Alocasia X

alocasia_nanc(5 - chicago)August 24, 2011

Oh hello!

So, not gonna lie, very new to the whole house plant business. But now that I have started I am kinda of addicted. They are taking over my house. To business...

I bought an Alocasia X from a department store here in Chicago. It was doing ok when i bought it, not the greatest, but not dead. I brought it home and after numerous googles decided to plant it in an equal mixture of Miracle Grow Potting Mix and an orchid bark based mix.

It is in a high light window sill.

It stays moist but not too wet.

Proper drain holes.

Sitting on a humidity tray (homemade of rocks and water).

It is juts not doing good at all! The tips of the leaves are turning brown and one leave has a brown spot on it. IT has only put off one new leaf since I have gotten it about 2 months ago. I posted some picture (please excuses the dishes on the back ground =) ). Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

THANKS!!

Nanc

http://tinypic.com/r/20szj1e/7

http://tinypic.com/r/szzae9/7

http://tinypic.com/r/k6o76/7

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birdsnblooms

Hello Nanc..Welcome to the world of house plants and GW.

Don't know if it's my computer, but the links don't work.
Therefore, I can't see your Alocasia.

Which direction is the window your Alo is in, facing?

Your Alocasia really should have been placed in low light the first few days to a week after bringing it home.
Even after an Alo adapts, most species prefer low-medium light. Summer, south or west sun can scorch leaves.
If the brown is crispy, it's getting too much sun.

Make sure the water in your humidity tray isn't being sucked up through drainage holes. Water shouldn't be too high, beyond rocks/stones.

About watering. Some Alocasias are big drinkers, but if your house is a/c or c/a, kept on the cool side, mediums should dry between waterings. If kept too wet, in improper conditions, (our climate) can cause root rot.

As for leaf growth, Alocasias are slow-growing, especially in our part of the world. As Aug slips into Sept, Oct, etc, growth is even slower. Some bloom in autumn through winter, but foliage slows down and/or stop growing altogether.

Wish I could open the links to your pictures. I clicked on all 3, but none worked. Sorry. Toni

PS. Mind telling me which store you found your plant? If you'd rather not, I understand.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 10:37PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Here's the photos

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 8:37AM
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dellis326 (Danny)

You won't find a lot of fans of Miracle grow (or similar) soil mixes around here, the main reason is because their mixes have a high percentage of peat which can lead to problems by holding too much water around the roots and not let enough air into the soil. Good start by mixing it with orchid bark, You could have gone up to 75% bark. Water it enough so that water runs out of the bottom of the pot and then let it sit until the soil it just starting to dry on top before watering again but don't let the soil get dry enough that it starts to pull away from the sides of the pot or begins to feel crusty when you touch it.

These amazonica/"poly" type Alocasias don't usually take well to sun shining directly on them. Bright shade is best like off to the side of a sunny window.

They also sometimes go dormant so if the leaves all shrivel up a die the plant may not be dead, just set it aside for a while and keep it just barely damp and it should start to grow after a few weeks to months.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:33AM
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alocasia_nanc(5 - chicago)

I have been finding the MG is not all it's cracked up to be. I also dislike how all the soil and additives have "plant food" in them. I you were to make a mix I feel like it would have TOO much food. Does this seem right to you?

I got my plant at lowes (I work there). And water is not getting sucked up thru the drain holes. I made sure of that! Lol.

I am going to try doing the 75% bark and 25% soil of NON MG. is there anything else I should put in my mix. It is in a south facing window now, but I do live in the basement apartment so it's jot getting direct sun. Should I move her?

Also, can reuse the bark mix I have now by rinsing it off?

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 11:36AM
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alocasia_nanc(5 - chicago)

ALSO,

I think my pot may be too large. It was in a maybe 4 inch pot when I bought it. I repotted it into an 8 Inchon pot. Should I downsize? Would that help?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 12:00PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry but I have to ask, why would you double the pot size?

The 2 times I've tried to grow this plant indoors it's gone dormant, which I didn't know might happen & thinking it was dead, I tossed it.

That's my lesson in don't buy plants from florists as they only know cut flowers & not living plants. I did return to that florist tho' & give them an earful tho' for my lost $15 --- grrrr.

If your plant starts to yellow, it's likely going dormant (if not overwatered).

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 12:31PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hi, Nancy.
Here's a longish Thread on Alocasia Amazonica, with some excellent information:

Elephant Ear ID (pics)

You can certainly rinse the bark and re-use, but it might be messy! ;-)
I think you're heading in the right direction with the bark-based mix, as I've found
bark mixes to work exceptionally well. Perlite or Pumice would be a great additive.

Josh

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:24PM
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alocasia_nanc(5 - chicago)

Pirate_Girl,
She looked pretty Root bound when I bought her so I thought I was Doug good. When I switch the mix I will down size the pot.

Thanks again for all teh avowed again everyone!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:56PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Don't mean to sound harsh (if I did, I'm sorry). It's just increasing from a 4" pot to 8" pot is double, we often try to size this up a bit more gradually than that.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 4:25PM
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alocasia_nanc(5 - chicago)

Oh no, I didn't take it as hash. Lol. I am gonna size down quite a bit. After i repot, I should keep it outta the sun for a week or so yeah?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 4:30PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Karen, You're not alone, I bet I've tossed out three or four of these plants before I knew they went dormant.

A 4" pot is approximately 12-1/2 square inches, an 8 inch pot is approximately 50-1/4 square inches. so it is more than four times as big.

Pot diameter is irrelevant anyways. In the right grow mix and proper watering you can put it in as wide of a pot as you want. Depth is an issue if the soil holds too much water. Alocasia grow healthier if their roots are not cramped up in a small pot.

You can use mushroom compost rather than potting soil. The manure compost I've gotten for my garden had not been completely composted so I wouldn't want that in my house but I can't make that decision for you but I personally would stick with the mushroom stuff.

Keep it out of the sun for good unless it is early morning or late afternoon/evening sun, direct sun in a south window would be too intense. Bright indirect light is best.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:18PM
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birdsnblooms

Nance..First, I agree about down-sizing. 4-8" is a big jump. lol.

Be careful when using bark. I bought an Alocasia recently, and decided to experiment using bark instead of my regular mix, 'mediums other Alo's are planted in.'

Before I knew it, the Alo's leaves,'in bark' started yellowing, then died. I could have done something wrong, but if so, I don't know what it could have been.

BTW, I use bark as an additive in other plants, w/o problems, but add other mediums, too.

I am one who still uses MG, have been for years, and thankfully, never had problems.
I am unhappy they've added fertilizer..heck, I even went to their website and made a complaint. They replied. They said, there are MG soils w/o fertilizer, but in all honestly, many gardeners prefer the ferilizer. Can't win!!

BTW, your Alocaia is nice-looking, and very healthy.

Good Luck, Toni

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 5:44PM
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alocasia_nanc(5 - chicago)

things i learned from my Alo...

do NOT!!!! skip up 4 inches in pot size!!
use more bark.

i repotted her. in a bark, perlite, vermiculite, and soil mix.
now i have some questions about fertilizing...
i bought these jobb house plant fertilizer spikes and almost KILLED my poor plants. i had to dig them out they burned them =( so i am very scared to fertilize. TIPS please!!!!

and spme new pics of my Alo in her new pot...


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:45PM
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alocasia_nanc(5 - chicago)

and just a pic to show how much i downsized...

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:00PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Very good, Nancy!

Toni, yellow leaves sound like either too much moisture or too little fertilizer (or both).

Josh

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 12:42PM
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alocasia_nanc(5 - chicago)

Thanks Josh!

Just a couple more questions if anyone knows that answers...

when, how, and what should i fertilize this little gal???
ALSO...after i repotted i soaked her pretty good and she is now hanging out in my basement as to not get any sun. now i am not supposed to water her for a while correct? but what if her media feels dry?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 1:42PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

After re-potting, keep the mix moist.
I helped a buddy re-pot his last summer, and he watered his every day and fertilized every
few weeks with some Miracle Grow that he had on hand. During the growth season, I would
water and fertilize quite liberally.

During the winter, when growth isn't as robust, allow the mix to go longer between waterings.

Josh

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 4:00PM
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alocasia_nanc(5 - chicago)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 7:45PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Hey, someone stuck some little green thing in your 'Poly'. . .

Nice, it must be happy.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 11:37AM
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greyandamy

I too started to scorch mine, it was in a south window about 3 feet back. I read they liked "high light".... whatever that meant. "Bright shade" in winter?? I moved Poly to a corner between a south and west bright window (windows aren't too far apart), will that be enough light?

Amy

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 8:59AM
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birdsnblooms

HEY Josh..Actually, I discovered MITES!!!! My poor Alocasia is now isolated and being treated. Boohoo.

Before discovering Mites, I decied to add a second Alo with the first. The first had five or so leaves, so decided to make it fuller.
The first Alo has to be 5-yrs-old, and never had mites or any other insect.
The only plants potted in 100% bark are Orchids, which do well. Potting in bark was an experiment, 'Alocasia' so it is possible I over-watered or the second Alo had Mites. Darn HD!

Alocasia, great looking Alocasia. lol. That's more like it, and see, a baby leaf has made an appearance..

Amy, most likely, your south windows sun was too strong...in summer. Since you're in PA, that same window should be okay during winter. Toni

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 6:02PM
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alocasia_nanc(5 - chicago)

updated picture of the new baby =)

toni, i had mentioned in another post about a possible sun burn on my alo. here are some pictures of her...
yellow leaf..

and spots on another leaf...

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 6:14PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Amy, they do indeed like high light but not necessarily direct hot sun. My first reaction, in your case, is to ask whether you hardened the plant off?

If you just brought it from the store -- especially a BBS or supermarket -- and put it in front of your S window without slowly acclimating it to that light level, then leaf scorch is quite understandable. Typically those types of places keep their plants in lighting that can best be described as abysmal. Going from crappy store lighting to the bright, far more intense light you suddenly provided was "light overload". The plant may have simply needed to be introduced to that brighter light level more gradually so it could have time to adjust. As far as whether that corner is bright enough ... it might be. Time will tell. If nothing else, again assuming this plant is a new acquisition, the light in that corner -- which is almost certain to be an improvement over what it received at the store -- should be a good place for it to begin adjusting to better and brighter light.

Toni, I believe you saw my Aloc. in bloom and mine is potted in mainly orchid mix with some soil mixed in as are my 4 baby ones (2/pot). All are happy with the mix. I suspect yours may have gotten either too waterlogged or too dry. I have never allowed mine to dry out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alocasia Amazonica

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 11:01PM
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birdsnblooms

Paul, I suspect you're right. I repotted three Alocasias in my usual soil mix with added bark. So far, so good.

I also have an older Colocasia. It's been in the same potting soil/container for years. I unpotted this summer to find its roots haven't grown much.
Don't know if this is a problem or not, since the foliage is doing well. Toni

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 2:08PM
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