Alocasia Hilo Beauty Elephant Ear Plant Care Guide & Tips

The Alocasia Hilo Beauty is also called the Hilo Beauty Alocasia or the Hilo Beauty Elephant Ear. It also goes by the Caladium praetermissum, Caladium Hilo Beauty or Caladium praetermissum Hilo Beauty.

The reason why some people call it an alocasia while some call it a caladium is that the plant has a short rhizome that looks like that of a caladium.

Since the plant is a hybrid and nobody knows what two plants were crossed to create the Alocasia Hilo Beauty, some refer to it as the Alocasia Hilo Beauty, while others call it the Caladium Hilo Beauty.

So, what is its real name?

Apparently, both.

That’s because different people call it by different names.

But if you want to official word to date, its scientific name is Caladium Praetermissum. It used to be Alocasia Hilo beauty since 1981. But in 2009, the plant was officially reidentified or reclassified as a caladium.

This was noted in the Journal of the International Aroid Society ‘Aroideana’.

This is why you’ll see people still use both names. But what is important to know is they both mean the same plant.

How do you care for the Alocasia Hilo Beauty? The plant needs medium to bright indirect light and high humidity. It also prefers warm to hot environments and is not cold hardy.

Keep the soil moist but avoid leaving it wet or soggy. Use well-draining soil and fertilize the plant monthly during its growing season.

Alocasia Hilo Beauty Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Alocasia Hilo Beauty needs medium to bright indirect light to maintain its beautiful leaf colors. This is because it is a variegated alocasia plant.

As such, the non-green sections of its leaves do not contribute to the photosynthesis process.

This means that the plant needs more light compared to its solid-green leaved counterparts since fewer parts of its leave absorb light.

If you leave the plant in insufficient light, you’ll soon notice it begin to lose some of its variegations and turn more green. This is how to the plant will respond to lack of light.

It will produce more chlorophyll, which will turn some of the yellow variegations green in order to absorb light.

Because survival is more important than looks, it will sacrifice the former in time of difficult.

This also means that the darker the location, the more green the leaves will become. Sometimes, you’ll see the plant revert to having all green foliage as well.

Thus, avoid low light as much as possible with your Alocasia Hilo Beauty.

On the other hand, very strong light is also something it cannot tolerant.

If you leave the plant in direct sunlight for more than 2 hours a day, its leaves will likewise become pale and discolored. In some cases, it will burn the leaves as well leaving you with brown or black marks.

Therefore, keep the plant away from the sun’s rays during mid-day or summer.

 

Temperature

The Alocasia Hilo Beauty is a tropical plant that enjoys temperature between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It will likewise be okay with hotter environments even up to 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, because the plant does not see winter in its native habitat, it cannot withstand much of the cold.

The plant is neither cold or frost hardy.

In fact, it does not like being left in temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Here, you’ll see its growth slow, and the plant will struggle.

The longer it stays there or the further the temperature drops, the more problems the Alocasia Hilo Beauty will experience.

This means that it is a good idea to keep the plant away from air conditioners and areas with cold drafts indoors.

Outdoors, it is important to bring it inside once the weather gets colder around fall. The plant will not get through the winter outdoors.

Instead, it prefers USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11 where the sun is always up and the weather is warm throughout the year. in these locations, the Hilo Beauty Elephant Ear can be left outdoors all year round without any fear or cold injury or problems.

 

Humidity

Because it is native to tropical regions, the plant enjoys moderate to high humidity. It prefers humidity of 50% and higher. And this is where it will grow the fastest and produce its best looking foliage

That said. It can tolerate humidity lower than 50% with no harm. But be careful going much lower than 40% as the plant may have a hard time coping.

The main sign to look for is brown, crispy leaf tips and edges.

When you see this developing, it means that plant needs more air moisture.

But as long as this does not happen, it means that it does not mind the humidity in your home or that specific room.

Do note that humidity does change along with the weather. So, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for how much it drops during winter, which usually brings dry air.

In case your home’s humidity is too low for the Hilo Beauty Elephant Ear, you can use a humidifier or set up a humidifying tray.

Another option is to mist the plant. Although, you’ll need to do this 2 or 3 times a week to keep moisture in the air.

You can likewise give the plant a shower every couple of weeks or move it to the bathroom.

 

How Often to Water Alocasia Hilo Beauty

Allow the soil to dry between waterings. This will prevent overwatering and the possibility of root rot.

Like many aroids, the Alocasia Hilo Beauty enjoys slightly moist soil. However, it cannot tolerate wet feet. In fact, it is a bad idea to let the plant sit in water for extended periods of time as this can lead to root rot.

Instead, allow the top 2-3 inches of soil try dry before adding more water.

Doing so will allow the roots to stay in moist soil while reducing the risk of overwatering.

It is also worth noting that how often you water your Alocasia Hilo Beauty will depend on the time of year.

During the summer, the warm weather will cause the soil to dry faster. Since the plant is growing during this time, you want to keep the soil moist.

Thus, the Hilo Beauty Elephant Ear will need regular watering.

Once to keep the soil from drying out. Two, to sustain the plant and give it the hydration it needs to grow fast.

On the other hand, the winter is the opposite.

The cold weather will leave the soil moist and wet longer. Additionally, the cold will also cause the plant to grow very little during this time.

In some cases, the plant may even go dormant.

As such, you want to cut back on water since the plant will not be absorbing much of it. In addition, the cold keeps the soil wet longer.

This increases the risk of overwatering. Therefore, allowing the soil to dry more between waterings is important to do during this time.

 

Related

 

Alocasia Hilo Beauty Potting Soil

The Alocasia Hilo Beauty needs moist, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. It also prefers soil pH between 5.6 to 7.0.

Avoid wet, clay, sandy or mucky soils.

Soils that hold too much water or allow moisture to drain too quickly are both bad for the plant. The former will increase the risk of waterlogging which can lead to root rot. The latter will leave the plant’s roots dehydrated.

An easy way to make your own potting mix at home that works well for the Alocasia Hilo Beauty Elephant Ear is to combine equal parts of:

  • Peat
  • Potting mix
  • Coarse Sand or Perlite

The combination of the three ingredients will allow the soil to hold some moisture that’s enough to keep the plant hydrated.

But the sand or perlite will quickly drain excess moisture in order to avoid overwatering or waterlogged soil. This way, you decrease the risk of root rot.

In addition to using the right kind of soil, it is likewise important to choose a container with drainage holes at the bottom.

You can pick whatever kind of pot you want to use as long as it has drainage.

The holes will allow any liquid that drains from the soil to exit the container. This way, it does not accumulate at the bottom of the pot keeping the soil there wet.

 

Fertilizer

You will also need to feed the plant fertilizer. Supplementing with nutrients is important as this will allow the Alocasia Hilo Beauty to grow faster and produce more leaves.

It will also produce larger leaves with vibrant colors.

However, the most important thing with fertilizer is never to overdo it.

This means NOT:

  • Adding too much per application
  • Applying too frequently
  • Giving the plant fertilizer when it is not growing
  • Using a high concentration
  • Fertilizing the plant when the soil is dry

The reason is that fertilizer contain salt. So the more you apply or use a high concentration or dose, not only are you adding nutrients to the soil but also salt.

As the salt accumulates in the soil, it becomes toxic to the roots. This can eventually damage them preventing the plant from absorbing water or nutrients from the soil.

Instead, only water the plant when it is actively growing. This is during spring and summer. Avoid feeding the plant in winter as it does not grow much due to the cold weather.

Feed your Alocasia Hilo Beauty with a balanced fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength.

It is also a good idea to flush the soil every few months to get rid of any salt that has accumulated.

 

Pruning

The Hilo Beauty Elephant Ear will grow to about 2 to 3 feet high and wide. The leaves will grow from its long, thin stems. And these can reach up to a foot in length.

However, because the plant is made up of its stems and leaves coming out from the soil, it requires little to no pruning.

You can prune it if it looks sparse and you want to encourage it to grow more.

Similarly, make sure to remove any yellow, brown, damaged or diseased leaves when they appear.

But aside from this, they’re really not need to trim the plant.

It will not grow very big nor will it get bulky. Plus, the plant looks amazing when allowed to get bushy.

 

How to Propagate Alocasia Hilo Beauty

The Alocasia Hilo Beauty can be propagated in a few ways. The most common are via:

  • Rhizome division
  • Separating the offsets from the parent plant
  • Root stem cuttings

Of the 3, the most unreliable is propagating from offsets. This is because you’re at the mercy of the plant here.

It decides when it will produce offshoots. This can be in a few months from now or many years from now.

So, while the method is the easiest to do, it is also the least practical since you don’t known when the offsets will actually be there.

Rhizome division is the more common option. But it does have its limitations. That’s because you can only divide the plant a certain number depending on its size.

Root Stem division is quite similar to the division. But it allows you not to have to dig up the entire plant but just a portion. Then take the a stem cutting along with its roots.

Unlike philodendrons or monstera, alocasias you cannot propagate alocasia from stem cuttings only. Therefore, you need to take some roots along with the stem to propagate the stem cuttings.

Here’s how to do both.

 

Propagating Alocasia Hilo Beauty from Rhizome Division

The Alocasia Hilo Beauty grows from rhizomes. As such, you’ll be separating the rhizomes and planting them. Eventually, they will grow into plants that look like the parent.

  • Being by taking the plant out of its container
  • Remove excess dirt to expose the roots. This will let you see the rhizomes.
  • Select which sections you want to separate.
  • Once you’ve decided, cut the rhizomes apart using a sterilized knife. You can divide the plant into 2 or more segments.
  • Plant each division into their own pot with fresh, well-draining soil.

Over time, each of the divisions will grow into its own plant that looks like the parent.

 

Propagating Alocasia Hilo Beauty from Root Stem Cuttings

Another way to propagate the Alocasia Hilo Beauty is via root stem cuttings. Here, you don’t have to unpot the plant nor do you have to split the entire plant. Instead, you can take stem cuttings.

This way you can keep most of the plant intact and not reduce its size.

  • Begin by choosing which stems and leaves you want to propagate.
  • You can use your hands or a trowel and dig up some of the soil around the stem. Dig until you can get the roots of the stems you want to propagate.
  • Then take a sterile knife and cut the stem along with its roots from the parent plant.
  • You can propagate the root stem cutting in water or plant it directly into soil.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Alocasia Hilo Beauty

The Alocasia Hilo Beauty will need repotting once it outgrows its container. On average, this takes about 2 years or so to happen.

Wait until you see roots coming out from the bottom of the pot’s drainage holes. This is your cue that the plant needs more space to grown. And that its current home is not sufficient.

The best time to repot is during spring and early summer.

All you need to do is get a larger container. Choose one that is about 2 inches bigger (or 1 size larger) but avoid going too big.

Also refresh the soil while you’re at it.

If you plan on propagating the plant, it is best to do so when you repot the plant.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Yes. Sadly, the Alocasia Hilo Beauty is toxic when ingested. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals just like other aroids. This makes them poisonous to chew, swallow or consumer for people, dogs and cats.

In case this happens, it can cause pain, irritation and swelling. It can also lead to breathing difficulty and excessive drooling.

Call you veterinarian in case one of your pets happens to eat any part of the plant.

 

Alocasia Hilo Beauty Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Hilo Beauty Elephant Ear is not known for experiencing serious pest issues. However, they can happen since these bugs can sense when the plant is most susceptible.

Therefore, keeping the plant healthy and cleaning it leaves will help keep insects from attacking it.

You can also spray it every few weeks with soapy water. This helps keep pests away while keeping the foliage clean from dust as well.

Spider mites, mealybugs and aphids are the most common pests that attack the plant.

 

Diseases

Excess moisture is the main reason for most diseases in plants including bacterial and fungal. So, avoid overwatering, wetting the leaves too much and allowing the soil stay wet are the most important things to keep in mind.

These are the things that cause infections on the roots, stems and leaves. Also overwatering and waterlogging can lead to root rot.

Thus, allow the plant to dry and stay away from too much moisture.

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