How to Care for Alocasia Brisbanensis (Cunjevoi Lily)?
Native to eastern Australia, the Alocasia Brisbanensis is a tropical evergreen plant with spade-shaped leaves. The glossy green leaves grow fairly tall, so keep this plant indoors only if you have plenty of space for it.
In its native land, the Cunjevoi Lily is grown in shaded spots in the garden, where the soil is naturally damp.
If you’re thinking of growing this plant indoors or in your garden, size is definitely something to take into account.
Here’s what you should know about growing the Alocasia Brisbanensis.
Size & Growth
Because of its size and prolific growth, the Cunjevoi Lily isn’t an ideal houseplant. That said, if you do have plenty of space — and especially if you need to fill in a large space — you can grow this plant indoors.
The leaves of the plant can reach 2.5 feet in height, while the plant itself will also grow to about 6 feet tall and nearly as wide.
Of course, your Alocasia may not grow as big indoors, especially if environmental conditions aren’t ideal for it.
Bright light is essential for Brisbanensis, although strong, direct light is not advisable. Aim for partial sun to dappled light that will keep your plant exposed to enough light without damaging its leaves.
A bit of direct sun in the morning or in the late afternoon will not damage the leaves, but hot sun during the warmest part of the day will not be beneficial.
While it can grow in a shaded spot as well, the plant needs bright light exposure to produce chlorophyll and grow lush green foliage.
If it doesn’t receive enough light, its leaves will become discolored and lose their vigor. Its growth pattern may also be affected.
This Alocasia variety enjoys evenly moist soil during the growing season. In winter, you can cut back on the watering frequency, but during periods of active growth, you need to keep an eye on moisture levels.
You don’t want to drown the plant in water, but you also don’t want to dry its soil out completely. If the topsoil is a bit dry, you can go ahead and water the plant.
While the thick stems and leaves can hold a bit of water, these are high humidity plants that can’t go long without watering.
A rich soil that’s loose and airy work wonders for this tropical evergreen that enjoys a bit of moisture but not a soggy soil.
If you’re growing the Cunjevoi Lily in your garden, avoid spots where water naturally pools, and pick a spot that drains fast. Amend the soil, if necessary, with perlite, peat or coarse sand.
Heavy potting soil is prone to compaction and water retention, which will detrimentally affect the Alocasia Brisbanensis’ roots.
Temperature & Humidity
The temperature range tolerated by the Cunjevoi Lily is between 60 F and 80 F. While they can tolerate slightly higher temperatures, they will have trouble growing in temperatures below 60 F.
Not being cold-resistant plants, they can die off pretty quickly if exposed to frost or cold, so avoid exposing this plant to sources of extreme cold or heat.
It goes without saying that if temperatures in your area fall below 60 F during winter or winters are chilly where you live, you must move this plant indoors for the winter.
As far as humidity levels are concerned, the Alocasia Brisbanensis does not do well in low humidity, nor is it a drought-resistant plant.
Make sure humidity levels are above 70%, when keeping this plant indoors.
If the potting mix is rich in organic matter, this Alocasia variety will be happy with just that. Adding a bit of fertilizer in the spring and summer will help boost the plant’s growth rate and produce more vigorous leaves.
Fertilize at a rate of once or twice a month until fall. Skip fertilizing in late fall and throughout winter. The plant doesn’t grow during the winter months, so it makes no sense to continue fertilizing.
Be careful about diluting the fertilizer because the plant is sensitive to mineral build-ups.
Potting & Repotting
While the plant is still juvenile, you can grow it easily in a pot. As it grows and outgrows its pot, you can move it to a larger one.
Depending on how fast it’s growing and how large it has gotten, it may become difficult to keep repotting it. If the climate in your area allows, simply move this plant into the ground once it gets too big to keep it indoors.
When kept in a pot, the Alocasia Brisbanensis needs a well draining pot and a loose potting mix, so excess water can’t wreak havoc on its roots.
How to Propagate Alocasia Brisbanensis?
As the plant matures, it produces offshoots that can be separated from the mother plant by cutting away the corny clumps with which they attach to the mother plant.
Pot these divisions separately and keep in a moist potting mix. Just as the mature Alocasia, the plantlets also require warmth, humidity and filtered light.
Don’t allow the potting mix to dry out, especially in the first couple of months after potting the offshoots separately.
Once new growths emerge, you can relax a bit and resume the normal plant care routine you have developed for the parent plant.
While still juvenile, the Alocasia Brisbanensis can be easily grown indoors, but once the plant starts to mature, it needs a lot of space to grow.
Low humidity, overwatering and cold temperatures are the biggest threats to this plant that enjoys bright light as long as it’s not shining down on it directly during the hottest parts of the day.
Outdoors, the plant enjoys partial shade to dappled light and does best in more humid areas of the garden provided that it’s not sitting in water.