The Alocasia Maharani, although rare, is one of the most beautiful house plants in the world. It is also known as the Grey Dragon because of its broad, stiff, and textured leaves that look like dragon scales. Its leaves have a silver-green, almost grey color and a white vein pattern, making the plant eye-catching. You must have come across Alocasia plants once or twice if you love house plants. The Alocasia Maharani is a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia and its rainforests.
It goes by names like the grey dragon, the African mask, and the Indian princess. It is part of a family of different Alocasia plants referred to as “Jewel Alocasia,” such as the Alocasia dragon scale, Alocasia Cuprea, Alocasia black velvet, and the Alocasia silver dragon plants. Alocasias are dwarf plants that only grow up to 14 inches. Alocasia Maharanis’ small size and unique leaf patterns and markings make it a beautiful and popular house plant, mainly because it is relatively easier to grow and care for than some of its fussy relatives.
How to Care for Alocasia Maharani Plants
The plant care process for the Alocasia Maharani is almost the same as the care process for other Alocasia varieties. However, it is relatively easier than caring for some, like the Alocasia dragon scale, which can be very picky with its growing conditions. Other varieties can also be picky about the environments they thrive in, but one constant with all of them is that they need consistent moisture to survive. Because it is a tropical houseplant, it thrives in warm, high-humidity climates. Alocasia Maharani will do well in a warm and humid part of the house in a bright place but away from direct sunlight. Even though it is a flowering plant, people don’t like it for its flowers, and if it is grown indoors, it might not flower.
Alocasia Maharanis love staying in moist environments, so they love water, but it is easy to overwater them. Watering them will depend on the climate. The growing conditions and the temperatures at a particular time. Generally, you will know it is time to water them when the top 2 inches of the soil dry out. During spring and summer, when the temperatures are a bit higher, the plant will typically use up water faster, so watering will be every five days. During winter, the temperatures are low, and there is no humidity, so the plant doesn’t use up water faster. Watering should be in about seven days. Always check your plant before watering to avoid over saturation which can cause root rot. Please don’t leave your Maharani plant for too long without water because it will wither.
Alocasia Maharani plants thrive in areas with bright to medium levels of indirect sunlight. Naturally, because they are short, they grow underneath trees in the forest where there is almost no direct sunlight but a lot of bright indirect light. Growing this plant outdoors under direct light is like killing it because it will not be able to tolerate the sun, and its leaves will end up scorched. Even when grown indoors, owners should protect the plant from direct sunlight. If you want to grow it near a window, make sure that the window doesn’t get hit by direct light. The same way the Alocasia Maharani doesn’t do well in direct sunlight, Is the same way it hates dark Spots. Make sure to place your plant in an ideal spot where its lighting conditions are met.
Temperature and Humidity
According to UnicaPlants, Alocasia Maharani thrives in temperatures between 65 and 80°F or 18 to 27°C. If your Grey Dragon plant is outside, you want to take it indoors during the cold winter months when temperatures fall below 10°C. If not, your plant will start to lose its leaves and eventually die. Because this plant naturally grows in a tropical climate, it needs relatively high humidity levels. It will do well in humid areas of around 60% to 80% humidity.
Low humidity makes the Alocasia Maharanis leaves get brown spots, become crispy, or start to yellow. So avoid placing the plants near cold places like near windows that are always opened, exterior doors, and air conditioners. In most cases, the plants will survive in average household humidity levels and temperatures. However, you can help them by placing them in areas that are naturally more humid in the house. Places like the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room have more humidity than the rest of the house. You can also put the plant near a humidifier.
The Alocasia Maharani has specific soil requirements that people might sometimes find hard to get right. You cannot use regular potting soil for this plant. It needs potting soil full of nutrients, is well-draining, and aerates well while still retaining some water. Luckily you can easily make a great soil mix for the plant at home using regular potting soil, perlite potting mix, peat moss, and some coconut husks. The potting mixture from these will be great for moisture retention, aeration, and nutrient retention. When the soil is too water retentive, the plant root will not get enough oxygen, and this will cause it to rot. If you notice that the top of the soil is not dry within a week, then your soil mixture is too heavy. You will need to add more perlite or coconut husks to the potting mixture for better drainage.
It is best to fertilize Alocasia Maharani plants during active growing months during spring and summer. Because they are small sensitive plants, they do not need much fertilization and should be fertilized sparingly. Use liquid fertilizer significantly diluted once a month only during spring and summer. Do not fertilize them during winter as they use minimal nutrients, and the season has low light and temperatures. Over fertilization will cause a nutrient overload that ends up burning its leaves and roots, eventually making the plant die. According to Plant Index, fertilizers rich in nitrogen are great for the plant and give it more foliage and bigger leaves.
How to Pot and Repot your Alocasia Maharani
When you see roots peeking out of the pot’s drainage holes, stunted growth, or yellowing leaves, it is time to move the plant to a bigger pot. These plants don’t need to be frequently repotted because they are slow growers and will do well in the same container for maybe two or three years. The best time to repot them is when you notice that the roots have completely outgrown the pot. Spring and summer seasons are great for repotting because the plant is actively growing, allowing for better plant recovery once in a new pot.
Choose a new container or pot for your Alocasia plant that is 2 to 3 inches bigger than the previous one. Preferably a clay pot which is fantastic for drainage and aeration. Slowly and carefully remove the plant from its container, then gently loosen up the soil around the roots. Remove dead, yellow, and soft roots, indicating root rot. Add fresh well-draining potting soil mix to the new pot. Carefully add the Alocasia plant to the new container and pat the soil down, especially around the roots. Water right after and maintain the care schedule that had the plant thriving.
How to Propagate your Alocasia Maharani
The Grey Dragon can be propagated using three methods. Either by offsets, division, or seeds. The appropriate time to propagate them is during active growing seasons in spring or summer. It is essential to ensure that your Alocasia Maharani plant is healthy before propagation.
It is the simplest way to propagate the plant. Division only takes three steps. First, extract the plant from its container and gently remove the soil around its roots. Using a sharp blade, split the rhizome into two sections, ensuring an even amount of roots in each section. Prepare your potting mix and plant it in a pot with drainage holes.
They can also be propagated using offsets, baby Alocasia plants that develop throughout the year. Get a sterile knife, new containers, and a good mixture of well-draining potting mix. Remove your Alocasia plant from its container, gently loosen it up, and remove the excess soil around the roots. Using the knife or cutting shears, separate the offsets by cutting off the roots connected to the plant. Fill the new containers with the potting mix and place each offset in a pot. Water the offsets and place them in a bright place but away from direct sunlight.
Propagating Alocasia Maharani by seed is very uncommon. Not only is it difficult to find seeds to buy, but it is also tricky for Alocasia Maharani plants growing indoors to produce any seeds or flowers. The following steps are how you do it if you are up for a challenge; Soak the plant’s seeds overnight and sow the seeds in a good potting mixture. Sow the seeds 1 cm in the soil. Lightly water the seeds, then cover the container with a clear plastic bag to provide for high humidity. Place the potted seeds covered with the plastic bag in a bright area away from direct sunlight. In a few months, the seedlings will grow to about 5 cm tall, which is perfect timing for repotting.
Common Pests and Plant Diseases that affect the Alocasia Maharani.
Luckily, Alocasia Maharani plants are not usually susceptible to a particular type of pest. However, owners should look for spider mites, thrips, fungus gnats, and mealy bugs, all common pests for houseplants. The common problem owners might find themselves dealing with is overwatering, leading to root rot and some fungal diseases. Sometimes, the Alocasia Maharani plant can be fussy, especially when it is not cared for correctly. Be on the lookout for the following;
Root rot is a pretty common problem facing many house plants. It is usually caused by soil that has been waterlogged for an extended period, which can be brought about by overwatering plants or planting them in soil that has poor drainage and aeration. According to Neverland, when you suspect your plant has water logging problems, please remove it from its container and gently remove excess soil to see its root structure. If the roots are mushy and brown, you must clean the roots with water to remove soil, then trim any mushy roots with sterilized scissors. Then disinfect the roots using a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution before repotting in a fresh, well-draining potting mixture.
Yellow leaves on an Alocasia Maharani plant indicate root rot, which is often caused by overwatering. Once your plant starts to get yellow leaves, inspect the roots for signs of root rot. To prevent this, ensure you don’t water your Alocasia before its top soil becomes dry and that the pot used has enough drainage.
If you notice that your Alocasia Plant leaves are starting to brown, your plant is not getting enough humidity. You might consider moving it to a more humid area in your house or placing it next to a small humidifier.
Alocasia Maharani plants are naturally short with short stems. Leggy growth is when its stems become elongated, according to The Spruce, which means that your plant is not getting enough light and is looking for additional light by moving towards it. You cannot reverse leggy growth but can prevent it by placing your plants in bright, indirect light areas.
The Alocasia Maharani is a beautiful ancient plant that adds elegance to any home. It is no wonder that it is very popular among plant lovers. Caring for them is relatively easy once you understand what they need to be happy. A big issue that affects the plant is overwatering. Once you find a balance in the plant’s watering and humidity needs, then you will be a pleased plant parent. Alocasia Maharani plant owners should note that it is toxic to all pets. The entire plant contains calcium oxalate crystals which are bad for the digestive tract and irritate the mouth and esophagus when ingested.