How to Care for Alocasia Amazonica?
Its prominently veined and large, arrow-shaped leaves are the main features of this tropical plant.
If you appreciate foliage plants, the Alocasia Amazonica is certainly a plant you might want to add to your houseplant collection.
The Alocasia Amazonica is a hybrid of Alocasia sanderiana and Alocasia longiloba, both native to tropical Asia.
It goes by several other names too, such as Elephant Ear Plant, Alocasia Polly, and African Mask Plant.
In the sections below, I put together a thorough Alocasia Amazonica plant care guide that will answer your concerns with cultivating this plant indoors.
Alocasia Amazonica Plant Care Tips
Despite its name, this plant does not originate from the rainforests of the Amazon.
The plant was created by crossing the Alocasia sanderiana and the Alocasia longiloba in 1950, in Miami, Florida.
Undoubtedly, the plant has the typical requirements of a tropical plant including warmth and high humidity.
As far as dimensions are concerned, at maturity, the plant can reach a height of 1 or 2 feet, and just as many feet in width.
The deep-green leaves with strong, silvery or white veins can grow to about 16 inches.
Even at its maximum height and width, these are manageable sizes, and the plant won’t overtake all the available space in your home.
To maintain the plant’s deep green coloration, it needs bright, indirect light, otherwise its colors will fade, and the plant stops developing.
Find a location in your home where the plant can receive plenty of indirect sunlight.
Avoid exposing your Alocasia Amazonica to direct sunlight, particularly if you live in an area with hot temperatures and intense sunlight.
You need to water your Alocasia thoroughly until you see the water leaking out of the draining holes.
The plant needs evenly moist soil but it’s important to avoid the soil from becoming soggy. You should also avoid allowing the soil to dry out.
Monitor the soil and water whenever the top of the soil starts to feel dry.
The moisture requirement of the soil can be explained by looking at the natural habitat of the plant’s parents, which usually grow near a water source, having their roots exposed to constantly moist soil.
Temperature & Humidity
The ideal temperature range for the Alocasia Amazonica is between 65 F and 80 F.
This is not a frost-tolerant plant and even temperatures dipping slightly below 60 F will trigger a dormancy state.
As for humidity, it’s ideal to offer the plant high humidity levels. 50% humidity or higher may be difficult to achieve in some homes.
You can work your way around this issue if you invest in a humidifier.
Alternatively, you can regularly mist the plant or fashion your own humidifying system by using a tray of pebbles in water and placing the plant over it.
You might want to consider moving the plant to the bathroom or kitchen if light conditions are adequate and there’s noticeably higher humidity levels.
Because of the need to keep the soil constantly moist but not soggy, the potting mix should be lightweight and well draining. You don’t want it to retain too much water for too long.
The soil that I use is a combination of one part potting mix, one part peat, one part orchid mix.
You can substitute the peat with sphagnum moss or perlite.
In fertilizing your Alocasia Amazonica, you can go with a well-balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength and apply that every 2-4 weeks.
Slow-release fertilizers are also a good option. Here you can use one that’s mixed into the potting soil or one the granular kind that’s applied on top of the soil.
I recommend flushing the soil every few months, because regardless of the type of fertilizer used, mineral salts can build up and cause toxicity issues.
Allow running slowly running water to wash away mineral salts. Leave the water running for about 5 minutes or so.
Potting & Repotting
Because you need the soil to stay moist, you need to pick a pot that doesn’t dry out too quickly.
I don’t recommend clay pots or terracotta ones for Alocasia Amazonica plants because these will dry out faster than regular plastic pots.
Usually, repotting isn’t something you need to worry about for a couple of years.
If your plant has grown significantly, you’ll need to transfer your plant into a pot a size bigger.
It’s best to schedule a transfer at the beginning of the growing season.
Alocasia Amazonica Plant Propagation
When you decide to transfer your Alocasia to a bigger pot, you can also take advantage of the situation and propagate the plant.
The way to do it is to divide offsets from the main plant. When dividing, make sure you gently pull the roots away from the main plant and that you identify as many roots as possible connected to the offset.
Once you’ve successfully divided them, place the offset in its own growing pot and offer it similar conditions as the mother plant received.
Different Types of Alocasia Plants
There are around 70 species of Alocasia plants and dozens of hybrids that were created because of the appealing shape and color of leaves.
I mentioned that the Alocasia Amazonica is a hybrid of the Alocasia sanderiana and the Alocasia longiloba.
But there are other varieties too like the Alocasia watsoniana, a giant variety with almost black leaves.
Another interesting variety is the Alocasia Micholitziana, which features velvety leaves in emerald green and strong white veins.
A variety that does best in partial shade to partial sun is the Alocasia Sarawakensis also known as Yucatan Princess. The leaves of this variety grow upright and feature purplish green and black colors.
Alocasia Amazonica FAQs
To complete this plant profile on the Alocasia Amazonica, here are some further facts that might come useful to you in caring for this plant:
Why are the Leaves of Alocasia Amazonica Turning Yellow?
There are usually two reasons for yellowing leaves on your Alocasia plant.
One common reason is a lack of humidity, which can be easily managed if you increase the humidity around the plant using the tray of pebbles method, misting the plant or simply getting a humidifier.
Another reason for leaves turning yellow is that the plant is producing new growth and replacing old ones.
This is a natural process and you should not be alarmed. Simply snip off any old growth.
A further reason for leaves turning yellow could be that the plant is getting too much or too little water.
Make sure you assess your watering regimen so that you don’t overwater the plant but you also don’t deprive it of water.
Is the Alocasia Amazonica Plant Toxic?
Yes, the Alocasia Amazonica is an all-around toxic plant, so be careful with where you keep it and how you handle it.
Its high calcium oxalate content can cause irritation, swelling and a host of gastrointestinal problems.
Keep this plant away from cats, dogs and children and make sure that the sap of the plant does not get on your skin (it’s an irritant).
Therefore, despite its beauty, the plant is a potential health hazard, so keep it away from kids and pets, and wear protective gloves when handling it.
Does the Alocasia Amazonica Bloom Indoors?
It’s rare for this plant to bloom indoors, but it’s not unheard of.
The bloom, however, may not be up to your expectations as it’s a greenish-yellow spathe that’s not particularly attractive.
The seeds that remain after the bloom dries out are not suitable for propagation as they’re sterile.
Your best bet at propagating this plant is by dividing the offsets from the mother plant and replanting them.
Is the Alocasia Amazonica Prone to Diseases?
If you’re offering your plant the right conditions, it’s unlikely that it will develop any major diseases.
Root rot, however, is common in Alocasias that are being overwatered.
As for pest problems, spider mite infestations can happen, so it’s best to be proactive and keep the leaves clean and apply insecticidal soaps or neem to the underside of the leaves.
Why are the Leaves of Alocasia Amazonica Losing their Deep Green Color?
The leaves of your alocasia can turn pale if the plant isn’t getting enough light. The ribs on the leaves will also turn whiter.
For the plant to keep its healthy green colors, it needs to be kept in a location where it gets bright indirect light.
Even mild light conditions can cause the leaves to fade, so make sure to choose a location where the plant will get the optimal level of light.
The cultivation requirements of the Alocasia Amazonica aren’t difficult to meet, especially if this isn’t the first tropical plant in your care.
Bright indirect light, high humidity, good soil drainage and a correct watering regimen will keep your Alocasia growing healthy.
And while the plant does require constantly moist soil, moist soil does not equal soggy soil. Make sure you know how to assess the status of the soil before watering.