Alocasia

Alocasia

Alocasia (Alocasia) is an elegant plant from the Aroid family. This genus includes about 70 different species, mainly living in the Asian tropics. In culture, alocasia is grown only for the sake of its decorative leaves: such a plant is capable of blooming only in nature or in a greenhouse.

Despite the beauty of the alocasia foliage, it must be handled with care - this plant is considered poisonous. At the same time, many types of flowers are widely used by experienced Chinese healers for the manufacture of drugs for toothache and stomach pains and even for the treatment of tuberculosis and serious inflammation. The elongated tuberous rhizomes of certain varieties are considered edible and are used for starch production.

Description of alocasia

Depending on the specific species, alocasia can resemble a tree with a pronounced trunk or form a stemless bush. Sometimes these evergreens are capable of reaching two meters in size, but the height of some species does not exceed 40 cm. The foliage is in the shape of an arrow or a pointed heart, while in some varieties its size can reach up to 1 meter. Alocasia is grown as a single home flower or incorporated into a variety of herbal compositions. Due to the unpretentiousness of this tropical plant, it is also often used to decorate office premises.

Alocasia flowers appear very rarely when grown indoors. Like other members of the family, they resemble a cob wrapped in a blanket. If the bush nevertheless decided to bloom, sometimes the flowers are immediately removed so that the plant does not have to spend energy on them and stop the growth of foliage.

Brief rules for growing alocasia

Alocasia: how to properly care for and transplant

The table shows brief rules for caring for alocasia at home.

Lighting levelAlocasia species with green foliage can be grown in partial shade, and variegated ones require diffused lighting. Bushes should be removed from direct rays - they are considered dangerous for all types of alocasia.
Content temperatureDuring the growth period - about +24 degrees, in winter - less, but not lower than +18 degrees.
Watering modeWatering is done when the soil in the pot dries up a little on top. If the plant is resting, then they wait an additional several days, and only then moisten the soil.
Air humidityA high level of humidity is required. Alocasia foliage is usually sprayed or wiped with a damp cloth. In the summer heat, you can keep the pot on a tray filled with damp pebbles.
The soilA mixture of peat soil with coniferous and leafy soil and half of the sand is considered optimal. For disinfection, charcoal is poured into the finished soil.
Top dressingTwice a month during the growth of the bush, alternating the reduced concentration of mineral mixtures with organic matter.
TransferYoung specimens are transplanted annually, and adults - 2-3 times less often. Do it in the spring.
BloomWhen grown in pots, it almost never blooms, the main beauty of the plant lies in its large, elegant leaves.
Dormant periodThe dormant period lasts from mid-autumn to March.
ReproductionSeeds, cuttings.
PestsMealybug, aphid, scale insect, spider mite.
DiseasesIllness due to care errors or improper placement.

Important! The alocasia plant is considered poisonous.

Home care for alocasia

Caring for alocasia is not particularly difficult, since the plant is unpretentious.

Lighting

Alocasia requires a well-lit area with diffused light. At the same time, direct rays should not fall on its foliage: this may result in the appearance of burns. Most often, the flower is kept on the east or west side of the apartment. The southern direction will require more shading.

Alocasia with variegated foliage are considered to be more susceptible to the amount of light. In partial shade, they can lose their beautiful color. Varieties with monochromatic foliage are less capricious and, if necessary, easily tolerate light shading.

Temperature

Alocasia should be protected from cold drafts. In spring and summer, temperatures are considered to be 22-26 degrees comfortable for the plant. In winter, you can keep the flower in relative coolness, the optimum temperature for the plant will be 18-20 degrees Celsius. But a temperature drop below 18 degrees is considered undesirable.

Watering mode

Throughout the growing season, alocasia is watered regularly, trying to wait until the topsoil begins to dry out. In autumn, watering begins to gradually reduce, and in winter the soil is moistened only a few days after the beginning of drying. Strong overflow and complete overdrying of the soil in the pot are equally harmful for the plant, so the watering regime must be observed on a regular basis. To prevent the flower from becoming waterlogged, after a quarter of an hour after watering, excess water must be drained from the pan.

From abundant watering or a strong increase in air humidity, water not absorbed by the flower begins to stand out in its foliage in the form of droplets. Thanks to this property, the plant is able to "predict" rainy weather.

Air humidity

Alocasia is recommended to be periodically sprayed with warm and soft water. The procedure can be replaced or combined with wiping the foliage with a damp cloth or sponge at least twice a week. To maintain the humidity level, you can put the flower on a pallet with wet pebbles or place open containers with water next to it.

The soil

The soil suitable for alocasia should be slightly acidic and allow air and water to pass through well. One of two types of mixture is often used as a soil. In the first, leaf and coniferous soils are mixed with peat and half of the sand. In the second, they take turf, humus and leafy soil, mixing them with half parts of peat and sand. It is permissible to use universal mixtures for growing aroids. To prevent the development of putrefactive processes, charcoal is usually poured into the ground.

Top dressing

From early spring to September, alocasia can be fed biweekly by alternating organic supplements with mineral formulations suitable for plants with showy leaves. The dosage of universal compositions for indoor flowers should be halved.

Transfer

Alocasia is usually transplanted in the spring. For young specimens, this procedure is carried out every year, and adults are moved only once every 2-3 years. For planting alocasia, a high and stable container with a drainage layer about 3 cm thick is suitable. It can be made from expanded clay, small pebbles or broken bricks.

Alocasia is often moved by the transshipment method, carefully transplanting it into a new pot along with an untouched clod of earth. Usually, a new container can only be a couple of centimeters wider than the old one. The voids around the edges are filled with fresh earth. Transplanted plants should not be fertilized for at least a month.

Sometimes the roots of store-bought alocasia may be wrapped in a layer of cloth. This material is considered biodegradable, but in practice it often does not have time to do so and begins to interfere with the healthy growth of the rhizome. This layer is recommended to be carefully removed with scissors.

Reproduction methods of alocasia

Growing from seeds

Alocasia is propagated by seeds quite rarely: they very quickly lose their germination, and are practically not formed at home. In addition, this type of reproduction is only suitable for green-leaved plants: variegated forms grown from seeds usually do not retain maternal traits. For planting, you will need a container filled with a wet peat-sand mixture. Seeds are spread on it superficially, only slightly pressing them into the soil. After that, the container is covered with glass or foil and placed in a sufficiently warm (about +24 degrees) place. After that, the container is periodically ventilated and monitored to maintain a constant humidity level. The first shoots should appear in 2 weeks.

When the seedlings that have appeared grow up a little, they are dived into individual containers. After a while, they are moved into larger pots, about 7 cm in diameter. When the seedlings outgrow this capacity, they are planted in full-fledged pots and taken care of as if they were adult plants. Full-grown large leaves begin to appear on such plants when they are one year old.

Vegetative propagation

All types of alocasia can multiply using parts of the bush - both the stem or leaf, and rhizomes. Most often, a leaf with a piece of stem is used for this. Cutting allows to preserve most of the characteristics of the parent variety. Usually this procedure is carried out in the spring. Any separated stalk must be pre-treated with charcoal at the cut site. You can pre-soak it in a solution of a root formation stimulant. Prepared cuttings are planted in a peat-sand mixture. The seedlings should be covered with a jar or transparent bag and then periodically watered and ventilated. At a temperature in the redistribution of 22-24 degrees, the cuttings take root quite quickly - within a month. With the appearance of the first shoots, you can move the seedling into a temporary glass, and after it gets stronger and better rooted, transfer it into a permanent container. Such plants can form large foliage immediately after full rooting.

Sometimes the overgrown alocasia is divided during transplantation. The rhizomes of such a bush are completely freed from the soil, if necessary, soaking the lump in water. Then the bush is divided into several parts using a sharp tool. Each of the resulting divisions should contain a leaf rosette or a growth point. After processing the sections, the cuttings are seated in containers with fresh soil.

Nodules carefully removed from the rhizomes of the plant can be germinated by placing them in moist moss and keeping them in a warm room.

Alocasia: reproduction and resuscitation of a discounted plant. Part 1

Possible growing difficulties

  • The slow growth of the bush, subject to all growing conditions, indicates a lack of nitrogen.
  • The pale color of the leaf blades indicates insufficient lighting, especially when it comes to variegated flower forms. Some of them (Amazonian and copper-red) may require additional lighting in winter.
  • Foliage withering is usually caused by either a lack or an excess of moisture in the soil. Sometimes the reason is incorrectly selected or poor-quality soil.
  • Falling off of old leaf blades is a natural process. If the leaves turn yellow and fall off one at a time, and not at once, do not worry. Mass drop can be caused by cold weather. The plant does not tolerate frost.
  • Drying of the tips of the leaves - excessively low air humidity or insufficient watering.
  • Dark spots on the leaves are the consequences of drafts or sudden temperature changes. Sometimes it can become a manifestation of the disease. If alocasia is sick due to overflow, you should try to reduce watering and slightly loosen the soil in the pot. If the plant has not recovered, it should be pulled out of the container and carefully inspected the condition of the roots, if necessary, transplanting the bush into fresh soil. Sometimes spots can appear due to excessive or too concentrated dressings. Spots on the foliage of a newly acquired plant may indicate the process of its adaptation to new conditions.

Pests

Most often, harmful insects affect plants weakened by mistakes in keeping. So on alocasia sometimes scale insects, aphids, ticks or scale insects settle. Weakly affected areas can be treated with soapy water. More severe damage requires the use of insecticides.

Is alocasia poisonous?

All parts of the plant are considered poisonous, so it is not advised to keep it in homes with small children or pets. All work with alocasia must be carried out in tight gloves, and then hands should be thoroughly washed with soap.

Types of alocasia with photos and descriptions

Alocasia amazonica (Alocasia amazonica)

It has a low stem, reaching about 15 cm. The thyroid foliage is almost half a meter in size and pinkish petioles of similar length. The color of the main plate is dark green, it is decorated with contrasting light streaks. The leaf itself has an uneven shape and is clearly divided by veins into shares.

In home floriculture, this alocasia does not bloom and does not form fruits, but in other conditions its bush forms low peduncles, on which there are cobs up to 10 cm long. Each of them is wrapped in a light greenish blanket.

Alocasia Sandera (Alocasia sanderiana)

This type is usually found in greenhouses. It has a tuberous rhizome and arrow-shaped foliage up to 40 cm long. Each leaf is on a brownish-green petiole with a length of 25 cm to half a meter. Dark leaf blades are divided into lobes by light veins, and also have a lighter edge.

Alocasia lowii

The size of a short-stemmed bush can reach 1 meter. Each leaf is located on an impressive petiole and can be oval or arrow-shaped. Outside, the foliage has a grayish-green color, and from the inside it is purple. The color of the veins can be the same or lighter than the main shade of the leaf.

A peculiarity of the species is the possibility of rapid reproduction by basal offspring.

Alocasia copper-red (Alocasia cuprea)

It has low stems up to 10 cm long, often underground. The species is distinguished by the leathery texture of the leaves. Their length can reach 30 cm. The main color is green, with a metallic sheen and darker veins. In this case, the seamy part of the plate is colored purple. At home, this kind does not bloom.

Alocasia napellus (Alocasia cucullata)

The size of the trunk of this species can be up to 1 meter with a 5-cm thickness. Shiny leaves are painted in a rich green color and have a pointed end and a notch at the attachment to the petiole. The size of the petioles usually reaches half a meter, and the length of the leaf itself is 1 meter with an 80-cm width.

A large specimen grown at home may begin to bloom. During this period, alocasia forms a 30-cm peduncle and a small ear, covered with a blanket larger than it.

Alocasia large-rooted (Alocasia macrorrhizos)

Or Indian alocasia (Alocasia indica). A very large variety. It has an almost two-meter trunk and meter-long petioles with meter-long elongated heart-shaped leaves. Each leaf is clearly divided into lobes by lighter veins. When grown at home, the plant does not bloom. In its natural environment, a fairly short peduncle with a 20 cm ear is formed on it, along its entire length with a closed yellowish-green blanket.

Alocasia odorous (Alocasia odora)

A species that is quite large in size. It has leathery, slightly corrugated foliage up to 70 cm wide and up to 1 meter long. Young foliage has the shape of a shield, but stretches over time. At the base, the sheet is divided into two parts. It is painted in shades of green.

It is almost impossible to achieve flowering of this type in a pot, but if a flower does appear, it is distinguished by a strong specific aroma that gave this alocasia its name.


Alokazia is a tropical perennial tuberous plant, it is very popular with flower growers because of its exotic appearance and unpretentiousness - large, succulent leaves of the flower delight the owners with their appearance all year round, and alocasia requires minimal care.In the homeland of the plant, in South America and Asia, arum is treated with great respect - the locals know that its juice can cause severe burns or poisoning, but if used correctly, it turns into a potent remedy that helps with joint diseases, colds and even oncology. Not all plant varieties have healing properties, but only arma or large-rooted alocasia, the rhizome of which differs in size, fleshiness and in appearance resembles ginseng root.

The chemical composition of alocasia has not yet been sufficiently studied and it has not been officially included in the list of medicinal plants. This is largely due to the high toxicity of arma juice - it is enough to disrupt the preparation technology of the medicine and it can cause poisoning. So far, scientists have found out that the composition of alocasia juice contains many toxic substances, such as hydrocyanic acid, mercury and others. In addition to potent poisons, the plant contains many biologically active substances that have powerful anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and expectorant properties. In addition, alocasia juice affects the immune system and the human body as a whole, activating its defenses and stimulating the production of hormones and enzymes.

In folk medicine, alocasia is used to treat:

  • diseases of the osteoarticular system - arthritis, rheumatism, myositis, osteochondrosis, osteoarthritis, herniated disc, gout and others
  • dermatological diseases - psoriasis, skin rash, including allergic origin
  • varicose veins and thrombophlebitis
  • fibroids and fibroids
  • tuberculosis
  • malignant tumors.


Flowering plant

As already mentioned, alocasia blooms very rarely and only with strict adherence to all care rules. Until the plant reaches its mature age (5-6 years), you should definitely not wait for flowering. The flowering process itself is very painful for alocasia, it takes a lot of the strength and energy of the flower, because of this, the leaves can die. Florists appreciate this plant for its unusual leaves, the buds are not of interest to them.


Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia is the decoration of any windowsill. Photo: Houseplant 411

Dieffenbachia is a low evergreen plant with large variegated leaves. Varieties of Dieffenbachia seguine are grown at home: the Brazilian Dieffenbachia and the Schuttleworth Dieffenbachia.

Dieffenbachia blooms occasionally. Photo: wikipedia.org

Care and reproduction rules

  • Dieffenbachia is propagated by pieces of the trunk with a kidney and abduction of the top of the trunk. Rooting is carried out in greenhouses at a temperature of about +30 ° C.
  • The composition of the soil mixture for dieffenbachia: peat or leaf soil, mixed with turf in equal proportions, with the addition of sand and well-decomposed humus.
  • Dieffenbachia is kept warm, not lower than +20 ° C, with abundant watering.
  • At temperatures below +10 ° C, Dieffenbachia rots.


Reproduction - the easiest ways to increase the amount of tropical beauty on the windowsill

Reproduction of alocasia is a fairly simple process, especially if you have already practiced on other plants. There are several ways, so you can independently choose what you like and what you can handle most worthily:

  • grafting
  • division of the root system
  • planting daughter nodules
  • sowing seeds.

The seed method, in my opinion, is the most laborious and longest. Not only will you have to constantly make sure that the soil mixture is constantly slightly wet, and later you will have to dive young bushes several times. Of course, the choice is yours, if you are not afraid of difficulties, you can try your hand at interchangeable cultivation of alocasia.

Cutting is a little easier process, because you will not need special feats from you. Just cut off a part of the plant and plant it in a small pot. There must be a greenhouse (a plastic bottle cut into two parts will do a good job).

The easiest way to reproduce is to divide the rhizome during transplantation or take several nodules from it. Here, also, do not forget the greenhouse, so growth will begin much earlier.

I want to warn you that alocasia is a rather poisonous plant. If a baby is growing up in your family, a fan of indoor plants, try to put the bush so that the child cannot reach it. Themselves, too, be careful when transplanting or propagating alocasia. It is best if you will carry out all work with rubber gloves.


All about alocasia on Gardenia.ru


• Last year I bought a young alocasia (3 leaves), after transplanting the leaves began to disappear, a cobweb and white aphid appeared. Last spring, new leaves grew and even young shoots grew from the root. In winter, the plant bloomed, and now it disappears again (the leaves rot and dry, although I do not overmoisten the soil). How can I properly care for him, maybe change the land? > read>

• Acquired Alokazia Sander Polly. I read how to care for it, transplanted it, I don't pour it, but I don't dry it either, I spray it. But recently I noticed that black-brown spots began to appear on the leaves both along the edges of the leaves and in the middle. The plant does not stand under direct rays, it is also protected from drafts. What is the cause of the disease? > read>

Elena shares her experience:
- The appearance of a cobweb on alocasia - signs of a spider mite, spray the plant several times with Akctelik.
When the leaves of alocasia rot and dry, these are signs of black rot. In such cases, I take the plant out of the pot, carefully lower it into lukewarm water together with the earth, and remove the soil from the roots. Then I remove the rotten roots and lower the entire plant in a fairly strong solution of potassium permanganate. The upper part is 3 minutes, the lower - 10 minutes. And I transplant the plant into the purchased sterile soil, into a new, not too large pot (a large pot can cause rot).
I water the alocasia moderately, spray the leaves: in winter, when heated, 2-3 times a week, in summer - once a week. Sometimes I gently wipe the leaves with a damp, clean sponge.
I fertilize very carefully and rarely, always with a weak fertilizer. I keep the flower pot in a bright diffused light.
Alokazia does not like drafts, but loves the influx of fresh air.

Yana writes:
Alocasia is an amazingly welcoming plant. A week after its acquisition, about two leaves have already appeared a third. Three months later, alocasia now has 8 leaves, and the main plant has 5 leaves, and 3 "daughters" grow side by side - they appeared after the flowering of the plant.
When buying alocasia, there were red spots on its leaves. After treatment with fungicide, no spots appear on new leaves.
I care for alocasia like this:
All summer the plant stands on a loggia with diffused lighting, and the fresh air of alocasia clearly likes it. I spend frequent (2-3 times a day) spraying the leaves with clean water or with Ideal fertilizer. I water it rarely (1-2 times a week) also with clean water or with "Ideal". Sometimes I wash the leaves of alocasia with green soap (to prevent pests).

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Watch the video: Rare Plant Index #2. Alocasia. Uncommon to Extremely Rare Plants!