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Alocasia Odora Variegata – Everything You Need to Know

by gardeningit
Alocasia Odora Variegata

Alocasia Odora Variegata is a beautiful cultivar of the Alocasia Odora plant and has interesting white variegation on its leaves. Every plant has a different pattern and ratio of color on it which makes every plant a unique one. They have a beautiful over-sized structure and grow well in tropical environments. The low-maintenance and easy Alocasia Odora Variegata propagation is what makes these plants well-loved by the botanical community.

Classification

  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Aroideae
  • Genus: Alocasia
  • Species: Odora
  • Cultivar: Variegata

About the Genus Alocasia

This particular genus of plants has about 70 species falling under it, all of which are stunning, tropical plants with brilliant foliage. They are grown as house plants and displayed in a commercial setting because of their elegant structure. Some of the very popular species in this genus are Alocasia Sarian, Alocasia Baginda, and Alocasia Black velvet.

Alocasia Odora Variegata is a unique cultivar of this plant that is widely known for its interesting features and variegation.

Common Names and Synonyms

  • Alocasia Odora Okinawa Silver Elephant Plant
  • Dwarf Alocasia Odora Variegata

Origin and Distribution

All Alocasia Plants are native to the tropical and subtropical areas of Asia and Eastern Australia. However, they are cultivated and propagated all around the world.

Alocasia Odora Variegata Features

Foliage and Stem

The leaves of a Variegated Alocasia Odora are long, big, and heart-shaped. They have white patches on their smooth, green surface and every plant has a different pattern and ratio of white and green, which makes every plant different from the other. These leaves grow on succulent stems in the single arrangement and they can grow as tall as 6 feet under the right Alocasia Odora Variegata care and environment.

Evergreen

What’s even better about these stunning creatures, is that they are evergreen in nature, which means that maintain their healthy, beautiful structure throughout their lives, during all the seasons of the year.

Height

If given the proper care and environment, these plants can grow up from 2 to 8 feet tall and spread about 3 to 4 feet wide.

Temperature Tolerance

Their tropical nature makes them very sensitive to the colder environments and they start to suffer below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm, summery temperatures suit them best and help them thrive.

Humidity Tolerance

Again, their tropical origins make them moisture-loving plants and they appreciate a little extra humidity in the air. However, water staying on top of their surface for too long is an invitation to bugs and diseases so make sure you don’t overdo the humidity in the environment and that the plants stay clean and dry.

Flowers

Under the right care and conditions, these beautiful plants bloom during the spring and, sometimes, summer seasons. They grow fragrant flowers that have a pale peach spathe and spadix. However, these are only secondary features of the plant; foliage being the primary attraction.

Drought-resistance

Considering their moisture-loving nature, these plants do not do well under dry, dehydrating conditions. So, make sure you keep them adequately watered all the time.

Pressure Tolerance

This particular specie has a strong structure and would not die instantly under pressure or if stepped on, however, consistent pressure on the plant may slow its growth and disrupt its overall structure.

Disease Resistance

An Alocasia Odora Variegata is not disease resistant and can become ill by infections, such as a Crown, Stem and Root Rot, bacterial or fungal Leaf Spot, and Xanthomonas. These diseases make your plant look pale, overall un-well and show up as tiny yellow or brown spots on the surface. In worst-case scenarios, even the roots start to rot and change color to brown and, eventually, black. In such a case, immediately isolate the plant to avoid the spread of the disease, take the plant out of its pot and prune all the dead or diseased parts including the leaves, stem, and roots. Repot the plant and spray some fungicide on it. Do not put the plant next to the other plants until completely revived.

Pest Resistance

Just like microbes, you can expect occasional visits from pests and insects, like mealybugs and spider mites, as well. However, these plants are deer and rabbit resistance so you don’t have to worry about the bigger animals munching on your Variegated Alocasia Odora. For the smaller pests, you can use a wiping session of Neem oil or alcohol to get rid of them or even spray commercial insecticide if the case is severe.

Growth

When given the right Alocasia Odora Variegated care, this particular species is fast-growing and takes about 2 to 3 months to develop into a mature plant with full-fledged beautiful foliage.

Toxicity

If ingested, the Dwarf Alocasia Odora Variegata plants are very poisonous. Their leaves contain insoluble oxalate crystals which can cause inflammation in your mouth, on your tongue, and even on your skin if mishandled. Stomach aches, swollen tongue, and difficulty swallowing are only some of the many painful physical symptoms it can produce. Hence, make sure you keep these away from your pets and children.

Durability

Their perennial life cycle makes them a very durable option in terms of ornamental plants. You can display them for years on end without having to worry about replacing them.

Maintenance

Given that these plants do not require any special attention or expenses, they are very easy to maintain and are, thus, a favorite among houseplant enthusiasts.

Dormancy

Alocasia Odora Variegata plants become dormant if put under long, persistent exposure to temperatures under 60 degrees Fahrenheit. So obviously, they sleep during the winter season. During this time, they stop growing, and that is completely normal. All you can and should do is water them as needed and avoid any Alocasia Odora Variegata propagation while they are dormant.

Alocasia Odora Variegated Care

Alocasia Odora Variegated care requires moderate warmth and humidity to grow to its full potential. You can water and fertilize it according to its needs and repot it once a year. Grooming can be done every spring to stimulate new growth and make your plant look neater.

Water

These plants like to be kept moist all through the year. You can soak them with water and then let them dry. Do not water it again until the top 2 to 3 centimeters seem dry to touch. You can use your finger to make sure it is the right texture or even use a moisture meter for accuracy. Make sure you keep them damp and moist, not wet and soggy. A water-clogged soil is the last thing you want for your Alocasia Odora Variegata.

Soil

It is recommended that you plant this species in a loose, well-drained potting mix with a  loamy soil texture with a pH of 5.6 to 7.5 (acidic to neutral). Be very careful about the texture of your soil. Make sure it is not too sandy or too heavy. A soil that doesn’t drain well will not let your plant grow normally.

Sunlight

Ideally, these plants should be put under shade to full sunlight depending on the individual variety. If it has more green than white on its leaves, try to put it under brighter lights and lesser shade. These plants can tolerate a few hours of direct sunlight in the early mornings and late afternoons, but too much direct sunlight can burn and damage the plant’s foliage so make sure you don’t over-expose the plant to unfiltered sunlight.
If you don’t have a place indoors, you can either use a shade cloth to mellow the harsh rays of sunlight hitting the plant, or install artificial lights indoors.

Temperature

This particular species prefers warm temperatures to live in, particularly between 60 to 80  degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower than this can make the plant upset and stop its growth. So, make sure you shift it to a more suitable spot if the weather conditions start to shift. Also, refrain from putting these plants directly under or in front of a heater, a fan, or an air conditioner.

Humidity

As mentioned before, these plants thrive in good humidity because of their tropical nature. Occasional misting and an indoor humidifier can help your plant grow to its full potential and make sure they don’t dry up. You can also group some of the other moisture-loving plants to increase the humidity factor around them.

Fertilizer

Every once in a while (depending on your plant’s needs) you can feed it with liquid fertilizers, preferably during the growing seasons of spring and summer. You can also use granular fertilizers but make sure you only give your plant small, frequent doses of it. Spread the fertilizer at least 6 inches away from the base of the plant to make sure it works efficiently and does not burn the plant’s roots. Also, make sure you do not use cheap or low-quality plant food as salts in those fertilizers can build up in the soil and slowly kill your Alocasia.

Re-potting

You can repot your Alocasia Odora Variegata annually to shift it into a larger pot than the current one it is in, with fresh suitable soil that drains well. Make sure the new pot has proper drainage holes and is made of a breathable material, preferably clay.

Grooming and Pruning

During the spring or summertime, you can groom or trim your plants by removing any dead, dried up leaves from the bottom of the plant, and wipe it clean with water, alcohol, or oil. Grooming not only helps your plant look healthy, but it also stimulates healthier new growth.

Alocasia Odora Variegata Propagation

These plants can be propagated during the spring or summertime when they come out of their dormant phase. The main method of propagation is by the division of the plant into rhizomes and planting them separately. The process is pretty simple and can be done at the same time as repotting the parent plant.

  • Start by taking out the mature plant from its pot and dusting off the excess soil on it.
  • Now, begin dividing the plant into rhizomes. You can put the parent plant back into its pot or replant it into a new one.
  • Plant the rhizomes into separate pots filled with suitable, moist soil of optimum drainage and pH.
  • Make sure you plant the rhizome upright and press the soil around it so it does not move, or fall to the side.
  • Water it as needed and fertilize it around the base at least 6 inches away.
  • Put the pot under moderate temperature and light for fast and healthy growth.

Timeline

Week 1-3: Plant the rhizome in a suitable pot and place it in a suitably warm, humid spot with lots of indirect sunlight. Water it as needed and make sure you keep the soil moist (neither dry nor soggy, just moist).

Weeks 3-5: By now, roots will start to grow on your rhizome. You can check for this by slowly tugging on the plant. If it gives resistance, the roots are growing and developing nicely.

Weeks 6-8: In this phase, you will notice shoots starting to sprout. These shoots can grow into leaves very fast depending on the care you are giving it, the environment it is growing in, and the individual genetic makeup of the plant.

Months 3-6: Keep watering it and feeding it appropriately and protect it from diseases and insects for maximum growth.

Some Common FAQs

Why Are the Leaves of My Alocasia Falling Out?

The most common reason of why this happens is when the plant is either over-watered or under-watered. You are either watering it too much too frequently or the water is not being drained out of the soil properly. Monitor your watering schedule and only water the plant when the soil looks dry. You can use your finger to check for this or even use a moisture meter for an added factor of accuracy.

Why Are the Leaves of My Alocasia Plant Turning Yellow/brown?

This is often the result of too little or too much exposure to sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can burn the plant’s leaves while too little of it can make it look pale. Another possible reason for yellow leaves is dehydration due to inadequate watering. If not either of these, extreme temperatures can also make your plant look abnormal. If it is too hot or too cold, immediately shift the plant to a more suitable spot.

Displaying Variegated Alocasia Odora

These beautiful plants have unique white variegation on their leaves and a perfect size to be displayed inside the house. You can put them in a bright, warm corner of your place, preferably in your living room or bedroom. They have a statement look to them and bring instant elegance and tropical vibe to your place.

Final Thoughts

Alocasia Odora Variegata is a beautiful cultivar of the Alocasia Odora plant with interesting white variegation on its green leaves. These are heart-shaped and elongated and grow full-size looking tremendous when fully matured. You can flaunt them in your living room, balcony, or patio to give an instant tropical effect to your place. But as beautiful as they are, they should be kept away from pets and children as they are highly toxic and should not be ingested.

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