Have you ever wondered how often you should water your Alocasia plant and how much water it needs?
In this blog, we will talk about the best watering practices for Alocasia plants and provide some helpful tips.
Depending on how quickly the soil dries out, you must water your alocasia every 7-14 days. Check the top 2-3″ of soil and make sure it’s dry before you water your alocasia, as this helps prevent overwatering. Water the plant thoroughly until the water starts coming out of drainage holes.
There are other ways of watering your Alocasia that we will discuss in this article. We will also discuss all the information related to watering an alocasia plant.
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Alocasia Water Requirements
Before we understand how to water the alocasia plant, let’s understand the different factors that determine the plant’s water requirement.
The growing season of an alocasia plant is the summer and spring seasons.
During this time, the plant requires frequent watering and the highest amount of water.
The reason is that the plant grows actively and uses the water faster.
The weather conditions, such as the temperatures and light intensity, remain high, which speeds up the transpiration process, causing the leaves to lose water faster.
The soil also dries faster during these seasons.
Therefore, your Alocasia will require more water in these seasons.
You should water it when the soil goes 25-50% dry.
This will sum up to watering Alocasia once a week.
However, instead of following any routine mindlessly, make it a practice to check the soil’s moisture level before deciding if the plant needs water.
If the soil feels dry, you can water your Alocasia, and if it is still wet, wait for a few days and allow the soil to dry out.
If you are a beginner, you can use a moisture meter to check the soil’s moisture.
Winter is the time for low temperatures and low light, which is not ideal for tropical plants like Alocasia.
During winter, these plants go into dormancy due to these unfavorable conditions:
- Low light
- Low temperatures
- Low humidity
- A shorter span of days
These conditions are unsuitable for Alocasia, so they stop focusing on growth and start conserving their energy for the coming spring and summer seasons.
Due to reduced growth, the Alocasia will naturally require less water.
Also, during winter, the soil will take time to dry, which means the watering frequency will also decrease.
In winter, an alocasia will require watering once in 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the soil’s moisture.
You must be careful not to water your Alocasia with cold water as it will shock the plant.
You can allow the water to come to room temperature before giving it to your Alocasia.
How do you know if Alocasia needs water?
Many beginners ask how they would know if their plants need water.
If you are new to houseplants and starting with an alocasia, you can go with one or more of the following ways.
|Method||How It Works|
|Moisture meter||If you want to use this method, you need to get acquainted with the weight of the pot. You must lift the pot and weigh it before watering your Alocasia. This will show you how much the pot weighs when the plant needs water. So before watering it the next time, check the weight by lifting the pot to determine the plant’s water requirement.|
|Lift the pot||If you planted your Alocasia in a terracotta or clay-based pot, you could observe the pot to understand if the plant is ready to receive water. If the pot appears dark, it means that the soil still has moisture, whereas a lighter shade indicates that the plant will enjoy some watering.|
|Use your finger||This is easy, but you need to get your hands slightly dirty. Use your finger and insert it 2-3 inches into the soil. If the soil sticks to your finger, it means that your Alocasia still has enough moisture, and you must wait. But if the soil feels dry, you can water the plant.|
|Observe the pot||If you planted your Alocasia in terracotta or clay-based pot, you could observe the pot to understand if the plant is ready to receive water. If the pot appears dark, it means that the soil still has moisture, whereas a lighter shade indicates that the plant will enjoy some watering.|
|Touch the pot||This again applies to terracotta or clay-based pots. The soil contains water if you touch the pot and feel wet on the sides or the bottom. But, if the pot feels dry, you can water your Alocasia.|
Does Alocasia need a lot of water?
Alocasia requires a moderate amount of water and never too much.
Alocasia is sensitive to soggy soil; if you give it a lot of water, the soil will become waterlogged.
Therefore, you should water your Alocasia only when it needs it.
Water your Alocasia when the soil feels dry.
Here are a few factors that determine the water requirement of an alocasia plant other than the seasons.
Let’s understand how these factors affect the water requirements of the plant.
Alocasia requires bright, indirect sunlight.
If you place it at the right spot, the plant receives the ideal lighting conditions in the summer and spring months.
Since the plant photosynthesizes efficiently, it uses up more water.
But, if the plant is not getting enough light, you must reduce the watering, or the plant will get overwatered.
Like most tropical plants, Alocasia requires well-drained soil to drain the excess water.
If you use well-drained soil, the soil will not take long to dry, and therefore, the plant will require more water.
But if the soil you use is heavy and retains water for longer, it will require less water.
When the temperatures remain higher, the water evaporates faster, and the plant transpires more.
This results in the plant needing more water.
But the water will take longer to dry if the temperatures are low.
Thus, the plant will demand less water.
If the humidity is already high, the plant will not need a lot of water.
But the plant and the soil will crave moisture if the humidity is low.
If you don’t know the humidity levels around your Alocasia plant, you should get a Hygrometer to help you understand if the plant is getting enough.
Using a humidifier is ideal for providing high humidity to the Alocasia.
There are many humidifiers available online, and I recommend the LEVOIT Humidifiers for Bedroom.
The pot material and size can affect the watering needs of an alocasia plant.
A clay-based pot will wick away the moisture, and the plant will require more water.
But, if you use a plastic pot, the soil will take longer to dry.
So, the plant will require less frequent watering.
The water will take longer to drain in a big pot with more soil, so your Alocasia will require less frequent watering.
However, if you use a compact pot containing less soil, the water will drain faster, so you must water it more frequently.
How to water the Alocasia plant?
There are three ways to water an Alocasia plant.
And the best way would be to rotate between the three of them as per the requirement.
1. Continuous pouring
In the first method, you water your Alocasia till the excess water starts running out of the drainage holes.
You can take your Alocasia to the sink and apply this method.
You should use this method of watering at least once a month as it will remove all the excess salt build-up.
2. Quick pour
In the second method, you aerate the soil and give the plant a good soak, but don’t wait for the water to come out of the drainage holes.
If the soil feels very dry, you can use this method.
Take a chopstick, poke holes into the soil to aerate it, and then pour water.
Aerating the soil will ensure that the water gets into the soil and doesn’t run from only the sides.
The third method is called bottom watering.
If your Alocasia is placed in a pot with no drainage holes, you must use this method to avoid overwatering the plant.
You can take the plant out of the pot, fill a container with water, place it in it, and let the soil soak in the water.
Remove the plant from the water after a few hours and return it to its pot.
What happens when you overwater your Alocasia?
Alocasia likes moist soil but can’t tolerate standing water or waterlogged soil.
If you water your Alocasia without ensuring that the plant needs it, it will get overwatered.
Alocasia is sensitive to overwatering and will easily develop various issues if It stays in soggy soil for too long.
If you think your Alocasia is overwatered, look for the following signs:
- Yellow leaves
- Wilting leaves
- Weak stems
- Pest infestation
- Fungus growth
- Root rot
If you have overwatered the plant, tilt the pot, remove the excess water, and place the plant in a bright spot with indirect light.
You can take the plant out of the pot, spread the roots and soil on paper, and leave them under a bright light to let them dry out.
If you get a foul smell from the soil, take the plant out of the spot and inspect the roots.
If the roots seem unhealthy, trim the damaged ones, spray fungicide, and repot the plant in fresh potting mix and a new pot.
How do you prevent overwatering your Alocasia?
If you don’t want to overwater your Alocasia, follow the below-mentioned steps while watering.
- Always check the soil moisture level before watering your Alocasia.
- Water the plant only if the soil is 25-50% dry.
- Do not follow a watering routine mindlessly, as it is the most common reason behind overwatering.
- Reduce watering during the winter season.
- If you have placed your Alocasia in a low-light area, avoid watering it too frequently.
- Use well-drained soil.
- Keep the plant in a pot with drainage holes.
What happens when you underwater your Alocasia?
Alocasia can survive underwater for a while as it has thick leaves and stems that retain water.
But keeping it thirsty for too long will cause health issues for the plant.
However, the best thing is treating underwatering is much easier than treating overwatering.
Here are the signs indicating that your Alocasia is not getting enough water.
- Wilting leaves
- Brown leaves
- Crispy foliage
- Compact soil
- Slow growth
- Curling of leaves
- Drooping leaves
If you have underwatered your Alocasia, give it a good soak of water.
You can try the bottom-watering method or aerate the soil and water it till the excess water starts running out of the drainage holes.
How to prevent underwatering your Alocasia?
If you don’t want your exotic Alocasia to go through underwater stress, try to prevent it.
- Don’t let the soil go bone dry, and water your Alocasia whenever the soil is 25-50% dry.
- Mark a calendar that will remind you to check on your Alocasia.
- Water the plant more during the summer season.
- If the soil drains water too fast, add compost to improve the retention capacity.
- You can also use a self-watering kit to water your alocasia, even when you forget to check on it.
Should I mist my Alocasia?
If your Alocasia is not receiving enough humidity, misting it is a good idea.
However, you’re mistaken if you think misting would solve the low humidity issues.
You can mist your Alocasia to clean the leaves and provide short-term humidity, but if you want a long-term solution, get a humidifier.
If you can’t get a humidifier, you can use a pebble tray and keep your Alocasia on it.
The water will evaporate from the tray and add humidity to the plant.
Recommended Garden Supplies
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.
Alocasia is a tropical plant from hot and humid areas, which indicates that the plant will require frequent watering.
However, the plant’s water requirement depends on the seasons, temperature, light, soil, and humidity that the plant receives.
An Alocasia generally requires watering once a week during its growing season. In winter, its water requirement is reduced once every 2-3 weeks.
You can water your Alocasia by following the bottom-watering method, aerating the soil and pouring some water, or watering till the soil drains out the excess water.