Table of Contents
- 1 What are Alocasia Plants?
- 2 Types of Alocasia plants
- 2.1 Alocasia amazonica “Polly”
- 2.2 Alocasia amazonica “Ivory Coast”
- 2.3 Alocasia azlanii
- 2.4 Alocasia baginda “Dragon scale”
- 2.5 Alocasia baginda “Silver Dragon”
- 2.6 Alocasia cuprea “Red Secret”
- 2.7 Alocasia calidora “Pink Dragon”
- 2.8 Alocasia cucullata ‘Hooded Dwarf”
- 2.9 Alocasia Hilo Beauty
- 2.10 Alocasia infernalis ‘Black Magic’
- 2.11 Alocasia jacklyn
- 2.12 Alocasia lauterbachiana “Purple Sword”
- 2.13 Alocasia longiloba
- 2.14 Alocasia macrorrhiza “Stingray”
- 2.15 Alocasia macrorrhizos ‘Giant Taro’
- 2.16 Alocasia maharani “Grey Dragon”
- 2.17 Alocasia micholitziana “Frydek”
- 2.18 Alocasia nebula “Silver Plant”
- 2.19 Alocasia plumbae “Flying Squid”
- 2.20 Alocasia portei
- 2.21 Alocasia reginula “Black Velvet”
- 2.22 Alocasia rugosa “Melo”
- 2.23 Alocasia sanderiana
- 2.24 Alocasia sarian
- 2.25 Alocasia sinuata
- 2.26 Alocasia Tiny Dancer
- 2.27 Alocasia wentii
- 2.28 Alocasia zebrina “Reticulata”
- 3 FAQ
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 References
What are Alocasia Plants?
Alocasia plants are regarded as some of the most wonderful indoor species because of their attractive foliage and easy-to-grow nature.
These plants are native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and eastern Australia.
Each of the Alocasia varieties has different leaf colors, sizes, and shapes. If you want to add a tropical touch to your indoor garden, we highly suggest you try these species in your garden.
Scientifically, Alocasia is a genus that belongs to the Araceae family and contains approximately 97 well-recognized species (excluding hybrids).
According to the study, this genus is morphologically the most diverse in the Araceae family .
These plants are broad-leaved and bloom during the spring and summer months.
These plants may grow more than 12 feet tall, while their leaves may reach 3 feet long.
For information on how to care for Alocasia plants, read further in our related post on:
Alocasia vs Colocasia Plants
Remember that these plants are also known as Elephant Ears plants, which is also a common name for Colocasia and Pothos plants.
Many people often confuse Alocasia with Colocasia, despite the differences. In this section, we will help you identify the differences between these two varieties.
First of all, Alocasia plants have glossy, smooth, and arrow-shaped leaves that grow in an upward direction, while the leaves of Colocasia varieties are rough in texture and move downward.
Secondly, Alocasia varieties may reach around 2 to 6 feet tall, whereas Colocasia grows up to 9 feet tall.
Lastly, Alocasia needs partial sunlight, but Colocasia needs full exposure to the sun.
These above-mentioned differences between Alocasia and Colocasia plants will help a beginner identify the two varieties at a glance.
If you are looking for other types of plants, head back to our main Houseplants page.
Types of Alocasia plants
Alocasia is a genus of broad-leaved perennial flowering plants belonging to the family Araceae (often known as the aroids), with about 100 species identified, below are some of the most popular varieties of Alocasia plants, including the African Mask Plant.
Alocasia amazonica “Polly”
Alocasia amazonica “polly” is a hybrid variety and one of the most popular types of Alocasia on this list.
Most known as the Alocasia Amazonica or African Mask Plant.
The Alocasia Polly has glossy, arrow-like, dark green leaves with thick white-colored veins that run along with the leaves.
This plant grows around 1.5 feet tall, and each leaf can reach approximately 16 inches tall.
This variety has a few more daughter varieties, including Alocasia amazonica ‘Ivory Coast’ and Alocasia amazonica ‘Bambino’.
If you’re living in a tropical region, then growing Alocasia amazonica “polly” can be quite easy. These tropical plants prefer bright and indirect sunlight.
Direct sunlight should be avoided. Warm temperatures and high humidity levels are recommended.
The growing medium should stay moist but not soggy. Their roots need a lot of air pockets for respiration.
Learn more about how to care for the African Mask plant:
Alocasia amazonica “Ivory Coast”
Alocasia amazonica “Ivory Coast” has dark green leaves with silver and light green veins. Many people often get confused with the pink dragon variety.
However, there are differences between them. Pink dragon species have metallic-green-colored leaves and silver veins, but Ivory coast species have darker green-colored leaves with a silver hue.
The leaves of Ivory Coast Alocasia are more arrow-like than the Pink Dragon.
Alocasia Ivory Coast species have similar growing demands to the other varieties. You need to be careful about providing light, water, and humidity.
Intense light can burn the leaves, and low humidity will turn the green leaves brownish.
Underwatering will be responsible for making the leaves yellow while overwatering will cause root rot.
Alocasia azlanii is another well-known plant in the Alocasia genus. It comes up with dark green-chocolate leaves with a waxy texture and purple veins. This small and unique-looking houseplant is stunning and easy to identify.
Due to its deep purple veins and dark green or chocolate leaves, you can easily recognize it.
During the juvenile stages, the leaves have a combination of green and purple, but as the plant matures, the green color turns darker.
Alocasia azlanii prefers a bright location that receives indirect sunlight. However, since this plant has less chlorophyll, you should place it near the east-facing window so that it can receive the morning sun for a few hours.
The ideal temperature range is considered to be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity level should be more than 60%.
Alocasia baginda “Dragon scale”
Alocasia baginda is commonly known as the Alocasia dragon scale plant. Remember that this specimen has a few hybrids, like the Silver Dragon.
The Alocasia dragon scale plant is regarded as a dragon among all the Alocasia varieties because of its emerald to light green leaves with dark veins.
This combination gives the leaves a dragon scale-like appearance. The entire plant can grow to be around 3 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide, and the oval-shaped leaves can reach up to 2 feet long.
These plants are native to the tropical forests of Asia. It prefers bright and filtered sunlight.
Exposure to the intense and direct sun can result in leaf burning. The temperature should be warm and the humidity should be high.
Make sure this Alocasia plant is grown in moist soil. This plant can’t grow in wet soil, so the growing medium must have a good drainage system.
Alocasia baginda “Silver Dragon”
The Alocasia silver dragon variety is quite hard to find. This ornamental plant can be found in the tropical region of Borneo in Indonesia.
The Silver Dragon Alocasia plant is a compact variety and reaches about 2 feet tall and wide.
The silvery green leaves with dark green main and secondary veins are the most interesting thing about this plant.
Due to its manageable size, many people prefer growing this plant indoors. If you grow Alocasia baginda silver dragon as a houseplant, then you have to be careful about light intensity, temperature, and water.
It needs partial shade, warm temperatures, and high humidity to grow. Like the other species, this Alocasia variety cannot withstand waterlogged conditions.
Alocasia cuprea “Red Secret”
Alocasia cuprea “Red Secret” can be identified by its large leaves that have a metallic sheen.
The leaf color combination is vice versa to that of the Alocasia azlanii species. The Red Secret Alocasia varieties have ovate-shaped, shiny deep purple leaves with dark green primary veins.
During the juvenile stage, the leaves have a coppery green color, which becomes dark green as the plant matures.
This plant grows around 3 feet tall, and each fully grown leaf can be 1 to 1.5 feet long.
This specimen thrives well under bright indirect light conditions, but please avoid exposing it to direct sunlight as it will ruin the color variation.
The growing environment should have a warm temperature, and the humidity level should be more than 60%.
The potting soil should have a better drainage system. Water the soil evenly to keep the soil moist.
Alocasia calidora “Pink Dragon”
Alocasia calidora “Pink Dragon,” a beautiful variety of the Alocasia genus, can be found across the southern Pacific islands.
This tropical plant has distinctive large stems with a pink sheen. The dark green leaves have thick white veins, but you can also notice light green secondary veins.
The underside of these leaves has a burgundy color, and if you can grow these plants under the right conditions, the leaves can grow up to 1.5 feet long.
These plants aren’t bushy like the other varieties. Hence, you will notice one leaf per stem. A mature plant may reach as tall as 8 to 10 feet.
While growing indoors, you will have to be careful about light intensity, temperature, humidity, and, of course, the potting mix, which should stay moist.
Alocasia cucullata ‘Hooded Dwarf”
Alocasia cucullata “hooded dwarf” is a variation of the Alocasia plant and is known as the Chinese ape or Buddha’s hand. Many people think that these plants will bring good to them.
You can find these plants in Buddhist temples, especially in Thailand. The heart-shaped and glossy green leaves have prominent veins on them. This plant may reach around 3 feet tall and wide.
The hooded dwarf Alocasia specimen is quite a hardy one. If you can provide them with a tropical environment, sufficient light, temperature, humidity, and soil moisture, they will grow happily.
Just make sure that the humidity doesn’t drop below 50%, and that the soil doesn’t stay wet for an extended period of time. Also, don’t keep them in the direct sun for an entire day.
Alocasia Hilo Beauty
Alocasia hilo beauty is alternatively recognized as Hilo beauty elephant ear. This specimen has beautiful deep green leaves with variegated white spots.
These white or yellow spots give this plant a camouflage-like appearance. This evergreen perennial plant has bluish stems and may grow up to 4 feet tall.
Although these Alocasia varieties don’t require much attention, you will have to be careful about light intensity, as intense light can damage the striking foliage.
Remember that the heart-shaped leaves of this plant can reach around 2 meters in length.
Make sure that the temperature is warm and that the air is humid. Like the other varieties, it prefers moist soil.
Alocasia infernalis ‘Black Magic’
Alocasia infernalis ‘Black Magic’ has the most unique appearance on this list. Anyone can recognize this variety easily by its ovate-shaped dark green leaves.
The dark green color gives the plant a black appearance. It is also known as Black Panther Alocasia.
A mature plant grows up to 1.5 feet tall, and each leaf may reach 6 inches in length.
For growing this plant indoors, we suggest you keep them near an east-facing window so that the plant can receive morning sun.
Intense sunlight can burn the foliage. Make sure you rotate the plant often. To increase the humidity level, you can mist the leaves.
Don’t let the potting soil completely dry because this plant needs moist soil. Also, waterlogged conditions can kill these plants by causing suffocation.
Alocasia jacklyn is considered a true jewel of Alocasia and is native to southeast Asia and eastern Australia. Previously, it was known as Alocasia Tandurusa.
Many people opine that this specimen is actually a mutated result of Alocasia portei.
The leaves of this plant have beautiful purple lines. This variety can reach around 3 feet tall when grown indoors.
You should provide these plants with indirect sunlight. Exposure to the direct sun can burn the leaves.
As a tropical plant, it prefers moist soil, but the soggy conditions can damage the roots.
Make a watering schedule based on the soil type and temperature of your area. The leaves will look healthier if you increase the humidity level.
Alocasia lauterbachiana “Purple Sword”
Alocasia lauterbachiana is another wonderful variety of the Alocasia genus. It is also known as the “Purple Sword” because of its purple-colored serrated leaves.
The narrow leaves are long and look sword-like. Compared to the other varieties, this specimen is quite easy to identify.
A mature Alocasia lauterbachiana plant may reach 4 feet tall and spread 3 to 4 feet wide.
The beautiful narrow leaves of Purple Sword Alocasia can grow to a maximum of 2 feet long but only 2 inches wide.
These plants can be grown indoors if a plant lover can provide them with a favorable growing environment.
The temperature should be kept warm, and the environment should be humid. Prepare a well-drained potting mix for these Alocasia varieties.
Alocasia longiloba is another variety of Alocasia that can grow to be massive. It is popular for its slender, large, and arrow-shaped foliage.
The leaves have a bluish-green color with silvery-white veins. The undersides of the leaves have a deep purple hue, like the eggplants.
Each of these leaves can grow up to 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide.
An entire Alocasia longiloba plant can reach 1.5 meters tall if you grow it outdoors, and it can reach 3 feet tall when grown indoors.
Plant it in a fertile, organically rich, and well-drained soil because it needs moist soil that doesn’t remain waterlogged for a long period. You may fertilize it in the spring to encourage growth.
Alocasia macrorrhiza “Stingray”
Alocasia macrorrhiza “stingray” is another unique variety that can be recognized by its completely different leaf shape.
Although the bright green leaves are arrow-shaped, they have rounded ends instead of the pointed ones like the others.
Interestingly, you will notice a long and thin tail at the end of the leaves. The shape gives the leaves a stingray appearance, and hence, these plants are called Alocasia stingray.
This fast-growing plant may reach up to 6 feet long if grown outdoors. Remember that this variety is relatively new, and you should be careful while taking care of it.
Like other tropical houseplants, it needs indirect or partial sun. The temperature should be maintained between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Most importantly, keep the soil moist.
Alocasia macrorrhizos ‘Giant Taro’
Alocasia macrorrhizos ‘Giant Taro’ is considered one of the largest Alocasia varieties.
This fast-growing variety has gigantic leaves with a lime green color and arrow-like shapes.
Each of these leaves may reach around 3 feet long, and an entire plant can grow to around 5 feet tall, even if it is grown in a container.
Alocasia macrorrhizos, an invasive specimen, performs best under bright indirect light. Moist and organically rich soil is regarded as an ideal potting mix.
The spring and summer months are their actively growing periods, so you need to feed these giant taro plants with organic fertilizer at this time.
Since these plants contain calcium oxalate in their leaves, they can be toxic to humans and animals.
Alocasia maharani “Grey Dragon”
If you’re a plant lover, then we recommend you buy the Grey Dragon Alocasia variety for your indoor garden.
Although it looks similar to Alocasia “Melo”, it is actually a cross between Alocasia reginula and Alocasia rugosa “Melo”.
Like a few other varieties, this one is a rare specimen of Alocasia.
Compared to most other varieties, the Grey Dragon has a dwarf approach and may reach up to 1.5 feet tall.
Due to its small size, it can be a great addition to your garden. The rounded leaves may grow to approximately 8 inches long.
The texture and veins give them the appearance of dragon scales. Their growing demands are similar to those of the other Alocasia varieties.
Alocasia micholitziana “Frydek”
Alocasia micholitziana “Frydek” is also known as “Green Velvet Alocasia,” which is as popular as the Alocasia Polly variety.
This variety of Alocasia has wonderful arrow-shaped, glossy deep green leaves with notable white veins, which will help you identify this plant quickly.
This plant can be found in southeast Asia and may reach up to 3 feet tall. A fully grown leaf can be 1.5 feet tall.
These tropical plants enjoy a tropical environment. First of all, to maintain its green and white color, the grower must provide it with bright and indirect sunlight.
Remember that it is toxic to your pets, so keep it away from their touch. The growing medium should be well-drained, and make sure that there are a few drainage holes beneath the container.
Alocasia nebula “Silver Plant”
Alocasia nebula “silver plant” is one of the most popular Alocasia varieties. You will surely be a fan once you see the beautiful leaf patterns and colors.
The heart-shaped, silver-shimmering leaves have deep green primary veins. This rare variety of Alocasia can be hard to find. This specimen can reach up to 3 feet tall.
Taking care of this Alocasia specimen is not too hard. Like the other varieties, it needs partial shade, a warm temperature, and high humidity. Don’t expose these plants to the direct sunlight at midday.
To prepare a well-draining potting soil, you need to mix regular soil with coco peat and other organic materials that can hold moisture for a longer period of time and remove excess moisture.
Alocasia plumbae “Flying Squid”
Alocasia Plumbae is another unique looking plant that looks similar to a squid-hence the name the “Flying Squid” plant.
The spooky squid-like appearance is quite interesting, and it can be a great addition to your home.
This plant has long, narrow, and burgundy leaves. At first glance, you may think that this specimen doesn’t have any leaves but only stems.
This stunning plant can grow up to 1 foot tall. This rare houseplant prefers partial sunlight, warm temperatures, high humidity, and well-drained potting soil.
You have to be careful about water and soil conditions because this plant neither tolerates dry conditions nor excess moisture.
Hence, we suggest you use coco peat for preparing an ideal soil mix.
These beautiful Alocasia plants are also known as “Malaysian Monsters” because of their monstrous appearance.
Remember that these plants can become massive if you grow them outdoors.
The thick stem can grow to around 6 meters tall, while a mature leaf can be 1.5 meters tall. These Alocasia plants can be found in the Philippines.
If you’re growing these plants outdoors, then we suggest you plant them near a partially shaded area.
On the other hand, if you want to plant them indoors, you need to place them near the east-facing window.
Like the other tropical houseplants, these varieties prefer moist soil. Make sure that the growing environment is warm and humid.
Alocasia reginula “Black Velvet”
Alocasia reginula “Black Velvet” is another fascinating variety of Alocasia that comes up with dark green leaves.
Although it is not as dark as the Black Magic Alocasia, the heart-shaped leaves with a velvety texture and thick silver-white veins make Alocasia black velvet really attractive.
Due to its manageable size, many people grow this beautiful plant indoors.
Black Velvet Alocasia plants rarely grow taller than 1 foot, but they tend to be bushier.
The ideal temperature range for growing this specimen indoors is considered 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
A bright and indirect sunny area is preferred, but due to the dark green leaves, we suggest you provide this plant with the morning sun.
Make sure that the topsoil is dry before you water the plant.
Alocasia rugosa “Melo”
Alocasia rugosa Melo is a Jewel Alocasia with heavily textured and thick leaves.
This Jewel Alocasia is an eye-catching specimen and is native to Sabah, Borneo.
These plants’ broad-shaped leaves are green or bluish-green in color and can grow to be 1.5 feet long and 10 inches wide. A mature plant may grow nearly 1 to 2 feet tall.
Like the other species of Alocasia, the leaves of this specimen contain calcium oxalate.
Therefore, we advise you to keep these plants away from your pets and children. This plant prefers bright indirect sun, warm temperatures, high humidity, and well-drained potting soil.
During the growing period, you need to feed them with fertilizer to boost new growth.
Alocasia sanderiana is alternatively known as Sander’s Alocasia or Kris plant. This ornamental plant is native to Northern Mindanao.
The leaves of this plant have a deep glossy texture and dark green color and have wavy edges that look like a Kalis sword.
This plant generally reaches around 2 feet tall. Its dramatic foliage is the main attraction, and you may also notice the light green spathe that covers the little flowers.
Like other tropical plants, this variety grows under the canopy of forests. It enjoys filtered sunlight.
Soil moisture is another important factor that is responsible for the healthy growth of this plant.
Too much water in the soil can cause root rot and may eventually kill the plants. You should prepare well-drained potting soil for these varieties.
Alocasia sarian is a hybrid variety of Alocasia micholitziana and Alocasia zebrina.
This tropical plant is native to Southeast Asia and has wavy edges and arrowhead-shaped leaves that grow upward.
This plant rarely produces calla lily flowers. When grown in an outdoor garden, this specimen may reach up to 12 feet tall.
Like the other types of Alocasia, this plant doesn’t grow well when the temperature falls below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you notice dry or brown edges, then you will have to increase the humidity level.
This hybrid variety needs bright indirect light for growing. During the summer months, don’t expose it to the hot sun.
Alocasia sinuata, or Alocasia quilted dreams, is another small-growing variety of the Alocasia genus and comes up with thick, bullate, leathery, and shiny green leaves.
This specimen is native to the Philippines and is now considered an endangered variety. Both primary and secondary veins have a dark green color.
If you grow this plant indoors, then you will have to be careful about providing light. Without sufficient light, the leaves will turn yellow.
However, remember that exposure to direct sunlight during midday can be damaging.
Make sure that the potting mixture is well-aerated. Although it prefers moist conditions, you can let the topsoil dry before watering.
Alocasia Tiny Dancer
Alocasia tiny dancer is one of the most beautiful looking Alocasia plants on this list.
At first sight, you may confuse it with the Alocasia stingray or the Alocasia flying squid, but they aren’t similar.
If you observe closely, you will see that Alocasia tiny dancer plant has deep green squids, but at the end of each squid, there are heart-shaped leaves.
It needs moderate care for growing indoor gardens. The potting soil should contain peat moss, coco peat, or other organic substances that can drain excess water.
The growing temperature should be kept between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Always keep an eye on the leaf color. Yellow leaves will indicate that you’re overwatering these Alocasia varieties.
Alocasia wentii is popular for its glossy deep green leaves with a purple underside. You can find it widely distributed on the floors of the Asian rainforest.
Alternatively, this specimen is known as the Purple Umbrella because of its purple hue.
Alocasia wentii is a hybrid variety of Alocasia gageana and Alocasia ordora. It can be an excellent houseplant.
The leaves of this variety can reach around 12 inches tall, and a fully grown plant can grow to around 3 feet tall and wide.
It enjoys growing under the bright indirect sunlight. Exposure to the direct sun can damage the leaves.
The soil must be well-drained and stay moist. The ideal temperature ranges between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Alocasia zebrina “Reticulata”
Alocasia zebrina “reticulata” is another mesmerizing variety of Alocasia. At first glance, a plant lover may confuse it with an Alocasia micholitziana “frydek” specimen because both these species have arrow-shaped and green foliage.
But you can distinguish Alocasia zebrina by the veins. Alocasia zebrina doesn’t have white veins. Also, the leaves of this specimen are thinner.
A mature Alocasia zebrina plant can reach up to 3 feet tall. It prefers bright, indirect light.
Exposure to direct sun, especially during midday, can be damaging to this specimen. It grows well from spring till autumn.
During this period, you should feed the plant with liquid organic fertilizer because it will accelerate the growth.
Like the other species, this one also needs a well-drained potting mix.
Do Alocasia plants prefer sun or shade?
Alocasia plants prefer strong partial shade or indirect light. This is due to the plant’s native habitat on the forest floor beneath the tree canopy. Don’t put your Alocasia in a place where it will get direct sunlight for a long time, because this will cause the leaves to burn.
Are Alocasia indoor or outdoor plants?
Alocasia plants can be kept both indoors and outdoors, however, they are typically cultivated as houseplants. The Alocasia is becoming more and more popular as an indoor plant. It has some of the most beautiful leaves of any houseplant, and its visual appeal is unmatched for any home decor. During the warmer months of the year, you can grow them outside; in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, they can be planted outside all year. Although in colder areas, just make sure to winterize them or bring them indoors.
Is Alocasia plant toxic?
Yes, Alocasia plants are toxic. They are beautiful houseplants, but the plant material should not be chewed on or eaten. These plants contain crystals of oxalate, which can induce mouth pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Keep them away from small children and animals.
In summary, Alocasia varieties are native to the tropical forests of southeast Asia and eastern Australia. There are several types of Alocasia plants that can be grown either indoors or outdoors.
These species have large leaves, and each of these species can be identified by their different leaf shapes and colors.
Although most of them have arrow-like or heart-shaped leaves, there are other species, like Stingray or Flying Squid, that have unique and narrow leaves.
Besides, you can easily grow these plants if you live in a tropical region. Make sure these plants aren’t exposed to the direct sun or stay in waterlogged conditions for a longer period.
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.