Taking proper care of my Alocasia Polly

oneleafAugust 13, 2010

I have had an Alocasia Polly (bought on impulse by my wife) for about 3 weeks. I found out these things can be finnicky. I mist it twice a day and water it so that the soil stays moist letting it dry a tad between waterings. The soil is quite water retentive so it only needs weekly watering.

I also put it on humidity tray with rocks and have it in the kitchen on a nicely lit corner with North and East corner windows, wide open. We have no A/C, so the temperature stays nice for plants (around high 70's or low 80's).

The plant has looked better and better over the past 3 weeks. But before the winter comes I want to make sure I do everything to promote a healthy life for this plant. First thing I am considering is the soil. What is a good soil mix for something like this? Would Al's Gritty mix be good or should I go for something with peat? Should I try to maintain high sun exposure (maybe move to South window) during the winter?

Thanks for the help!

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exoticrainforest

Probably more detailed info than you are seeking but all your questions are answered in this link.

Alocasia Polly is the same exact plant as Alocasia Amazonica. The "poly" variation was discovered in a batch of tissue cultured plants of Alocasia Amazonice in Miami. They just never grew large. The "Poly" came from the scientific term polyploid wince at one time the plant was thought to have a genetic deficiency. That has since proved to be incorrect. A tissue culture company in Florida changed it to Polly since that sounded more commercial.

According to aroid botanist Peter Boyce in Malaysia, in time the plant is going to go dormant since that is part of its genetic hard wiring. It needs fast draining soil that will remain evenly moist and never become soggy. Otherwise saprophytic soil will develop and the bacterial organisms will destroy the tuber. Be aware it can remain dormant for periods up to years. If you keep it consistently warm you can prevent the dormancy period for some time or at least delay it.

Others are going to have personal opinions but this article was researched by some of the old time members of the International Aroid Society and the information presented was recently adopted by the Royal Botanic Garden Kew in London on one of its websites. Most of the original info came from John Banta, a long time member of the IAS that actually knew the creator of the hybrid. The name Alocasia Amazonica came from the name of Salvador Mauro's nursery in Miami, "The Amazon Nursery". These plants do not grow naturally in the Amazon basis and the parents of the hybrid are natives of Asia.

Read it all before you come to any final conclusion. Let me know if I can answer any questions that are not clearly addressed.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Alocasia Amazonica

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 1:30PM
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oneleaf

Thanks Steve, That was an interesting read. I see I have most of the materials to make a good potting mix according to the last paragraphs of that article. I think I do need a faster draining media for this and will start there as a way to improve and just pay attention to it.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 4:43PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

They do go dormant all right, Mine is just started up again after going belly up last winter. I tossed out a bunch of these over the years before I learned that.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 8:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Oneleaf,
my buddy is using a modified version of Al's 5-1-1 for his Poly. I've been photo-documenting the Revival.
The old soil was peaty garbage. We replaced it with Bark, Red Lava rock (scoria), Perlite, and a small
fraction of potting soil to help bind the fast-draining ingredients. A small amount of Peat won't hurt.

I'm about to post an update pic to this Thread, if you're interested:

Elephant Ear - Alocasia

Josh

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 1:16PM
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oneleaf

Awesome thanks for pointing me to that. I saw the title of that thread but did not know it was the same plant. :-)

I just posted on your thread and can move the conversation there.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 2:05PM
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