray on a window if the sunlight is filtered to protect the plant from being sunburnt.
Stingray Alocasia tends to grow towards the light. Artificial light can be the best alternative if the room is not getting enough sunlight so that the plant will not grow long and thin trying to reach out for a sunny spot. You can buy a grow light for it, but make sure you follow the instructions properly on how to use it. Do not put the light too close to the stingray plant.
– Soil Requirements
A well-aerated soil that drains water properly should be used when growing the Alocasia stingray. Poorly-drained soil can lead to a soggy potting mix that can pave the way to the development of infectious diseases like root rot.
We recommend that you add coarse sand, peat and perlite to the potting mix to improve its drainage. The soil for Alocasia stingray should have added organic matter so that it will meet the features of its natural habitat.
The soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5 is ideal for the Alocasia stingray plant. You can use a tester to know the acidity of the potting mix you want to use.
– Temperature Requirements
Alocasia stingray is not a cold-hardy plant. The stingray plant does well in warm climatic conditions with the temperature range of 64 F to 72 F. Do not switch on air conditioners in a room where your plant is located. Also, protect your Alocasia stingray from cold drafts.
The Alocasia stingray does not tolerate very high temperatures. The dry, crispy edges of the plant leaves are the signs that you have exposed your plant to extremely high temperatures.
– Humidity Requirements
The Alocasia stringray flourishes in environments with high humidity levels. As an indoor plant, it is difficult for the stingray plant to get the ideal humidity that it requires, especially in winter. You can buy a hygrometer to test if the moist air in the house is good for your stingray plant.
If the room does not have sufficient humidity, you can provide a humidifier as an alternative to rectify the problem. The Alocasia stringray can also appreciate misting, but it should be done infrequently. Excessive misting can result in the development of diseases.
The pebble tray can also be used to improve humidity levels. Fill your pebble tray with water and place it under the pot of your Alocasia stingray. Make sure the pot is not sitting directly in the water. The water vapor from the pebble tray increases the moisture in the air and that’s how the humidity levels are improved.
– Fertilizing Requirements
The Alocasia stingray growth rate can be boosted by adding all-purpose liquid or organic fertilizer during its active season. This indoor Alocasia stingray plant needs more nutrients because that is when it will be manufacturing food for itself. Apply a well-balanced fertilizer with equal ratios of 10-10-10 once every two to three weeks.
Fertilizers have mineral salts so they should be diluted with water to lessen their strength. You should dilute the fertilizers to half the strength of the recommended amount on the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid burning the plant. When the Alocasia stingray reaches its dormancy stage, you should stop adding fertilizer to your plant.
The Alocasia stingray needs to be trimmed whenever there are damaged and dead leaves. In winter, the plant usually suffers from unfavorable conditions. That’s when most of the plant leaves turn yellow. Once you notice that there are yellow and dead leaves, it means your Alocasia stingray is ready for pruning.
Sterilize your tools before trimming your plant to make sure that they are free from bacteria. You also need to sharpen the tools so that you will leave a clean cut.
Remember to wear protective clothing like gloves so that your skin won’t be in direct contact with the stingray plant. The plant causes skin and eye irritation.
Gently cut the petioles of all the dead, damaged or yellowed leaves. Make a u-shaped cut at the petiole to stimulate the development of new growths.
The best time to repot your Alocasia stingray is during the months of autumn and spring. You can only repot the plant if you are now seeing its roots on the surface of the potting mix, the plant growth has reduced, or if the plant is wilting between waterings.
When the roots are growing out of the pot through the drainage holes, your plant is telling you that it needs to be repotted. The same goes for visible salt crystals on top of the substrate.
Ideally, you should repot your Alocasia stingray every six months when it is young and after two years when it shows any of the signs that we mentioned earlier in this section.
– How to Repot
Hydrate your Alocasia stingray leaves and roots by watering them about an hour prior to repotting. Make sure that the new pot is at least two inches wider than the old one.
If you are using the pre-used pot, make sure you clean it with a 10 percent bleach solution to disinfect it. Rinse the pot thoroughly and dry it before using.
Remove the Alocasia stingray from its pot in a gentle matter to avoid damaging the roots. Rinse the roots so that you can easily trim the damaged and infected roots or separate the tangled ones.
Place the Alocasia stingray in the new pot and cover it with the soil at the same depth as it was in the old pot until the potting mix is one inch below the edge of the pot. You can then water your stingray plant thoroughly.
How to Propagate
Stingray Alocasia can be best propagated using offsets and rhizomes. These two methods are a bit faster as compared to using seeds. The Alocasia stingray should be propagated during the warmer months of spring and summer when the plant’s growth rate is relatively high.
– Using Offsets
The Alocasia stingray produces offsets at the base of its stem. Wait until the offsets are at least ten inches tall, then remove the Alocasia stingray from the pot and gently shake it to remove the soil from the roots. At this point, you can now clearly see the roots of the offsets.
Separate the baby plants with leaves from the old Alocasia stingray and place them in their own individual pots. Water the offset and always keep the potting mix moist until the plant is established.
The offset can take a couple of weeks before it establishes itself because separating the baby plant from the parent plant can take it through a period of shock. Just wait patiently and provide your new Alocasia stingray with the proper care requirements for it to survive.
– Using Rhizomes
Alocasia stingray rhizomes are tubular in shape. The rhizomes grow below the soil surface when the plant reaches maturity. Uproot the plant as well so that you can properly see the rhizomes and divide them. Use a sharp, sanitized knife to separate the rhizomes and plant them in their pots.
Plant your Alocasia stingray rhizome in a well-draining potting mix that is fertile. Water the plant and also keep the soil moist. Do not overwater your new plant to protect the rhizome from rotting.
You can repot the mother plant after removing all the rhizomes that you need. Water the plant thoroughly so that the disturbed stingray cells can quickly become turgid.
You should consistently look out for pests and diseases that can affect your Alocasia stingray. This will help you to deal with them when they are still at an early stage.
– Spider Mites
Spider mites are very dangerous to your indoor Alocasia stingray. Always be on the lookout for these pests by checking your plant each time you water it. The spider mites are reddish-brown pests that are so small that they are difficult to identify. Spider mites are sap-sucking pests so they feed on the plant’s chlorophyll.
Yellowing of leaves and light spots on the leaves are the signs of a spider mite infestation. These pesky insects usually hide on the undersides of your plant’s leaves. Spider mites love dry conditions so increasing humidity levels can chase these pests away.
Isolate the infested Alocasia stingray and prune the damaged parts if possible. Once the plant is severely damaged, you will need to destroy it. You can also use insecticidal soap to control these pests. Also, make sure your Alocasia stingray is free from dust by cleaning it at least once every month to reduce the chances of infestation.
Aphids also use their mouthparts to suck the plant sap. The plant leaves will start to appear curly and will eventually turn yellow. Use organic sprays like Neem oil to get rid of these pests as soon as possible.
Mealybugs are also tiny pests that look like white cotton balls. They are also sucking pests. Do not over-feed your Alocasia stingray with fertilizers as the pests favor high nitrogen conditions.
You can control mealybugs using the same methods as the ones described for aphids and spider mites. You can also dab the pests directly using cotton balls that have been dipped in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol solution to kill them.
– Leaf spot
The infected Alocasia stingray will have brown or yellow spots. As an indoor plant, poor air circulation around the plant can cause leaf spot. Ensure that the humidity levels and temperatures are not too high so you can reduce the risk of leaf spot. Overwatering is also another cause of this fungal disease.
You can remedy leaf spot by cutting off all the infected leaves. Remove all debris around the soil of the Alocasia stingray and wash the plant. You can now apply any fungicide, although these may not work if the plant is heavily infected. Consider discarding the plant in this case.
Botrytis is a fungal disease that usually affects the leaves and flowers of the Alocasia plant. The affected plant will have yellow spots on the foliage and streak wounds. If the flowers have orange or black spots, that’s another sign that shows that your Alocasia stingray is being infected with botrytis.
A lot of moisture in the air can cause botrytis. Make sure the humidity level is ideal all the time. Place your Alocasia stingray in a spot that is well-ventilated for proper air circulation. You can also achieve ideal humidity by refraining from misting your stingray Alocasia regularly.
You can use fungicides to treat the botrytis disease. You should also trim the affected parts of the stingray and remove all the debris around your plant. This can help to stop the spread of the disease. Do not add fertilizer to your stingray Alocasia until you are completely sure that the plant has fully recovered.
– Root Rot
It can take a while for you to notice root rot on your plant as it affects the covered part, which is the roots. The infected plant roots will become soft and brown, and with time, the leaves can turn yellow due to stunted growth.
Use a well-draining substrate that is light for proper aeration. The pot should also have sufficient draining holes so that excess water can drip out. You should avoid overwatering your Alocasia stingray to reduce the risk of root rot.
Place your Alocasia stingray in a location where it can receive much-needed sunlight to reduce the risk of botrytis.
If your affected stingray still has a chance of survival, just trim the affected roots. Treat the plant with fungicides to eliminate the fungus and then plant it in a new pot using a fresh substrate. If the roots are now mushy, discard the plant and disinfect the spot where the plant was so that you can stop the disease from further spreading.
Stingray Alocasia is poisonous to human beings and pets if ingested. The Alocasia stingray contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause damage to the throat, mouth, and swelling of other body parts like the esophagus.
The plant can also cause nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite. The Alocasia stingray plant can also cause skin and eye irritations, so you should wear protective clothing when working on this plant.
Keep the plant away from the reach of children and pets. If any human or pet ingests this plant, immediately contact a doctor or a veterinarian for assistance.
The beneficial caring tips for the Alocasia stingray have been extensively explored in this article. Below is just a short brief of the main points that you learned from this article; let’s go through them quickly.
- The Alocasia stingray prefers a light and well-aerated potting mix that can drain water well.
- Bright but indirect light associated with warm temperatures and high humidity levels is the best conditions for the Alocasia stingray to grow well.
- You should avoid under-or overwatering your stingray to reduce the risk of it being affected by pests and diseases like spider mites, root rot and botrytis.
- Propagating the Alocasia stingray can be best done using rhizomes and offsets.
- Apply fertilizer to your plant to achieve vigorous growth during its growing season.
Now you are ready to introduce this new collection of houseplants to your home garden and start caring for it the right way. Enjoy the journey while benefiting from the filtered air around your house!
- 18 Plants That Start with T: Timeless Beautiful Flowers - January 22, 2023
- 13 Beautiful Red and Green House Plants: Best Picks - January 21, 2023
- Are ZZ Plants Toxic to Cats? Know How This Poses a Risk - January 20, 2023