Alocasia Polly. This is a tropical plant that features stunning foliage that may well become the centerpiece of a garden or room. Determined by the right conditions, the Alocasia Polly plant can grow very rapidly. They are also sensitive plants.
They are stunning houseplants. The plant features dark, and shield-shaped foliage that may be prominent by white veins running throughout the leaves.
They do not flower occasionally. The plant sending up a spike with a calla-like white, light yellow, or cream bloom.
Growers and homeowners prefer the foliage appearance. It is the purpose the plant is grown. A perfect plant for high-humidity areas including kitchens and bathrooms.
Alocasia Polly profile
Common name Kris Plant, Elephant Ear or African mask plant. Scientific name Alocasia Polly and Alocasia x Amazonica. The plant is a native of Southeast Asia.
Growth and size
The Alocasia Polly plant is considered as a slow-growing plant. The height is between 1′ to 2′ or 30 cm to 60 cm. The spread of the plant is between 1′ to 2′ or 30 cm to 60 cm.
The plant has a moderate speed of growth. One new leaf every month is a normal rate for the plant. If you do not notice any new leaves in 6 months, try to re-pot or fertilize the plant.
Alocasia Polly plant grows as a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant USDA hardiness zones 8 through 11, depending on the specific variety.
The plant is perfect as a greenhouse plant. You can also place the plant in a pot or containers. It can be a house plant but must be with some extra care.
How to grow Alocasia Polly
The Alocasia plant is very happy to be in bright but indirect light. In its natural habitat, the plant is blocked out by a higher tree.
Direct sun can burn the leaves. It can tolerate 1 hour of sunlight but not more especially during mid-day. You can still place them near a window but do not let it receive the full sun exposure too long.
But still, it would be best to avoid full sun exposure. The plant can survive in medium light but not at a dark corner.
The best soil for Alocasia Polly plant is loamy soil. The soil must be kept moist. Do not let the soil get too wet or this might lead to root rot. Use fast-draining, well-aerated potting soil for a start.
You can also use a peat-based soil and mix with perlite to make sure proper drainage. Coco coir works well for the plant as well.
Keep the pH of the soil between 5.5 to 6.5 level. Use soil test kits to determine the pH level of the soil.
If the pH level is lower than 5.5, the soil is acidic. It means that the plant does not have the ability to absorb the nutrients available in the soil.
The plant can have a nutrient deficiency. Using lime can raise the pH level of the soil.
If the plant is higher than 6.5, Add 1 to 3 ounces of ground rock sulfur per 1 square yard of soil.
The Alocasia Polly plant is happy to be at a warm temperature between 65°F to 85°F or 18°C to 29°C. If you plant the plant indoor, maintain the temperatures above 60°F.
Avoid placing the plant near cold drafts like near an AC. The plant can not tolerate sudden temperature changes.
The Alocasia Polly will die if exposed to cold temperatures. The best climate and temperature is the one that is similar to its native Southeast Asia.
The plant can thrive well in an above-average humidity. The humidity level may be raised in an indoor room by using a humidity tray with pebbles or a humidifier.
This plant will die in a home environment because of very dry air. The tropical plant needs high humidity.
Use a 4 – 6 inches of pot or container. You may choose a plastic pot or terracotta pot but both should have drainage holes.
The best fertilizer for Alocasia Polly is to feed the plant with a liquid balanced fertilizer. The plant can be fertilized in the spring months (March to June).
Fertilize the plant 16 times during those months which means to fertilize every 2 weeks. Stop the feeding in July or August and start again in March next year.
The plant needs fertilizer during its growing stage. You can add Epsom salts to the fertilizer if you see the leaves turning yellow. Adding Epsom salts means adding micronutrients and do this once in a month.
Watering the plant determined by the climate. During hot summer months, you can water these plants every day in the morning before the sunrise.
Remember that this plant is not drought tolerant. Drought may cause brown leaf tips or edges. So keep the soil consistently moist.
But during rainy days, you can stop watering and water the plant only if the rain does not fall in 2 days. Remember not to overwater or make the soil wet or saturated.
The best way to maintain and care for the Alocasia Polly plant is to schedule watering the plant regularly.
It would be best to re-pot the plant every year. Us a well-draining soil and a 1 or 2 inches larger pot than the previous pot or container.
Use a stainless steel hand pruning shears to prune away damaged stems or leaves. The Alocasia Polly plant does not need to be resized or reshaped.
The purpose of pruning is for maintaining the overgrown plant or damaged plant.
Safely cut away up to one-third of the leaves down to their base. Leaving about 2 inches above the ground.
Develop clean cuts straight across the stems and leave. Do not tear those parts of the plant. Get rid of the leaves or stems in the trash or compost pile.
How to propagate Alocasia Polly
The best method to propagate the Alocasia Polly plant is by division. Dividing it into smaller parts can be delivered due to the clumping or rhizomatous nature of the root structure.
A successful division is practically easy and simple. Transform a bunch of Alocasia Polly plant into two or more new plants.
The watering schedule, proper watering, and proper potting soil will be the decisive factor in how successful the newly planted divisions will be.
Remove the chosen mother plant from its pot or container.
Sprinkle or spray gently the soil with water to loosen up the soil around the roots and corms. You can also soal the root in a bucket of water.
Find a clump with a few corms. Delicately pulls apart the mass. Use sharp and clean scissors to separate the corms and roots.
Place the mother plant to its original pot. It would be best to replace the soil first with fresh potting mix.and the newly divided sections.
Place the new divided sections of a plant in a new pot filled with potting soil.
Water the new plant as well as the mother plant after potting. Relocate the new plant to a spot that is not warm or cool until roots have developed. Keep the new divisions in a spot free from drafts, then care for them as usual.
It is possible to place small divisions in water. Wait until new roots to grow before planting in soil.
Pests and problems
The most common pests of the Alocasia Polly plants are mealy bugs, scale, aphids, and spider mites. Get rid of them by spraying the plant with Neem oil or insecticide oil.
To prevent the infestation, you have to keep the plant dust-free. Spray the plant every week with warm and soapy water.
Overwatering and underwatering may cause diseases including crown, stem, and root rot, Leaf Spot, and Xanthomonas.
The symptoms of the diseases are commonly black or dark brown spots on the leaves. A yellowish rim around the spots.
These diseases can be avoided by proper watering and watering schedule. Keep the leaves dry and clean. Provide proper air circulation near and around the plant.