How to Care for Alocasia Green Dragon?
One of the easiest to grow and most popular Alocasias, the Green Dragon features textured leaves that resemble the scale of dragons. It’s also aptly called “Dragon Scale Alocasia”.
It’s a cold-sensitive plant that will not survive in cold weather, so it’s a houseplant that needs the warmth of the indoors to stay alive.
The Alocasia Green Dragon is valued greatly as a decorative plant not only for its vibrant veins, but also for its size. Not growing too tall, it’s a perfect houseplant for any space.
If this plant strikes you as something you would enjoy in your home, read my plant care tips below to find out how to offer it the best possible care.
Size & Growth
With a size that can vary between 40 and 80 inches, the Green Dragon Alocasia can be easily integrated into the decor of your office or apartment.
Make sure to display this plant somewhere where its velvety leaves with deep green veins can be admired.
Although the Alocasia doesn’t fare well if exposed to direct light, it still enjoys bright light, if it’s not shining down on it directly.
Indoors, keep this plant a few feet away from a north or east-facing window. In winter, when sunshine is scarce and the rays of the sun are usually gentler, you can move the plant closer to the window to maximize its light exposure.
Periodically rotate the plant, otherwise its growth may be uneven. If only one side of the plant is exposed to light, the other side may grow leggy or become stretched out.
If you’re keeping this plant outdoors, pick a location with dappled or filtered light like under a tree that will let some light through, but will shade the plant from the strong rays of the sun.
When watering tropical plants, there’s a delicate balance that must be maintained. One the one hand, you should water these plants deeply, but only if the top few inches of soil are dried out.
Some Alocasia varieties need constantly moist soil, but the Green Dragon Alocasia can go a bit without watering before it starts to show symptoms of dehydration.
Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to water deeply so that the soil is completely saturated, and then wait for the top 2-3 inches to dry before you water this plant again. This is the soak-and-dry method, and it helps prevent overwatering issues.
If you have succulents at home, you can apply the same principles you apply to your Alocasia as you apply to watering your succulents.
The roots of the Alocasia Green Dragon enjoy loose, well-aerated soil that will drain quickly, without retaining too much water.
There are various mixes you can use to fit the needs of the Alocasia. Mixes that contain perlite, chopped coconut coir, compost, and peat are all suitable for the Green Dragon plant.
Combined with regular potting soil, these will increase aeration and drainage, so that the soil doesn’t become compacted, suffocating the roots.
Temperature & Humidity
The temperature range tolerated by the Alocasia Dragon Scale is between 55°F (13°C) to 80°F (27°C).
The plant is not frost-resistant nor very cold-resistant, for that matter, so if you’re growing this plant outdoors, don’t wait around for the first frost to bring the plant inside.
As soon as temperatures in fall start dipping below 60 F, you need to make arrangements to transfer the plant indoors, where it can enter into dormancy without freezing.
Because this is a tropical plant, it needs high levels of humidity. Somewhere around 80% would be ideal, but indoors this is difficult to attain.
The good news is that the Green Dragon Alocasia adapts to average humidity levels, although a humidity level of around 60% is ideal.
If that’s also difficult for you to recreate, you may need a humidifier to up humidity levels in the room where you’re keeping this plant.
Until you’re ready to invest in a humidifier, there’s a low budget alternative too — filling a tray with pebbles, adding water so that the pebbles are half-emersed and placing the potted plant on the pebbles, making sure that water will not be absorbed by the roots of the plant.
As water evaporates, it increases humidity around the plant.
The Alocasia Green Dragon is a light feeder, so you’ll only need to fertilize monthly from spring to early fall. Use a balanced fertilizer, but make sure to dilute it well (half-dilution is safest) to avoid overfertilizing.
Overfertilizing issues can be prevented or managed by flushing the soil with water every few months or so.
Potting & Repotting
You can use any type of pot for this plant as long as it drains well. Avoid repotting your Alocasia until the plant has visibly outgrown its pot.
When you transfer to a new pot, go one size up and not more to avoid overwatering issues. Repot in spring to minimize the risks of transplant shock.
How to Propagate Alocasia Green Dragon?
Division is the best way to propagate Alocasia Green Dragon. Mature plants form offsets you can divide at the root level and grow separately.
You can make divisions when repotting the plant by simply dividing the tuberous clumps with sterile shears to divide tangled roots.
Transfer in pots with the same type of potting mix that you’ve used for the parent plant. Keep in moderate light, making sure there’s enough humidity and moisture to help the plantlet form new growths.
Once new growths appear, you can treat the plant as you would treat a mature Alocasia Green Dragon.
If you’re thinking about growing the Alocasia Green Dragon indoors, you need to be careful about light exposure, hydration and humidity. If you’ll manage the plant’s requirements in these areas, you’ll have a thriving Dragon Scale plant.
One downside of this plant, however, is its toxicity due to the calcium oxalate content of its foliage. So, keep away from kids, cats, dogs and other furry animals that would find it irresistible.