Welcome to the Bloom and Grow Radio Blog!
Check out our Product Reviews, DIY tutorials, Garden to Table Recipes, podcast show notes, and more!
Hey plant friends!
I’m Maria, the "Plant Killer Turned Plant Lady" with a mission to help you care for plants successfully, grow your indoor jungles, and cultivate more joy in your life. I've got tons of content for you here on the blog, on the Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast, and Bloom and Grow Youtube Show to help you keep blooming and keep growing.
If there is one genus of plants that has captured my imagination for years but repeatedly evaded me, it’s Alocasia. These tropical plants with their large, alien-esque leaves and jewel-toned undersides have long obsessed me. I’d often pick them up from the garden center, only to watch them rapidly decline in my dry, temperate home. But after lots of trial and error, I’ve finally cracked the code to make them thrive! In this episode, I’m sharing everything I’ve learned about growing Alocasia houseplants, including care tips, troubleshooting, and some of my new favorite varieties that are thriving in my home.
Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
As forest floor dwellers in tropical Asian and Pacific Island rainforests, Alocasia naturally requires warm, humid, and shady conditions. Recreating these can be challenging indoors, but focus on the below to help them flourish:
Bright, indirect light: While often marketed as “low light” plants, I actually avoid using that term. Instead, I’d say Alocasia are fairly light hungry but prefer bright indirect sun. So place them near bright windows where they’ll get ambient brightness but no harsh direct rays. Grow lights also work well.
Even moisture: Let the top inch dry out between waterings, but don’t let them dry out completely. I use plastic/glazed pots and self-watering pots to retain moisture.
High humidity: This is non-negotiable! A whole-room or desk humidifier running daily works wonders. A humidifier is ideal to maintain the 50%+ humidity Alocasia prefers. You can also increase humidity further by grouping plants, misting often, or using pebble trays.
Fertilizer: I give my houseplants an occasional balanced houseplant fertilizer during active growth, which means I do not follow the summer/spring schedule and instead fertilize when I see them growing!
Dormancy: Rather than going fully dormant, Alocasia enter periods of “quiescence” over winter as light levels and durations decrease. Much like semi-dormancy, they slow their active growth to conserve energy. You may notice leaves yellowing and dropping.
Even if you provide perfect care, alocasias can be dramatic. Here are some common issues I’ve encountered:
For extra humidity, try enclosing struggling plants in a makeshift greenhouse (like a big plastic bag). This “plant hospital” technique has helped revive many of mine!
Thanks to my plant provider partners at Proven Winners Leaf Joy, I’m nurturing a fabulous assortment of Alocasia varieties right now. Below are some of my current favorites:
Alocasia ‘Ninja': Scientifically known as Alocasia reginula, this rare Asian native has the coolest nearly black leaves with electric white veining. One of the most striking, alien-looking plants I own!
Alocasia cuprea: I’ve lusted after these gorgeously bronzed beauties for ages! Their purple undersides are just as stunning as the top.
Alocasia ‘Dragon Scale': Just when I thought the Alocasia cuprea would forever be my wish list fave comes this absolute stunner with leaves boasting the most vivid green coloration (they look so animated!). Botanical name Alocasia baginda.
Alocasia longiloba: A larger, leggy variety with super long, deep green leaves.
Alocasia ‘Stingray': Perhaps the weirdest yet coolest of all my new Alocasia! Alocasia macrorrhiza or Alocasia Stingray have typically shaped Alocasia leaves with a “stingray” tail at the base that gives a nice texture.
Alocasia watsoniana: I love displaying its shiny dark green and white veined foliage. Makes an awesome bold statement in any plant collection.
Well, my plant friends, there you have it—everything I’ve gleaned so far about successfully growing the Alocasia genus indoors. So if you also harbor an Alocasia obsession like me, or maybe just an admiration from afar, I do hope some of the tips I’ve shared here will help you find success as well.
If you want to have success with houseplants, you’ve got to have two things: the knowledge to care for them successfully and healthy plants. Meet my new favorite houseplant grower: Proven Winner’s leafjoy™. With only the best plant genetics grown in a state-of-the-art, European greenhouse, you will not be disappointed in the variety and quality of your favorite plants from Proven Winner’s leafjoy™. This company has taken the guesswork out of plant shopping with plant tags that include scientific names and care guides, as well as color-coded collections for the different areas of your home that you want plants in!
Find plant joy in leafjoy™. Head to provenwinners.com to find your local leafjoy™ dealer and let me know which plant you take home on socials!
Follow Maria and Growing Joy:
Order my book: Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
Join the Bloom and Grow Garden Party Community Platform & App AKA the plantiest and kindest corner of the internet! Get your FREE 2-week trial here!
Take the Plant Parent Personality Quiz (Get the perfect plants, projects and educational resources for YOUR Lifestyle)
Support Bloom and Grow Radio by becoming a Plant Friend on Patreon!
Subscribe to the Growing Joy Youtube channel! /growingjoywithmaria
Stop wasting money on plants that don’t fit with your lifestyle.
Take the Plant Parent Personality™ quiz, and get curated recommendations for plants, projects, and podcast episodes inspired by your lifestyle to unlock your Plant Parent Potential!