Last Updated on January 6, 2023 by Admin
The Alocasia Longiloba is a beautiful plant that is known for is dark green leaves and thick white veins. Its foliage feature a deep heart shape that makes it look unique.
It is also worth noting that the plants has a few varieties if you prefer a slightly different look. These include the:
- Alocasia longiloba Grandis
- Alocasia longiloba Veitchii
- Alocasia longiloba Pink
- Alocasia longiloba Dragon’s Tooth
The plant itself will grow to between 4-5 feet tall. It is native to the tropical forests of Asia.
How do you care for Alocasia Longiloba? Give the plant bright, indirect light. It enjoys warm, humid conditions and is not cold hardy. Keep it in well-draining soil and water only after part of the soil has dried.
For optimal growth, give it a balanced fertilizer during its growing season.
Alocasia Longiloba Plant Care
The Alocasia Longiloba will grow at its best when given medium to bright indirect light. It enjoys staying in a well-lit area as this gives it a sufficient supply of light for photosynthesis.
The plant can also tolerate low light. But past a certain point, its growth will slow down when there is too little light.
So, if you keep it in a low light location, make sure to monitor whether or not its growth has slowed significantly. You can move the plant to a brighter spot as well.
On the other hand, while the plant enjoys plenty of light, there is also such a thing as too much light.
This comes in the form of direct sunlight.
But I have to qualify this.
That’s because the Alocasia Longiloba will appreciate or even love direct morning sun coming from the east. This is why a spot near an east window is the best location indoors.
The morning sun is gentle which the plant can tolerate without any issues.
However, the same isn’t true for noon and mid-afternoon sun.
Between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., the sun is most intense. Thus, keep the plant away from its rays during these times as too much exposure can turn their color. Additionally, in more extreme cases, it can burn the leaves as well.
In short, the Alocasia Longiloba love morning sun but cannot withstand noon and mid-afternoon sun. Therefore, give it the former and avoid the latter.
The Alocasia Longiloba is a tropical plant and it commonly found in the forests of tropical Asia. This makes it a warm weather loving plant.
More importantly, there is no winter in the tropics.
For this reason, the plant has poor tolerance to the cold. Although, compared to other alocasia varieties, it can tolerate the cold a bit more (but not by much.
The Alocasia Longiloba has an ideal temperature range of 60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also withstand slightly below range up to 54 degrees.
But try to avoid leaving it anywhere colder. While it can take 1-2 hours or so, it will start to struggle if kept there any longer.
On the other hand, the plant has a much better tolerance for warm temperature.
In fact, it won’t have issues with 95 degree Fahrenheit temperature. However, try to keep it away from staying in over 100 degree heat for long periods of time. This can lead to dehydration.
What this means is that if you take your Alocasia Longiloba outdoors during the summer, make sure to bring it back indoors as the weather gets cold later in the year.
Don’t leave it out through winter or the plant will not survive.
You’ll see the plant die back to the soil. Although, its roots will be fine which will allow it to start over come spring.
Instead, the plant enjoys USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 as the weather is consistently sunny and warm all year round.
Another aspect of its tropical Asia habitat is high humidity. This is why the Alocasia Longiloba prefers humidity of 60% to 70%.
Although, it can tolerate down to 50% humidity and a bit more below that.
But there’s a limit.
And once it gets there, you’ll see its gorgeous leaves turn brown and crispy on the tips and edges. Unfortunately, these are irreversible which means you need to trim and reshape the leaves.
You also need to fix the humidity issue otherwise more and more leaves will turn brown.
If you let it be, you’ll soon lose many foliage or see them turn the ugly sick color.
Therefore, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for humidity if you live in an area with dry air.
I like to keep a hygrometer near my plants so I can easily tell what the humidity is at any time. This will let you know if you need to do something to help the plant out.
My favorite method is to put the plant on a humidity tray. Although, you cam likewise mist it or use a humidifier.
How Often to Water Alocasia Longiloba
Allow the top 25% of soil to dry between waterings.
The Alocasia Longiloba likes moist soil. But you want to be careful about giving it too much because it is susceptible to overwatering which can lead to root rot.
As such, it is important to be mindful of what the plant is telling you.
Yellow leaves often mean overwatering. Brown leaves usually mean lack of moisture. As such, always see if the plant is struggling with anything.
Additionally, it is a good idea to check the soil every week or so.
This not only helps you know when to water the plant but can also warn you of possible overwatering or waterlogging.
For example, if you watered the plant 3 or 4 days ago and the soil stills feels quite wet now, you may be adding water when the plant still has water.
Or it can also be that the soil is not draining the moisture enough.
This will allow you to investigate and make the proper adjustments.
The key to watering the Alocasia Longiloba is to avoid extremes. That is wet soil or letting the soil dry out completely.
With the former, always wait for the top 25% of soil to dry before you add water. You can use a wooden chopstick or stick your finger into the soil to feel for moisture.
You can also use a moisture meter if you prefer a device.
Similarly, never let the entire root ball go dry. When you feel the soil surface, it will feel very dry by the time the bottom dries out.
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Alocasia Longiloba Potting Soil
The best soil for the Alocasia Longiloba is loose, well-aerated soil with good drainage. Well-draining soil with soil pH between 5.6 to 7.0 is ideal for the plant.
Again, this has to do with its susceptibility to overwatering.
Well-draining soil will host some moisture to keep the roots hydrated. But it will quickly drain excess moisture so that the roots don’t end up swimming in water for extended periods of time.
The latter is what causes root rot as the roots are unable to breathe because they are flooded with liquid.
Well-draining soil also can bail you out in times when you happen to overwater the plant accidentally.
A simple way to create the perfect soil for the Alocasia Longiloba is to mix equal parts of:
- Potting soil
You can add some orchid bark and charcoal in there as well to increase drainage and aeration.
Similarly, you can replace peat with coco coir if you want to be more eco-friendly.
If you don’t have perlite, you can use coarse sand, pumice or vermiculite instead.
That said, avoid very heavy soils or those that tend to hold more water. While this kind of soil may work well for some houseplants, it is dangerous for the Alocasia Longiloba.
For optimal growth, it is a good idea to give the plant fertilizer.
The Alocasia Longiloba will grow faster and produce more foliage when given plant food. Its leaf color will become more vibrant as well.
Use a high quality liquid fertilizer once a month during spring and summers. This is the plant’s growing season and it will grow faster during this time.
A balanced N-P-K formulation works really well. You can go with 15-15-15 or 20-20-20.
Make sure to dilute each time you use it by half the suggested strength.
Also, never add more fertilizer or apply more often than necessary.
Don’t feed the plant during fall and winter. And never add fertilizer when the soil is dry.
Too much plant food can eventually cause fertilizer burn which will damage the roots. So avoid doing this at all costs.
The Alocasia Longiloba is a fast grower that can reach about 4 to 5 feet tall and about 1.5 feet wide. It features beautiful large foliage that is stunning to look at.
Since its leaves and long, thin stems make up most of the plant above the soil, there’s little to no pruning needed.
The only time you may want to prune the plant is if looks a big messy or a stem goes in a wayward direction.
Other than that, pruning is mostly to remove yellow, brown or dying foliage. Also take out any infected leaves.
How to Propagate Alocasia Longiloba
The most effective way to propagate the Alocasia Longiloba is by division.
It is important to note that stem and leaf cuttings don’t work with this plant. So, you’ll need to divide it to grow new plants at home.
The other option is to start from seeds. But that process takes a lot more time and efforts since there’s more to do during seed germination and caring for the seedlings.
Since the plant grows from rhizomes, you’ll be separating these clumps to propagate the parent plant.
Here’s how to propagate the Alocasia Longiloba through division.
- Take the plant out of its pot.
- Remove excess dirt so you can clearly see the roots.
- You’ll see multiple clumps with roots growing from them. The goal is to divide these clumps making sure each segment you take has enough roots and also leaves on top of the soil.
- Once you’ve decided how many divisions you want to make and which partitions you want to separate, use a sterile knife to cut the rhizomes apart.
- You can plant each of the divisions into their own pots with fresh, well-draining soil.
Since each division will have roots and leaves, you essentially have a semi-grown plant in each pot.
Thus, you can care for them like you would the parent plant and these will grow into clones of the mother plant in time.
How to Repot or Transplant Alocasia Longiloba
The Alocasia Longiloba only needs repotting when it gets root bound. Outside of this, you’ll only want to move the plant in case of emergency or a problem.
Otherwise, try to let it be as it does not like to be disturbed.
The plant also likes staying in a slightly tight pot so you can wait a bit. However, don’t wait too long such that the roots get overcrowded. This will stress the plant which makes it susceptible to pests and diseases.
The best time to repot is during the spring.
I like to do so before the plant starts growing quickly. This allows me not to interfere with its growth once it begins.
Move the plant to a container that is one size larger than the current pot.
You can likewise divide the plant to propagate it if you want to reduce its overall size instead of allowing it to grow bigger.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Unfortunately, the Alocasia Longiloba is toxic. It contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which become toxic when ingested.
They can cause pain, swelling and irritation just to name a few side effects.
Therefore, keep you dogs and cats away from the plant. Or place the plant out of their reach to keep them safe.
Alocasia Longiloba Problems & Troubleshooting
Pests are always an issue for houseplants. This includes the Alocasia Longiloba. However, the plant does not have a ton of pests problems is kept healthy. So, you may never have to deal with any during its lifetime.
Still, you need to regular inspect the plant for bugs.
That’s because these insects grow rapidly in number and can cause serious damage when they become an infestation.
The most common pests to bother the plant are mealybugs and spider mites.
Leaf infections and root rot are the two things you want to watch out for here.
Both are preventable if you’re mindful of how much you water and how you water the plant.
That’s because root rot is caused by overwatering and waterlogged soil. Meanwhile, leaf infections happen when excess moisture on foliage does not dry quickly enough.
As such, by limiting these issues, you can prevent these problems.