The Alocasia Calidora is also known as the Calidora Plant and the Calidora Elephant Ear. This is a large alocasia cultivar with amazing upright stems and leaves. The leaves are long and wide with an arrow shape. They are likewise ribbed on the veins.
It looks like the black stemmed alocasia as far as appearance goes, but with green stems instead of the more unique black one the Alocasia macrorrhiza Black Stem has.
How do you care for the Alocasia Calidora? This alocasia plant needs moist soil with good drainage. It grows best in bright, indirect sunlight, warm temperatures and high humidity.
It does need fertilizing to reach its full potential. The plant is toxic to people and pets.
Alocasia Calidora Plant Care
Calidora Elephant Ear Light Requirements
The Alocasia Calidora does well with a wide array of lighting conditions. However, the two things you want to avoid are the extremes. These are:
- Strong direct sunlight
- Dim, dark or completely shaded locations
Anything between these two environments, it will have no problem.
But I do need to qualify all things I just said, so here’s the breakdown.
While the Alocasia Calidora does well in all except the two conditions, for best growth, supply it with bright, indirect light indoors.
Outdoors, the ideal location would be partial shade. This means the plant gets some light but none of the very intense or strong light that happens during mid-day. It will also need at least 6-8 hours of this kind of light on a daily basis.
On the other hand, with regards to the two extremes…
A dark location or full shade will limit the plant’s growth. This means, slow to no growth, small leaves and very few of them. The plant can also become leggy.
So, avoid this.
Too much light means long exposure to strong light. Often this is direct sunlight. However, it is important to qualify this.
That’s because the plant loves direct morning sun coming from the east. Therefore, placing it near an east facing window is the best spot indoors.
But it cannot take direct sunlight during mid-day. This is usually between 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. when the sun is the strongest.
If you leave it there, it will turn its leaves yellow after a while. In extreme exposure, its leaves can also burn.
Therefore, avoid mid-day direct sun and try to keep it to morning direct sun.
Calidora Elephant Ear Temperature
The Alocasia Calidora prefers temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is its sweet spot. And it is where the plant is not only most comfortable but also grows fastest.
Of course, like other alocasias, it is a tropical plant.
This means it enjoys weather that is warm. More importantly, it enjoys consistently warm climate all year round.
That’s because in the tropics, there is no winter. Instead, the sun is shining and the weather is warm during November to March.
Thus, this is what the plant likes most.
For this reason, it fits really well indoors. Homes has moderate temperatures that are kept consistent thanks to thermostat control.
On the other hand, because of its tropical origins, it also has poor tolerance to the cold. In facts, it will struggle when temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
This makes the cold something you want to look out for especially if you live somewhere with four seasons.
Left for too long in conditions that are too cold for it, the plant will suffer cold damage. And this is not reversible.
So, try to keep it away from winter weather outdoors. Indoors, avoid air conditioners or anything that can suddenly produce cold air.
If you want to keep it outdoors, you can take it outside during the summers and bring it back indoors around falls as the climate drops close to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The exception to this is in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. The plant loves it in these regions because they have warm weather all through the year.
If you live in these areas, you can keep the plant outdoors in the ground or in a pot without having to move it indoors.
Ideal humidity for the Calidora Elephant Ear plant is between 60% and 80%. This is where it is most comfortable and will grow its best. If you give it this environment, it will produce lush foliage and grow faster.
That said, it can tolerate humidity down to 50% and a bit lower than that.
But be careful about going too much lower as the air can get too dry for the plant.
You’ll be able to tell when this happens as its leaves will turn brown and crispy on the edges.
Of course, try to avoid this altogether if you can since this is not reversible. So, once the tips and edges (or more) of the leaves turn brown or crispy, they won’t revert to green any more.
Your only option is to trim off the section that’s been affected.
if you’re not sure what the humidity in your home is, I suggest getting a hygrometer. This is a simple device that tells you what humidity it. You can carry it to different rooms to see which one has higher humidity as well.
Note that using the weather report is not a reliable way of telling what your home’s humidity it.
That’s because your home may have microclimates. This can happen depending on where it is located and what its surroundings are.
For example, if you live near a beach or lake, the humidity will be much higher than someone else in your city while lives near buildings and offices.
Just as importantly, indoor humidity is always lower than outdoor humidity. And different rooms in each house will have varying levels of air moisture as well.
For example, the bathroom and kitchen will always be more humid that other rooms because we use water a lot there.
Thus, if you’re not sure about the humidity in your home a hygrometer is your best bet.
From there, you can increase humidity if needed.
How Often to Water Alocasia Calidora
The Alocasia Calidora has moderate watering needs. That is on average it needs watering about once a week. However, this will change depending on the time of year.
During the warmer months, you may find yourself watering the plant 2 or even 3 times a week. In the winter, you may only need to water once every 2 or 3 weeks.
It is important to now when to water because too much or too little will cause problems.
If the plant lacks water, you’ll see its leaves turn brown and it will droop and wilt. While it will recover from wilting once you add more water, the brown leaves won’t become green again.
So, you’ll need to remove all the brown leaves.
It is also very important never to let the Calidora Elephant Ear plant’s soil go completely dry. When the roots get dehydrated for too long, they can get damaged.
On the other hand, too much moisture will usually result in yellow leaves. Again, these leaves will not turn green even if you’re able to fix the issue.
But there’s a bigger problem with overwatering. That is root rot.
Not only is this irreversible, it can also destroy the entire plant, killing it. Therefore, overwatering is far worse than underwatering.
So how do you know when to water the Alocasia Calidora and avoid too much or too little water?
Check the soil.
Always check the soil by feeling it. Do so before you add water.
Only water if the top 2 inches of soil is completely dry. If you want to be more conservative, wait until the top 25% (quarter) of the soil dries before you add water.
You can use your finger and stick it into the soil to feel how far down from the top the soil is dry. Or you can use a wooden chopstick to gauge which part of the soil is wet or dry. Just stick the chopstick in the soil all the way down and pull it out. You’ll see a water line on the wood.
Finally, you can use a moisture meter. It will tell you if the soil is dry, moist or wet.
By waiting for the top part of the soil to dry before you add more water, you can avoid overwatering and potential root rot. It also lets you stay far away from underwatering the plant.
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Alocasia Calidora Potting Soil
The best soil for the Alocasia Calidora is loose, well-draining soil that is moist. It also likes rich organic soil with pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
The right potting soil becomes very important for the plant because of the risk of overwatering and root rot.
And you want to use a soil that will prevent that from happening.
This is why good drainage and aeration is very important. It allows the soil to quickly drain excess moisture so the roots don’t end up sitting in water for long periods of time.
In doing so, it prevents overwatering or waterlogged soil.
On the other hand, avoid heavy soils, clay or potting mix with ingredients that retain a lot of moisture. These will hold too much water that will keep the roots wet.
Instead, always have an ingredient that helps with drainage.
An easy way to create the ideal potting mix for the Alocasia Calidora is to combine these 3 ingredients:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part peat
- 1 part perlite
Calidora Elephant Ear Fertilizer
High quality fertilizer is important for the Alocasia Calidora because it needs sufficient nutrients to grow optimally.
The Calidora Elephant Ear plant is a heavy feeder. It needs the food to grow big and reach its full potential.
Therefore, if you don’t feed the plant, you’ll see it grow slowly, produces fewer and smaller leaves. Although, it will still be alright.
An good routing to following is to feed the plant once a month during its growing season (spring and summer). Then stop around early to mid fall all the way through winter.
The plant grows a lot and the fastest during the warmer months. And it does not grow much during the cold months.
Therefore, you want to feed it when it needs the nutrients and cut back when it will not use them up.
You can use a balanced fertilizer. An N-P-K of 15-15-15 works well. Dilute it to half strength each time you apply. And never feed the plant when the soil is dry, only when the soil is moist.
The Alocasia Calidora has a moderate growth rate and will grow to between 6 to 10 feet tall. This makes it a perfect statement piece indoors or an amazing décor for your patio or porch.
You can likewise grow it in your garden if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11.
The plant is primarily made up of its long, thick stems and large, green leaves.
The leaves can get bushy as more of them grow, which makes the plant stunning to look at.
But since its foliage are the plant’s main attraction, there’s really no reason to prune them. Instead, pruning is usually done to limit the size of the plant.
As such, the Calidora Elephant Ear is a low maintenance plant in terms of pruning.
How to Propagate Alocasia Calidora
The most effective way to propagate the Alocasia Calidora plant is by rhizome division. This consist of splitting them so you end up with 2 plants from the mother plant.
Here’s how to propagate the Alocasia Calidora plant step by step.
- Prepare a container and fill it with well-draining potting mix. You’ll need to prepare more if you want to divide the plant to more than two segments.
- Carefully take the plant out of its container and remove the excess soil so you can clearly see the roots.
- What you’ll get are many clumps. All you need is to divide the clumps to the number of plants you want to split the plant up to.
- Note that you do have a few options here. You can go with 2 or 3 equal parts. Or you can just make a bunch of clumps that make up only a small part of the parent. This way, you start with a smaller plant but keep most of the parent’s size intact. It’s really up to you.
- Once you’ve decided, use a sterile knife to cut the clumps. Thus, you can divide the parent into 2 equally big, smaller plants. or take a smaller segment and separate it from the parent.
- The important thing is to make sure that each division has sufficient roots to support the new plant. And it also has some stems and leaves on top.
- Plant each of divisions into their own pots.
Since each division already has their own roots, you don’t need to root the plant and it can start growing from there.
Also, because it has some leaves, you also have a semi-grown plant right from the beginning.
Eventually, the smaller plants will become as big as the parent plant.
How to Repot or Transplant Alocasia Calidora
The Alocasia Calidora plant does not need repotting unless it is root bound. As such, it usually takes between 12 to 24 months before you need to do this.
While the plant will get to between 6 to 10 feet high eventually, it has a moderate growth rate so you’ll see consistent growth instead of huge spurts along the way.
Simply look at the bottom of the pot to see if roots are coming out of the drainage holes to check if it is time to repot.
If there are quite a few roots peeking out of there, be ready to move the plant to a larger container.
The best time to do so is during spring.
Another sign is if you see roots coming out the surface of the soil. This also means they are searching for more space to extend to.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Alocasia Calidora plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which become toxic when ingested. Therefore, avoid letting dogs and cats chew, swallow or consume parts of the plant.
This will cause pain, irritation and swelling of the lips, tongue and mouth. Other side effects include difficulty swallowing, vomiting and excess drooling.
Alocasia Calidora Problems & Troubleshooting
Mealybugs, scale and spider mites like this plant, especially its leaves. Therefore, it is important to keep the plant healthy as this allows it to keep the pests away.
But once it is weak, sick or stressed, it becomes prone to the bugs. And that’s when they pounce.
This means regular inspection is part of any good Alocasia Calidora care routine.
You can use neem oil or insecticidal soap to get rid of these pests.
The plant is not prone to diseases. However, you need to do your part since the most common problems here are usually man-made.
Root rot and leaf infections can happen if you’re not careful with moisture, more specifically excess moisture.
Overwatering and waterlogging are the main causes of root rot. Therefore, avoid watering the plant before part of the soil dries out. Also, make sure your potting mix has good drainage. And use a pot with holes to allow excess liquid to get out of the container.
Leaf diseases can be bacterial or fungal. And too much watering, not enough light or lack of air circulation are often the issue here. Watering late in the day can also cause this.