Where to Place Alocasia Plant in Your Home?
Despite hailing from tropical and subtropical climates, Alocasia plants can be grown successfully indoors. This doesn’t mean, however, that the plant is completely adaptable.
Alocasia plants need a well thought out environment to develop normally. One aspect of this environment is placement.
That is, where in your home should you place your Alocasia for optimal light exposure, temperature, and humidity?
Because there are a lot of misunderstandings about the growing requirements of Alocasia plants, I’m going to clear up a few things, especially when it comes to light exposure.
So, before you randomly assign a place for your Alocasia in your home, I invite you to read my guide below on how to choose a good spot for your Alocasia.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Location
If you choose a location based solely on your preferences (i.e., ‘This would look nice here.’), you risk disregarding the needs of your plant, which will have implications in the long run for the healthy development of your plant.
Plant growth is influenced by multiple factors such as soil quality, temperature, light exposure, humidity, and watering. Of these, only three are closely related to location.
These are: light, temperature, and humidity.
Because they’re crucial to your Alocasia, I will cover each factor, so you can make an informed decision about which location in your home is best for an Alocasia plant.
The light requirements of Alocasia plants are often described as bright, indirect light. If you’re confused about what that actually means, don’t worry, I will clear it up for you!
To understand the light requirements of an Alocasia plant, you need to know more about its natural habitat. Alocasia plants grow in rainforests under the canopy of trees.
The light they receive here is technically direct light, only that it’s filtered by the often thick canopy of trees.
It’s clear by now that you can’t have your Alocasia growing under a tree canopy indoors. What you can do, however, is create conditions which somewhat mimic those in the plant’s natural habitat.
Turns out that’s relatively easy. By placing your Alocasia in a bright room, for example, but avoiding exposure to strong, direct light.
Under no circumstances should you place your plant in a spot where it would be blasted by the sun all day.
When an Alocasia plant is exposed to direct light for too long, you can expect the following symptoms and consequences:
- Wilting leaves
- Scorched leaves
- Color leaching out of the leaves
- Loss of humidity from leaf tissues
- Severe dehydration
The other extreme – placing your Alocasia in a dark corner of the room is also something you should avoid.
While the plant may need less light exposure than cacti, for example, it won’t thrive in low light conditions. It may survive, it may even grow, but low light or no light are a far cry from what this plant needs.
If it’s not getting enough light, an Alocasia may grow leggy. Its stalks and veins will become thinner to the point where they won’t be able to sustain healthy leaf development.
This can cause the leaves to grow smaller, which is precisely what you would not like in an Alocasia. Its large leaves are the signature feature of this plant.
Besides leggy growth, Alocasia leaves may become discolored because without enough light, the plant will not be able to produce chlorophyll.
Therefore, optimal light exposure is linked not only to healthy foliage size but also color and general plant health.
Enough warmth is essential for Alocasia plants. They survive in temperatures between 60 F and 80 F. Exposed to temperatures below 50 F, tissue damage and even plant death will set it.
Maintaining temperatures between 60 F and 80 F indoors does not seem like something difficult to achieve. And it’s not.
The problem is with sudden temperature changes, even for short bursts caused by drafts or a window that doesn’t close properly, for example.
Therefore, it’s important to choose a room where the Alocasia plant is safe from temperature fluctuations.
It’s not only cold exposure that’s problematic, but also exposure to strong sources of heat such as a heating vent. Be mindful of these too when choosing a prime spot for your Alocasia.
If you’re keeping your Alocasia plants outdoors in the summer, you will need to overwinter them indoors if temperatures drop below 50 F in your area.
Take the plants inside once temperatures during the night start to dip below 60 F. You can move the plant outdoors in spring, once temperatures have stabilized within the range acceptable for Alocasia plants.
Hailing from naturally humid environments, humidity might be the one thing that’s difficult to achieve indoors. At least at the levels that these plants would require.
At its best, indoor humidity is usually somewhere between 40% and 60%. Alocasia plants might need more than this, however, more humidity would create discomfort for us.
Luckily, Alocasia plants will adapt to humidity levels on the higher end of the average humidity spectrum.
The real danger comes if humidity levels drop below the average range. Either way, Alocasia plants benefit from having their humidity levels supplemented.
Methods to increase humidity for these plants include using a humidifier, setting up and evaporation tray, or occasionally misting the plant.
Advanced humidifiers can be programmed to achieve or maintain certain humidity levels. Humidity trays (filling a tray up with pebbles and water) can offer a targeted approach and constant humidity as long as water evaporates from the tray. Misting can also offer an instant relief for plants deprived of adequate humidity.
However, misting carries the risk of fungal issues spreading to other plants or other parts of the same plant.
But beyond these techniques to increase humidity, the location you choose can also naturally contribute to more humidity for your Alocasia.
For example, rooms like a bathroom or a kitchen are naturally more humid than a bedroom. Choosing them over a bedroom may be a better decision in the long run.
To narrow things down even further, let’s see some good and some not-so-good locations in your home where you might consider placing your Alocasia.
Can You Place Alocasia Near a Window?
It depends on the window. If it’s near an east- or west-facing window, it’s a good spot. As long as the sun’s rays are not shining down directly on the plant, you can even place it a couple of feet away from a south-facing window.
You can use sheer curtains if you’re worried about the light being too strong for your Alocasia plant.
Other than managing light exposure for your Alocasia, windows can be a source of problem for your Alocasia during winter.
If the window doesn’t insulate well, cold air coming in or cold drafts can induce temperature shock.
If you have a room with a broken window or a window that gets opened often, it’s best to avoid keeping your Alocasia plant in that room.
Can You Place Alocasia in the Bedroom?
Yes, in theory, you can place an Alocasia plant in the bedroom. Unless your bedroom does not receive enough sunlight or if the room is naturally low in humidity.
If the air is too dry, your Alocasia plant can suffer and struggle to survive. However, maintaining high humidity levels in your bedroom might not be healthy or comfortable for you.
If it’s a bedroom that you don’t really use or it’s naturally more humid, with ideal light exposure, there’s no other reason why you shouldn’t place an Alocasia in a bedroom.
There are, however, much better spots for your Alocasia that you can choose over your bedroom.
Can You Place Alocasia in the Bathroom?
One of the best spots for an Alocasia when it comes to humidity is the bathroom. It’s a naturally more humid place and it’s warm. The only downside is a lack of light.
If your bathroom doesn’t get any natural light, your Alocasia will have trouble growing and surviving.
If your bathroom does have an overhead window or other window that lets in plenty of bright, natural light, it can be a prime spot for an Alocasia plant.
However, there is a much better spot for Alocasia that might meet all of the basic light, temperature, and humidity requirements of Alocasia plants. Which brings us to the next point:
Can You Place Alocasia in the Kitchen?
Yes, the kitchen is one of the best places for an Alocasia plant, especially a kitchen that gets plenty of natural light during the day.
If that’s the case with your kitchen, you’ll be happy to know that the kitchen is also more naturally humid than the rest of the house, and it’s also warmer.
Obviously, if you have a small kitchen and a tall-growing Alocasia, it’s not an ideal place for it. But a small to medium-sized Alocasia can be a good fit for a larger kitchen.
Avoid These Alocasia Placements
Now that you know all the best spots for your Alocasia plant, I feel like I should also discuss the worst spots for your Alocasia in your home.
These are either places where the plant would present a danger or places that have an inhospitable environment for Alocasia plants.
Here are the top worst places for your Alocasia:
– Near Children
Alocasia plants should be kept away from children. Unfortunately, the sap of the plant is toxic if chewed, swallowed or if it gets into contact with the eyes, mouth and even the skin.
The sap contains calcium oxalate crystals which cause irritation and blistering upon contact with skin. If parts of the plant are chewed or swallowed, it can burn the mouth, cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea.
The plant is considered mildly toxic and should be kept out of the reach of children. Even when you’re just handling the plant, you should wear gloves and goggles.
For example, when you’re trimming it or repotting the plant, there is a risk of getting in contact with the sap of the plant, which can cause severe skin irritations.
If you suspect your child has swallowed parts of an Alocasia plant, make sure to seek medical help.
– Around Pets
Keeping an Alocasia plant in a household with pets is also problematic. The plant is toxic to both cats and dogs.
An Alocasia plant poisoning can be mild to severe, depending on the size of the pet and the amount of plant that’s been ingested.
If you do keep Alocasia plants, make sure to keep the plant somewhere where your pets don’t have access to and where they can’t reach it.
Pets can suffer from the same symptoms as humans do (vomiting, nausea, GI upset, etc.) and they may even be more affected by the plant because of their small size.
– Cold Rooms
As a warmth-loving plant, placing your Alocasia in a cold room is not a good idea. Alocasia plants can’t survive in temperatures below 50 F and their preferred range is between 60 F and 80 F.
Don’t place your Alocasia plant in a room where windows don’t close properly or that you don’t heat during winter.
Even a cold draft can spell trouble for the cold-sensitive Alocasia. Sudden changes in temperature – and especially when they dip below 60 F – are going to induce foliage loss and tissue damage. Keep your Alocasia in a warm location during winter.
I would also add poorly lit rooms to this list, however, just because a room doesn’t get plenty of natural light, it doesn’t mean you can’t supplement the lack of sunlight with grow lights.
Alocasia plants can grow wonderfully even with LED grow lights.
As you can see there are some great places where your Alocasia can thrive in a home. Just as there are bad places where the plant would struggle to survive.
Whenever trying to find a good location, always have the needs of your Alocasia in mind. Adequate light, warmth and humidity are three of the factors that are related to placement.
If you’ve chosen a certain spot for your Alocasia and the plant doesn’t seem to be doing well, don’t hesitate to move the plant to a different location.