If all plants are green, how can we decide which plant to grow and which do not?
Probably by their uniqueness and ease of growing, isn’t it?
But, what if both these features are combined in one plant?
Yes, Alocasia Polly is one such plant.
The gigantic leaves with visible veins look like a vector image of a leaf.
So, let’s go deeper as to how it can add beauty to your home.
What is Alocasia Polly?
Alocasia Polly or Alocasia Amazonica Polly is a hybrid of two different Alocasia plants. It’s known for its big arrowhead-shaped leaves with visible thick veins. Other names are Elephant’s Ears or African Mask plant. It’s native to tropical areas of the South Pacific Islands.
Scientifically, Alocasia x Amazonica is a cross between two Alocostia species, Alocasia longiloba and Alocasia sanderiana.
Taxonomical Hierarchy of Alocasia Polly
Characteristics of Alocasia Polly
- The leaves of this plant are dark green, big, wavy, waxy, and shaped like arrowheads.
- The backside of the leaves has a dark purple hue with visible veins.
- Quite interestingly, Alocasia leaves last for 4-5 months before they start to wither.
- Its bulb or rhizome needs to be placed in fresh soil when it dies.
- They need moderate to high humidity.
- Grows up to 1-2 feet high.
- Performs the best in part shade.
Overview of Alocasia Polly
|Name||Alocasia Amazonica (Elephants’ Ears)|
|Light Needs||Partial Sun|
|Soil Type||Acidic, Moist and Well-Drained|
How to Propagate Alocasia Polly? (Division)
The propagation of Alocasia Polly is called Division.
Because unlike other plants, its propagation does not involve planting the stem-cuttings
Why? Because Alocasia Polly is a tuberous plant that grows from a bulb.
Division of Alocasia Polly involves completely getting rid of the old soil and repotting it.
The Division or propagation should ideally be done in the spring or early summer.
Why spring or early summer? Because the plant comes out of dormancy after the winter.
So, let’s move to the first step of this Division process.
Step 1 – Digging Out the Alocasia Bulbs
As a first step, just dig around the plant and take it out carefully.
Make sure you dig the soil up to 6-inch radius around the plant to keep the roots safe.
Once you dig it out, just brush off the soil with your hands. (Always wear protective claw garden gloves before working in the garden)
While removing the soil, you would see many baby tubers or rhizomes. Be careful not to throw it with the soil.
The big tube may also be a collection of 2-3 tubes. So, separate them all, as each tube can grow separately.
Step 2 – Replanting the Alocasia Bulbs
The next step is to plant the separated Alocasia Polly bulbs into a pot of fresh soil.
If it’s going to be in a pot, there should be one bulb per pot.
Conversely, if you’re going to grow it in the garden, keep each bulb at least 36 inches away from each other.
Dig a hole with a garden drill planter, deep and wide enough to carry the bulb.
Put the bulb in that hole and cover it with the soil. We’ll discuss more below about the type of soil ideal for Alocasia Polly.
While sowing the bulb, make sure that it rests a few centimeters above the soil level.
Water it well.
The following video may better explain the process mentioned above. So, have a look.
Alocasia Polly Care
Alocasia Polly is relatively easy to care plant. The soil should be moist but not saturated. Don’t water until the soil is partially dry, and maintain 18°C to 25°C.
1. Soil Type
Alocasia grows well in well-drained moist soil but should not be waterlogged or soggy, exactly what Scindapsus pictus requires.
Perlite mixed loamy soil with a slightly acidic or neutral pH (6.0-7.3) is the best choice for this plant to get the required nutrients.
It’s important to note that,
Sandy soil drains quicker and therefore retains less water.
Conversely, clay retains more water than needed and makes it difficult for the roots to spread.
So, either of these soils can be amended with organic matter or compost before use.
2. Water Need
While keeping the soil moist is essential, over-moist soil is harmful.
Watering once or twice a week is sufficient.
But this is just the rule of thumb.
The right way is to wait until the soil is partially dry. Then only water it evenly with a water jet.
3. Temperature Required
The average temperature required for this plant is between 18°C to 25°F.
It can’t tolerate the freezing temperatures. So, a moderate temperature is needed for this plant.
4. Humidity Required
Alocasia Polly requires medium to a high humidity level,
Which we normally have in the kitchen and toilets.
To keep it indoors, try placing the pot on a tray of damp gravel or simply mist it.
The best time to mist tropical plants is early in the morning, as misting at night may promote diseases in your plant.
Now, the question arises as to how often you should mist?
Doing it once a day is just perfect for your plants with either humidifier or manually with a sprayer bottle.
Watch the following video to know in detail how to mist your plants in the right way.
5. Light Need
Does Alocasia need sun?
Alocasia requires bright indirect sunlight. An east-facing window is a good option.
But at the same time, an Indirect light may be termed as low light, which is harmful too for this plant.
On the other hand, exposure to direct sunlight will also cause its leaves to burn.
So, a moderate bright indirect light is just perfect.
A balanced fertilizer between 10-10-10 and 20-20-20 varieties can be termed a good Alocasia Polly fertilizer combination.
Fertilize it 3-4 times a year, other than winter, with half the quantity mentioned on the label.
Why half the recommended quantity?
It’s because excessive fertilizer may kill the plant.
7. USDA Zone
The USDA hardiness zone for this plant is 10-12.
Alocasia Polly is quite resilient, for it belongs to the Araceae family.
The only pests that may attack this plant are the common houseplant enemies, like spider mites and mealybugs.
How big does Alocasia Polly get?
It grows up to 2 feet tall but still needs to be pruned in the right season without worrying about its height.
Pruning is much easier with Alocasia plants.
Just remove the dead or yellow leaf at the base with a sharp knife or grafter, leaving behind the green trunk above the bulb.
Diseases That May Catch Alocasia Polly
1. Browning of Leaves
It indicates that the plant is underwatered, or in some cases, has been exposed to direct sunlight.
That’s why bright and indirect sunlight is recommended.
2. Yellowing of Leaves
Are you worrying about Alocasia Polly leaves turning yellow?
If they are, it means the plant is being overwatered. It’s as simple as that!
3. Drooping of Leaves
Alocasia Polly drooping is another problem you may encounter.
There can be multiple reasons for drooping.
It can be too much or less light, over or under watering, over or under nutrients in the soil, or simply, the large leaf is too heavy to stay firm.
The immediate solution is to stake the drooping stem until it recovers.
A thing to note about Alocasia Polly is that,
This plant goes into dormancy in autumn and winter. In those months, the leaves may fade or die, which is absolutely normal.
So, when people say, ‘their Alocasia Polly roots’ died when went dormant,’ they talked about a normal thing about this plant.
4. Leaves Dripping
Alocasia Polly leaves dripping or weeping is a sign that the soil is either too moist or is not saturated well. In other words, the plant has more water than needed.
The simple solution to this problem is to start watering the plant less often than you do.
Myth And Truth about Alocasia Polly
Some experts like Exotic Rain Forests have a different opinion about naming this plant.
Their argument carries weight.
Because they specialize in the collection of more than 3700 species of different families of plants, including Araceae.
They argue that sellers advertising ‘Alocasia Polly for sale’ falsely claim that this plant is directly from the rainforest.
Their research reveals that:
- The right way to write this plant’s name is Alocasia Amazonica and not Alocasia x. amazonica.
- The word Amazonica is a misnomer, as this plant never existed in the rainforests of Amazon or South America.
- Its name is horticultural and not scientific. So the name should neither be enclosed in single quotes nor should be written in italics.
- It’s sometimes confused with Alocasia micholitziana
- The origin of this plant is a nursery called ‘Amazon Nursery,’ owned by a postman Salvadore Mauro in 1950s
Don’t do these things to your Alocasia Polly plant
- Don’t put it under harsh temperature conditions, like below 18°
- Don’t water it until you see that the top layer of the soil is dry.
- Don’t let children and pets eat it, as it’s toxic.
- Don’t put it under direct sunlight – only bright and indirect light.
- If it’s dead, repot it somewhere else with different soil.
Is Alocasia Polly toxic to cats and dogs?
Is an Alocasia Polly plant poisonous?
Yes, all plants belonging to the Araceae family are toxic to pets.
So, it’s better to keep them away from cats and dogs, especially those who eat grass quite often.
Commonly known as elephant’s ears or Alocasia Amazonia, this plant is ideal if you want to make another addition to your houseplants. The big green leaves with visible veins are a few of the unique features of this plant. Unlike stem-cutting or seeds, it’s commonly propagated with Division – a method of bulb planting.
So, do you want giant leaves in a small pot? If yes, try growing this plant by following the comprehensive instruction mentioned above, and share with us your experience.