Alocasia Zebrina is an exotic tropical plant which is originated from Southeast Asia and is more suited to moist and humid environments. The name, Alocasia Zebrina, is derived from the ever-wonderful zebra print. It comes with a stem in beautiful yellow and black zebra print, which can catch your attention. The lush green leaves further add to the beauty of this plant and the leaves resemble elephant ears. For this reason, many refer to this plant as ‘elephant ear’.
Interestingly, it was one of the very hard-to-find plats only a few years back. For many homeowners, this is the favorite decorative plant to place in different parts of their house.
Let’s get to know more about this masterpiece of nature. It’s a must-read if you wish to have one on your premises!
Alocasia Zebrina Propagation
Spring and early summer are the perfect seasons for the propagation of Alocasia. Here is a guide for propagating the plant.
- First off, you need to separate the plant by following the steps below. Remove the plant from the pot and get the extra soil out of its roots. For your ease, you can use a gardening hose for the purpose.
- Don’t panic when you see the interconnected roots and plants. The plant is made up of several clumps and baby plants. The entire network might seem complex but you can easily separate with scissors if they are badly tangled.
Alocasia Soil Propagation
This is by far the most common method for Alocasia Zebrina. Here is how you can follow the Alocasia Zebrina soil propagation method:
- Prepare a pot for your plant with a drainage hole. This is because excess water has to be drained out even if the soil needs lots of moisture.
- Create a mixture consisting of coco coir, potting soil, and perlite.
- Set the plant in the pot and water it. However, don’t go overboard with watering as it is not good for the plant’s health.
- Place the pot in a room with the right balance of sunlight and shade.
- Now wait till a couple of weeks and see the plant growing into a beautiful work of art. You know you are successful if you see the leaves growing up.
Alocasia Zebrina Water Propagation
Alocasia Zebrina water propagation is majorly used for decorative purposes in homes and offices.
- Clean excess soil from the roots and put the plant in the container of your choice. Many people choose glass containers for an enhanced look.
- Fill the container with tap water and leave it aside for at least 24 hours in case there’s any type of chemical in the water.
- Make sure that the roots are fully submerged in the water.
- Put the containers in any location with bright sunlight. The sunlight should be indirect to avoid damage and burn.
- Keep refilling the container because water evaporates over time. For better results, you can mix houseplant fertilizers.
Alocasia Zebrina Care
Your responsibility wouldn’t end by just getting the plant. For those planning to bring Alocasia Zebrina into their lives, it is important to know that it is a fussy plant and requires your attention like a child. The reason why it is considered a difficult plant is that it tends to drop leave. However, you don’t really have to worry about it if you take care of it regularly and properly.
Many people believe that watering a plant as much as possible will boost its growth and turn it into a beautiful structure. However, this is a misconception that needs to be cleared out. Although Alocasia Zebrina is well suited to a humid environment, it still does not need to be watered a lot. You may not believe this but experts suggest underwater to make its survival easier. This is because the plant’s stem contains enough moisture to keep it going without for a long time. The stems and leaves start hanging down in case the plant does not get enough water. Upon seeing this, you should be quick to water it before the damage becomes irreversible.
The ideal way is to water it often but in small quantities, because remember the stem already contains a great deal of moisture. Overwatering can lead to unmanageable damage to the plant. Keep the soil slightly damp but then again, it is highly discouraged to go overboard with watering.
You can also determine the watering needs of any plant by touching the soil. If it’s dry then you should water it without giving it a second thought. When it comes to the Alocasia Zebrina flower, you can simply lift the pot and check the weight. The plant needs its dose of water if the pot feels light.
As we mentioned earlier, the alocasia zebrina thrives in a humid environment so it is best if you already live in a naturally humid area. The plant becomes highly vulnerable to damage if kept in an excessively dry area. The ideal way to keep it humid is to mist it at least once a week during any time of the day.
Simply watering a plant is not enough. There is a lot more than you have to do to keep the plant from dying. It is necessary to take proper care of the sunlight needs of the plant. Especially when it comes to Alocasia Zebrina. It is one of those plants which survive on a lot of sunlight and for this reason, it is important to place the pot where the sunlight exposure is good. Not taking proper care of Alocasia Zebrina light can cause the plant’s early demise. However, excess sunlight can cause its leaves to burn so it is better to keep them slightly away from the window to avoid long exposures to direct sunlight.
The question is how to know whether the plant is getting enough or excess sunlight? The truth is unhealthy exposure to the sun will start turning the leaves yellow. It is then you would need to find a better spot for the pot where there is a perfect balance of sunlight and shade. A room that has a south-facing window is perfect for Alocasia Zebrina. If your room has an east or west-facing window then you should place the pot next to the window. In every situation, just make sure it is getting the perfect amount of sunlight.
But then again, just placing it near the window is not enough. The plant requires sunlight to an extent that not getting enough of it makes the stems grow longer until it finds just the right spot with sunlight. To combat the situation, flower and gardening experts recommend rotating the plant at least 90 degrees after you are done watering it. However, this needs to be done only when you notice the plant changing its direction.
The plant might seem beautiful and a stress reliever but it can turn out to be lethal if you or your pets chew or bite it by any chance. The plant is known to have insoluble oxalate crystals which are poisonous for animals and humans. It can cause many problems from swelling and irritation in the mouth to respiratory issues. Therefore, you need to keep a close eye on pets and children if you choose to bring an Alocasia Zebrina home.
Alocasia Zebrina-Diseases and Pests
Alocasia Zebrina is considered a very sensitive plant prone to quite a lot of diseases. A few common problems associated with it include:
- Root Rot
- Leaf Spot
Such diseases often leave the plant brown or yellow and the overall structure starts losing its original shape or appearance. All of the diseases are totally preventable by following proper care regularly.
To keep the plant free of bugs and spider mites, you should spray warm soapy water on the plant every few weeks. Also, the plant must be dust-free at all times.
Alocasia Zebrina-Frequently Asked Questions
How to Tackle Spider Mites in Alocasia?
The first thing you need to in this scenario is to keep the plant away from the rest of your plants. Not doing so might infect the other plants too so better be careful. Now to treat the spider mites, rinse the leaves gently with soapy water and wipe them off with neem oil. Take the plant somewhere with adequate humidity levels and bright indirect sunlight.
It is also important to know that spider mites feed on dryness so take good care of the plant’s watering needs.
Why Does my Alocasia Plant have Spots on the Leaves?
The plant is said to be sensitive to minerals, chlorine, and salts residing in tap water. This factor leads to spots on the leaves. It is better to keep the water aside for 24 hours before you put the plant in it. During these 24 hours, unnecessary minerals and chemicals are likely to evaporate. Another alternative to this is to use distilled water.
How Often Should I Fertilize My Alocasia?
Fertilizing once a month is absolutely fine if you are using an organic houseplant fertilizer.
How Often Should I Repot my Plant?
Small plants need to be repotted after 12 months at least. Large plants require repotting every 18-24 months. Do not go without repotting for more than 18 months for the small plant and 24 for the large plant. Make sure the new pot is equal to the previous pot.
Why do Alocasia Leaves Droop?
Alocasia needs a set amount of moisture to thrive. Excess or inadequate moisture can cause the leaves to droop. This is why over or under-watering is discouraged. Apart from insufficient or excess moisture, Alocasia leaves also droop because of poor access to sunlight, pests, or bad quality of the soil.
Make you start the next round of watering when the soil is dried after the previous session. Moreover, the sunlight should be bright but indirect. Bright and direct sunlight can cause the plant to burn. Sometimes, the leaves also start drooping when you haven’t changed the pot in a while because plants tend to outgrow the pot.
Given the information, Alocasia Zebrina seems to be a high-maintenance plant but when you get hold of it, the entire process becomes less of a hassle. We suggest every house or office should have at least one such plant to beautify the interior and spread pleasant vibes in the area. However, you just need to be careful if you have pets or children around.