How to Care for Alocasia Lauterbachiana?
Whether it’s their texture, color, or size, all Alocasia plant leaves dazzle with their ornamental value. The Alocasia Lauterbachiana is impressive because of the shape of its leaves on top of the other elements that make Alocasias a perfect houseplant.
The otherwise green leaves are long and narrow with wavy leaf edges. They feature purple-colored undersides, creating an interesting combination of color, shape, and leaf texture that make this Alocasia variety really stand out.
If you’re looking for an Alocasia with a distinguishable ornamental value and easy care, the Alocasia Lauterbachiana may be what you need. You can read about its care requirements below.
Size & Growth
Indoors, the plant usually caps its height at around 3 feet, with a width of 3 to 5 feet. Outdoors, in ideal conditions, it can and will grow taller.
Assuming that you’re buying this plant to keep indoors, you don’t have to worry about pruning as it will stay at a manageable size.
You can keep it as a floor plant or even on a pedestal of sorts to integrate it much better in your home decor.
It’s a vigorous grower, especially when afforded optimal conditions and care.
Although direct sunlight should be generally avoided for this plant, it still needs plenty of light to thrive, especially when kept indoors.
Aim for bright, indirect light exposure by positioning the plant near and east or north-facing window. A brighter exposure can also work, but make sure your windows have curtains to filter the light.
Strong, direct sunlight will ultimately burn the leaves, so avoid it, especially during the hotter periods of the day. A bit of early morning sun will not harm the plant.
To make sure the light reaches all parts of the plant, rotate the plant periodically, otherwise it will start stretching towards the light and grow uneven.
Watering is tricky with the Lauterbachiana — it needs constantly moist soil but without it being soggy or wet. Most tropical plants will have this need of not being overwatered but also not being underwatered.
To strike the perfect balance, you should learn to assess the moisture level of the soil. You can do this by sticking your index finger into the soil up to the first or second knuckle.
If the soil sticks to your finger or feels moist, check back in a couple of days. Water only when the topsoil feels dry.
It’s difficult to grow an Alocasia Lauterbachiana in regular potting soil. That’s because that soil will retain too much water and it’s prone to compaction, suffocating the roots of the plant.
Because its roots need aeration and shouldn’t be sitting in water, a well-draining and well-aerated soil is what this Alocasia needs.
You can look for potting mixes designed for tropical plants or potting mixes designed for succulents.
These contain coconut coir, peat moss, perlite, coarse sand, and other materials that retain only a bit of moisture and allow water to percolate easily.
Temperature & Humidity
Tropical plants adapt wonderfully to our indoor temperatures, especially because their temperature range usually lines up well with the average temperature we keep indoors.
Therefore, keep your Alocasia Lauterbachiana at a temperature between 65 F – 80 F. Avoid temperature fluctuations and exposure to sources of extreme cold or heat.
If you’re keeping this plant outdoors for the summer, take it inside in the fall. It’s neither cold-tolerant, nor frost tolerant, but it also doesn’t appreciate excessive heat.
Humidity levels should be high, around or above 70%. Because this is difficult to achieve indoors, you may need to invest in a humidifier.
Because it’s a vigorous grower, fertilizing will help your Lauterbachiana grow strong and put out impressive foliage.
Fertilize during the growing season, from spring to fall. Don’t fertilize at all during winter, when the plant stops growing and doesn’t need extra nutrients.
Use a liquid fertilizer and dilute it at half-strength or make an even weaker formulation to avoid mineral build-up or fertilizer burn.
Start fertilizing in spring and keep it at a rate of once a month. If needed, you can increase the rate to twice a month, but in my experience, Alocasia plants will thrive even with little fertilizing.
Potting & Repotting
When choosing a new pot for your Alocasia, pick one that’s one or two sizes bigger at most. Make sure it drains well and it’s heavy enough to support the weight of the plant.
If the pot is oversized, you’ll need to water more so that moisture reaches the roots everywhere.
The problem with this is that it will take longer for the soil to dry, which increases the risk of root rot issues.
Plus, the plant doesn’t mind being a bit pot-bound, so it’s fine to pick a pot that will just fit the roots without giving it all that extra space.
In the first two years, you don’t have to worry about transferring your plant to another pot, but you can freshen up the topsoil.
When the plant is visibly larger for its pot, you should move it to a bigger-sized pot. Use a well-draining potting mix to replace the old mix.
You can take this opportunity to propagate the Alocasia Lauterbachiana by dividing its rhizomes or separating offshoots from the parent plant.
How to Propagate Alocasia Lauterbachiana?
To propagate your Alocasia, simply remove offshoots if your plant has any and plant them separately. Usually, the plant must reach a certain level of maturity before it produces offshoots.
Use a well-draining potting mix and keep the newly planted offshoots in a warm location, but out of direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not wet.
New growth should appear within 2 months after the offshoots have been separated from the mother plant. Once these growths appear, you can start caring for the plant as you would for a mature Alocasia Lauterbachiana.
Whether you’re an Alocasia aficionado or you’re simply looking for a unique-looking tropical plant, the Lauterbachiana variety will surely win you over.
While the plant needs high levels of humidity to thrive, it’s otherwise one that isn’t too fussy or difficult to grow indoors.