15 Types of Alocasia Plants – Rare & Popular Varieties
If you have a hard time picking out an Alocasia for your home, you’re probably not alone. After all, there are so many types of Alocasia plants to choose from that a bit of hesitation is understandable.
Alocasia plants are known for their impressive leaves that dazzle with their patterns, size, shape and colors, adding an instant exotic feel to any environment.
These plants are native to subtropical Asia and eastern Australia, so plenty of humidity and warmth are indispensable to their growth.
Luckily, Alocasias can be grown indoors and there are several varieties that you can find in nurseries should you decide to pick one up.
Here are some of the most popular and a few of the most interesting Alocasia varieties you should consider:
Alocasia Dragon Scale
One look at the Dragon Scale Alocasia and you’ll immediately understand its appeal. The silvery leaves of the plant look like dragon scales with primary and secondary veins in dark green.
The leaves of this variety range between 4 and 6 inches, while the height of the plant ranges from 40 to 80 inches.
The Dragon Scale Alocasia thrives in high humidity, something that can be a challenge to maintain indoors without a humidifier or misting.
One of the most elegant and minimalistic Alocasia varieties, the Zebrina features smooth, light-green leaves on tall, zebra-striped stalks, resulting in a plant that has a lot of pizzazz.
Although not the easiest Alocasia to grow indoors, once you understand its requirements, you’ll manage to keep this plant happy even indoors.
The Zebrina enjoys bright, indirect light and lots of humidity. It requires a well-draining potting mix and moderate watering.
Alocasia Black Velvet
This Alocasia variety is the perfect example of the wide range of choices when it comes to Alocasia plants. The leaves of this Alocasia are velvety, with silvery white veins and medium to dark green leaves.
Because of its manageable size — the plant rarely ever gets taller than 20 inches — it’s suitable for growing even in terrariums, where the warmth and high humidity will make this plant thrive.
Don’t keep this variety in full sun. Its velvety leaves are sensitive to direct light and will easily scorch if not protected by the strong rays of the sun.
Normally, the color pattern that Alocasia leaves feature is white or light green veins on a dark or medium dark green backdrop.
In the Reversa this pattern is reversed. The veins and the mid-section of the leaves are dark-green, and the rest of the leaf is a silvery, light-green.
This is another small-growing Alocasia variety, with leaves reaching a maximum of 8 inches, while the plant growing to around 16 inches tall.
Known in its native land of eastern Australia as the Cunjevoi Lily, Alocasia Brisbanensis is a tall-growing Alocasia variety with a height of around 6 feet and leaves that can reach 2.5 feet in length.
The plant features green, glossy leaves and enjoys bright, indirect light and evenly moist soil. It enjoys high humidity and well-draining soil.
It’s not an ideal plant for indoor growing, so if you don’t live in an area with a climate suitable for growing this plant outdoors, I recommend checking out the other Alocasia types I discuss in this article.
An Alocasia type with high ornamental value, the Lauterbachiana features long and narrow leaves with wavy edges.
It’s a plant with vigorous growth, when kept in ideal conditions. It usually reaches a height of 3 feet and a width between 3-5 feet.
Because of its growth pattern, regular fertilizing with a weak solution will help the plant put out impressive foliage.
If the Black Velvet Alocasia seems too dark for your taste, the Frydek can be an excellent alternative. Its leaves are a lighter, brighter green, while the primary veins on the leaves are a creamy-white.
While the leaf texture is the same as the Black Velvet, the Frydek grows taller, reaching a height of around 2-3 feet, with leaves that are 18 inches long.
The leaves of the Frydek are sensitive to direct sun exposure, yet need bright, indirect light to thrive. With too little light, the plant can grow lopsided or even leggy.
Known commonly as the Kris plant, Alocasia Sanderiana is an immediately noticeable plant because of its dramatic-looking leaves.
The V-shaped, dark-green leaves feature wavy edges and bright, thick veins that almost protrude out of the leaf.
It’s a tall-growing variety (4-6.5 feet) that needs filtered or bright, indirect light. It has moderate watering requirements, disliking overwatering but also chronic underwatering.
Plant in a well-draining potting mix, ensure adequate humidity and light exposure. Don’t expose it to drought, direct sunlight, temperature fluctuations or cold drafts.
As one of the ‘Jewel’ Alocasia types, the Cuprea features coppery-green and silver shimmering leaves with dark green primary veins.
The undersides of the leaves are also interesting, sporting a reddish color that only adds to the appeal of this plant.
It’s a compact Alocasia, which grows only to about a foot tall. It can also be grown in a terrarium as it thrives in high humidity.
It’s not a particularly fussy Alocasia and needs the same care and attention as most other Alocasia varieties need.
Better known as the Alocasia Polly, this type of Alocasia features dark green, V-shaped leaves with thick, protruding primary veins that are light green. The undersides of the leaves are maroon.
The Amazonica reaches a height and spread of about two feet. It enjoys moderate watering and humidity.
The plant grows best in bright, indirect light and tends to suffer when placed in a dark spot or if exposed to strong direct light. The leaves of the plant may look sturdy, but they can get scorched if exposed to excess sunlight.
One of the simpler Alocasia varieties, the Cucullata can still impress with its elegant stalks and heart-shaped leaves.
This Alocasia is said to bring good fortune to its owners, which explains why this plant is commonly referred to as Buddha’s hand.
As a native to Thailand and Laos, the plant enjoys warmth and humidity. Moderation is key when it comes to watering this plant or fertilizing it during the growing season.
Both overwatering and over-fertilizing can damage the plant quickly. Be careful about direct sun exposure as well as the gentle leaves of the Cucullata can easily get scorched.
Alocasia Silver Dragon
The leaf patterns on this Alocasia are eerily similar to that of the Dragon Scale, however, the Silver Dragon has silvery green leaves with green primary veins.
At 1.6 feet tall, it’s a small-growing Alocasia, lending itself even for growing in terrariums, where the humidity and warmth set an ideal environment for this plant.
Its care requirements are the same as for the Dragon Scale in that the plant needs moderate watering, high humidity, bright indirect light, and a fast-draining soil to avoid fungal root problems.
If leaf texture is what you’re most intrigued by in a foliage plant, the Alocasia Melo does not disappoint — its rugged texture is made even more interesting by the visible primary and secondary veins on the leaf, creating a beautiful and intricate pattern.
The plant stays at around 1-2 feet tall with leaves that are 20 inches long and 10 inches wide. The deep green color fits perfectly with the rugged texture of the leaves.
As for the plant’s care requirements, those already familiar with tropical plant care or Alocasia plant care will face no challenges.
Ensure adequate light exposure without direct sunlight, evenly moist soil, fast-draining potting mix and high levels of humidity.
Add a bit of diluted fertilizer monthly during the growing season to keep your plant growing in top shape.
Also known as the Night-Scented Lily, the Alocasia Odora is an upright growing variety that can reach a height of 4-8 feet. Its paddle-shaped leaves sit on strong stalks. The leaves can reach a length of 2 feet and a width of 1 foot.
The plant got its name after the fragrant flowers it produces that resembles the calla lily flowers in that it has a pale peach spathe and a spadix.
The Odora does best in part shade or sun and needs organically rich, moist soil to thrive. The plant is native to east and southeast Asia.
Grown outside of its natural habitat, the Alocasia odora performs best in greenhouses, but also in shade gardens, where the climate allows growing this plant outdoors.
Known as the Giant Taro, the plant features tall, rigid stalks and large leaves with wavy, ruffled edges.
The plant can reach a height of 12-15 feet, while its leaves can reach a length of 3-6 feet and 2-4 feet in length. Needless to say, this isn’t your typical ‘houseplant’ Alocasia.
The plant enjoys part shade and does best if grown in a soil that is organically rich and moist.
Alocasia plants are varied with interesting features and relatively easy-to-meet care requirements. Outside of their natural habitat, these plants will do great in greenhouses but also in indoor living spaces if you can maintain an optimal environment.
Hopefully, some of the Alocasia types I discussed have piqued your interest and you’ll find them in your local garden center.