I have never had one, but would like to try one as a house plant. Seems to me they are better suited to outside situations in Florida or the like, from what I've read.
I agree - it would be really hard to keep it happy in your zone over the winter. I've over-wintered a few by letting them go dry at the time frost is due & storing them in the cool spot ( in the basement. I repotted them in the spring about the first of May so it was warm enough to move them outdoors around Memorial Day (last expected frost here is May 15). You probably could keep them indoors in the summer if you have a bright sunroom and your air conditioning doesn't dry the air too much.
Elkay..Alocasia's are difficult, but with a 'little' work, you can keep one for years. It might not look its best in winter, but it depends on species and environment.
A. amazonica flowers in winter through spring, but grown more for foliage than blooms. Flowers are Spaith-like, similar to Aglaonemas.
If you decide to give it a try, look into A. Amazonica, commonly known as African Masks. Toni
Here they make a great houseplant.
My buddy has one that is looking fantastic, even putting out new leaves.
We re-potted last year into a mix that provides excellent drainage and can
be watered frequently without fear of root-rot. It seems that rot is the main
problem with these for most growers.
Elkay, you could try Alocasia reginula - Black Velvet. It's a small plant with hard and almost black leaves. I've it for almost 2 years. The leaves stay in winter too. Just have to beware of Aphids, but they are easy to get rid off.
Another Alocasia I've is A. macrorrhiza variegata. Now it's lost all of its leaf. I wonder it'll come back next year. This is its first winter.
Thus far my Alocasia 'Poly' is doing just fine. A second that I had at school I believe has gone dormant as a result of drying out too much.
Honey gave me a small Alocasia Poly about a month ago & it seems to be doing fine... it will get a treatment like Josh's friend's in a few months.
I've had a Colocasia esculenta in the house since October. It lost all leaves when separated from it's 5 friends, but is now sending out it's 3rd leaf on a 3' petiole!
My mom & others have warned against spider mites on these two plants; we'll see how it goes.
Just to make it easier to locate, I thought I'd link the Thread of Alocasia Amazonica below.
Lots of pics to enjoy!
Here is a link that might be useful: Alocasia Amazonica - Poly - (pics)
Is Black Velvet an Alocasia or Colocasia?
I have a black-leaf Colocasia...it's one of the easiest plants to grow indoors.
Mites can attack most plants. It's true some plants are more susceptible, but with proper care, plants should be insect-free. Toni
Hi Toni, Black Velvet is an Alocasia.
I think the black leaf Colocasia you have is Colocasia esculenta - Black Magic.
Here is my Alocasia reginula - Black Velvet.