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Alocasia Lauterbachiana – Features, How to Grow and Care

by gardeningit
Alocasia Lauterbachiana

Alocasia Lauterbachiana is a radiant, perennial, and tropical plant that belongs to the family Araceae. The plant is most commonly known as ‘Elephant ears’ due to its leaves’ wavy edges. The second most common name of Alocasia Lauterbachiana is the ‘purple sword,’ because of the purple-colored vein in the center, underside of the leaves. This plant is of higher ornamental value due to its diversified shape and color shade, hence most loved by the nature enthusiasts. It is now used as an indoor plant. They can be grown quickly in the flower pots, making it a manageable Alocasia Lauterbachiana indoor plant.

Classification

  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Aroideae
  • Tribe: Colocasieae
  • Genus: Alocasia

About The Genus Alocasia

This genus was first ever traced by Alistair Hay in Aroids of Papua New Guinea in 1990. The generic name shares the Greek origin, which means ‘lotus root’. There are about 79 known species primarily grown in tropical as well as non-tropical regions of the world. The species are highly temperature-sensitive. Alocasia barely survives the cold and dry weather conditions. Different species vary in terms of size, color, and habitat. These plants also share a part in the floral industry thanks to their ornamental value.

Some other valuable plants of this genus are Alocasia Baginda, Alicasia Brisbanensis (the native lily), Alocasia Odora Variegata, and Alocasia Sarian.

Common Names and Synonyms

  • Xenophya Lauterbachiana
  • Alocasia Wavriniana
  • Schizocasia Lauterbachiana

Origin and Distribution

The genus Alocasia is found worldwide but most commonly present in tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia, especially in Borneo it grow up to four meters high. For about 28,000 years, the plants from this genus were used as food around the equator. Since the plants were gorgeous, they were utilized in the living rooms in the 1950s and had a beautiful vintage vibe.

However, the species of Alocasia Lauterbachiana is found in density in Eastern Australia, New Guinea, to the Bismarck Archipelago.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Features

Foliage and Stem

The foliage’s surface is dark green in color and purple on the underside, with the mottled stems. It consists of underground rhizomes and stems resemble the tree trunk. They then joined to form the plant body. The stems then combine to form the plant body. Every leaf grows on an individual stalk. The leaves are upstanding, and evergreen with solid, waxy, dull green leaves. The length of a mature leaf ranges between 8 to 24 inches, with a width of about 2 inches.

Height and Structure

The average height of the plant depends upon the growth habitat. In the wild, the height of this plant reaches 4 feet. However, the average height of Alocasia Lauterbachiana reaches to a maximum of 3 feet, with a width of 0.9-1.5m.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Flowers

The plants have insignificant greenish or purple Alocasia Lauterbachiana flowers. There is no specific flowering season for these plants. However, under favorable conditions, the flowers can grow throughout the year.

Growth Rate

Alocasia Lauterbachiana plants typically grow fast in a shorter period. However, the growth rate of these plants varies as per the conditions they are kept in and the care they are given as well as their genetic makeup.

Dormancy

Dormancy is a common feature among Alocasia Lauterbachiana. When the temperature falls below 45 F, stunted growth and leaf-shed will be observed. The plant grows rapidly and healthy during the spring and summer seasons. Thus, these warm days are termed as the growing season of the plant.

Toxicity

The Alocasia is a drastically poisonous plant. Its leaves contain oxalate crystals. Upon ingestion of the leaves, they will release the crystals. It can then cause swelling and irritation of the mouth and GI tract as well as severe difficulty in breathing. One must keep the plants away from the reach of kids and animals.

Evergreen

Fortunately, these plants are evergreen. Their leaves stay fresh, leathery, and beautiful throughout their life. This is always a plus point for houseplant enthusiasts that wish to grow tropical plants indoors and use them as a display.

Temperature Tolerance

This particular Araceae species is not very tolerant in terms of temperature changes. Make sure to maintain a specific temperature range in the room. Sudden and extreme changes in temperatures can drastically damage the plant.

Humidity Tolerance

Unlike temperature, Alocasia Lauterbachiana is not affected by humidity in the air. However, guidelines suggested that reduction in humidity can be beneficial during dry and winter seasons.

Maintenance

Growing the Alocasia Lauterbachiana indoor does not involve any special efforts. It flourishes well at an optimal level of temperature and humidity. That is why the significant proportion of houseplant enthusiasts love this specie. In addition to their beautiful appearance, it also requires a minimum maintenance effort.

Disease Resistance

These plants can be quite sensitive. Common diseases that associates with the Alocasia Lauterabchiana include stem as well as root rot, Leaf Spot. The presentation of disease appears as dark black spots at the leaf surface, and a yellow ring surrounds the spot. In case the plant catches a disease, proper air circulation around the plant should be provided, and watering can be reduced. Dryness can cure the plant in such a situation.

Pest Resistance

Common pests that can attack Alocasia Lauterbachiana plants are bugs and spider mites. Soap must be sprayed with the gaps of a few weeks to avoid the pests. This routine will helps you to keep the plant dust-free. In case of any infestation, neem oil or alcohol spray can be done to prevent attack by pests and mites.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Care

Plant Alocasia Lauterbachiana in a well-drained, loose, and loamy substrate and only water them as soon as the soil seems dry. The water of the plant must be maintained at the optimal level. It requires low, indirect sunlight and moderately warm temperatures to grow their full potential.

Sunlight Requirements

Sun requirements of these plants range from low sunlight to excess. This behavior mainly depends upon the origin of the plant. Before buying the plant, you must choose that plant that is sun-adaptive. More sunlight can make the leaf color to be more bright compared to those with a limited amount of sunlight provided during development.

Soil

Crumbly soil in a loose and well-draining pot substrate is essential for the sufficient growth of plants. The top level of the soil must be dry before watering the plant, which will help the soil to get equally moist .the chances that plant may get fungal infection doubles when the soil remains soggy. This situation also provides a way for infestation with spider mites.

Water Requirements

Moisture is essential for the growth of Alocasia Lauterbachiana. These plants love water. You must make sure that the soil stays damp, instead of soggy. Don’t let the soil dry out. They require low water content during the colder months as the plant becomes dormant during the winter.

Temperature Requirement

Alocasia Lauterbachiana can barely survive the temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. They grow faster in a warm environment during the winter season and transfer the pot in a much warmer place. Keep the plant away from cold drafts from windows, doors, and air conditioning.

Fertilizers

These plants can feed heavily, especially the larger specimens. Feed them with liquid fertilizers during the growth season or in regular ones. Minute doses of granule fertilizer would be sufficient. This is an essential part of Alocasia Lauterbachiana’s care.

Potting and Repotting

Repotting of this plant has to be done annually into a larger pot with fresh, free-draining soil. Moreover, it is beneficial to divide the roots once in a year, which will keep the plant in a manageable size and provide an increase the growth.

Pruning

Alocasia Lauterbachiana requires regular maintenance. Few leaves can be cut from the lower end, and unhealthy and dead leaves must be cut daily.

Humidity Requirements

They flourish in extremely humid environments. The optimal humidity level required is 70%. To provide extra humidity, fill the space of pot with mud, and add water, but this should also be done to an appropriate level.

Insecticides

Spray the plants with insecticides or even with alcohol spray to prevent the pest from getting infested on the plant. Simple cleaning of leaves with damp cloth deters the leaves from dust.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Propagation

Propagation and cultivation of these plants are done by the division of the plant into rhizomes. To avoid any spread of infection and disease, you must sterilize the tools and types of equipment being used. Remember to wear protective clothes and garments or a hazmat suit to prevent hurting your self during the propagation process. You must follow the steps below for the cultivation of the Alocasia Lauterbachiana plant.

The selection of a healthy plant is of paramount importance to avoid any disease in the plant.

  • After selection, remove that plant from the pot by hands to make the roots lose and then clean them.
  • Then gently separate the root, divide them into a small bunch. Ensure that each bunch of root consists of at least a group rhizome attached to the roots.
  • Utilize a cutter or pruner, to separate the roots if required. Each bunch will grow as a new plant.
  • Sow bunches made in an accurately sized container filled with a well-draining pot substrate, then start watering the new plants. You may also place bunches in water before planting, which aids the delicate roots to grow before even planting them in the soil.
  • Keep the pot at a place devoid of condition that may cause extreme temperature changes during the development of the root system and provide care to them as a routine. Indirect sunlight is best for a new plant for its healthy growth, in the case to prevent damage.

Timeline

Day 1 to Day 30: At the initial phase, the plant requires a mild and frequent watering, an appropriately warm and humid place with indirect sunlight. Avoid overwatering the newly propagated plant.

Day 30 to Day 90: At the end of the first month, the plant’s root development is initiated. Tiny shoots start to come out after about 50 days of propagation. The needs of the new plant remain the same as stated during the initial stage.

Day 90 Onwards: Extra care is not required when three months have passed. The care routine of the plant will now be as regular as an adult plant. Let it grow to its full size and potential.

Displaying Alocasia Lauterbachiana Plant

For utilization for display purposes, you can hang them in baskets mounted onto a sturdy surface. Because of their elegance, these plants can be displayed inside formal settings like offices. Nevertheless, you can also display them in a casual environment. They look beautiful if hung in baskets in a room with lots of light with a monochrome theme interior and walls. You can place them in an empty corner of a well-lit room to add a quick pop of beautiful color to your place. Make sure not to put among the other statement plants because it might not be as visible as you would want it to be, and the other plants may overshadow its beauty.

Final Thoughts

Alocasia Lauterbachiana is a stunning perennial plant that flowers during the spring season and grows vibrant leaves with beautiful shapes and color schemes. Not only are these plants gorgeous to look at, but they are also effortless to grow and easy to maintain. They are toxic, so make sure your pets or children cannot come in contact with it. They can be propagated by division into rhizomes and then place them under suitable conditions. You can display them in your formal or informal settings to add a bright touch of color to your space.

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