The Ultimate Alocasia Amazonica Care Guide in 2021

All you need to know about taking care of your Alocasia amazonica or Alocasia polly. From plant care requirements to common problems and its fixes. Click here to learn more about how to care for your plant.
Darren T'ngThu Jun 17 2021

The Ultimate Alocasia Amazonica Care Guide in 2021

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With some of the most awe-inspiring foliage in the houseplant world, Alocasias have become an important part of any plant parent’s collection. Known for its beautiful aesthetics and textures, the Alocasia is native to tropical and subtropical Asia to Eastern Australia. Apart from its iconic large and appealing leaves, the Alocasia is an amazing plant for novice plant owners due to its relatively low plant care requirements despite its potentially finicky nature.

Fun-fact: The Alocasia is a genus of 97 accepted species in the Araceae family and is typically known as Elephant Ears due to its dramatic and large arrow-shaped leaves. You can read more about our 7 favourite Alocasia plant varieties to buy or sell online here.

  1. Light requirements for Alocasia amazonica
  2. Water requirements for Alocasia amazonica
  3. Soil requirements for Alocasia amazonica
  4. Temperature and humidity requirements for Alocasia amazonica
  5. Propagating your Alocasia amazonica
  6. Precautions to take while taking care of Alocasia amazonica
  7. Common problems and remedies for Alocasia amazonica

Alocasia Amazonica Care Guide

1. Light requirements for Alocasia Amazonica

To understand the light requirements of the Alocasia amazonica, it is important to know the origins of this plant. Despite its name, the Alocasia amazonica is actually a hybrid between the Alocasia longiloba and the Alocasia sanderiana - both of which can be found in Southeast Asia. With this context in mind, it is natural that the Alocasia amazonica enjoys being under bright indirect sunlight and should be kept away from harsh, direct sunlight.

To learn more about lighting requirements and how to measure indirect bright light. You can read our guide on the light requirements of plants here.

2. Water requirements for Alocasia amazonica

Similar to the Monstera deliciosa, adequate watering is the single most important thing for the healthy growth of any plant species - especially tropical ones. In addition to adequate watering, consistent watering is also essential for your Alocasia amazonica as alternating between bone dry and extremely wet soil can create stress and cause your leaves to yellow.

Alocasia amazonicas require watering whenever the top 3 to 5 centimetres of soil below the surface, feels dry. Alternatively, should your pot be relatively deep, you might want to only water whenever the top 25% of your soil is dry. You can test this by touch, with a stick or simply using a moisture meter.

When watering, water until liquid flows through the drainage holes and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

3. Soil requirements for Alocasia amazonica

The Alocasia amazonica typically prefers consistently moist and well-draining soil in high humidity locations. The climate in Singapore is perfect for this. In addition, try not to use heavy soil as it tends to retain excessive moisture which may lead to root rot especially for Alocasia amazonicas.

We typically use a mixture of 70% aroid potting mix, 10% coconut coir and 10% perlite, lava rocks or orchid bark for our personal Alocasia amazonica soil mixes. The coconut coir helps to provide better aeration while perlite, lava rocks or orchid bark ensures better drainage so remember to add them if the mix is too wet. To make things better, the coconut coir is biodegradable!

Pro-tip: An easy way to check if your soil is too wet is to squeeze a handful of soil - if it holds together and does not break apart as you drop it through your hands, it is likely too wet. Think of it like a sponge. If it feels like it, the soil is likely to be fully saturated and is devoid of air.

4. Temperature and humidity requirements for Alocasia amazonicas

Singapore’s temperature and humidity conditions are perfect for Alocasia amazonicas. However, in case you are curious, any temperature between 16°C-32°C and humidity levels above 50% works just fine.

Pro-tip: While unlikely, should humidity levels be too low, you might want to consider adding a layer of pebbles in a tray with water below your plant. As the water evaporates, moisture in the air around the plant will increase as well.

5. Propagating your Alocasia amazonica

The most common way of propagating the Alocasia amazonica is through division. This is made possible due to the clumping nature of its root structure - essentially allowing you to turn a well-grown Alocasia amazonica into two or more new plants. That said, it is important to note that newly divided Alocasia amazonica is typically more susceptible to pests, diseases and root rot so make sure to watch over your newly planted divisions more carefully.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to dividing your Alocasia amazonica:

Step 1: Remove the Alocasia from its container and loosen up the soil around the roots and its underground stem, otherwise known as a corm. You can use a knife to loosen up the soil or if the soil is quite clumped together, you can soak it in water or use a gardening hose to be more efficient.

Step 2: Once the roots are exposed, find the less connected clumps - you’ll find it easier to separate them once the clumps are found. This step should be relatively intuitive once you start gently pulling the plant apart.

Step 3: To separate, you can use a disinfected knife or a pair of scissors especially if the roots and corms are too dense to pull apart.

Step 4: Repot the mother plant and pot the newly divided sections based on the soil requirements for Alocasia amazonica stated above. As a summary, our mix typically includes aroid potting mix, coconut coir and perlite. Make sure that the soil is well mixed and that the root system is below the soil level. Once complete, water the plant according to the water requirements above and place them where the light requirements are satisfied. While adding your soil into the container, make sure that the soil is not packed too tightly.

Pro-tip: We typically refrain from water propagation due to the finicky requirements of the Alocasia amazonica and its susceptibility to root rot. That said, water propagation is entirely possible and allows you to look at its spectacular root system as it grows out.

6. Precautions to take while taking care of Alocasia amazonica

Alocasia amazonicas are potentially toxic to pets and humans as they contain insoluble oxalate crystals which are released upon chewing or biting into the plant. Ingestion of the Alocasia amazonica may lead to oral irritation, pain and swelling of the mouth amongst other symptoms.

7. Common problems and fixes for Alocasia amazonica

Monsteras can be toxic to pets and humans. In the unlikely even that your pet or young child ingests the plant or its fruit, Monsteras can cause stinging around the mouth and stomach upset should it be consumed consistently. As a precaution, the Monstera deliciosa should be kept out of reach from small children and pets.

Similar to most plants, It is paramount that you find the right balance of light, water, soil mix, temperature and humidity requirements for every plant. That said, what happens when your Alocasia amazonica is doing something a little out of character? In this part of the ultimate Alocasia amazonica care guide, we will run through everything you need to know about the common problems and remedies to ensure your Alocasia amazonica remains Pinterest and Instagram worthy. Here are the common problems:

7a. Why your Alocasia amazonica has yellow leaves and how to fix them

Yellowing leaves is a common sign signifying that the balance of light, water, soil mix, temperature and humidity has not been achieved and troubleshooting your plant based on those factors will provide you with important information in fixing them. In tropical climates such as Singapore, temperature and humidity should not be an issue.

Light considerations. The Alocasia amazonica thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. That said, the lack of sunlight might result in yellowing leaves. This can be easily avoided by placing your Alocasia amazonica by shifting it nearer to a window that has a larger exposure to indirect sunlight.

Water considerations. Of all considerations, overwatering of the Alocasia amazonica is the most common reason why its leaves yellow. Excessive or insufficient moisture stresses the plant are both causes of yellowing leaves. To avoid this, water your Alocasia amazonica only when the top of the soil, approximately 3 to 5 centimetres below the surface, feels dry. You can test this by touch, with a stick or simply using a moisture meter. Sufficient moisture needs to be provided so that water flows out of the drainage hole. Excess water from the saucer needs to be discarded. That said, note that if yellowing and browning leaves are typically the first signs that root rot may be occurring. In such an instance, you might want to check for root rot. Typically, if your roots are soft, wet, brown and mushy, root rot is already likely to be occurring. Either way, as long as you follow the guide of only deep-watering your Alocasia amazonica when the top of the soil is dry, you should do just fine.

Soil considerations. A good sign that your soil mix is causing issues is if your soil mix is heavy and soggy or that water is not flowing out of the drainage holes. In a situation like this, it is imperative that for healthy plant growth you repot your plant and add more perlite, lava rocks or orchid bark to your existing mix to improve the soil condition.

Pro-tip: In addition to ensuring your soil has sufficient aeration, make sure that your pot is not too big for your plant as this will allow you to better judge and control your drainage system.

Pests and diseases. The last reason why your leaves might be turning yellow is insect pests and diseases. These insect pests include sap-sucking insects such as spider mites, aphids and mealybugs. An easy solution is spraying your plant with neem oil or wiping it with rubbing alcohol to get rid of pesky insect pests. That said, using too much neem oil or in some instances, neem oil for everything, is something you should not do. Please use it sparingly and only after you have done sufficient troubleshooting.

To limit a full-blown insect infestation on your entire collection, it might be useful to consider having your new plants be put under quarantine for a few days. This will help you isolate the insect problem should it indeed be from a new plant.

Pro-tip: To limit a full-blown insect infestation on your entire collection, it might be useful to consider having your new plants be put under quarantine for a few days. This will help you isolate the insect problem should it indeed be from a new plant.

It's completely natural. If your Alocasia amazonica is still producing new growth and the yellowing leaves are at the bottom of your plant, do not worry! This yellowing is completely natural and occurs as your plant sheds its old leaves and focuses on new growth instead.

7b. Why your Alocasia amazonica has black spots and how to fix them

Similar to yellowing leaves, black spots on leaves is a common sign signifying that the balance of light, water, soil mix, temperature and humidity has not been achieved and troubleshooting your plant based on those factors will provide you with important information in fixing them. That said, black spots do not mean that your Alocasia amazonica is going to die. Here are the common reasons as to why your Alocasia amazonica has black spots:

Light considerations. As mentioned above, the Alocasia amazonica thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. A common cause of black spots is over-exposure to direct sunlight. Should your Alocasia amazonica be kept under direct sunlight for too long, there is a high chance that the black spots have been caused by sunburn. This can be easily avoided by placing your Alocasia amazonica by shifting it nearer to a window that has a larger exposure to indirect sunlight.

Water considerations. Another reason for your Alocasia amazonica to have black spots is both overwatering and underwatering. An easy way to check if overwatering is the issue is to check for root rot or to check if your soil is fully saturated and devoid of air by squeezing a handful of soil in your hands. Typically, your leaves will yellow and stems will turn soft in the case of overwatering.

In the same vein, should your Alocasia amazonica be underwatered, you should typically see the leaves turn light brown and leaves drying up. In such a situation, follow the guide of only deep-watering your Monstera deliciosa when the top of the soil is dry, you should do just fine.

Fungal diseases. Bacterial and fungal diseases can typically cause black spots on leaves. A common fungal disease that occurs on the Alocasia amazonica in tropical cities such as Singapore is rust and powdery mildew.

Rust. This is typically caused by the lack of sunlight, high humidity and warm temperatures. In tropical climates like Singapore, this happens mainly due to the lack of sunlight especially since we already live in high humidity environments and warm temperatures. Once the disease sets in, warmth might actually accelerate the growth of brown spots instead of treating it. Rust typically thrives in overwatered conditions so be sure to check your soil whenever you spot initial symptoms of rust. Once identified as rust, prune or pick the leaves immediately to prevent the disease from spreading.

Mildew. There are two types of mildew - powdery mildew and downy mildew. Downy mildew typically occurs in cold conditions while powdery mildew when the soil is too dry. In Singapore, it is likely that powdery mildew occurs instead of downy mildew. To spot mildew, look out for white spots on the leaves that eventually turn brown. The powdery mildew eventually leaches nutrients from the plant and causes leaves to wither. If there are not too many leaves with powdery mildew, you can simply prune them. That said, once it’s there, you cannot remove it so be careful in ensuring that your basic care requirements are met!

Pests. Pests such as mealybugs or spider mites can cause damage to the leaves and is a common houseplant pest. An easy solution is spraying your plant with neem oil or wiping it with rubbing alcohol to get rid of pesky insect pests.

To limit a full-blown insect infestation on your entire collection, it might be useful to consider having your new plants be put under quarantine for a few days. This will help you isolate the insect problem should it indeed be from a new plant.

7c. Why your Alocasia amazonica has limp and droopy leaves and how to fix them

Seeing the leaves of your Alocasia amazonica limping and drooping can be slightly alarming. This can happen in a matter of hours. On the bright side though, it can also recover as quickly and is easily fixed. Here are the common reasons as to why your Alocasia amazonica has limp and droopy leaves followed by remedies on how to fix them:

Soil considerations. This is the most common cause of limp and droopy leaves especially if you accidentally let your soil dry out completely. Should that be the case, it is important that you soak-water your Alocasia amazonica. To do this, follow these simple steps:

To soak-water your Alocasia amazonica, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Place your plant without the saucer in a basin of water.

Step 2: Allow your plant to soak up the water through the drainage holes in the bottom of your pot.

Step 3: Once the water reaches the top of the soil, approximately 3 to 5 centimetres from the surface of your soil, remove your plant.

Step 4: Check if the soil is evenly damp. If not, put it back in the basin of water. Should it already be evenly damp, place it back on the saucer in its original spot and observe the plant for the next few days.

Temperature and humidity considerations. Since Alocasia amazonica thrives in humid conditions, any temperature between 16°C-32°C and humidity levels above 50% works just fine. This is perfect for Singapore. However, in the unlikely event that humidity is an issue, you might want to consider adding a layer of pebbles in a tray with water below your plant. As the water evaporates, moisture in the air around the plant will increase as well.

Pro-tip: Another reason might simply be that you just transplanted or repotted your Alocasia amazonica and it simply needs more time!

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Darren T'ngDarren is the Founder of Porchbuds, a technology-enabled plants and gardening marketplace aiming to make the world a greener place.See More Articles By Darren T'ng