Alocasia Frydek Plant Care Guide

The Alocasia Frydek (Alocasia micholitziana ‘Frydek’) is also known as the Alocasia Green Velvet or Green Velvet Alocasia. Like other alocasia species, it foliage are its biggest draws.

The size and shape on its leaves is also the reason why it is among the group of plants that are referred to as Elephant Ears.

Growing to between 2 to 3 feet tall, its arrow shaped, dark green leaves with white veins are eye catching. Even when groups with other plants, there’s no way you’ll miss it.

While it rarely blooms when grows indoors, the plant does produce flowers. But, they are not significantly stunning in any way. As such, its blooms are always overshadowed by its foliage.

Because the plant is native to the Philippines, it is accustomed to warm, humid tropical conditions. This makes it perfect for most indoor conditions, although you may need to adjust humidity a bit.

As a result, it isn’t the best plant for beginner gardeners. But, if you like attention to detail and can get used to its moisture habits, the Alocasia Frydek will make an amazing addition to your collection.

Alocasia Frydek Plant Care

Alocasia Frydek Light

The alocasia frydek enjoys bright, indirect light. Just as importantly, it doesn’t do well with either extreme.

The worst place you can put it is under direct sunlight. While it can tolerate up to 1 to 2 hours per day of this, it will struggle then suffer if exposed for longer periods. You’ll see its leaves get scorched and brown spots start to appear. Its leaves can likewise turn yellow or pale in color.

Needless to say, you don’t want to keep the plant under the sun’s rays for long periods of time. This means in west, south and east facing windows, it is a good idea to keep the plant a few feet from the opening. Of the three, the east has more gentle sunlight. So, it has less of a sunburn risk for your plant.

On the other hand, low light isn’t as bad. But, it will still hamper the growth rate of your plant. As such, it will take longer for leaves to form. And, in many cases, the leaves and plant will be smaller. In dimmer conditions, your plant will look weak and kind of malnourished.

However, don’t be alarmed if the plant’s growth slows during the winter. For first time owners, this may look like a problem. However, the lower light and cooler temperature of winter causes the plant to go into its dormant state. Once spring comes, it will bounce back.

For the time being (in winter), scale back on watering and stop feeding

 

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Alocasia Frydek Temperature

The best temperatures for your alocasia frydek is between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It also enjoys consistency. As such, it is a good idea to keep the plant somewhere nighttime temperature doesn’t drop too far off from the daytime.

Additionally keep it away from openings where cold drafts can suddenly come in. Vents that produce warm or cold air are likewise no-no’s. So, you want to keep it away from heaters and air conditioners as well.

If exposed to these conditions, you’ll see its leaves turn yellow while some with die. The plant will likewise start wilting.

The good news is, most homes have temperatures that fit into the range. Once the temperature drops under 60 degrees, the plant may go into dormancy. During the winter, this is its natural cycle (and come back to life in spring). But, you don’t want to let this happen at other times of the year.

 

Humidity

Humidity is another important factor needed for proper care of your Green Velvet Alocasia. Ideally, it likes humidity to stay above 50%, which can be a problem for many homes.

The average home’s humidity hovers between 40% to 50% for most of the year. In wintertime, it drops under 40%. As such, you want to be able to bring up that level, even if it is just around the plant.

Low humidity can damage the plant causing brown leaf tips and edges.

Thus, when taking care of tropical plants, it is a good idea to get a hygrometer, which is a device that measures humidity. This lets you know if you need to take extra measures to increase air moisture.

If you do, here are the simplest ways to do it. I recommend the free and hands-off methods more so it doesn’t cost you thing. Plus, once you set them up, you won’t need to do regular maintenance often.

  • Put the plant in the bathroom. This only works if your bathroom gets a lot of bright light. Bathrooms are humid places where the plant will be happy. But, you need to fulfill its need for light as well.
  • Group the plants with other plants. Alone, the plant won’t produce enough moisture from transpiration. But, together with other plants, they can increase the humidity over them quite a bit.
  • Place water around the plant. You can set the plant over a platform or rocks above a dish of water. Or, you can set up bowls or containers of water around the plant. Either way, as the water evaporates, it increases moisture in the air to bring up humidity. In this scenario, you only need to refill the water when they run out.

Other options that work also include the following. But, they do have more drawbacks.

  • Set up a humidifier. More costly. Plus, regular maintenance.
  • Misting. You need to mist at least a few times a week. In winter, it can be a few times a day depending on how dry the air gets. That’s a lot of time. And, you need to tend to it a lot.

alocasia frydek

source: wikimedia commons

 

Watering Alocasia Frydek

Like other alocasias, the most challenging thing about caring for the green velvet is watering. To thrive, they need moist soil. But, you need to be careful not to over do it because the plant struggles with wet, soggy soil.

This balance is what makes things complicated.

During the warmer months when the plant is actively growing, let the top 1 to 2 inches of soil dry before watering again. This is a much better way than following a time-based watering schedule as climate and other conditions affect how quickly the soil dries.

Additionally, it is important to note that the plant has thick stems and foliage. This allows it to store water much like succulents do. But, unlike succulents, it isn’t drought tolerant. So, you need to tow the line between too little and too much water.

Once the weather gets cold in the winter, you’ll want to switch up your strategy. Because the plant despises overwatering, you want to be more careful here. The cold weather and the plant’s dormant state means soil will take much longer to dry.

As such, dousing with deep watering is not a good idea. Instead, you want to water a little at a time. Then add as needed.

This is not the most efficient way to water for a few reasons.

  • Light watering does not allow the moisture to reach the roots as well.
  • Shallow watering means roots won’t need to “dive” deep into the soil. So, you have a shallow, weak root system.
  • Fertilizer salts and other residue aren’t flushed out. Thus, there will be more accumulation.

That said, it is a good method to prevent overwatering which can kill your plant. So during this period in its growth cycle, it’s the best solution. Then return to a more regular watering strategy come springtime.

 

Soil

From the previous section on watering, you can already guess that well draining water is key to the plant’s good health. In addition, the Alocasia Frydek also likes rich soil.

Thus, a peat based potting mix that drains quickly is a good options here. You can likewise use coconut coir if you want something more sustainable. In case you want to create your own recipe, taking advantage of perlite will help it drain moisture faster.

Whichever substrates you decide to use, make sure that it can retain some moisture as well. This will allow the plant to absorb the water and nutrients it needs.

 

Fertilizing

During its growing season between spring and summer, feed the plant with a balanced water soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength every 2 to 4 weeks. The plant likes to feed more than other houseplants. So, want to give it enough to grow.

However, it is important not to overdo it. That’s because as much as fertilizer helps the grow, too much of it is toxic to your plant. When it received too much, it will experience fertilizer burn.

 

Pruning Alocasia Frydek

Alocasia Green Velvets don’t need a lot of pruning. Here, you only need to trim the old, damaged or yellow leaves.

In its natural growth cycle, the plants will produce new leaves every so often to replace the old and wilting ones. As such, if you see brown, drooping foliage, it doesn’t always mean there’s a problem. But, you need to be abel to tell the difference between its natural aging process and health issues.

In the case of the latter, you’ll want to investigate and quickly fix the problem.

 

Alocasia Frydek Propagation

Division is the best way to propagate your Alocasia Green Velvet. And, the best time to do so is during the spring or summer. This allows the new plant to start growing right away.

Also, it is a good idea to propagate when you repot the plant. This way, you do both at the same time.

Here’s how to propagate Alocasia Frydek via division.

  • Carefully take the plant out of its container.
  • Brush away excess soil and dirt. You also want to untangle roots.
  • Check the rhizome for new stems that are growing from it. These are what you’ll be separating from the mother plant. You can use your hands to do this. Or, get a sterilized knife or shears.
  • Depending on how many new plants you want, you can separate those stems and grow them. Each stem will grow into its new plant. So, plant them into separate pots accordingly.
  • Water the soil and place the new plants where they get enough light.

 

Alocasia Frydek Transplanting & Repotting

You won’t need to repot your alocasia frydek more than once every 2 years. And, the only time you need to do so is when it is rootbound. A few ways to tell include:

  • Roots growing out the holes at the bottom of the container
  • The soil becoming loose as the roots try to expand
  • Slow growth despite proper care
  • Soil drying out quickly despite the same watering method used before.

Additionally, the best time to repot is during the spring or early in its growing season. This allow the plant to take advantage of the fresh soil and bigger pot to grow.

When choosing a new container, make sure it is just slightly bigger than the original pot. Since the plant is susceptible to overwatering, you don’t want a lot of soil relative to the plant. On the contrary, the alocasia frydek prefers the opposite.

If you’re planning to propagate your green velvet, this is likewise the time to do so.

Here’s how to repot your alocasia frydek.

Gently take the plant out of its container. The more rootbound it is, the harder it will be to remove from the pot. But, don’t jar or shake it hard to speed things up. This only increases the shock the plant experiences.

One way to make it easier to take the plant out of the container is to water the plant a day or two before you plan to repot. This softens the soil a bit to make it easier to slide out of the container.

When you have the plant out inspect the root ball.

Here, you’re looking to remove excess soil and dirt. You also want to spread out the roots. And, if needed trim away any mushy roots.

Fill the new pot with fresh potting mix. Ideally, you want enough soil underneath so the plant will stand at the same height as it did in the old containers.

Insert the plant into the new pot and add the remaining potting mix to fill the container.

Water he soil and place it back there it was.

 

Toxicity

The Alocasia Frydek is a plant you do not want kids and pets playing with. It is toxic when ingested because of its calcium oxalate crystals. These can cause irritation and swelling in your mouth, throate and digestive tract.

Similarly, you want to wear gloves when working on the plants as it irritates the skin upon touch.

 

Pests and Diseases

Most of the problems that happen to the Alocasia Frydek are related to overwatering. The biggest and most dangerous one of all being root rot. Additionally, excess moisture allows bacterial and fungal diseases to develop.

As such, it is important to consider the following:

  • Check the soil before watering. And, be aware of the plant’s different behaviors during the warm months and the cold months.
  • Make sure that your container has drainage holes
  • If needed, use porous containers instead of plastic. This allows some water to seep out.
  • Use fast draining potting mix.

When it comes to pests, your Alocasia Frydek attracts mealybugs, thrips, spider mites and aphids. Thus, it is important to check your plant regularly for any signs of pest infestation. If you do find them, quickly separate the plant from the rest and start treatment.

Also, make sure to check the nearby plants to see if the pests have spread to them.

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