How to Care for Alocasia Reversa?
If you look at other Alocasia varieties and compare them to the Alocasia Reversa, it’s easy to spot why this variety is called the “Reversa”.
Unlike the color pattern on other Alocasias, where the veins on the leaves are lighter than the rest of the leaf, on the Reversa, the mid-section and the veins are a much darker green compared to the rest of the leaf.
The beautiful interchange of the different shades of green is all the more remarkable when this Alocasia is grown alongside other Alocasia varieties.
But let’s see if the care requirements of this Alocasia are different or not compared to other varieties.
Size & Growth
This isn’t a tall-growing Alocasia, which is good news if you don’t have all that space, yet you still want to keep an impressive tropical plant in your home.
The leaves of the Alocasia Reversa grow to become 8 inches long, while the plant itself grows to about 16 inches tall.
These are extremely manageable sizes, so you can display this plant on a pedestal or other furniture to make the most of its visual effect and also to manage its light requirements much better.
Getting the right light exposure for tropical plants can be tricky indoors. The good news is that the Reversa will only need bright, indirect light.
If it gets too much light, especially direct light exposure, its leaves can suffer sunburn, which can cause leaf discoloration and scorched leaves.
Find a spot with a north-eastern exposure, where the plant gets bright light but not directly. Rotate the plant periodically so that all its sides get exposed equally to enough light, otherwise the plant will start stretching out, causing uneven growth.
In winter, you may move your plant closer to a north-eastern window without fearing sunburn issues as sunlight in winter tends to be much gentler.
Because overwatering is a big no-no for tropical plants like the Alocasia, the first thing you need to understand is how to avoid making the soil too soggy for this plant to survive.
A good rule to follow is to water only when the top 2 inches of soil has dried. On the other hand, you also need to avoid underwatering this plant. Dehydration can be every bit as dangerous as overwatering.
Reduce watering in winter. So if you’ve been watering your Alocasia maybe 2 times a week, you may need to reduce that to once a week.
But always check the soil first, to make sure you’re not overwatering.
To help avoid overwatering issues, it’s also important to choose a soil type that will favor drainage and aeration to keep excess moisture away from the roots.
You can buy any aroid plant potting mix, your Alocasia will thrive in that too, or you can mix coarse sand, perlite and peat in equal amounts.
Avoid any heavy soil mixes. These retain too much water and stay damp for too long, leading to unwanted rotting at the roots.
Temperature & Humidity
The temperature range of 60 F to 85 F is what these plants find most agreeable, which is good news because you can maintain this range in your home without effort throughout the year.
If you’re keeping the plant outdoors for the summer, be careful about the cold setting in the fall. Don’t wait for temperatures to drop below 60 F, take your plant in well before that.
What’s more difficult is to maintain humidity at the levels required by the Alocasia Reversa, or any Alocasia variety, for that matter.
In the tropical forest where it grows, the Alocasia is exposed to humidity levels that are higher than 70%. This is not something you can maintain indoors, where humidity levels are usually between 40% and 60%.
So, you’ll either need a humidifier or you can place your plant over a tray of pebbles with water to help create more moisture around the plant.
You’ll also need to fertilize your Reversa during periods of active growth. You can start fertilizing in early spring and continue until early fall but stop altogether during the winter months.
Use a foliage plant fertilizer or a general houseplant fertilizer, but heavily dilute it to avoid mineral build-up (half dilution or ¼ of its strength is safest).
I only fertilize about once a month and frankly, these plants don’t need nutrient boosts more often than that.
Potting & Repotting
Alocasias like to fit snugly in their pots, being a little pot-bound does not bother them at all. Naturally, there will come a time when they’re either too top heavy for their pot or roots are simply too crowded, and then you’ll need to repot these plants.
But that will usually not happen before they’re about 2 years of age. Repot in spring, when the plant’s metabolism kicks off again, to counter any transplant related stress much easier.
When repotting, change to a bigger pot, but only one or a maximum of two sizes bigger. Don’t get a pot that’s much bigger because the potting mix will stay damp for too long, causing those overwatering issues I’ve already discussed.
How to Propagate Alocasia Reversa?
To propagate the Alocasia Reversa, it’s best to wait until you’ll need to repot the plant, and then you can either separate the shoots the plant naturally creates as it matures or divide the rhizome to create new plants.
Either way, once you transfer the division/clump to its new pot, make sure to keep it out of direct light, maintain soil moisture without overwatering, and use the same type of well-draining potting mix.
After around 8-10 weeks, the plant should start developing and you can resume the normal plant care routine for adult Alocasia plants.
Although this Alocasia variety is reversed in its leaf color pattern, its care requirements stay the same as for other Alocasia varieties.
If you can care for one Alocasia variety, chances are you’ll do great by the Alocasia Reversa too.
Keep the soil only slightly moist, don’t underwater, keep out of direct sunlight, and avoid cold temperatures. That about sums up the most important aspects of caring for the Reversa variety.