The Alocasia Ivory Coast is a beautiful aroid that’s best known for its large, deep green arrow-shaped leaves with very visible silver-green veins.
This is a fast growing plant that will produce many leaves which makes it even more attractive.
How do you care for the Alocasia Ivory Coast? The plant likes bright, indirect light. This will help its leaves get big and maintain their lovely color. Keep temperature between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
It thrives in high humidity and moist soil. But be careful with overwatering the plant. Use well-draining soil that’s nutrient rich.
Alocasia Ivory Coast Plant Care
The Alocasia Ivory Coast needs medium to bright, indirect light for its beautiful leaves to flourish. This will allow them to reach their potential size and maintain their deep green color and white veins.
The plant likes this environment because this is what it is used to in the forest.
There, it lives on the understory beneath the larger trees covered by the forest canopy.
Therefore, it is used to getting a good amount of shade from the direct rays of the sun.
This is why it enjoys indirect, filtered or dappled light.
It can likewise tolerate low light. But I don’t recommend it since this will slow down its growth and can cause its leaves to be less vibrant.
If you don’t have a lot of natural light in your home, you can supplement it with artificial lights. LED growth lights as well as fluorescent lights work well.
On the other hand, very strong, harsh or intense light is something you want to avoid.
This will cause the plant’s leaves to turn yellow. And if there’s too much intensity or exposure, it will burn the leaves as well.
Therefore, avoid full sun outdoors and too much afternoon direct sunlight indoors.
This makes a south facing window unideal unless you distance the plant about 3 feet from the window away from the sun’s rays. Or filter the light coming in using sheer curtains.
Similarly, don’t leave the plant in the roof or an open space where it gets the brunt of the sun.
Instead, keep it under a cover, shade or tree outdoors.
Indoors, the plant thrives in morning sun. So, an east facing window is ideal.
The Alocasia Ivory Coast likes warm weather. And it does best in temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
It enjoys spring and especially summers because this is when the warm weather occurs. On the other hand, it is not a fan of the cold.
And winters is when the plant needs your help.
First, keep it away from the outdoors during this time of year.
The plant has problems when temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, it does not like being left outdoors in the cold, snow, frost or freezing weather.
Instead, bring the plant indoors before the temperature drops. Also, keep it in a warm, cozy place indoors.
If your home gets cold in the winter, you can get heat mats or heating pads and place it under the pot. This will keep soil temperature warm to keep the plant happy.
Also, avoid appliances that can suddenly change temperature.
The Alocasia Ivory Coast has problems with temperature fluctuations. So, avoid leaving it near air conditioners, heaters, radiators, stoves, ovens or fireplaces.
That said, the plant enjoys USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 since the weather is warm and sunny year round. If you live in these locations, you can keep the plant outdoors 365 days a year.
Humidity is another aspect of climate care that the can be challenging when growing a Alocasia Ivory Coast.
That’s because it enjoys high humidity. Ideally keep it in humidity of 60% and above.
This will allow the plant to grow at its best and produce vibrant foliage.
However, it can also tolerate humidity of 40%.
Therefore, if you live somewhere that does not get high humidity, try to keep humidity around the plant at 40%. This will allow it to stay healthy and continue growing.
You can use a hygrometer to keep track of humidity if needed. This will let you stay on top of any changes in the weather so you can quickly act if needed.
Also note that air conditioners, heaters and radiators tend to dry up the air. So, be careful about using them near your plants.
In case you need to increase humidity, here are some ways to do it.
The simplest are either to mist the plant regularly or just move your Alocasia Ivory Coast to the bathroom.
You can likewise invest in a humidifier.
However, I prefer using either a pebble tray or a humidity tray. Both work similarly and you can create them with what you have at home in less than 15 minutes.
Plus, they are low maintenance since you only need to add water when the tray gets depleted.
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How Often to Water Alocasia Ivory Coast
The Alocasia Ivory Coast enjoys moist soil. But it does not like wet, soggy soil.
Therefore, avoid overwatering the plant.
This is the trickiest part of caring for the Alocasia Ivory Coast because in addition to the balance needed, the changes in the weather affect how fast or slowly the soil dries.
As such, you need to water more regularly in summer because the sun and heat will dry soil much faster. In contrast, you only need to water the plant once every 2 weeks or so in the winter as the weather is cold and there’s less sun in winter.
Therefore, I prefer to feel the soil to know when to water.
This makes watering easier not to mention safer compared to using a fixed watering schedule
To do so, I like to feel the soil every 3 to 4 days. Just touch the surface and you’ll immediately be able to tell. It doesn’t take 5 seconds.
If the soil feels wet or moist, don’t water.
But if the soil surface feels dry, stick your finger into the soil. Try to go down about 2-3 inches. Then check your fingertip.
If your fingertip feels moist, wet or has some soil chunks sticking to it, it means the soil still has moisture. Therefore, don’t water yet.
However, if your fingertip feels dry or all you get are a few bits of soil dust, it means the soil is dry up to that depth.
This is the only time you water the plant.
It’s that simple.
By waiting until part of the soil has dried, you’re able to avoid overwatering the plant.
That said, if you don’t like getting your hands dirty, then just use a moisture meter.
This affordable device will tell you if the soil is dry, wet or moist.
Alocasia Ivory Coast Potting Soil
The Alocasia Ivory Coast likes soil that is moist but well-draining. It also thrives in nutrient rich soil.
Therefore, these are the thing you want to look for when choosing a potting mix.
If you want to make things simple and not have to deal with picking ingredients separately and mixing them to proper proportions, I suggest getting an Aroid mix.
This soil has all the features the plant needs from its growing medium.
However, if you don’t mind making your own potting mix, you can easily make your own Alocasia Ivory Coast potting mix by combining:
- 1 part peat moss
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part compost
In short, use equal parts of the 3 ingredients and scale it to the volume that will fit the pot you’re using for the plant.
This is a simple potting mix recipe that works well.
You have the peat moss that will help keep the soil moist. The perlite will allow the soil to stay light and increase drainage. And the compost provides organic matter to help the plant grow.
Good drainage and aeration are important for the Alocasia Ivory Coast in order to avoid overwatering and waterlogging.
This way the roots don’t end up drowning in water. But they still get enough moisture to stay hydrated.
The Alocasia Ivory Coast likes fertilizer. And is a good feeder.
The bigger your plant gets, the heavier the feeder it becomes. It needs these nutrients to support is large leaf size. Additionally, the fertilizer allows it to maintain its beautiful green color.
Since there are many different kinds of fertilizers, it can be confusing which one to choose.
In general, you can go with any one of them.
Interestingly though, liquid fertilizer seems to achieve the best results for the Alocasia Ivory Coast. At least this is what I’ve found based on my own experiments.
It seems to help the plant grow faster, produce more and larger leaves at least compared to granular fertilizer or even organic compost.
My guess is that you’re able to better distribute the liquid fertilizer. And regular application allows the plant to get that boost in nutrients.
That said, don’t over fertilize the plant.
Doing so can damage the roots and cause fertilizer burn. It will also cause the leaves to turn yellow.
Instead, only feed the Alocasia Ivory Coast during spring and summer. Once fall arrives, stop feeding. Then only restart next growing season when spring arrives again.
The Alocasia Ivory Coast is a fast grower that will grow upright. It will likewise develop large leaves. And the plant will usually grow to between 2 to 3 feet high.
What’s great is that the plant will produce lots of leaves and the leaves will get bigger over time as well.
Unfortunately, the downside to this is space.
Therefore, if you keep the plant indoors, then you’ll either need to give it more room to grow or prune the plant.
In general, the Alocasia Ivory Coast is a low maintenance plant as far as pruning goes.
But depending on how much space you have and what size you want to maintain it, you may need to prune the leaves regularly.
I know it is sad as the leaves are gorgeous. The plant also looks great when full. Plus, the leaves can become big over time.
But at some point you may need to compromise.
How to Propagate Alocasia Ivory Coast
The Alocasia Ivory Coast cannot be propagate from cuttings. Therefore, you’ll need to either propagate it using its offsets or you can divide the plant.
In most cases, separating the clumps are what most growers will do. However, if your mother plant has grown too big and you want to reduce its size, you can divide your Alocasia Ivory Coast as well.
The best time to propagate this plant is spring to early summer.
To do so,
- Begin by taking the plant out of its pot. Then remove excess soil and brush the roots aside so you can see the clumps clearly.
- The Alocasia Ivory Coast will have multiple clumps. And each of these can be planted and potted in their own containers to grow.
- Choose the clump or clumps you want to propagate. You can take one or more.
- Then plant each of the clumps in their own individual pots. Since the clumps will already have their own roots there’s no need to wait for them to develop new roots like you would with cuttings.
- Water the soil and keep each of the plants in bright, indirect light.
While this takes a bit more work during propagation that taking cuttings, it gives you a head start since the new plants can already start growing on their own instead of taking a couple of months to root.
How to Repot or Transplant Alocasia Ivory Coast
Since the Alocasia Ivory Coast is fast growing, it will need repotting once every 18 to 24 months. However, don’t be in a hurry to repot.
Only do so when needed.
In most cases, the reason for repotting falls into one of 3 categories.
- The plant is root bound and has outgrown its pot.
- The soil is either not draining enough moisture or draining too much so you need to change the potting mix.
- An emergency. This can be overwatering, root rot, pest infestations or uncontrolled disease in the root system.
Majority of the time it is the first that will make you repot.
So, only wait until you see roots peeking out from the holes at the bottom of the pot before you repot. Avoid doing so before then.
When repotting, choose a container that is 2 inches larger and replace the soil with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
Using a pot one size larger gives the plant’s root system enough space to grow. At the same time it prevent overwatering which can occur if you overpot the plant.
On the other hand, don’t reuse the soil or use old soil.
That’s because old soil can get compacted. They’re less airy as well because they’re spent.
Finally, their nutrients have already been depleted.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Unfortunately, the Alocasia Ivory Coast is toxic to cats and dogs. It is also poisonous to humans.
However, touching or carrying the plant won’t do any harm. Instead, it is when you ingest it. The leaves, stems and flowers are all toxic if swallowed, chewed or consumed.
So, avoid letting your pets as well as very young children play around the Alocasia Ivory Coast.
Alocasia Ivory Coast Problems & Troubleshooting
The lovely leaves of the Alocasia Ivory Coast attract pests. Spider mites, mealybugs and aphids are common bugs that come around to feed on the plant’s foliage.
As such, it is important to keep an eye out for them.
These pests are sap suckers. So, they will feed on the plant.
This is why you’ll eventually see yellow patches, dots and holes on foliage as they bugs grow in number.
Keeping the plant healthy, the leaves clean and spraying with neem oil or insecticidal soap will help keep them away
The quickest way to get rid of them is to just spray the pests off with water. You can use a hose or a showerhead.
Always check under the leaves as they like hiding there.
Root rot and stem rot are common problems. Additionally leaf spot is another issue.
All of these are caused by improper watering.
More specifically, too much moisture that does not drain or dry is what leads to these issues. Of course, overwatering can occur on the soil or if the leaves stay wet for long periods of time.
Therefore, prevention by being mindful of when you water and how you water is very important.