Alocasia adds a tropical effect to any landscape setting. These are grown for their large foliage that resembles elephants’ ears. Many plant owners wonder if they can grow their alocasia outdoors. Keep reading to find out.
It is best to grow alocasia as an indoor plant, but it can be grown outside in USDA zones 10 and 11. Alocasia grows best in shaded gardens, where they receive mild morning sunlight. If you take it or plant it outside, you should protect it from the direct sun and harsh winters.
You must know how to care for your alocasia outside before moving the plant, or it will have trouble surviving. This article will discuss the conditions you should look for to move your alocasia outdoors.
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Alocasia plants indoors or outdoors?
Alocasia is widely preferred as a houseplant because their requirements suit the indoor environment.
First, alocasia does not like direct sunlight falling on its leaves.
This condition makes them highly suitable to grow indoors.
As tropical plants, alocasia needs 50-60% humidity to flourish.
You can always control the humidity inside the house with a humidifier, pebble tray, dehumidifier, etc.
However, it is difficult to control the humidity range when growing outside.
Alocasia loves warm temperatures ranging from 65-85 degrees, and extreme temperature fluctuation can harm them.
And it is not possible to regulate the temperature outdoors.
Due to these requirements, Alocasias are more suitable for growing inside the house.
However, it doesn’t mean you can’t grow them outside.
If you can regulate certain conditions per your plant’s preference, you can grow it outside.
Before moving your plant outside, get all the knowledge about the sunlight, temperature, humidity, water, and all the plant’s needs, and examine the situation outside your area that you will give to your plant.
It might not survive outside if the conditions are too harsh for your alocasia.
So make a detailed study before deciding to move it.
This article will discuss all the factors required for your plant outside.
Keep reading to know more.
Alocasia plant care when kept outdoors
It is important to analyze your alocasia’s conditions before moving it outside to ensure your plant has the right environment to flourish.
If the condition outdoors is not suitable for your plant, you might lose it because your alocasia cannot tolerate harsh, unfavorable growing conditions.
Now, let’s find out what these requirements are.
The primary requirements of your alocasia are:
Let us study each requirement in more detail.
1) Light needs of an outdoor alocasia plant
Alocasias need bright and indirect light.
In their natural habitat, plants grow on the forest floor of tropical regions under a large canopy of trees.
Direct sunlight falling on the leaves can cause leaf burn, so avoid placing your alocasia in a spot where it will receive direct sunlight.
If you notice the leaves of your alocasia looking bleached or scorched, you must move the plant to a shadier spot.
If you want your alocasia to get sunlight, expose it to morning sunlight, which is soothing and mild, and as it gets adapted, you can slowly increase the hours.
However, Alocasias are not tolerant of low light conditions, which will affect their growth because alocasia cannot photosynthesize properly without bright indirect light.
When you decide to move your alocasia outdoors, you first need to choose a spot that does not get the direct falling rays of the sun.
You can choose spots under bigger trees or a patio with a shade.
It is fine if the spot gets a few hours of sunlight early.
However, the afternoon sun should not fall on the leaves.
Can alocasia be in direct sunlight?
Alocasia cannot tolerate hot afternoon sunlight because it is used to growing under the shade of big trees in nature.
So, direct sunlight can burn and bleach the glossy leaves.
The leaves will turn yellow, brown, and crispy; if the plant is not removed, it can also die.
However, alocasia can thrive under a few hours of morning sunlight, so you can give that and give it shade as the day progresses.
Your alocasia can tolerate some sunlight in winter as the intensity remains milder and does not harm the plant.
If you want to expose your plant to sunlight, start with a few hours and slowly increase the duration.
Let the plant adjust and give it time to get accustomed to the light.
If your alocasia is outside, shade it from harsh sunlight.
Also read: Alocasia Sunburn: Signs, Causes & How To Fix.
2) Alocasia Humidity requirements when kept outside
Alocasias are native to tropical regions with a high level of humidity.
Their humidity requirement is 50-60% indoors.
Sufficient humidity can help plants combat pests like spider mites, often attacking Alocasias.
You can adopt many ways to increase the humidity levels around the Alocasias when you keep it indoors.
But outside, frequent misting can be done to raise the humidity level of the plant.
The humidifier also helps increase the humidity, but you can’t use it outside.
You must ensure that your plant gets sufficient humidity outdoors.
If the humidity is low and the air is too dry in your region, your alocasia may not survive.
So before moving the plant outside, examine the conditions well.
Can alocasia survive winter outside?
Alocasia loves warm weather and cannot tolerate cold and frost.
Left outside in cold weather, alocasia can find it hard to survive.
They are very sensitive to the cold and will dormant in winter if the temperature drops below 50 degrees.
And if the temperature dips to a freezing point and the plant gets exposed to the frost, it can die.
If your alocasia is outdoors and your area experiences harsh winters, you must bring your plant indoors to save it from the frost.
Some plant owners dig up the tubers of alocasia and store them in a cool and dry place until spring and then replant them again.
3) What Temperature can alocasia tolerate outdoors?
Alocasias can be grown outdoors year-round in zones 10 and 11.
But in chillier climates, they must be brought indoors when the temperatures drop as potted plants or stored as bulb-like tubers to replant when the spring comes.
Alocasia enjoys warmth, preferably between 65-85°F.
When exposed to temperatures below 50°F over time, the plant gets dormant and may drop all its gorgeous leaves.
Also, keeping your alocasia away from cold drafts is recommended.
This plant does not like abrupt fluctuations in the weather, which may affect its health.
You need to understand the weather pattern of your region to ensure that the plant adjusts well to it.
You cannot keep this plant outdoors in areas with extremely cold weather and severe winters.
What temperature can alocasia tolerate?
Alocasia thrives best at 65-85°F.
If the temperature goes below 50°F, your alocasia will undergo different problems.
As alocasia grows from the tubers, many plant owners store the bulbs in cool, dry places until spring and replant them again.
4) Watering requirement of an outdoor alocasia plant
Alocasias like to stay moist at all times.
However, there is a thin line between moist and soggy.
The plant likes to stay moist but hates being soggy.
They require less water in winter because they stay dormant.
Reduce watering in winter, or it might lead to root rot and overwatering problems.
Allow 25-50% of the soil to dry for watering to ensure the plant is not overwatered.
If you keep your alocasia outside, the plant’s watering needs will change drastically because more light and heat will dry out the soil faster.
So, it will require more water outdoors than it does indoors.
However, it might get overwatered if you do not check the soil before watering.
How often should I water my alocasia outside?
How often you should water your alocasia depends on external factors like the region you live in, the weather, the amount of sunlight and heat the plant gets, the amount of rainfall and humidity, etc.
You tend to understand the water requirements with time.
However, moving your alocasia outside doesn’t change the watering rule.
You need to water when the topsoil is dry or use a moisture meter to check the moisture.
Do not keep your alocasia underwatered; it needs constant moisture to grow.
Underwatering can make the plant look feeble, fade the leaves, and make them fall.
Also read: How Can You Save Overwatered Alocasia?
5) Wind protection for alocasia kept outside
Houseplants hate strong winds, and alocasias are no different.
Strong winds can be hard on this plant.
Many regions experience very windy weather all year long.
If you live in such areas, you might have to think twice before taking your alocasia outdoors.
Alocasias require protection from very strong winds.
The tender leaves are subjected to wind damage if not protected from them.
They thrive safely indoors because there is no strong wind inside to damage the plants.
However, if you live in a region where it is not very wide, but you get wind just for some days, you can protect your plant with the help of a plastic bag.
6) Where to Place your alocasia outdoors?
It is most important to find a spot for your alocasia that best suits it.
A wrong spot for your plant can destroy its life.
Before moving your plant outdoors, keep the following tips in mind.
- Your alocasia loves humidity, so if you plant it outside, don’t forget to mist your plant frequently.
- The spot you keep the plant in should not get full sun all day. A few hours of early morning sun is fine. A shade of a bigger tree, roof, or anything to protect the alocasia from direct sunlight will help.
- The temperature of your area should not go below 50 degrees. You must bring the plant inside to save it if temperatures go low.
- You should protect your alocasia from hot or cold drafts.
- Do not forget to check the soil’s water requirement before adding more water.
- A strong gush of wind can damage the plant’s tender leaves, so cover your alocasia on windy days.
How do we move the indoor alocasia outside?
Plants, like humans, do not like abrupt changes.
So if you wish to move your alocasia outdoors, you must gradually adapt to the conditions.
If you suddenly move it outside, your plant will develop problems.
Moving the plant outside suddenly will shock it, and it might be unable to cope with the stress, affecting its health.
Let us discuss some tips to help you move your alocasia outside without giving it a major shock.
- Choose an appropriate pot for your alocasia. It is better to avoid plastic or ceramic as it might harm the plant when kept in full sun. Clay pots are most recommended.
- Take the alocasia outside, keep it under partial shade for 2-3 hours, and bring it back inside.
- Continue this for a week.
- After a week of following this routine, expose the alocasia to morning sunlight for 1-2 hours.
- Shift the alocasia to a spot that gets indirect bright light for the rest of the day.
- Continue this for a week again.
- If the plant reacts well, you can now increase the hours gradually.
- Keep checking the plant for signs of any damage or stress. If the plant shows no sign of stress, you can leave it outside.
- If your region suffers from extreme cold and frost during winters, do not keep the alocasia outside.
- Do not expose the leaves to direct scorching afternoon sun.
- Don’t forget to check the soil before watering to avoid overwatering.
- Fertilize the plant during the growing season, and do not fertilize in winter as it gets dormant.
- Do not keep the plant in a spot that gets strong direct wind, which might harm it.
- Look for pests, spray the Neem oil solution, and clean the leaves.
- Mist frequently to maintain humidity.
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Keeping the alocasia outdoors requires effort and observation until you understand whether the plant is happy with the outdoor conditions.
However, once you understand how your plant is doing outdoors, it should not be a problem anymore. Keep an eye on its requirements and give your plant time to adapt to the outdoor environment.