As a gardener, you often see on pictures of large, green leaves that so cleverly resemble those flappy elephant ears.
After discovering maybe hundreds of pictures of elephant ear plants, you may find yourself filled with a desire to add these tropical beauties to your own garden.
So let’s look at these beautiful Alocasia Regal Shields plants.
Alocasia Regal Shields plant profile
Common name: Elephant Ear ‘Regal Shields’. Scientific name: Alocasia Regal Shields. Origin: Southeast Asia.
Growth and size
This Alocasia Regal Shields plant can grow to up to 9 feet tall. The Alocasia Regal Shields plant can develop at least 4 feet wide. If you have to give the plant some space to grow.
The Alocasia Regal Shields plant can use as edging, background plants, ground covers. It can be placed around ponds or along walkways or patio enclosures.
Their typical use is as an accent or focal point. These plants are suitable for growing in containers.
Sometimes their stems are used as a Vietnamese herb. The stalk is peeled and then cut. After that, the stem is for stir-frys and soups.
How to grow Alocasia Regal Shields plant
The Alocasia Regal Shields plant is happy to be grown indoors. The area must have bright, indirect light.
Place the plant near a south or north-facing window. Make sure that the plant gets bright light every day.
Make sure that you do not place the plant exposed to rays of sunlight and hit the leaves. This plant needs 70-85% sunlight, and the filtered sun is best.
During the cold winter months, you should relocate the plant indoors.
The Alocasia Regal Shields plant should be planted in a normal to slightly acidic soil. The Elephant Ear ‘Regal Shields’ plant prefers a soil pH between 5.5 and 7.0.
Check the soil for its acidic level by using a soil test kit. Add lime to sweeten acidic soil.
Add sulfur to lower your soil’s pH. The soil must be rich in nutrients for the best results.
Plant in a soil that is moist but well-drained. Keep every plant about 4 to 6 feet apart.
Make sure to keep them away from wet, mucky, or dry, sandy soils. This could cause root rot.
Since the plant is originated in Indonesia, India, China, South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Polynesia, and around the Mediterranean Sea, the temperature must be similar to those areas.
The plant would be happy in an environment that is controlled around 65°F to 77°F (18°C to 25°C). Keep the plant far away from cold drafts, air conditioning, or heating vents.
In frigid zones, the plant can be brought inside to avoid frost and freezing temperatures.
The best humidity condition for the Alocasia Regal Shields plant is that of similar to Southeast Asia regions. The average humidity level in these regions is above average or above 80% of humidity level.
There are ways to increase the humidity level. Any of the following ideas can be utilized to increase humidity.
Group the plants
The Alocasia Regal Shields plants release moisture through their leaves. This is a process called transpiration.
To create a humid microclimate, you can begin to group these plants together. This will benefit all the plants.
It would be a great idea to group plants with the same humidity requirements near each other.
Use pebble tray
To increase the humidity condition fast, you can use clean trays and put at least an inch of pebbles in each one. Then set the pots on the stones.
Pour the water into the tray halfway up the pebbles. Do not allow the pots to sit directly in water.
This will stimulate root rot and force the plant to collapse. When you flush these plants, you have to be sure to rinse and empty the tray.
This will let tray not becoming a breeding ground for insects or pests. This will also reduce the concentration of fertilizer salts that may have accumulated in the bin.
Mist the Alocasia Regal Shields plant
The plant can receive a good spray of water two times a week. The plants also benefit from regular misting during hot, dry spells.
This misting practice is especially helpful at the beginning of the winter months or in the early week of December. During this time, the humidity drops rapidly with the temperature.
Use a humidifier
The fastest and easiest way to increase the humidity condition is by placing the Alocasia Regal Shields plant near a humidifier.
The best pot size for the Alocasia Regal Shields plant is at least 18 inches wide and deep. This would be a good idea to place a large stone or two at the bottom of the container.
This is to weigh since the leaves of the plant catch the wind like a sail. The wind may easily tip the container over.
Make sure to use a pot with drainage holes. The container can be made out of plastic or terracotta.
How to care for the Alocasia Regal Shields plant
The best fertilizer for the Alocasia Regal Shields plant is a liquid and slow-release fertilizer. The best NPK formulation for the plant is 20-20-20.
They are considered heavy-feeders, and the soil must be fertile. Feed the plants one time in a month. Fertilize during the growing season of spring and through early fall.
Too much fertilizer may cause an excess salt build-up in the soil. Too many salts will result in leaf burn.
Each time you notice the Elephant Ear ‘Regal Shields’ are growing too vigorously, stop fertilization for a month or two.
When it comes to watering the Elephant Ear ‘Regal Shields’, there are some helpful ideas and suggestions for you to follow.
The plant may get more thirsty and would require more water depending on where you place the plant. The watering practice may be determined by the humidity in the room.
Watering can also be determined by the time of the year, and the amount of AC or Heating. It would be simple and easy to know when is the right time to water the plant.
All you have to do is to check up on these plants once in a while.
Begin by watering the plant one every week. Use watering can or a spray bottle or measuring cup to practice watering. Use about 16 ounces or 473 ml of watering per session.
Pour water all around the center of the plant. This way will filter the water down the base.
The water needs to run down the inside of the root ball. This will make the central roots wet.
A dry central root can happen if you water the plant too quickly. This dry condition will occur if you apply too much water at once.
The slower watering practice is more effective. The key is to make sure that water gets to the root zone.
To make sure the water reaches inside the root zone, dig little holes into the soil. You can do this by using a dull knife and pour water inside.
Check up 30 days after the last watering practice by inserting your finger into the soil. Insert about half an inch and feel the moisture level of the soil.
If the soil feels moist, try again in two days. But if the soil is dry, start to water the soil.
The soil should be moist but not soggy. You could determine the best watering schedule for the plant’s light, temperature, and moisture conditions.
The Alocasia Regal Shields plant is water-loving plants. Consistently moist soil is preferable, especially in warm months.
You can practice a lesser amount of watering in winter. During this season, the plant does not need as much water.
Pruning stalks or leaves of the plant may be a little counterproductive. Especially if you are trying to stimulate the plant to grow big and full.
Cutting off the leaves or stalks that no longer serve the function of the plant can actually encourage more growth. This will let light and nutrients to reach younger and smaller leaves.
They might be hidden under the natural canopy of the plant tend to provide.
Prune the plant two or three days after the start of the winter month. You can also prune the plant when the leave turns brown.
Leaves may turn brown anytime from late summer to midwinter.
Make sure to sterilize the blades of a pair of sharp pruning shears with rubbing alcohol or with a 10 percent bleach solution.
The Alocasia Regal Shields plant usually comes in 10” or 12” pots. The plant only requires to be repotted every two years
You can also re-pot the plant when you see the roots outgrowing the pot. Another time to re-pot is when you want to refresh the soil and give it new nutrients.
To avoid the outgrowth of the root, re-pot the plant to a pot that is 2” larger than its original pot. Or you can just change the soil without changing the pot.
To avoid getting your hands dirty, spread out plastic on the floor. Gently remove the plant from the pot.
Shake off the old soil as possible delicately. This will make the roots clean.
Place the plant at the bottom of the new pot. Cover with new soil.
Firm the soil and water thoroughly. Relocate the new plant in a spot with bright indirect light.
Wait for about 3 to 4 weeks for your plant to settle from the shock and adjust to its new home.
How to propagate the Alocasia Regal Shields plant
First thing first, you have to use a waterproof glove to avoid getting irritated by the sap from touching your skin.
Gently expose the plant’s roots by digging into the soil about 8 to 12 inches from the plant’s base. Loosen the soil. Use your hand.
Use your hand and pull the plant’s roots apart from the soil. Disjoint tubers, and their related roots from the main plant by using a sharp knife. Make sure each tuber keeps at least one bud (a small sprout).
You must prepare a spot or a pot with well-drained soil. The spot is in partial shade. Dig a hole about three inches deep for each tuber.
Place the tuber in the hole with the bud facing upward.
Apply one teaspoon of slow-release fertilizer to the hole. Fill the hole with the soil you removed to create the hole. Add about a 3-inch layer of mulch on top of the soil covering the tubers.
Water well. Keep the soil moist. Do not let the soil soaking wet.
Repeat the application fertilizer once each month. Place the fertilizer on top of the tuber’s soil. Water completely after fertilizing.
Wait for 7 to 8 months to harvest the tubers from the plants.
Pests and problems
There are possible pests and diseases regarding theAlocasia Regal Shields plant.
It is a fungal disease that can be common because of moisture. To cope with this problem, use standard fungicides. In order to avoid this fungus, you just have to water to the roots and not the leaves.
Bacterial leaf spot
It is a microscopic bacteria that causes little brown spots to the leaves. You can apply a copper fungicide in the early stages of the infection. Relocate the plant to avoid being infected by other nearby plants.
Phyllosticta leaf spot
This problem is also caused by moisture. Water can spread the disease from one plant to another.
Keep some space between plants for airflow. Some fungicides applications can help protect the plant.
You can eliminate spider mites by using neem oil, insecticidal soaps to control the spider mite population.
You can get rid of these bugs using insecticidal soap and some pesticides. They are hard to control due to their rate of reproduction and slender shape.
Use Trichogrammatidae and Eulophidae to control thrip populations.
Frequently ask question
Why do the leaves turn to yellow?
If the leaves of the plant are turning yellow, it could mean the plant does not get enough amount of sunlight, not getting enough or not getting enough fertilizer. Cut back the yellow leaves. Now all you have to do is to wait until next spring.
Why do the leaves turn to brown?
While the plant will grow in full sun, they do best in partially shady conditions. If the plant is burning or turning brown around the edges of leaves, it is a sign of the plant getting too much sun.
Why do the leaves droopy?
The Alocasia Regal Shields plant may droop because of the amount of light or the amount of water or applying fertilizer. The leaves dropping is because of the large leaves become too heavy. Pruning practices may help prevent dropping.
Why do the leaves curling?
Leaf curling can be caused by too little or too much water. If the plant in full sun, the plants are curling up. The leaves are curling because of not getting enough water, so additional water may be needed.
Person: Henry Kaswandi, SS, M.Kom.
Contact Info: You can reach me by email. Hi, this is Henry Kaswandi, SS, M.Kom. I am a garden and outdoor activities lover. I try to write a comprehensive article for good information and guide.