Alocasia Sarian is a hybrid of two Alocasia parent plants, namely Alocasia Zebrina and Alocasia Micholitziana, hence, the full name of this plant is Alocasia Zebrina Sarian. Apart from this, it was also named after a Pilipino agricultural journalist called Zac B. Sarian. Both of the parent plants and Sabrina itself is a tropical, rhizomatous plant that has beautiful, attractive foliage. It is also known as The Elephant’s Ears plant because of the broad, pointy shape of its leaves.
- Family: Araceae
- Subfamily: Aroideae
- Genus: Alocasia
- Specie: Zebrina
About the Alocasia Genus
The plants falling under this genus have long, enormous leaves that are shaped like hearts. They grow on succulent stems in a single arrangement and can grow up to 6 feet tall if given the right care and environment. The leaves often have different appearances with veins of different colors and patterns. The genus has over 70 species that are extensively bred and cultivated to produce many varieties of the plant.
Some of these hybrid species are Alocasia Macrorrhizos and Alocasia Amazonica, also known as the Amazon lily plant. Alocasia Sarian is also one of them.
Common names and Synonyms
- (Upright) Elephant’s ear
- African masks
Origin and Distribution
These plants are commonly found in tropical and subtropical areas of Eastern Australia.
Structure and Features of an Alocasia Sarian plant
Texture and Density
These plants have huge leaves with a glossy texture. They are clumped, heavily ribbed, and are triangular with stems that are long, thick, and smooth in texture. The large size and pointy shape of leaves are why the plant is called “Elephant Ears”. These leaves are dark green and have beautiful white venation on their surface that is very prominent in most of the Sarian plants. They point upwards, which automatically makes them look even taller and more open. Their whole “vibe” is very extravagant in general.
Another favorable characteristic of this plant is that it is evergreen, which means that it stays tall, beautiful and green through all the seasons of the year if given the right Alocasia Sarian care, and of course, every plant lover wants a plant that stays healthy throughout its life, right?
The average height of an Alocasia Sarian plant is 5 to 10 feet and it can spread for about 2 to 6 feet wide, which makes it an immediate point of attention in any room. The size of the plant, however, varies greatly depending on where it is placed. If grown indoors, it may grow as short as 3 to 4 feet because of a lack of open space. Similarly, if you grow it outdoors, it can grow into a giant, green plant as tall as 12 feet in size.
Unfortunately, these plants are not temperature tolerant. They do not do well under temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit and need to be shifted to a warmer spot immediately. If not, their growth slows down drastically.
These plants can bloom all year long if given the right environment, but their flowers are only secondary. Sarian plants grow large, unscented flowers that look like Calla lily and never have any interesting colors or petals. A flowering Alocasia Sarian is not much different from a non-flowering one so it doesn’t make a difference.
All Alocasia plants turn dormant during the winter season. This means that they nearly or stop growing. This is completely normal and you do not need to worry about your plant dying. It is more like “sleeping”. Due to the cold, dry environment, they try to conserve their resources and go into a state of hibernation.
Just keep a check on your plant and examine it every few weeks for any bugs or pests. Make sure you don’t start overwatering or over-feeding your plant. Water it when it looks dry and sprinkles some fertilizer every few weeks. Remember, giving it too much water or fertilizer will only kill it, not wake it up.
By the time it is spring season and it is time to repot the plant, it will look fresh and ready. Don’t immediately start watering too much because it has been conserving a lot of water throughout the winter season. Just assist it while it grows on its own for the first few months.
These plants are not drought-resistant. They love water and moisture and may die under water-deficient circumstances.
These plants love a humid environment and have a high humidity tolerance. Misting the plant can help it stay healthy and green.
When it comes to pests and insect attacks, spider mites may be the major problem you need to look out for. They cause grey discoloration on your plants and you can spot them by identifying small spider webs under the leaves and stems of your plant.
Using Neem oil and herbal sprays has proved to be beneficial in getting rid of these nasty pests. If you need something stronger than a natural remedy, you may use chemical pesticides. Just make sure you don’t overdo it since these are poisonous and may kill your plant. Also, make sure you wear protective garments over your hands and eyes when you do so.
If given the right Alocasia Sarian care, these plants are surprisingly fast-growing. However, the season and environment have a huge impact on how quickly they grow. For example, a plant growing fairly smoothly may face a slow phase during extreme winters.
Unfortunately, these plants are not safe to be kept around children and animals. They are toxic and can cause ulceration as well as swelling of the mouth and throat if ingested. It is highly recommended that you keep them away from the reach of your pets and children.
Because Alocasia Sarian has a perennial life cycle, they are very durable. They live for as long as decades if given the right environment and care.
Even though it doesn’t need a lot of your daily time and attention, it does have a very particular lifestyle. If its needs are not fulfilled, it falls apart very quickly so it is not exactly a low-maintenance plant.
Alocasia Sarian Care
This plant prefers living in a well-lit environment under warm temperatures. It loves humidity and needs quite a few watering and fertilizing sessions every week, although, repotting it frequently may not be the best idea. Plant it in rich, moist, well-drained soil for once and let it grow.
These plants love water. You can water them as frequently as twice or thrice a week and even more in warm, windy days of the summer and spring seasons when the plants are in their growing phase. In winter and autumn, the watering needs to decrease. However, over-watering is never a good idea. So, to make sure you don’t do that, touch the soil of your plant with your finger and make sure it is dry up to the top two inches before you water it again. Remember, the soil should be moist, not wet. Soggy soil can lead to all kinds of problems for you and your plant.
These plants love to grow in moist, rich, well-drained soil. Stay away from rocky and sandy soil textures and use the recommended soil mixture mixed with perlite and make sure it drains well.
The Sarian plant loves full to partial sun, 80 to 90% unfiltered sunlight, to be precise. If you decide to pot the plant indoors, make sure it is in a well-lit environment and that you rotate it frequently to make sure all parts of it get good exposure to light and grow in good, equal symmetry.
The Alocasia Sarian is a humidity-loving plant. If you live in a dry climate, you can always install an indoor humidifier for this purpose. If not, you can even mist the plant and it will grow beautifully. To put in a little extra effort, you can use the pebble tray method. Simply put the pot in a pebble tray and pour some water into it. The evaporating water will provide good moisture in the air around the plant.
As discussed earlier, these plants cannot tolerate extreme temperatures and have a particular range of temperatures that they thrive best in. They prefer temperatures between 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and only grow fast and healthy in this particular range. If it gets any colder than 55 degrees, their growth gets majorly affected.
To avoid this from happening, make sure you move the plant to a warmer spot during the winters and avoid putting it near direct heat from the window and heaters as well as from the cold breeze from the fans and air conditioners.
When it comes to feeding it, you can fertilize the plant three times a year. Water-based, slowly releasing fertilizers are best for this kind of plant. You can even feed it mildly, organic fertilizers twice a month during the growing seasons and especially when the Sarians are newly planted. During this time, it is best to sprinkle 6 inches of fertilizer on the soil. Avoid plant food of low quality as it contains unwanted salts that may damage your plant in the long run. Also, make sure you are not over-feeding the plant since that can burn and damage the roots as well.
You will not need to repot this plant very often as Alocasia Sarian likes to be root-bound. It prefers small pots over large ones even though it can grow equally well in both. Just make sure that the pot has a lot of holes in it and drains well. This particular plant species do not like a lot of moving so once you plant it in a suitable pot, leave it alone for at least a year unless there is some sort of disease or outgrowth emergency.
Grooming and Cleaning
The only grooming that this plant need is to make sure it has clean leaves. Since it has tall, enormous foliage, it tends to collect a lot of dust, dirt and bacteria so make sure you mist and wipe the leaves clean every few days.
Cultivation and Propagation
Alocasia Sarian can be propagated by dividing them into rhizomes. The best season to do this is the growing season, which is early summer and mid of spring. It is best to avoid doing this during the dormancy phase in winter.
Simply take out the parent plant from its pot and divide the rhizomes. Repot the mature plant or pot it back into the pot it was in. Now, put the divided rhizomes in a prepared pot with moist soil in it. Put the upper side of the rhizome upright and make sure it is above the soil line. Water it appropriately and sprinkle fertilizer around its base. Keep it under optimum temperature and indirect sunlight and watch it grow.
Week 1-3: Plant the rhizome and water it as needed under a suitable environment.
Week 3-5: Roots will start to develop by now.
Week 6-8: Shoots will start to sprout at this point.
Month 3-6: Keep watering it appropriately and watch it grow into a giant plant!
Some Common FAQs
Why Are the Leaves of My Alocasia Sarian Falling Out?
The most likely reason is that the plant is not being watered appropriately. You are either watering it too much or not watering it enough. Monitor your schedule and only water the plant when the soil looks dry.
Why Are the Leaves of My Sarian Plant Turning Yellow/brown?
This is probably the result of inappropriate 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 inadequate watering sessions. Also, extreme temperatures, whether too hot or too cold, can make your plant look unwell. It may also be the result of two or all of these reasons combined. Fix the underlying cause as soon as possible.
Using and Displaying an Alocasia Sarian Plant
The structure, foliage, and height of a Sarian make it a very eye-catching houseplant. You can display it in a corner of your house or the middle of your garden. Place it on your terrace, balcony, or patio for a little tropical corner on your own.
You can even grow one in a large container and put it in a well-lit cozy spot all on its own or with a bunch of other plants you own. If you do arrange it next to other plants, small plants with long vines may compliment it the best.
The Alocasia Zebrina Sarian is a beautiful, tall member of the Alocasia genus which can live both indoors and outdoors. It loves a well-lit spot in the house and thrives in humid environments. Its tall structure and broad foliage can be put in a corner, on its own and it will bring a quick, vibrant tropical vibe to your place while it cleans the air you breathe.