The Alocasia Low Rider is a compact houseplant with curly leaf edges. It looks very much like the Alocasia Portora but is smaller which is why some people say the Low Rider has a dwarf growth habit.
How do you care for the Alocasia Low Rider? Place the plant in medium to bright, indirect light. It enjoys moderate to warm weather and good humidity. Keep the soil slightly moist by avoid wet, soggy soil.
Use well-draining soil to avoid waterlogging. This plant is usually propagated through division as it grows from rhizomes.
Alocasia Low Rider Plant Care
The Alocasia Low Rider does best in medium to bright, indirect light. It can also tolerate low light without any issue. But you want to be careful about placing it somewhere with too little light as this will affect the plant’s growth and can make it leggy.
The plant likes a well-lit location indoors because it mimics the lighting it gets in its natural habitat. At least to a degree.
The Alocasia Low Rider is native to the tropical forests of Asia where it lives under the canopy of larger trees and plants.
As such, the light get receives has been filtered by the leaves and branches overhead. And it gets dappled light a best.
Indoors, the closest way to imitate this is by giving it medium to bright, indirect light. That’s because natural light access into homes is limited by the walls and ceilings.
Similarly, because the sun’s rays in the forest are blocked by the leaves of the larger trees, they Alocasia Low Rider never bears the full intensity of the tropical sun.
As such, avoid direct sunlight.
While the plant can tolerate about 1-2 hours of that daily, it will sustain some kind of damage if you leave it under the sun’s rays for long periods of time consistently.
This can cause its leaves to get discolored or even scorched. The latter is an extreme case, but it will leave brown or black burn marks on foliage.
Similarly, avoid full sun outdoors.
Instead, place the plant in partial shade if you keep it outside in your garden or patio.
The Alocasia Low Rider prefers temperature between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it easy to care for indoors as most homes will have similar conditions.
Thus, in most cases, you don’t need do to anything if you keep it as a houseplant.
Since the plant comes from a tropical habitat, it won’t have a problem with warmer conditions either. And it will tolerate 90-95 degrees temperatures without any problem or harm.
On the other hand, the cold is another issue.
It has low tolerance to cold weather simply because it does not experience this where it is native to.
Therefore, once temperature drops under 60 degrees, the plant will struggle.
This means that it is a good idea to keep it away from anything cold even indoors, including air conditioning.
Outdoors, it is important to move it back indoors once the temperature gets colder during fall. And don’t leave it outside during the winter either.
Indoors, try to find a warm spot for it.
Something to be aware of is that the plant can go dormant if the temperature stays under 60 degrees for too long.
As such, you may see it stop growing even indoors during the winter.
If it does go dormant, move the plant to a warm spot and cut down watering to maintenance. Although, avoid letting the soil go completely dry.
Once spring arrives, the plant will come back to live and start growing again.
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The Alocasia Low Rider enjoys high humidity between 60% to 70%.
That said, it can tolerate as low as 50%.
Again, this has to do with its tropical nature.
Therefore, it is a good idea to figure out what the humidity is in your area and your home. Note that indoor humidity will be lower than outdoors.
And each room can have varying humidity.
For example, the kitchen and bathroom tend to have higher humidity because we use a lot of water there.
Knowing all this will help you figure out where to put your plant to give it the air moisture it needs and wants.
That said, if where live have dry air, you can use a humidifier or regularly mist the plant.
If you are busy and prefer something more hands-off, you can use a humidifier tray or group your Alocasia Low Rider alongside your other indoor plant.
Moving it to the bathroom is another option.
How Often to Water Alocasia Low Rider
The Alocasia Low Rider enjoys moist soil especially during the warmer months of the year. During winter, allow the soil to dry more to prevent overwatering.
In general, the plant needs moderate watering.
This means it usually needs watering once a week.
Therefore, avoid watering daily or every other day as this can lead to overwatering. On the other hand, you also don’t want to allow the soil to go completely dry.
Both are bad for the plant.
Instead, the best way to know when to water your Alocasia Low Rider is to check the soil by sticking your finger into it until about your second knuckle.
Once the top 2-3 inches of soil is dry to the touch, you can water the plant. Avoid doing so before that because it increases the likelihood that you’re adding more water to soil that is still moist.
Therefore, over time, you’ll end up overwatering the plant.
This is the worst thing you can do for this plant because it can lead to root rot.
By waiting for the top layer of soil to dry out before adding more moisture, you avoid this issue altogether.
And because the plant enjoys moist, damp soil which it what it gets in its native habitat, how you water the plant is just as important as how often you water the plant.
The best way to water your Alocasia Low Rider is to do so thoroughly.
This means pouring water onto the soil until you see liquid dripping from the bottom holes of the pot. This is a sign that the entire root ball has gotten drenched with water.
In doing so, you’re giving the low rider alocasia all the water it needs.
Once you see dripping occur, start to let the soil drain.
The goal here is to allow any excess moisture to completely drain out. This will leave the soil moist.
These two steps are important because the first provides the roots with the hydration they want. The second ensures that the roots don’t end up sitting in water for too long.
This allows them to get aeration to stay healthy.
By draining the soil right after, you prevent overwatering and root rot.
Alocasia Low Rider Potting Soil
The best soil for Alocasia Low Rider is moist, well-draining and loose. It also likes soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
This combination of features allows the plant to get enough moisture without the risk of overwatering. It also allows for good aeration so the roots get sufficient oxygen.
The simplest way to achieve this is to combine:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part peat
This will give you sufficient water retention to hydrate the roots while the perlite increases drainage to prevent waterlogging and overwatering.
It is also important to use a pot with drainage.
This way, the excess moisture that drains from the soil does not collect at the bottom of the container. Instead, it can get out from under.
Fertilizer is important for the Alocasia Low Rider. While it does not need a lot of plant food, it does need the nutrients.
This will help it grow fast and produce more foliage. It is also prevents any nutrient deficiencies.
With fertilizer, you have many options.
Although, most houseplant owners just go with commercial fertilizer products.
Here, you can get a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Apply once a month during spring and summer. And dilute it to half the suggested dose. You can do this by adding water.
Diluting is important because indoor plants don’t need as much fertilizer as outdoor plants grown in the soil. So, by diluting the application you avoid using an overly high concentration.
This also reduces the amount of salts that will build up in the soil.
Don’t feed the plant during fall and winter as it will not grow much during this time due to the cold weather.
The Alocasia Low Rider will grow to about 2 feet tall. Thus, it looks more like a dwarf compared to other alocasia plants.
However, the plant will produce lots of leaves that spread out around it.
For me, this is when it become stunning to look at (once the there are so many leaves that the plant looks very bushy).
However, you may or may not like that.
Also, while the plant does not grow too tall, the leaves can go out sidewards quite a bit since some foliage can get long and wide.
If you don’t like one or the other, you can prune the plant.
Some people prefer to trim the plant to keep it a bit neat because they don’t have a lot of space indoors. Thus, you want to limit the plant’s spread.
But as I mentioned, how much you prune is really up to you.
How to Propagate Alocasia Low Rider
The best way to propagate the Alocasia Low Rider by dividing its rhizomes. The plant has tuberous roots which you can separate in order to grow into new plants.
The downside is that if you’re growing it in a pot, the limited size of the container also prevents the plant from growing a lot of rhizomes. So, you’ll likely only be able to make few divisions.
In contrast, growing it in the garden will allow you to get more rhizomes to divide.
It is important to be aware that it is not practical to propagate the Alocasia Low Rider from cuttings as you won’t get very far.
Thus, division is the preferred method.
Here’s how to propagate Alocasia Low Rider via division.
- Take your Alocasia Low Rider out of its container.
- Remove any excess soil to make it easy to see the roots.
- Inspect the rhizomes to see which sections are best to separate. You can divide the parent plant to 2 smaller plants or more. This depends on how big the plant is.
- You may also see some offshoots there.
- Once you’ve decided on how many divisions and where to separate the segments, use a sterilized knife to cut. This will give you 2 or more smaller sections out of the bigger mother plant.
- Plant each of these divisions into their own pots and fill with potting mix.
- Eventually, each of these divisions will grow into mature plants that look similar to their parent.
How to Repot or Transplant Alocasia Low Rider
The Alocasia Low Rider only needs repotting once every 2 years.
However, I prefer to see what the plant is telling me.
That is, I look under the pot to check its holes. Once I see some roots coming out of the drainage holes, it is a sign that the plant needs more space.
It does this when it is already root bound.
A bigger pot will allow it to continue to grow and get bigger.
The best time to repot is during spring or early summer.
- Find a pot that is one size bigger than the plant’s current container.
- Then fill this with fresh potting soil until about a third of the way.
- Unpot your Alocasia Low Rider and remove any excess dirt and soil from its roots.
- Put the plant in the new pot then fill the remaining space with soil.
- Water the soil until moist.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Yes, the Alocasia Low Rider is toxic to pets including dogs and cats.
The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals such that you the leaves or stems are ingested, these crystals can pierce skin tissue.
As such, it can cause mouth, tongue, lip and throat pain and irritation.
Therefore, it is a good idea to keep your dogs or cats away from the plant to avoid accidental ingestion.
Alocasia Low Rider Problems & Troubleshooting
The Alocasia Low Rider can experience pests since sap sucking insects like mealybugs, spider mites and aphids like its large, lush leaves.
As such, it is important to regularly check for any possible pests.
Pests are usually not an issue when there are only a few.
But they become a big problem once they turn into an infestation.
The problem is that these bugs populate very rapidly. Therefore, a few of then can turn into a lot in just a matter of days.
This is why you want to immediately get rid of them once you see any.
The simplest way it to just get a garden hose or showerhead then use a stream of water to wash the insects away.
Make sure to choose a good spot to do this as you’ll be getting things around you wet. Also, you don’t want to wash the pests from one plant to your garden or to other plants.
You may need to spray them off a few times every few days until you get them all.
An alternative to this is to use insecticidal soap to get rid of the pests.
Root rot and leaf infections are the two things to watch out for.
Root rot is caused by overwatering and waterlogging.
In most cases, this is caused by watering the plant too often or using soil that does not have sufficient drainage. As such make sure to allow the soil dry between waterings. And use well-draining soil.
Similarly, bacterial and fungal infections are caused by excess moisture
If you allow the leaves to stay wet for long periods of time, these can happen.
Thus, avoid watering late in the day or keeping the plant in low light or somewhere with insufficient air circulation.