Alocasia is evergreen perennials with large, erect leaves growing from a rhizome in soil or on wet ground. They have large spadixes that produce an odor resembling decaying meat when they bloom in midsummer.
Understandably, many Alocasia growers want to know how to reproduce their plants. It’s a case of ‘the more, the merrier’ when it comes to animals this beautiful! Therefore, in this article, we’ll see the steps on how to propagate Alocasia.
Alocasia is commonly found in southeast Asia, northern Australia and the Pacific Islands. They are hardy in USDA zones 7-11. Alocasias grow mostly in wet boggy soil or shallow standing water that is shaded by trees.
They can also be grown in pots with a fast-draining potting mix. Alocasias have large, ornamental leaves colored green, white or light purple with dramatic deep veins, which are accented by tiny black speckles.
Alocasia plants are known for their large, brightly-colored arrowhead-shaped foliage that grows to 40 cm (16 in) long and has a dark purple or black midrib.
They can grow up to 1.5m (5ft) tall in their native habitats, where they are typically found growing along streambanks or near wet forests.
A Step by Step Guide on How To Propagate Alocasia
How to Propagate Alocasia Via Offset Division
Tuberous plants, as the name implies, emerge from a central rhizome. Many times, these plants can be propagated via division. This is true for Alocasia.
- First, remove the plant’s tubers.
- Next, clean up the tuber with a mild bleach solution to remove any disease or pathogens that may be present on the surface of the tuber. Be sure to sterilize your tools after digging up each tuber.
- Cut the tuber in half vertically down its length, making two equal pieces with each cut about 2-3cm (0.8-1″) below the soil surface.
- Let both tuberous pieces sit exposed to the sun for a few days, watering them sporadically if it doesn’t rain. This will allow callus tissue to form over any exposed cut surfaces before planting them in the moist but well-drained potting mix at 50% of the tuber’s depth. 5. Small plants will form from each nodule in a few months and can be transplanted into individual pots or planted in your garden.
- These plants may flower upon maturity, but the tubers will continue to produce offsets in a clump in a perpetual reproduction cycle.
How to Propagate Alocasia Via Cuttings in Soil
Propagating Alocasia is an easy way to expand your collection of this unique foliage plant. This article will outline how to propagate Alocasia step by step, including the best time to take cuttings, what type of container and potting mix to use, and when you can expect blooms.
- The best time to propagate Alocasia is when they are in full growth, around spring or summer. The cuttings should preferably be taken from healthy, large leaves.
- Remove the leaf from its sheath by gently pinching it to meet the stem.
- Make a diagonal cut under the leaf about halfway down its length, then cut off the top section at an angle to form a small “V” shape.
- The cutting should be around 15 cm (6 in) long with two or three leaves on it.
- Remove any excess leaves from the bottom of the cutting and dip the leaf in hormone rooting powder.
- Pour peat-based potting mix into a 12–14 cm (5–6 in) tall plastic pot with good drainage holes at the bottom. Make sure that there are perforations in the pot to allow airflow. This will help to prevent fungal infections during the propagation process.
- Fill the pot with soil up to 2 cm (1 in) below its top rim. Place the Alocasia cutting into this mix, standing upright, then push the remaining soil down around its base until there is just 2–3 cm (1-1.5 in) of the stem showing above the potting mix.
- Water this well, then place it in a warm, bright spot. The Alocasia plant will take up to six weeks before new roots appear along its stems, and it can be repotted into larger pots with fresh soil.
- A healthy developing plant will sprout from the center of the leaves. It can take up to a year until your Alocasia blooms, but this is an extremely rewarding undertaking!
- Ensure that your Alocasia has bright light and humid air without becoming too wet or dry. Apply standard plant fertilizer every two weeks during its growing season, usually spring and summer.
How to Propagate Alocasia Via Cuttings in Water
Water propagation is a technique for propagating cuttings that do not yet have their roots. This propagation method is best for tropical plants, especially Alocasia which are slow-growing.
- Take your Alocasia cutting and cut off any large leaves remaining on the stem. Then, make a diagonal cut below all of the smaller leaves, cutting the leaf into two equal pieces.
- Place an inch of pebbles in the bottom of a jar or container and fill it to within halfway with water. Dip your Alocasia leaves in rooting hormone powder before placing them cut side down on top of the rocks. Allow them to sit there for about 24 hours.
- Place the container in a location that gets plenty of indirect light. Direct sunlight can encourage the growth of algae and overheat the water.
- In terms of long-term care, replenish the water which has dissipated as needed. Also, change the water every few months and replace it with fresh water and some liquid houseplant fertilizer to promote development.
- Remove your Alocasia from the rocks and add it to its new pot when you see new roots. Place the plant into moist, well-drained soil in a warm environment with bright indirect light so it can begin to grow. Make sure you keep watering this plant regularly but don’t allow it to sit in water.
The propagation process can take up to six months, and your Alocasia may not develop new leaves until after you pot it in soil, but this method is a great way to grow more of these exotic plants for very little effort and time!
How To Propagate Alocasia: Care Guide
- Light: Alocasia enjoys bright, filtered or indirect sunlight for most of the day. They should not be exposed to direct sun during the hottest hours of the day.
- Water: Water Alocasia plentifully with tepid water, especially when actively growing in spring and summer.
- Annual top dressing is recommended; adding a layer of potting soil or compost to the top of the potting mix once every 12 months will help your plant’s health.
- Fertilizer: Feed Alocasia with standard liquid fertilizer for houseplants, using half strength during flowering and fruiting, then tending to reduce the amount as they become dormant.
- Avoid placing Alocasia near drafty windows or heating vents since cold air can cause damage to their leaves, which are sensitive to low temperatures.
>> Related Post: How To Grow Alocasia From A Bulb in 5 Easy Steps
Alocasia is a slow-growing and small plant growing to 30–100 cm (12-39.5 in) in height depending on the variety, with large dark green leaves that can grow up to two meters (~6 foot 7 inches) long by one meter (~3 foot 3 inches).
The leaves are held on upright petioles that can grow up to one meter tall. The roots are thick, tuberous and sometimes woody.
Alocasia is native to Asia, Australia, Africa and certain islands in the Western Pacific Ocean. They have been introduced into the United States as houseplants or ornaments.
Learning how to propagate Alocasia isn’t difficult at all. With a little time and effort, you’ll have plenty of new growing plants to enjoy. Make sure to follow the steps as outlined, and you’ll be the proud owner of more Alocasia in no time at all!