Alocasia amazonica, also called the African Mask plant or Polly, is a hybrid cultivar of Alocasia longiloba and Alocasia sanderiana. Its parent species are native to the tropical rainforest, where light is filtered through higher tree canopies.
Your plant needs bright light but not direct sun. If it receives too much sun, the leaves will fade or become brown.
Amazonian Elephant Ear
This plant is a tropical species that requires bright but indirect light. It is sensitive to direct sun exposure, which can scorch the leaves. It likes warm but moderate temperatures and above-average humidity levels. It grows best in a controlled greenhouse but can also be grown indoors. This is a very attractive tropical houseplant, and it’s easy to care for during the summer, but it becomes more difficult to maintain over winter.
During the growing season, it’s important to feed the elephant’s ear with liquid plant food once a month or so to encourage strong growth. It must also be watered regularly, but not so much that the soil gets wet. Alocasias prefer a fast-draining potting mix rich in organic matter, such as peat moss.
As the leaves grow, it’s helpful to rotate the pot, allowing the plant to receive even sunlight throughout the surface of the leaves. It’s best to repot the plant every two years, preferably in early spring. This can be done by separating the thick roots and repotting them. If you’re planning on propagating the plant, it’s best to do so from a rhizome rather than seed.
Alocasias are a very slow-growing plant, taking 5 to 10 years to mature as an adult. They’re not a plant for impatient gardeners, but their large, long leaves are a beautiful addition to any tropical garden.
Alocasias are a very tropical species, and they dislike cold weather. Temperatures below 16 degrees Celsius can cause them to die or, at the very least, encourage them to go dormant. During winter, the plant should be kept inside a warm, sheltered location to prevent it from rotting in the wet soil. If you do decide to keep the plant outdoors, make sure it’s protected from frost and winds. This plant is prone to rot in poorly draining soil, so it’s best to use a loose mix and avoid overwatering. It’s also essential to keep the alocasia plant in a warm location. This will help to prevent evaporation of the moisture and prevent the leaves from becoming brown or crispy.
The Polly is a smaller variety of the Alocasia plant. It does not reach as high as its larger cousins but produces sizable leaves and is a lovely houseplant in medium-filtered light. As with all Alocasia plants, it should not be placed in direct sunlight as this can burn the leaves and fade their color.
Like all Alocasias, the Polly needs plenty of water. The soil should be kept consistently moist but never soggy. Unlike many other common houseplants, however, this plant does not rely heavily on its ground to store water; it holds most of its moisture in its stems. Because of this, it is important to have good quality potting soil that drains quickly.
It is also a good idea to place this plant in a bright location where the leaves can be exposed to more sun than they receive in their native tropical habitats. This will help them retain their vibrant colors. In bright light, the leaves will also grow a bit taller than they would in dim lighting.
As with most tropical plants, the Polly does best in warm temperatures. If it is allowed to get too cold, however, it will drop its leaves and will not recover.
Like other Alocasias, the Polly is toxic to pets (especially cats and dogs) and humans if eaten. It should be kept out of the reach of children.
The Polly is not a plant that often requires repotting, at least not to a larger planter. It does not mind being slightly rootbound and prefers this to being potted too much. However, when the plants are mature, it is a good idea to repot them every couple of years, especially during the spring and summer growing months. During repotting, it is a good idea to divide the plant as well. This can be done by separating what looks like one large plant above the ground into multiple small plants with their roots. This is especially helpful when the plants are crowded in their current pots.
Featuring frilly arrowhead-shaped leaves in dark green and high contrasted veining, the Variegated is a dramatic addition to any plant gang. This plant is known to go dormant in winter, but it will quickly come back with warm weather if the growing conditions are right. Water it regularly, but do not overwater. These plants are moisture-loving, and bone-dry soil spells disaster for them. They also don’t like to sit in standing water for long periods, so regular checks of the soil’s moisture will help you keep your plant healthy.
This plant does best in bright to moderate filtered light and is as happy as a houseplant or patio specimen. If grown in low light, the leaf color on the adaxial surface may fade to black. This is due to the plant being stressed and not receiving enough light to make photosynthesis. If this happens, it is a good idea to move the plant to a more sun-dappled spot in your home or patio.
Fertilize every other week using a liquid fertilizer. Adding a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer to the water you use to water your plant is also recommended. Flush the container occasionally with clean water to remove salts from the potting mix.
These plants can grow very tall and wide. If you have a spacious indoor space, they will be happy, but beware; they can overwhelm small spaces if their roots outgrow the container.
This is a relatively easy-to-care-for houseplant and does well as a cutting or transplant from the garden into a large pot. It is a very attractive plant and will be the star of your tropical garden or indoor space.
The leaf blades of Alocasia Amazonica are a great source of Vitamin C, which is important to the health of humans and animals. However, all parts of this plant have enough calcium oxalate to be toxic to pets and children if ingested. This is not a problem if you cook the root or leaf, but please use caution and keep this plant away from small children and pets.
African mask plants (Alocasia sanderiana) look exotic to houseplant groups and planters. Their clean lines and crisp color make them a stand-alone houseplant or a beautiful accent to other houseplants. They can also be planted as a border around garden areas or used in landscape design. This tropical beauty requires a warm, high-humidity environment and is not a good choice for cold temperatures or arid conditions.
Alocasias grow 4 feet tall and have leaves up to 20 inches long. They come in various colors, and the flowers are attractive as well. These plants are not considered hard to care for, but they do need special attention. They should be placed in an area that is warm and humid with regular waterings and a pebble tray or misting system for added humidity. Unlike other houseplants, they are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and should not be near drafty windows or air conditioning vents.
The best time to buy these plants is in spring when they are in full bloom. They are available in greenhouses and garden centers at other times of the year, but it is best to purchase them when they are in their peak condition. This allows the plant to become established before it goes dormant in winter.
Like other alocasias, the African mask plant is prone to several diseases and pests. These include aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, and spider mites. If any of these insects are found, it is important to remove the affected leaves and flowers to help prevent an outbreak in other parts of the plant. The African mask is also prone to root rot and can develop decay if the soil is too wet, so the plant should be misted or lightly irrigated when the top inch of the soil feels dry.
The African mask can be fertilized with liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks in the spring and summer. However, it is important to use a balanced fertilizer diluted to half-strength to avoid burning the leaves.