Alocasia Mandalay is a downright gorgeous, tropical plant that is in-trend for indoor gardening. It has stunning arrow-head leaves with white venation and a rubbery texture. You can grow it indoors or in your home garden. You can also grow it in a greenhouse; it all depends on you. This medium-sized plant goes with every type of home decor, so you can place it pretty much anywhere inside a home. Here are some amazing features of Alocasia Mandalay for you to learn more about this lovely species.
- African Mask Plant
- Elephant Ears
- Family: Araceae
- Subfamily: Aroideae
- Genus: Alocasia
About the Genus Alocasia
It is a genus of 97 rhizomatous and tuberous species. These species are native to tropical Asia and Eastern Australia. Its species are famous for their large sagittate leaves. Some of these species are popular houseplants.
Origin and Distribution
This variety of Alocasia genus was disclosed in the USA in 2013. It was discovered by Ned & Kim Bradford of Bradford Botanicals. It is native to the forests of the Philippines.
Alocasia Mandalay Features
Foliage and Stem
This Alocasia has exquisite dark-green, textured leaves. The leaves are arrow-shaped and have silver venation. The bright-white venation looks extremely charming on the dark-green background. Young leaves are 9-12 cm long, while mature leaves are 15-18 cm in length.
This beaut is a lovely evergreen plant that stays lively all year round. It does not shed all of its leaves in autumn. It will keep growing new leaves every month, except for its dormancy days.
This African Mask Plant attains a mature height of 8 to 16 inches. It is a medium-sized plant that fits and looks beautiful in every space. You can put it on your side table, on your coffee table, or on your windowsill.
This plant stays happy until the temperature drops. It is sensitive to cold, so it cannot tolerate low temperatures. The lowest temperature that this plant bear is 12ºC. Try to keep your plant in a warmer spot.
This tropical plant cannot live without high humidity. If the humidity falls below the optimum level, your plant will get droopy and dull leaves. It is best if you maintain the humidity around it through DIY ways. You can do so by using a pebble tray, placing it with other plants in a group, installing a humidifier, or through occasional misting.
Due to its rubbery textured leaves, this plant is quite drought-tolerant. It can survive days of low-water availability. If you forget to water it for a long time, it will go dormant and stop growing. You can revive it by watering it again. During those dormancy days, it consumes the saved up water from its leaves and stem.
Disease and Pest Resistance
Crown, stem, and root rot, leaf spot, and Xanthomonas are some diseases to name that affect this Alocasia species. The signs of these diseases are blackish spots with yellow outlines on leaves. You can prevent these diseases by avoiding over-watering.
Scales, mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites are some pests that attack this lovely plant. Rub the foliage with cotton dipped in neem oil to keep these pests at bay.
This appealing plant is a fast-growing species that reaches its maximum height in no time. You will watch new leaves and new buds growing every other week. Even if you prune its branches, they will return to their original sized in just some weeks. This is one of the reasons that this plant is so much loved by gardeners.
The USDA plant hardiness growth zones for this plant are 10 to 11.
This Elephant Ears plant is also a natural air purifier that purifies the air and removes toxins and pollutants. It will keep the air inside your home fresh and clean. You can also place its pot in your bedroom for a fresh environment.
This exotic beauty is highly toxic. It is equally poisonous to humans, dogs, and cats. Its foliage contains calcium oxalate crystals that can even cause death if ingested in large quantities. These cause irritation and swelling of the mouth, throat, and GIT. You should keep it away from your toddlers and nibbling pets.
This plant is a must addition to every home as it not only beautifies the indoors but is also an ultra-low-maintenance plant. It does not have many care needs. You do not have to stay on your toes every time to take care of this plant. It only needs you for the basic requirements that every plant has.
Dormancy is inevitable for this alluring Alocasia plant. It goes dormant in winters and returns to life in spring. In this resting period, keep this plant in a warm and well-lit spot. Do not over-water or over-fertilize it during these days.
Alocasia Mandalay Care
Alocasia Mandalay’s care needs involve weekly watering and frequent misting. The optimum soil pH is 5.6-6.5. Almost 85% humidity is required for its proper growth. The temperature must be kept around 18-24ºC. It must be placed in bright, indirect sunlight. The ideal growth zones are 10 to 11.
Water this plant once a week when the top 2 inches of the soil has dried completely. Make sure to never over-water your plant as overwatering can cause root rot. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Soggy soil makes the plant prone to many fungal diseases.
In winters, the watering frequency must be cut down as the plant goes into dormancy. If your plant has droopy leaves and dry soil, it is signaling you to water it more. Pay attention to the signs.
Alocasia Mandalay prefers moderately acidic (5.6–6.0) to slightly acidic (6.1–6.5) soil. You must use fast-draining, organic soil for the healthy growth of the plant. It is best if you use peat-based soil. Peat-based soil contains sphagnum moss, which increases the fertility of the soil. This growing mix is best for acid-loving plants. It also increases the soil’s aeration. Better aeration means healthy roots and more drainage. You can also add perlite or vermiculite to the soil to increase its aeration.
Bright, indirect light is what keeps this Alocasia plant happy and healthy. Protect this plant from direct sunlight as direct sun rays can burn its leaves. You can place it near an east-facing window. Near an east-facing window, this plant will receive the necessary light exposure in the morning and will also be safe from the scorching afternoon sun. The faded color of its leaves indicates low light conditions. So try to relocate your plant if you notice any dull leaves.
This lovely plant grows best in warm temperatures. The ideal temperature range for its optimum growth is 18-24ºC. If you can regulate the temperature inside your home at 21ºC, that will be the best. It needs a warm surrounding to perfectly function and to transpire. On hotter days, you can move its pot to the bathroom for cool surroundings. Make sure to protect it from heat waves and hot drafts. Also, never place it near the air conditioner or fans.
This beautiful plant loves high humidity. It is a plant native to the forests of the Philippines, where it grows on the forest beds under the tree canopy. A lot of trees mean high humidity. So in order to grow this lovely plant inside your home, you will have to mimic the environment around it just like that in the forests. 85% humidity is recommended for this tropical plant. You can maintain this high level of moisture inside your home by growing this plant on a pebble tray. Frequent misting also do the trick.
Alocasia Mandalay is a heavy feeder. It needs to be fertilized every four weeks. Make sure to use a fertilizer that has the correct amount of iron, as this plant needs iron for lush growth. After all, it has the greenest leaves; it needs iron to maintain them!
You can use a water-soluble, slow-release fertilizer. It will be available to the plant for an elongated period. Always add fertilizer to damp soil. Adding fertilizer to dry soil will burn the plant’s roots.
Grooming and Pruning
This plant can be pruned if it attains a leggy appearance. Good pruning is essential for its grooming and shape. The best time to prune this alluring plant is the beginning of spring. This makes extra room for new growth. Also, the leaves will grow back quickly. You can also prune your Alocasia plant to keep it in the desired size. The only rule of pruning is to always use disinfected shears. Otherwise, you will be throwing your plant into the mouth of infectious diseases.
This tropical plant likes to be root-bound, so you will not have to re-pot it every year. It takes a few years to ask for a new home. You can re-pot it after at least 18 to 24 months. The major sign of the need for re-potting is when you see roots coming out of its drainage hole. You can also re-pot it every year if you want to renew its soil. If your Alocasia has outgrown its pot, move it to a one-size bigger pot. It will take two to four weeks to come out of shock and feel at home again.
Alocasia Mandalay propagation can be done in a number of ways, such as through seeds, divisions, or offsets. You can collect the seeds of this plant from its berries. Once you remove the seeds, soak them overnight and then plant them in a freshly prepared pot. This way, you will get a baby Alocasia Mandalay. You can watch it grow from scratch. If you do not have the patience of growing a tiny seed, you can always propagate through divisions. The best time for this practice is in the early spring or summer.
- Take a healthy plant and remove it from its pot.
- Shake off excess soil.
- By using your fingers, gently untangle the roots.
- Use a sharp knife to cut 1/3rd of the plant, all the way from its branches to roots.
- Make sure both parts have healthy rhizomes.
- Plant both parts in separate pots.
- Keep both of them in a well-lit spot.
- These will take a week or two to come out of shock and start growing again.
Alocasia Mandalay is a deep-green-leaved plant that has mesmerizing white veins and textured to touch. This low-maintenance plant is also an air purifier that will let you breathe in fresher air. You can grow it in a terrarium or inside your home. This easy-to-grow African Mask species is a perfect addition to an indoor plant collection.