Alocasia or Elephant’s Ears is an exotic tropical plant with large green leaves grown indoors and in gardens. If you are an Alocasia owner or want to get one for your space, you might want to know how fast the plant grows to keep up with its pace.
Let’s figure out how fast do Alocasia grows in this article.
Alocasia is a fast-growing tropical plant that can grow 3-5 feet tall in a year when grown outdoors. Potted Alocasia can grow up to 1-2 feet every year as they have a limited space to spread their roots and gets less nutrients. You will notice the most growth during the summer month.
The growth speed of the Alocasia depends on the variety you own, the external conditions that it gets, and the care you provide. If everything is suitable for your Alocasia, the plant will grow fast.
In this article, I will explain everything you need to know about the growth of Alocasia and how you can make it grow faster.
Table Of Contents
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Factors that affect the growth of Alocasia
Many factors are responsible for determining the growth rate of Alocasia plants.
Let’s find out what they are and how they affect the plant.
- Temperature and humidity
- The size of the pot
- Pest infestation
Now, let’s dive into the details.
Light is important for all plants, and it is an important factor that determines the growth rate.
Alocasia is a tropical plant used to grow under dappled sunlight in its native land.
Therefore, a bright and indirect source of sunlight will be ideal for them.
However, keeping your Alocasia in a low-light area will not allow it to grow as fast as it should.
If your Alocasia is not getting enough natural light, you can take the help of artificial lights.
You must also remember that Alocasia can’t tolerate direct intense sunlight.
Therefore, if you want your Alocasia to grow fast, you should neither expose it to direct sunlight nor keep it in the dark.
Temperature and humidity
Alocasia belongs to the tropical climate, where it receives warm temperatures and high humidity levels.
If you can provide a similar environment with suitable temperatures and humidity levels, your Alocasia will grow fast.
However, if the temperature and humidity are not suitable for the plant, you will notice a slower growth rate.
To ensure that your Alocasia gets proper temperatures and humidity levels, you need to keep it away from specific places and make some changes around it if required.
- Avoid placing your Alocasia near doors or windows that are opened or closed too frequently.
- Keep the plant in a well-insulated room.
- Don’t place your Alocasia near heating sources such as a fireplace, furnace, heater, or radiator.
- Avoid exposing the Alocasia to hot or cold drafts.
- Don’t place the plant opposite the AC, as the dry air will reduce the humidity levels around your Alocasia.
- Keep your Alocasia near a humidifier if you have one, or get a humidifier and place it near the plant to raise the humidity levels.
- Don’t expose your Alocasia to low temperatures and frost during winter.
Season plays an important role in determining the growth of the Alocasia plant.
The spring and summer seasons are the ideal times for the growth of an Alocasia.
The plant gets the ideal temperatures, light, and humidity levels, so it grows at an optimum level.
However, the growth of the Alocasia will reduce in winter as it is the dormant period for this plant.
The intensity and duration of the sunlight reduce, and the temperatures and humidity levels go down in winter.
These are unsuitable for the Alocasia, and so it goes into a dormant period where it stops growing and saves energy.
It is a natural process that you should not be worried about.
Therefore, it is okay to notice slow or no growth in your Alocasia during the winter season.
However, to help your Alocasia survive the winter, you must follow these steps:
- Reduce watering your Alocasia in winter as the soil takes time to dry out.
- Don’t fertilize your Alocasia in winter.
- Avoid placing your Alocasia near frosty windows.
- Don’t expose your Alocasia to low temperatures and cold drafts.
- If your Alocasia is not getting enough light, keep it under artificial lights.
The size of the pot
The size of the pot can also affect the growth of your Alocasia plant.
If you keep your Alocasia in a small pot, it will become root-bound fast, and its growth will get restricted.
Since the roots will not have enough space for growth, they will fail to grow freely.
The roots will grow in a circular motion, displace the soil inside the pot, and not function properly.
The roots will not be able to absorb water or nutrients from the soil, due to which the plant will lack the energy for growth.
On the other hand, using a too-large pot can also affect the growth rate.
When you keep your Alocasia in a large pot, it focuses more on root growth and less on foliage growth.
The chances of the Alocasia getting overwatered is also higher in a large pot as it contains more soil that holds more water and takes a long time to get dry.
So, what is the ideal pot size for an Alocasia?
A pot 1-2 inches larger than the roots of your Alocasia is ideal as the roots will get enough space for growth and proper functioning.
This will help the Alocasia function properly and grow at the optimum level.
Choosing the right soil mix for your Alocasia from the start is important, as the plant will live and grow on this medium.
If you don’t pay attention to the soil requirements or use any soil, it can restrict the plant’s growth and even make it unhealthy.
For example, if you use too heavy soil, it will hold excess water and affect the roots, cause root rot, and restrict the growth of your Alocasia.
And if you use loose soil that drains water too fast, the roots will not be able to absorb enough water and nutrients, due to which the plant’s growth will slow down.
If you take some time to understand your Alocasia’s soil requirements, you can provide the correct soil mix to help it stay healthy and grow.
Let’s take a look at an ideal soil recipe for your Alocasia:
Potted plants require fertilization because they don’t get nutrients from nature.
When plants grow in the wild, they get nutrients from the soil, but as houseplants, the soil is limited, and so are its nutrients which get used up and washed away.
Therefore, you need to add nutrients to the soil with fertilizers to ensure your Alocasia is getting enough.
If you don’t fertilize your Alocasia, it will lack nutrients and will not be able to grow properly.
Therefore, you will notice slow growth.
However, too much fertilization will do no good and harm Alocasia and its roots.
If you fertilize the plant too frequently or give it too much fertilizer, it will build upon the soil.
These salts will have a harmful chemical reaction on the roots of your Alocasia and cause root burn.
This condition will restrict growth and deteriorate the health of the plant.
If you fertilize your Alocasia in the winter, it can cause the same problems as the plant doesn’t require fertilization during the dormant period.
If you have overfertilized your Alocasia that is not letting it grow, follow these steps:
- Stop fertilizing your Alocasia.
- Scrape the soil to get rid of the excess salt.
- Take the plant to the sink and run water over the soil 2-3 times to remove the excess salt off the fertilizer.
- Inspect the roots and prune the damaged ones.
- Repot the Alocasia with fresh potting mix.
Watering houseplants can be tricky for beginners, but a clear understanding is important as it can affect your plant’s growth.
If you use an incorrect watering technique, the plant will undergo different problems.
Giving your Alocasia excess water will make the soil soggy and introduce root rot.
And not giving enough water will dehydrate your Alocasia and prevent its growth.
Therefore, you should water your Alocasia once in 1-2 weeks, depending on whether the soil is dry or moist.
How to water the Alocasia correctly?
Watering Alocasia isn’t easy initially, but you can ace it even as a beginner with the right knowledge.
- Never water your Alocasia without checking the soil. You can check the soil with a moisture meter or insert your finger into the soil.
- Water the Alocasia only when the soil is 25-50% dry.
- If the soil is still wet, you must wait for a few more days before checking it again.
- If you forget to water your Alocasia on time, set reminders on your phone or mark your calendar so you know when to check the soil and water your plant.
- Always use well-drained soil and a pot with drainage holes to ensure your Alocasia has a proper drainage system.
- An Alocasia living in a plastic pot will require less water than one living in a clay pot.
- Reduce watering by half during winter as the soil takes time to dry out.
You might notice slow growth after bringing an Alocasia home.
The reason is that a plant takes time to adjust to its new environment, and sometimes it can get stressed due to environmental changes.
If your Alocasia is growing slowly or showing unhealthy leaves, give the plant some time and let it adjust to the new environment.
You might notice the same problem when you repot your Alocasia or move it from indoors to outdoors suddenly.
Therefore, always make the changes slowly. If your Alocasia is stressed after being repotted or brought into a new environment, give it time to recover and provide the ideal conditions.
Pruning is an essential part of the care routine of all plants, including Alocasia.
Pruning helps you remove the unnecessary parts of the plant that waste its energy and focus its energy on new growth.
Therefore, you can see that pruning can help your Alocasia grow faster.
But without pruning, the plant can become uneven and slow as it will take time to get rid of the damaged leaves naturally.
Keep these in mind while pruning your Alocasia
Keep the following factors in mind while pruning your Alocasia to avoid making mistakes.
- Prune your Alocasia from the base of the stalk that is damaged or has a damaged leaf.
- Prune with a sharp and sterilized pruner.
- Prune and remove all the overgrown parts, leggy parts, damaged and diseased foliage, and stems.
- The best time to prune your Alocasia is during the spring and summer.
- Try not to prune in the winter as the plant remains dormant during this time.
- Wear gloves while pruning to avoid getting the sap on your skin.
- Water the plant and place it in a spot with bright and indirect sunlight.
If you notice slow growth on your Alocasia, try inspecting the plant thoroughly, and you might end up noticing some pests.
Pests do no good to your plants and restrict their growth instead.
Most pests feed on the sap of your plants that contain nutrients and water.
So, the plant becomes weak and left with no energy for growth without the sap.
If your Alocasia has a pest infestation, there was something wrong with its care routine or the conditions it was exposed to.
Pests such as scales, spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, etc., can attack your Alocasia if you follow a wrong watering technique, keep the plant in low light, or don’t provide correct temperatures or humidity.
How to get rid of pests from your Alocasia?
Follow these steps if you notice any of these pests on your Alocasia.
- Quarantine the plant, so other houseplants don’t get a pest infestation.
- Handpick the visible pests from the plant.
- Take the Alocasia to the sink and give it a good wash to remove as many pests as possible.
- If you notice any heavily infested areas, prune those with a sharp and sterilized pruner.
- You can use a Neem oil or a horticulture oil and spray it on your Alocasia to eliminate the pests.
- You can also get an organic pesticide to treat the pests.
- Place your Alocasia under bright indirect light and water the plant when the soil is ready for it.
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Are you looking for a readymade indoor plant soil mix that you can open and pour? Check out rePotme. They offer a wide range of readymade soil premixes for all your indoor plants.
How do you make Alocasia grow faster?
Your Alocasia will grow faster with suitable growing conditions and proper care.
Follow these basic care tips if you want your Alocasia to grow fast.
|Factor||Correct Care Requirement|
|Light||Provide bright and indirect light to your Alocasia and keep it away from direct sunlight. You can use artificial lights when the plant doesn’t get enough natural light.|
|Water||An Alocasia will require watering once in 1-2 weeks during the growing season.|
Water the plant after making sure the soil is 25-50% dry.
Reduce wearing in winter.
|Soil||Use well-drained potting soil that also retains the required moisture.|
|Fertilizer||Fertilize your Alocasia with a balanced 20:20:20 NPK liquid fertilizer during the growing months.|
Stop fertilizing in winter.
|Temperature||Provide warm temperatures between 65-85°F and don’t let it go below 50°F.|
|Humidity||Maintain 50-60% humidity if you want your Alocasia to stay healthy and grow.|
|Repotting||Repot your Alocasia once in 18-24 months to avoid making it go root-bound.|
|Pruning||Prune your Alocasia whenever you notice discolored leaves, unhealthy stems, leggy growth, or other damages.|
Consider pruning in the spring and summer seasons.
Reference: Science Direct, Propagation of Alocasia, The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Alocasia sanderiana, Alocasia micholitziana.