The Alocasia Chantrieri is also called the Chantrieri African Mask plant because of its unique and gorgeous looks.
It is a rare plant that comes with an expensive price of $250 or higher. Sometimes, you may see it go on sale for “only” $150.
The plant features very deep green colored leaves with wavy edges and burgundy undersides. When these leaves first emerge, they’ll also have a blue tint to them.
How do you care for Alocasia Chantrieri? The plant enjoys bright, indirect light especially during the mornings. Avoid direct sunlight and that during mid-day or summer.
Keep humidity above 50% and temperatures warm. Allow the top 25% of the soil to dry between waterings and use well-draining soil.
The plant is toxic to humans, cats and dogs.
Alocasia Chantrieri Plant Care
The Alocasia Chantrieri enjoys moderate to bright indirect light. It will grow best when given long hours of direct morning sun. Therefore, a spot near an east facing window is ideal.
On the other hand, avoid strong light.
This means you want to keep it away from direct sunlight during mid day especially between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. which is when the sun is the most intense.
If you leave it there, its leaves will eventually get discolored. Even worse, they can get sunburn leaving you with brown or black marks on its foliage.
This also means you want to avoid summer sun which is the hottest time of the year.
As such, it is a good idea to take some precautions when placing it towards the south or the west. Both these directions get the sun’s rays during the middle of the day.
So, you want to distance the plant enough such that the rays never come into direct contact with the Alocasia Chantrieri’s leaves.
Another option is to filter the sun by adding blinds or curtains to block out some of it.
In addition to proper positioning, you want to rotate the plant so that all the sides receive even amounts of light. This way the plant grows symmetrically and not leaning towards one direction.
I like to rotate the pot 90 degrees each time I water the plant. Over time, this will even things out on all sides.
Outdoors, keep the plant away from full sun. Instead, place it in partial shade.
Finally, if you don’t get a lot of natural light in your home, you can supplement or use artificial lights on their own.
This will allow the plant to grow well even if you don’t have many windows in your home.
The Alocasia Chantrieri likes warm weather. Like other alocasia varieties, the plant is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Eastern Australia.
As such, its preferred temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, it does not like conditions once they fall below 60 degrees.
This means that it is important to keep the plant in a cozy place indoors.
If you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 where the climate is warm and sunny all year round, you can leave it outside in a container or grow it in the ground.
Otherwise, it is best to make sure that once the weather gets colder towards the end of the year to make sure to bring the Alocasia Chantrieri indoors.
If left outdoors, the plant will struggle and then die back into the soil.
That said, its tubers will be fine underground. So, when the warm weather of spring comes around, the plant will come back to life.
However, it will have to start growing again, producing shoots before the leaves show up.
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The Alocasia Chantrieri enjoys humid conditions. Its ideal humidity is 60% to 70% and it won’t mind even higher levels. It can likewise tolerate down to about 50% or a bit below that.
However, once humidity drops below 50%, you’ll want to see how the plant responds.
If it begins to develop brown or crispy tips and leaves, then that’s your sign that it has a problem around that humidity level.
As long as its leaves don’t dry up or get brittle, it means the plant can still tolerate that condition.
The good news is there are a few ways you can increase humidity around the plant.
If you have a budget for it, you can invest on a humidifier. But if you don’t want to spend extra cash, there are a few free ways to boos humidity as well.
I like using a humidity tray which is just a tray that you fill with water.
Then, add some rocks so that the top of the rocks is above the water line. Finally, place the plant on top of the rocks.
As the water in the tray evaporates, it increases humidity in the air surrounding the plant.
The rocks keep the pot above water to prevent the soil from getting wet.
Your only job here is to replenish the liquid in the tray once it gets depleted.
Other methods you can try include:
- Misting the plant
- Moving it to the bathroom
- Giving the plant a shower every 2 weeks
- Group your alocasia alongside your other houseplants
How Often to Water Alocasia Chantrieri
The Alocasia Chantrieri does not like extremes when it comes to watering. This means it does not like wet soil nor does it enjoy the soil drying out. Instead, it prefers soil to stay consistently moist.
This can make it a bit challenging considering that if you add too much water, you put the plant at risk of overwatering and possibly root rot.
Therefore, it is best to stay a bit on the drier side of things but without letting the soil dry out.
The best way to achieve this is to wait until the top 2 inches of soil is dry to the feel before you add water. You can likewise wait until the top 30% of soil is dry.
Anything between these two levels will work.
This way you don’t need to be precise. Neither do you need stress that you missed watering by a day or two.
By letting the soil dry slightly between waterings, you’re able to avoid overwatering altogether. All the while keeping the plant hydrated.
In addition to knowing when to water. it is also important to know how to water.
And the best way to water the Alocasia Chantrieri is to drench the soil then allow it to completely drain.
You can do this by adding water to the soil until the liquid starts dripping from the bottom of the pot. This tells you that the soil is saturated with water.
Then, immediately allow the soil to drain completely.
This second step takes anywhere from 12 to 30 minutes depending on how big the plant is. Thus, I just leave it on a stand in the sink to keep dripping.
Both steps are crucial to giving the plant its watering requirements.
The first step ensures that the roots have their fill of water. This lets them stay hydrated. Meanwhile, the second step makes sure that the roots don’t end up drowning in water for long periods of time.
Thus, what you’re left with is moist soil that allows enough air to reach the roots so they can breathe.
Alocasia Chantrieri Potting Soil
Having the right potting soil allows you the quickly drain excess moisture. Thus, it is essential to avoiding overwatering and waterlogging.
And the best soil for the Alocasia Chantrieri is loose, well-draining soil that has good aeration. It also prefers soil pH of 6.1 to 6.5 and one that is rich in organic matter.
This makes a simple combination of:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part peat
Perfect for the plant.
The potting soil and the peat will help with water retention, so the soil stays moist. Pest also contains some organic matter.
On the other hand, perlite allows fast drainage and good aeration.
Avoid heavy soils or those that are dense. Similarly soil that gets compacted is a no-no.
Finally, don’t forget to make sure that the pot you use has drainage.
This way, the excess liquid coming out from the soil can drip out of the container.
For the best growth, feed the Alocasia Chantrieri once a month during its growing season (spring and summer). You can use a balanced fertilizer with an N-P-K of 20-20-20 or 15-15-15 and dilute to half the recommended strength.
Stop feeding at the end or August or beginning of September. And don’t feed the plant during the winter.
This will give the plant all the nutrients it needs to grow faster, produce more foliage and make larger ones at that.
Avoid overfeeding the plant, using too much fertilizer and applying when it is not needed.
Excess fertilizer can burn the plant’s roots. As such, this can cause serious, irreparable damage to the plant.
Once the roots are damaged, it won’t be able to absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil as efficient. More importantly, if too many roots have been damaged, the plant won’t be able to sustain itself before only a few roots are left to support the entire plant.
The Alocasia Chantrieri will produce large leaves that face on a slight diagonal outward. They are held up by their long, thin outward bending stems.
This makes the plant beautiful to look at as you can see its beautiful leaves in all their glory.
What’s even better is the plant often produces new shoots which allows it to create a dense cluster. This makes the plant look bushy as you have quite a few leaves on it.
However, it is generally low maintenance and does not require much pruning.
You can prune some leaves if you feel its foliage is crowding amongst themselves. Similarly, you can prune the plant to encourage it to grow more.
But beyond that, most of the pruning will be about removing any dying, old, damaged or discolored leaves.
How to Propagate Alocasia Chantrieri
The Alocasia Chantrieri is usually propagated through division. That’s because stem cuttings is not a viable method of doing so.
The plant develops from rhizomes. As such, when you dig up its roots, you’ll see clumps from which the roots grow.
The benefit of dividing the plant is that you get semi-grown plants immediately. This means unlike stem cuttings, you don’t need to wait for the new plant to develop roots because the roots are already established.
Thus, the plant will just grow.
Here’s how to propagate Alocasia Chantrieri by division step by step.
- Start by taking the plant out of its pot.
- Brush off the soil so you can get a clear view of the roots.
- You’ll see rhizomes with roots along with stems and leaves.
- You can now decide how many divisions you want to make from the mother plant. And how you would like the divide the plant. The only thing to keep in mind is to make sure each division have enough roots and at least a few leaves. This way the roots allow it to support the plant above. And with leaves you don’t start with a bare plant.
- Take a sterile knife and cut the areas you’ve decided on. You can make 2 or more divisions depending on how big the plant is and how many new plants do you want to end up with.
- After dividing them, pot up each new plant into its own container and fill the pot with well-draining soil.
You now have 2 or more smaller but semi-grow plants that will produce new shoots and leaves.
Over time they will get bigger and become clones of the mother plant.
How to Repot or Transplant Alocasia Chantrieri
The Alocasia Chantrieri will need repotting once it outgrows its container. However, it takes around 2 years for this to happen.
As such, you don’t have to worry about doing it every so often.
In fact, it is discouraged that you repot when not necessary.
That’s because the plant likes being in a slightly tight pot. Additionally, it does not like being moved. And repotting can sometimes cause stress or shock.
Therefore, wait until your see roots coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot before you do.
And when choosing a larger container, go with one that is only one size bigger (around 2 inches more). Avoid overpotting as this will increase the risk of overwatering.
The best time to repot is spring to early summer.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Yes, the plant is toxic. It contains calcium oxalate crystals which are poisonous to people and animals when ingested.
Therefore, avoid leaving young children, cats and dogs unattended near the plant as they may chew on or consumer parts of the plant.
If they do, make sure to call your pediatrician or veterinarian immediately.
Alocasia Chantrieri Problems & Troubleshooting
The Alocasia Chantrieri does not experience a lot of pest problems. However, mealybugs, spider mites, aphids and scale are attracted to the plant.
And they will pounce the moment they notice the plant is weak, sick, or stressed.
Therefore, keep the plant as healthy as possible. And clean its leaves since these bugs are attracted to dust.
It is also important to spot these insects when there are only a few of them. And immediately treat the plant the moment you detect any pests.
That’s because these species tend to grow in population rapidly.
You can use neem oil of insecticidal soap spray to get rid of these pests.
Root rot and leaf infections are your biggest enemies here.
Both are caused by excess moisture. So, be mindful of how you water and when you water.
Root rot is a result of overwatering the soil and waterlogged soil. Meanwhile, leaf diseases can be caused by bacterial or fungal infections.
For the latter, avoid leaving the leaves wet. Also, don’t water the plant late in the day. And make sure it gets enough light and air circulation which will help dry the leaves faster.