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Growing & caring for alocasia heterophylla

Updated 2-23-2023

alocasia heterophylla
Alocasia heterophylla

Where are alocasia heterophylla from?

Alocasia heterophylla is endemic to tropical regions of Southeast Asia. Specifically, they are found in tropical forests and areas of high elevation up to 1200 meters in Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, and the Philippines.

Most alocasia specimens grow between 7 and 14 feet tall but they can grow much taller. Unsurprisingly, their large size and unique aesthetic have made them popular houseplants for both amateur and professional gardeners alike. Those grown indoors may require slightly higher humidity to thrive, so if you plan on taking one home make sure you’re familiar with its care requirements first!

How do I care for alocasia heterophylla? Are they difficult to grow?

Growing alocasia heterophylla requires a few key considerations as the plants are known to be picky about their environment. First and foremost, choose an area with plenty of sunlight that gets both direct and indirect light from the sun. Alocasia should also be planted in moist, well-draining soil that has plenty of organic matter for nutrition.

It’s important to water the plant often but avoid overwatering it as easily-clogged roots can cause root rot. During its active growing season, fertilizing every two weeks is recommended to keep the plant happy and healthy.

Check out this useful care video on alocasia regal shield (it has similar care requirements):

How do you prepare alocasia heterophylla for winter?

To properly prepare alocasia heterophylla for the winter months, there are a few steps to take. First, it is important to reduce the amount of water that the plant receives. Some gardeners stop watering in the winter and others will only give a minimal amount of water every few weeks. Additionally, make sure the soil has good drainage to reduce root rot from overwatering.

Manual leaf pruning or removing yellowing or damaged leaves can help keep the soil dry as well. Repotting may also be beneficial at this time if needed, but make sure to use moisture-controlled potting soil and move into a slightly larger pot size if repotting. Finally, protecting your plant with plastic sheeting is also recommended for extreme cold frost or windy temperatures which cause damage to leaf surfaces.

How should you fertilize alocasia heterophylla?

You should fertilize your Alocasia heterophylla with a dilute liquid fertilizer about once every two weeks during its growing season and then forgo fertilizing during winter when the plant will naturally be in dormancy. It is best to utilize a balanced fertilizer, such as an all-purpose one with equal concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in order to provide the necessary nutrients for optimum growth.

How much should you water alocasia heterophylla?

Ideally, alocasia heterophylla should be watered thoroughly yet infrequently; about once a week or so should suffice depending on your home’s temperature, humidity, and light level. The soil should always stay slightly moist but not overly saturated; if it feels dry up to your wrist when you stick your finger into the soil then you know it’s time for more water.

Of course, all plants are different – some require more or less water than others – so it’s also important to pay attention to its signs to ensure it is well-maintained.

How much light does alocasia heterophylla need?

Alocasia heterophylla plants prefer a situation where they get direct sunlight during the morning hours, and diffuse light for the majority of the day; avoiding situations where they are subjected to harsh midday sun or shade.

How do I propagate alocasia heterophylla?

The most popular method of propagation is by using stem cuttings or rhizome divisions. Take a stem cutting with several leaves and remove the leaves that will be underwater once it has been potted. Make sure to dip this end in root hormone before planting in a well-draining soil mix and keep moist but not soggy. You can also divide existing rhizomes into smaller sections and re-pot better suited for their size keeping in mind they prefer to be slightly root bound.

When do alocasia heterophylla flower?

Alocasia heterophylla will flower in midsummer when planted in well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter as well as ample water. Alocasia heterophylla is well worth growing and caring for since it rewards its owners with unusual yellow-green colored flowers that will add a touch of lush foliage to any garden.

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