Alocasia is an evergreen exotic plant belonging to the Aroideae family, native to the tropical forests of the Philippine Islands, Malaysia and Ceylon. It is characterized by large basal leaves that grow on well-developed fleshy petioles. They delight the eye with their contrasting light veins on a dark olive-green background. This flower is popularly called the \"elephant's ear\" because of the whimsical shape of the leaves, pointed toward the end.
Many people believe that the alocasia can predict rain in a very original way. A few hours before precipitation falls, a transparent dew appears on the tips of its leaves - the flower begins to \"cry\". For this reason, it has received the popular name of \"weatherman\" or \"weatherman\". But, in fact, everything is much more prosaic, the plant simply dumps excess water in this way when the relative humidity of the air is high.
Растение is poisonous from the barks to the edges of the leaf plates, yet some species of alocasia are consumed as food and even used in traditional oriental medicine to treat a number of diseases.
- Alocasia species
- Large Root Alocasia
- Copper-red Alocasia
- Black Velvet alocasia
- Home care for alocasia
- Feeding and fertilizer
- Seed multiplication
- Splitting Shrub
- Pests and diseases
- The most frequent problems and their causes
- How to properly transplant and care for alocasia - video
In room conditions alocasia flowers quite rarely, Therefore, when grown artificially, the plant is considered ornamental and deciduous. The indoor alocasia may not flower until 7 years after planting. The petiole is usually slightly longer than the flower stalk.
The alocasia takes a lot of effort to form flowers, so it loses its decorative qualities after flowering. During this period, the leaves fall off and the plant needs a long time to regenerate. To restore the decorative value of the flower, it must be properly cared for. When the alocasia blooms, the pot should be placed in a cool place.
In order to stimulate flowering in winter, it is necessary to stop watering for a short time. \"Drying out\" will encourage the alocasia to bloom.
There are about 80 species of this spectacular exotic plant. All of them differ in many ways (size, shape of leaves, nature of flowering, etc.), so it is very difficult to bring them into a single classification. Let us consider the most common species of allocasia grown in our latitudes.
The first of the discovered and described species of allocasia is Alocasia macrorrhiza. It is also known by the names arma and arum of India. In tropical forest conditions, arum grows up to 5 m, and indoors it can be up to 2 m tall. The glossy light green leaves resemble a giant arrowhead and reach 50-80 cm in length. The thickened rhizome resembles that of ginseng. In countries where arma grows naturally, its roots and tubers are consumed as food. They are crushed and roasted to get rid of calcium oxalate, which is caustic to the taste. This species is considered medicinal and is used in traditional medicine in China, India and Vietnam. There are varieties of large-rooted alocasia with mottled colors (A. variegata) and metallic silver leaves. The inflorescence of the arma is large, the size of an adult's palm. The cob is cream-colored and the perianth is greenish.
Алоказия Cucullata in nature grows in India, China and Sri Lanka. It is a compact plant with light green heart-shaped leaves 30-40 cm long. In traditional Chinese medicine, clobber alocasia is used as a medicinal plant because of its medicinal properties. It is also believed to bring good luck to the home.
Этот large species of herbaceous plant owes its name to its characteristic odor. The rich aroma of Alocasia odora standing indoors can give people a headache. The plant has a number of medicinal properties, although they are not recognized by official medicine. In China and Vietnam it is used to treat lung disease, sleep disorders and as an antimicrobial.
Alocasia calidora is an erect plant with large green heart-shaped leaves. In natural conditions, it reaches a height of 1.5-2 m.
It is a compact, decorative species with a very short stem, up to 15 cm. It is the Amazonica alocasia that is most often grown in room conditions. The leaves of the plant are quite large, reaching 40 cm in length. This hybrid is nicknamed \"African mask\" and \"alligator\" because of the unusual shape and pattern of the leaves.
A very beautiful decorative species, easily recognized by its distinctive reddish hue. The leathery, glossy leaves attract attention with their beautiful metallic sheen. However, the sap of this plant is poisonous.
Черно- Velvet alocasia
The Velvet alocasia, unlike most other species of this plant, the leaves are not smooth and glossy, but velvety. The green color is so dark that at first glance it appears almost black. Fancy light veins are clearly visible on it.
Alocasia Branchifolia is an original species that looks like a palm with lobed leaves.
Уход за алоказией в домашних условиях
Осторожно. The plant contains toxic substances, so wash your hands thoroughly after contact with it. And perform all procedures related to breaking the integrity of leaves or stems (pruning, transplanting, cuttings) with protective gloves.
Substrate for growing alocasia should be loose and breathable. A soil with a pH of 5.5 (slightly acidic) is best.
You can easily make your own potting soil. All youneed:
- leaf soil (2 parts);
- coniferous earth (1 part);
- humus (2 parts);
- peat (1 part);
- sand (1 part).
Coniferous earth may be replaced by dried needles. A small handful per medium sized pot will suffice. Good drainage is very important for proper flower development.
Alocasia prefers good diffused light. Direct sunlight should be avoided as it often causes leaf burns. This should be taken into account when planting - if the plant is planted in the open ground, at noon it will need penumbra. And indoor flowers are recommended to be placed in the back of the room with windows facing east or west. During the winter, the alocasia will need additional light.
Alocasia is quite heat loving. During the warm months, the optimum temperature range for its cultivation is +22 to +27 degrees. In winter, do not lower the room temperature too much, the plant will feel comfortable at +15-18 degrees.
Alocasia prefers high humidity, up to 80%. Garden specimens require sprinkling in addition to regular watering. Indoors, it is more difficult to maintain such a microclimate. To ensure optimal conditions, vases with the plant can be placed over containers of wet expanded clay. Contact of the pot with moisture should be excluded to avoid the rotting of the root system of the plant. During the heating season you can put a container of water next to the flower. Both garden and indoor alocasia plants should be sprayed regularly and the leaves should be wiped with a damp sponge.
The plant prefers a moderate watering regime. Excessive amounts of moisture can cause root rot. It is recommended to water the Alocasia alternately by root and surface watering to create a typical tropical atmosphere. Watering intervals should be observed and the substrate should not be allowed to dry out. To prevent over-watering, fill at least one third of the pot with keramzite pebbles or other drainage material.
Feeding and fertilizing
In spring and summer the alocasia needs to be fertilized approximately every three weeks. It is best to use mineral complexes or organic foliar fertilizers. Supplements rich in potassium and nitrogen are especially useful. For example, you can alternate fertilizer \"Leaf\" (1 tbsp. per 3 liters of water) and fertilizer for ornamental leafy plants \"Agricola\" (1 tbsp. to 3 L of water).
In fall and winter you should only fertilize your Alosia once every six weeks.
For young flowers, applying phosphorus fertilizer is important. They stimulate the development of healthy roots and increase the resistance of alocasia to various diseases.
Trimming of alocasia should be done only when absolutely necessary - to control diseases and pests. Dead, dry and damaged leaves should also be removed, but this should be done gradually.
Alocasia should be replanted every 2-3 years. If you are not going to divide the bush, you should not remove the entire clod of earth from the roots. For planting, choose a deep, stable pot with holes in the bottom. Then fill it with a layer of drainage material of 2-3 cm. Soil mixture for planting alocasia should be loose and rich in nutrients. Low acid soils with composition:
- leaf soil;
- pine soil;
- stream sand.
Fruitful garden soil with sand and sphagnum added can also be used.
В домашних условиях алоказию можно размножить:
- посадкой семенами;
- делением куста;
Seeds are sown in spring in a light sand and peat mixture. They lose germination very quickly as they dry out, so they should be sown as soon as they are harvested. The seeds are simply buried to a depth of 0.5-1 cm, then moisten the soil and cover with foil. Self-made mini greenhouse is left in a bright place at a temperature of +20 ... +25°C. Sprouts appear 18-22 days after sowing. Seedlings with 2-3 leaves are transplanted into small (up to 7 cm in diameter) single pots. The first transplanting should be performed only when the root ball is completely braided with roots. Large leaves begin to form one year after planting.
Propagation by cuttings will maintain most of the variety characteristics. To root cuttings in early spring, a leaf plate with part of the pulp of the stem is cut off. After that, treat the cut area with ground charcoal and let it dry for 2-3 hours. Then the prepared cuttings are dipped in a solution to stimulate root growth (Kornevin) and planted in a mixture of sandy peat. Rooting is quite quick and the young plant will be able to grow large leaves in 2-4 weeks.
Sharing the bush
The alocasia bush can be divided into several parts during transplanting in spring. In doing so, the roots should be cleared of soil as much as possible. If the ground lump is too tight to the rhizome, it should be soaked in water. The bush is cut with a knife into several pieces. Each piece should have at least a small rosette of leaves or a growth point. The cut is treated with activated charcoal and the plant is immediately planted in fresh soil.
Propagation with babies
The best material for propagating alocasia are considered root tubers. They are carefully taken out when transplanting the plant, placed in a not wide, but deep container (it is convenient to use a plastic cup, through the walls of which you can watch the development of the rhizome) with a drainage hole. Rooting occurs in 2.5-3 months. When full leaves appear, the bush can be transplanted to a larger container.
Pests and diseases
In a dry growing environment, alocasia can be attacked by:
- spider mite;
To control them, you can wipe the leaves and stems with a solution of household soap. However, this procedure will only help in the early stages of the disease. If the disease progresses, acaricides should be used. For example, an effective pest control agent for alocasia is Actellic (2 drops per liter of water).
When the first symptoms of alocasia disease are detected, a comprehensive treatment must be provided immediately.
|Disease||Symptoms and Treatment|
|Root rot and stem rot||These diseases are the most common. They are caused by bacteria and viruses. Chemicals to control fungal diseases (fungicides) are used to treat the plant.|
|Phytophthora and Fusarium||In this disease, white spots appear on the leaves. After a while they spread to the whole plant. If the alocasia is not treated in time, the tissues change color, soften and die. When the first signs of the disease are detected, the flowers should be sprayed with fungicides.|
|Antracnose||The disease is characterized by brown spots with yellow fringing on the leaves. If measures are not taken in time, the affected areas on the alocasia will enlarge. Fungicides can help fight the disease.|
|Mildew||The leaves are covered with yellow and black spots with this disease. It is important to properly care for the plant and treat it with antifungal chemicals to combat this disease.|
Most common problems and their causes
Many problemswith growing alocasia are caused by care mistakes:
- Slow growth. This indicates a lack of nitrogen in the soil. Feed the flower with a solution of urea (1 g of the substance per 1 L of water).
- Drying and wilting of the leaves. This is caused by the water used for watering. It most likely contains a lot of iron, chlorine and salts. The soil should be changed and the plant should be watered with clear water.
- The color of the leaves has become pale. Alocasia needs more sunlight. In the winter, fluorescent lights can be used as additional light.
- Dark spots appear on the leaves. This is due to sudden changes in temperature and draughts.
- The leaves have begun to rot. The plant is affected by root rot. The alocasia should be treated with a solution of Fundozole and replanted in more loose soil.
How to properly transplant and care for an alocasia - video
The author of the video tells about the basic rules of alocasia care. The video clearly demonstrates the correct order and features of transplanting the plant. Join in watching!