Alocasia Cuprea is an intriguing tropical plant having stunning plastic-like leaves. The real beauty is the metallic shades of this plant. The colors change from green to red as the plant matures. The large arrowhead-shaped leaves are the reason why this Alocasia plant is commonly known as ‘Elephant Ears’.
Here are some cool features of this Alocasia Red Secret and some easy tips to care for it.
- Mirror Plant
- Jewel Alocasia
- Alocasia Cuprea ‘Red Secret’
- Family: Araceae
- Subfamily: Aroideae
- Genus: Alocasia
About the Genus Alocasia
Alocasia is a genus of angiosperms, including 97 appealing species. All of these species are native to tropical or subtropical Asia and Australia. These species have sagittate or cordate leaves and are widely grown as houseplants.
Origin and Distribution
This species was discovered in tropical Asia and South America. It is native to Borneo in Indonesia.
Alocasia Cuprea Features
Foliage and Stem
It has handsome red to green, arrowhead-shaped leaves. These leaves have a plastic appearance that makes this plant stand out in any plant’s collection. These leaves can grow up to 24 inches long.
It is an evergreen perennial plant that stays green and fresh throughout the year. Alocasia Cuprea does not follow the tradition of shedding one’s leaves in autumn. It sheds its leaves randomly when they become old enough.
This plant attains a mature height of one foot. This average height makes this plant so loved as an ornamental houseplant. Every space and corner can be beautifully adorned with this gorgeous plant.
This plant is not winter hardy, and it cannot survive extreme heat as well. It can tolerate warm temperature only. This is why it is grown as an indoor plant where the temperature does not fluctuate much.
Despite being a tropical plant, Alocasia Red Secret can tolerate low humidity. It can grow in a house where the humidity levels are not as high as 80%. But low humidity levels will affect the freshness of its foliage. It will not have such shiny leaves in low humidity.
This plant has poor tolerance for droughts. It cannot survive days of low water availability. This is why you should never leave an Alocasia Cuprea thirsty.
Disease and Pest Resistance
This plant is prone to roots rot and bacterial leaf spot. Do not overwater to avoid these two diseases. Mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids tend to attack the foliage of this plant. You can use insecticidal soap or neem oil to get rid of these bugs.
This plant is slow-growing species that take almost two years to reach its mature height. You should give it some time and space to grow. If you want to increase its growth rate, keep it in a bright spot with indirect sunlight and prune its old leaves in every growing season. The USDA growth zones for this plant are 11 and above.
The exquisite leaves of Alocasia Cuprea Red Secret may seem lovely and beautiful, but they are poisonous. These leaves can cause death if ingested by animals or humans. Its foliage contains calcium oxalate crystals that are toxic to human beings. This is why keep your children and nibbling pets away from this plant.
This plant is an ultra-low-maintenance one. Alocasia Cuprea does not have many care needs; it does not fuss about anything at all. It just needs some basic requirements, such as watering and fertilization. You can grow this plant in your home without any hassle.
This beautiful species goes dormant as soon as winter hits. Low light and low temperature are its key signals to enter its resting phase. As soon as your Alocasia plant enters its dormancy period, move it to a warmer spot. Do not overwater or fertilize it during these days.
Alocasia Cuprea Care
Alocasia Cuprea care involves three times watering per week and two times fertilization per month. It prefers well-draining soil with a pH of 5.0-8.0. The temperature required is 10-29°C. It needs bright, indirect sunlight. It prefers 80-95% humidity in its surroundings. Its growth zones are 11 and above.
This gorgeous Alocasia needs average watering. It has similar needs to any average houseplant. You need to water it two to three times every week. Never over-water your plant. Overwatering makes the plant susceptible to root rot. With root rot, your plant cannot survive for long. Underwatering is also never a choice.
The easy way to check if your plant needs watering is to stick your finger in the soil to 1-2 inches. If you feel damp or moist soil, do not water. If your finger comes out dry, water your plant right away. Always pour lukewarm water into your plant’s pot.
Alocasia Cuprea needs well-draining, organic soil to thrive. Well-draining soil does not allow water to stand; this prevents the plant from getting root rot. This plant can grow in a wide range of pH, from slightly acidic to slightly basic. The pH can range from 5.0 to 8.0.
You do not need to buy a special potting mix for this plant. You can make a potting mix on your own at home. A mixture of coir fiber and perlite suits well for this plant. Coir fiber resembles the properties of sphagnum moss, but it contains more nutrients (it is a good thing here). Perlite increases more aeration, so it lets the soil breathe.
Alocasia Cuprea needs indirect sunlight to remain fresh and shiny. Its leaves need the correct light exposure to maintain their beautiful colors. You can place this plant in an east or north-facing window. In both these spots, this plant receives bright, indirect light, which is sufficient for its proper growth.
If the plant does not get enough light exposure or is made to sit in bright sunlight for too long, its leaves turn yellow. The leaves start to lose chlorophyll. This can kill your Alocasia plant. This is why plant placement is really important.
Alocasia Cuprea is a tropical plant that can survive the climate of tropical and subtropical regions. The ideal temperature range for its optimal growth is 10-29°C. At night, it can survive temperatures as low as 12°C and as high as 18°C. It is the normal household temperature. You can easily grow it inside your home. It won’t bother you much for any temperature regulation. But if you grow this plant outdoors, you will have to be a lot careful about temperature fluctuations. In winters, move its pot indoors to prevent it from getting any cold injury.
Alocasia Red Secret loves to live in areas with high humidity. Its natural habitat offers it high moisture, so you will have to do the same inside your home. It needs 80% to 95% humidity in its surrounding air. This moisture level is a lot higher than the normal household humidity. This is why you should increase the humidity through several simple tricks. You can place your plant over a pebble tray. For this, take a tray and fill it with pebbles. Then fill the tray with water; water should never be at a lesser level than the pebbles. Place the plant on top of the tray. As water will evaporate from the pebbles, it will all go to the plant’s foliage. It will do the trick and increase the humidity for this plant.
This beautiful Alocasia plant is a heavy feeder. It needs to be fertilized often to thrive and flourish. Fertilizing the plant will provide it with all the essential micronutrients that are necessary for the lush growth of its foliage. You should add fertilizer to this plant’s soil after every two weeks.
You can use liquid fertilizer or regular all-purpose fertilizer. Make sure to dilute the fertilizer to half of its strength before adding it to the plant. Never fertilize this plant in winters. Winter fertilization will build up salts in its soil and will kill the plant eventually.
Grooming and Pruning
Brown leaves, yellow stems, and damaged roots need to be pruned. At the beginning of each growing season, take out your gardening shears, disinfect them, and prune the damaged foliage of this Alocasia; this plant will benefit from it. Disinfecting the shears is important so that the plant is not exposed to any infection. Yearly pruning does not only groom the overall appearance of the plant but also makes room for new growth. Never prune your plant in winters. This is because, during those days, the plant is in its resting stage. Pruning will further slow down its growth.
This beautiful plant needs to be re-potted after every two years. When the plant is root bound, it needs a new home. Every two years, when you see outgrowth in the draining hole of this plant, prepare a new pot for it. Always use a pot that is one size bigger than the original one. This must be done in the growing season, which is spring.
Propagation of Alocasia Cuprea can be done through root division and in water. These two processes may sound difficult, but they are not. Let’s learn the easy steps to carry out these processes.
Through Root Division
- Take a separate pot and half-fill it with potting mix.
- Now take out the healthy Alocasia Cuprea from its pot.
- Shake off excess soil.
- You will notice some clumps of roots on it. These are the baby offsets.
- Use a sharp blade or knife to cut some of those clumps. Never forget to sterilize the knife beforehand.
- Place the baby offsets into the new pot and fill it with more potting mix.
- Water the pot and place it in a well-lit spot.
- In just some days, you will see a baby Alocasia growing out of the soil.
- The process for getting baby offsets is the same as above.
- Once you get the clumps, take a bowl and fill it with water.
- Do not fill it to the brim.
- Clean the clumps, remove any soil, and place them into the bowl of water.
- Make sure the roots are under the water.
- Change the water after 10 days.
- Once new roots start to grow and reach 4 inches, move the clumps to a new pot.
- The pot must have a good potting mix.
- Place the pot in a bright spot, and watch the plant grow into a young, beautiful Alocasia.
Alocasia Red Secret or Mirror Jewel is an enchanting tropical plant having beautiful red-green leaves that have a metallic shine. This low-maintenance species is widely grown as a houseplant for its appealing appearance. You can grow it in your kitchen, living room, or bathroom; this plant will stand out in every spot.