Growing house plants comes with a myriad of benefits. These include improving your mood, minimizing fatigue and lowering anxiety. Known to gardeners as the Alocasia Regal Shield, this tropical plant produces bold, attractive leaves that look great indoors or outdoors. Unlike many other houseplants, the Alocasia Regal Shield requires only minimal care. However, it also needs patience before producing beautiful flowers and pods. The problem is that you have grown this plant before, and taking care of it could be daunting. This guide explains everything you need to know about growing Alocasia Regal Shield. Let’s take a closer look at this exciting plant so you can make sure yours gets off to a great start.
What Is Alocasia Regal Shield?
Alocasia Regal Shield is a beautiful tropical plant native to Southeast Asia. Most gardeners refer to it as the “African Mask Plant” or the “Elephant Ear Plant“. And these houseplants are known for their large, glossy green leaves shaped like shields. They can grow up to six feet tall and four feet wide. Due to their appeal, Regal Shield plants are perfect for adding a touch of the tropics to your home. You would want to plant these plants for many reasons—for instance, they are known for purifying the air. These plants can remove harmful toxins from the air, making them perfect for indoor gardens.
Varieties of Alocasia
According to Drummers Garden Center, there are over 90 varieties of Alocasia. However, the hybrid alocasia or regal shield is commonly grown as a houseplant. It comes from the Araceae family. When mature, it can attain a height of 60 inches. And it thrives in soil P.H ranging from 5.5 to 7.0.
Alocasia is a slow-growing plant, making it perfect for low-light indoor gardens. They can handle dry air very well, but direct sunlight will burn their leaves. To ensure your plant is happiest, it should be in moist soil with good drainage. There is a wide variety of Alocasia, so be sure to research your specific kind before planting or repotting.
However, these plants prefer warm temperatures and lots of indirect sunlight. Moreover, these plants can also tolerate some shade. If you live in a cold climate, you can start your Alocasia Regal Shield plants indoors and then move them outdoors once the weather warms up. The ideal temperature for Alocasia Regal Shield plants is between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Alocasia Regal Shield plants prefer to be kept moist but not wet. These plants should be watered about once a week or when the soil feels dry to the touch. It is essential to ensure you do not overwater your Alocasia Regal Shield plants. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other problems. According to House Plant Central, using distilled water will maintain the health of this plant. And since it is not drought resistant, irregular watering could kill it. However, when unsure of when to give it more water, you can always perform a quick soil test. Dip your fingers into the soil to guage its dryness. And if it feels dry, don’t hesitate to water your plant again.
Fertilizing Alocasia Regal Shield
Alocasia Regal Shield plants should be fertilized about once a month during the growing season. You can use a balanced fertilizer or an organic fertilizer for these plants. Be sure to follow the directions on the fertilizer package, as too much fertilizer can burn the roots of your Alocasia Regal Shield plants.
Pruning Alocasia Regal Shield
Alocasia Regal Shield plants do not require a lot of pruning. You can trim off any dead or dying leaves as needed. You can also remove any yellow or brown leaves that may appear. If you want to encourage your Alocasia Regal Shield plant to grow more extensively, you can trim the leaves by about one-third.
Light requirements for Alocasia Regal Shield
Alocasia Regal Shield plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. These plants can tolerate shade, but too much shade will cause the leaves to turn yellow. If you live in a cold climate, you can start your Alocasia Regal Shield plants indoors and then move them outdoors once the weather warms up. According to House plant central, a couple of things happen when you expose this plant to excess direct sunshine. First, the sunlight tends to scorch the leaves of your Alocasia regal shield. As a result, your plant will lose some of its leaves. Alternatively, they may also develop undesirable crisp edges. The good thing is that you can reverse these effects by moving the plant to an area without direct sunshine.
Soil requirements for Alocasia Regal Shield
Alocasia Regal Shield plants prefer rich, well-drained soil. These plants do not like to sit in wet soil, so be sure to drain holes in the bottom of your pots. You can also add some organic matter to the soil to help improve drainage. Furthermore, this plant performs well in nutrient rich soil. If the soil does not drain well, the roots of plant will rot.
Alocasia Regal Shield is thrives in tropical conditions. Humidity of about 60-90% is ideal for this plant. You don’t want to place this plant near a ventilation draft. Otherwise, the hot or cold air will affect it. Low humidity will also damage the elephant ear. It could make its leaves crispy or lead to undesirable leave loss.
How to Plant Alocasia Regal Shield
When you are ready to plant your Alocasia Regal Shield, you will need a pot at least 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Fill your pot with well-draining soil, and then dig a hole twice the size of the root ball. Gently place your plant in the hole and then fill in around the roots with soil. Water your plant well, then put it in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight.
How to Grow Alocasia Regal Shield From Seeds
Although Propagating Alocasia is much easier than division, it is still possible to grow them from seeds. The process, however, is a bit more delicate and will require more attention than propagating through division. To grow Alocasia Regal Shield from seeds, follow these steps;
First, you will need to find fresh seeds. The best way to do this is to purchase them from a reputable source. You can also collect the seeds from a mature plant, but be sure they are ripe and ready to be harvested.
Once you have your seeds, fill a pot or container with a sterile seed starting mix. Moisten the mixture, and then sow the seeds on the surface. Please do not cover the bases with soil, as they need light to germinate.
Place the pot or container in a warm, sunny location. The ideal temperature for germination is 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep an eye on the soil, as it will need to be moistened regularly.The seeds will germinate in four to six weeks. Once they have sprouted, you can transplant them into individual pots. Be sure to use a pot at least 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep.Water your plants well and place them in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight.
Repotting and Growing in Containers
Once you have grown your Alocasia in a large pot, it is time to repot it into a larger pot. Look for a large container with drainage holes in the bottom that is twice as wide and deep as your current pot. Mix good quality organic soil with some organic fertilizer of choice. For example, mix four parts of Happy Frog All-Purpose Planting Mix with one part of hydrated Happy Frog Water Soil Moistener, which will contain nutrients that plants like alocasia need. Fill your new container with this mixture until it is an inch or two from the top and then carefully remove your Alocasia from its old pot, using care not to uproot any roots on the way out. Keep in mind that a general rule for most houseplants is to place them approximately 1 foot away from a window to get ample light. We also recommend using distilled water and feeding your Alocasia once a month with a fertilizer. We hope these tips will help you care for your Alocasia.
Best Placement in Your Home
Alocasia is a more ‘tropical’ variety of houseplants. They love the warmth and humidity and do best in indirect or filtered sunlight. As with all houseplants, invest in a good-sized container for them to grow. A pot made from something other than plastic will also help drainage, which may be an issue as these plants don’t like sitting in their water or having their leaves constantly wet.
Pruning, Cutting Back, Cleaning Up
Alocasia plants are easy-for-care plants that can be enjoyed indoors year-round. Alocasia enjoys bright but indirect light. Prune as needed, using sharp scissors and take care not to cut too far into the woody base of the plant. When trimming alocasia roots or old leaves, do so with sharp pruning shears or scissors. Make sure you don’t pull on a stem or let it snap off, which may damage it. Clean up any leaf litter periodically by taking off dropped leaves (especially before they form soil crust) with a rake or scooping up as much as possible with your hands.
Pests, Diseases and Treatments
Alocasia regal shield is prone to spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs, scale insects, aphids, thrips and curculios. If left unchecked, these creatures can weaken or kill your plant. Protecting your Alocasia requires diligence on your part. You’ll need an insecticidal soap or oil spray in addition to water misting every day. With sufficient care, you’ll be rewarded with a hearty plant that flowers in late summer/early fall with attractive leaves edged in red-purple lines on light green surfaces.
Is Alocasia Regal Shield Toxic?
According to Poison Control, all parts of the Alocasia Regal Shield plant are considered to be toxic if ingested. Symptoms of toxicity include; vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, and difficulty swallowing. Contact your veterinarian or medical professional immediately if you suspect your pet or child has eaten any part of this plant. As with all plants, it is always best to err on caution. Keep your Alocasia Regal Shield plant out of reach of children and pets.
Why does my Alocasia have brown spots on its leaves?
You may have overwatered your Alocasia. The best way to tell if your plant is getting too much water is by checking its soil moisture level. If you do not know how to do this, it’s best to consult with a professional, who can examine the drainage system and adjust accordingly. You may also need to use less fertilizer than what’s recommend on the package because an overabundance of nutrients will also lead to browning.
Why is my Alocasia dropping leaves suddenly?
If your Alocasia starts dropping leaves suddenly, it could be a sign of stress. With other causes being extremely unlikely, this is often caused by one of two things: overwatering or underwatering. After learning how to grow an alocasia plant, it’s important to know what you should do if you have any problems with it so you can keep your plant alive for years to come.
When will my alocasia flower?
The Alocasia Regal shield house plant may take a few years to produce a flower. For best results, grow the plant in pots with enough room for both roots and leaves to flourish. As soon as your plant reaches about 15 inches high and wide, pot it up again to accommodate its rapid growth pattern. This is when it will most likely produce flowers.
Are there other plants that look similar to my Alocasia?
The Alocasia Regal Shield house plant does look similar to other plants, but it is easy to tell if you know what to look for. Some gardeners will mix up an alocasia with a Xanthosoma or another type of ornamental plant because they can look similar in full bloom. The problem is that these plants grow from a bulb and are not Viney, whereas an alocasia is Viney and usually grows from a rhizome.
How can I propagate (make more) plants from my alocasia plant?
According to Plantphiles, plant division is the best approach to propagating Alocasia Regal Shield. One easy way to reproduce an alocasia plant is by cutting a leaf off and sticking it in water. Roots will eventually form on the cut end, and new plants can be pulled up as they grow. Alternatively, you can also root cuttings in moist soil or sphagnum moss. In many cases, propagation is most successful during the time of year when plants are not growing (such as in winter) because this slows down their metabolism, allowing more energy to produce roots instead of leaves.
If you have read this guide carefully, it is time to begin your journey with Alocasia Regal Shield. Use these tips to ensure that your project goes to plan. And after some time, you will appreciate your newly learned gardening skills.