Alocasia infernalis

garyfla_gw(10 Florida)December 13, 2013

Wife brought this home and the label said "Black magic"
so I popped it into the marsh garden did an immediate nose dive lol so did some reseach and find it's in a class called "Jewel alocasias which are very water and temp sensitve so repotted and brought it indoors to my aquarium room. obviously this is never going to be a garden plant so will remain there but is suffering from low light .as the new leaves do a complete turnaround toward the window.
thinking a good candidate for a terrarium?? Not sure it's worth it but could provide artificial light though I suspect moisture level will be too high??
One more ?? Doesn't "infernalis " translate to "out of hell??"lol Can't be from looks so rigid cultural requirements?? lol Thanks gary

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paul_(z5 MI)

Posted by garyfla
Doesn't "infernalis " translate to "out of hell??"lol Can't be from looks so rigid cultural requirements??

Really? It's not "black as hell"? heh

From what I have read, you probably could grow it outside, Gary. But first you would need to determine where it would get appropriate lighting -- too much and (so I read) the leaves might burn, too little and you will get weak growth. With the former possible issue, I wonder if properly hardening it off would mitigate that concern?

I know it is sold for use in terrs and vivariums, BUT I also have read that it can quickly get too big for a viv. Perhaps planting it in you oversized "terrarium" would be a compromise between outdoors and indoor culture?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 7:01PM
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Gary, infernalis generally would mean of or belonging to hell. I think it's a reference to the reddishness the leaves can develop, sort of a reddish black from the depths of hell.

You're right about Jewel Alocasias liking it well drained and warm. They often come from areas in rainforest but grow as lithophytes on rock faces. So roots are usually exposed to air or are in a thin layer of moss. They don't like low temperatures so you'd have to protect them in your winter. They can die back to dormancy and then come back when the temperatures recover, but it is risky as they could also just rot. I have a few Jewel Alocasias, but not that one. It's supposed to be one of the easier ones to grow so you should give it a go.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 7:19PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

"Infernal (adj.)
14thc., in reference to the underworld, from Old French enfernal, infernal (12c.), from Late Latin infernalis "of the lower regions," from infernus "hell" (Ambrose), literally "the lower (world)," noun use of Latin infernus "lower, lying beneath," from infra "below" (see infra-). Meaning "devilish, hateful" is from early 15c. For the name of the place, or things which resemble it, the Italian form inferno has been used in English since 1834, from Dante."

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 7:37PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

haven't been there (so far lol) but have heard the color scheme is mostly in the red family. The leaves are a very deep black looking much like polished jade. "Jewel" I can understand but "Hell"??lol Interesting that they would give the same cultivar name" Black magic" to two so very different plants in the same family Have grown esculenta for years best in the marsh garden thought it looked different but thought it an "improved hybrid!!
Anyway, the problem outdoors is not temps but rainfall.
has rained 5 times since bringing it into the house lol
I keep most of my alocasia/colocasia in the heavy shade area including the marsh garden most like lots of water!! lol
Has recovered in the fish room . but is turning toward the window so obviously not enough light.
For better or worse I put it(potted) in a ten gallon terrarium along with some jade ferns and red selaginella,jewel orchids . should be similar needs . Will worry about overgrowing when that becomes a problem ??lol
tropic I used a mix of top soil/ l lava rock and some fir bark works for my jewel orchids ,understory palms .?? I understand that it has a somewhat trailing habit. Weird alocasia lol
greenman Thanks for all that info!! But still don't grasp how it applies to this gorgeous plant ?? I am getting some hints of "hell " on the culture needs lol Thanks everybody will do an update when I see the reaction to the terrarium gary

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 4:46AM
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Gary, there's no problem with rainfall, mine live outdoors and get the full wet season rains, plus they're also irrigated. Because I'm away from home a lot I have to leave the irrigation (automatic) on. So quite often during the wet season they'll get both rain and irrigation, even simultaneously. It's never adversely affected them. Dry season it never rains so they only get irrigation. But their root system needs aeration. Those in a pot are in a very gravelly mix (plenty of air space). Also have some on a log with rocks placed around them both for stability and to provide some shelter for the roots from dry season winds. I killed my first Jewel Alocasia (reginula) before I found out their roots were better out of soil rather than within.

We have another similarly growing aroid native here, Remusatia. It grows over rock faces and traps a bit of leaf litter. It's out in the wet season rains but completely dormant during the dry season. I've always figured that's the way the "Jewels" would also grow and it's worked for me.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 10:28PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Since we are heading into "winter' ,at some point will have to be brought indoors anyway. In the terrarium will be able to control all conditions . When spring comes will consider another alternative , Don't see how it will ever be a "garden" plant though.
Interesting that under the light it appears to be a very dark green rather than black but leaves are spreading out , already corrected the turn.
I'm trying to do away with delicate plants and concentrate on an integrated landscape . Doing away with the greenhouse/terrariums though still maintaining
2 water gardens /two terrariums and 3 aquariums lol
I'm making great progress down to less than 200 pots !!lol Thanks for the info!!! gary

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 5:32AM
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