Alocasia Sanderiana Plant Care – Growing Kris Plant

The Alocasia Sanderiana is also called the Kris Plant or the Alocasia Kris Plant. It used to be a rare plant once upon a time.

But growers soon propagated it can made it more available to the point that people lose interest and it went out of favor for quite a while. Now, it is somewhat making a comeback.

Interestingly, it seems to be more available in the market than in the wild as it has been classified as critically endangered.

The Alocasia Sanderiana is an aroid which means in belongs to the same family as philodendrons, monsteras and alocasias.

The plant is native to the Philippines.

How do you care for the Alocasia Sanderiana? Give the plant bright, indirect light to allow it to develop its large, dark green leaves.

It thrives in warm, humid conditions and does like moist soil. But be careful not to overwater it. Waterlogging also gives this plant problems.

Alocasia Sanderiana Plant Care

Kris Plant Light Requirements

The Alocasia Sanderiana does best in bright, indirect or filtered light. It will do well in medium light as well indoors.

Outdoors, the plant is best placed in partial shade or semi-shade.

It is important to point out the difference in the kind of lighting conditions since some beginner gardeners get confused in thinking that the plant will do well in shade indoors.

That’s not the case.

While it will tolerate low light, don’t expect it to grow optimally.

Less light means less energy from photosynthesis. So, while the plant will be find and will look okay, it won’t grow as quickly or produce as many leaves in low light compared to areas with plenty of light.

Similarly, the leaves usually don’t get as large.

Why the difference?

That’s because indoors lighting is always less than outdoor lighting. This is due to all the walls and ceilings. As such, the only access light has to your home is via the windows.

In contrast, it is much brighter outdoors. And light permeates through all the spaces without walls.

So, the plant prefers slightly shaded areas outdoors but needs bright, indirect light indoors.

Hopefully that clears things up.

Another important thing to keep in mind with the Alocasia Sanderiana is that it cannot tolerate very intense or strong light.

As such, keep it away from direct sunlight indoors during the middle of the day. It will do well with direct sunlight during the morning coming from the east window since morning sun is gentle.

But from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. the sun is the hottest.

And the Kris Plant can only tolerate a few hours of this on a daily basis. If it gets too much, its dark foliage color will become pale.

In very harsh sunlight, the leaves can scorch as well.

Therefore, keep it at least 2-3 feet from the south or west facing window unless you plan on filtering the light from those sides using sheer curtains, drapes or other things.

 

Kris Plant Temperature

The Alocasia Sanderiana prefers warm temperatures between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

That’s because the plant is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, which consistently has warm to hot climate.

In fact, it won’t have any issues living in 95 degrees Fahrenheit temperature as well.

On the other hand, you do want keep the Kris Plant away from the cold.

There are no winters in its native habitat. And there are no cold months either. Instead, it stays sunny and warm through their “winters”.

And you’ll see people wearing shorts and flip flops during December and January in that part of the work.

This is why the Alocasia Sanderiana enjoys the outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12. The weather stays sunny and warm all year round in these areas.

And you can leave it outdoors if you live in these regions.

However, if you experience snow during wintertime, make sure to bring the plant indoors before the weather gets cold.

Keep it warm indoors as it can fall into dormancy if temperature is low and there’s little light.

While this is not a problem as the plant will bounce back to life come spring, dormancy can be a bit iffy. It also means no growth at all.

Therefore, many home gardeners will keep the plant in a warm, bright location indoors during winter. If you give it grow lights or enough lighting, it will continue to grow during this time.

 

Humidity

High humidity is what the Alocasia Sanderiana wants. Ideally, it prefers humidity between 60% and 80%. But it will tolerate 50% humidity and slightly lower.

That said, its best growth happens if you give it its preferred humidity range.

The problems is that most homes have indoor humidity between 20% to 50% which may or may not be an issue depending on where you live.

If you live somewhere with tropical, subtropical or Mediterranean weather humidity will easily be good enough. Similarly, coastal cities or having a lake or a large body of water nearby keeps humidity up.

Of course, if you have a greenhouse or grow cabinet, you can control the environment as well.

But some areas like deserts have much lower humidity usually in the low 30s or high 20s.

This is true for New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada which are the states with the lowest humidity.

In this case, you can get a humidifier.

If you prefer a free solution, you can mist the plant a few times a week, place it on a pebble tray or humidity tray. Moving it to the bathroom or amongst other houseplants also help.

 

Related

 

How Often to Water Alocasia Sanderiana

The Alocasia Sanderiana likes moist soil. But avoid overwatering it because it is susceptible to excess moisture.

If the plant is getting too much water, the soil will be wet and soggy.

After a while, you’ll see its leaves turn yellow. Later on they will turn brown.

These are problematic signs that leaves usually turn color due to overwatering once there’s damage to the roots.

This is what makes overwatering deadly. It can lead to root rot.

For this reason, the best way to water the plant is to wait until the top 2 inches of soil has dried before adding any more water.

Always check the soil before adding any water to ensure you’re not giving it more moisture when the soil is still wet.

Doing so will leave the roots sitting in too much water, which increases the risk of root rot.

I prefer to wait until the top half (50%) of the soil has dried before watering. This reduces the risk of overwatering since a good part of the soil has dried.

At the same time the roots still have enough moisture in the remaining soil.

The second part of watering the Kris Plant is knowing how to water.

Here, you have to options.

You can water from above or from the bottom.

When watering from above, water directly on the soil not over the leaves. Wetting the leaves only increases the risk of fungal diseases.

Soak the soil so the entire root ball is saturated with water. Stop once you see liquid dripping from unde the drainage holes of the pot.

Then allow the soil to completely drain before returning it to its original spot.

With bottom watering, there’s less risk of overwatering.

Here you can use a large container with water and put the pot in that container. This will let the soil absorb the liquid from the bottom going up (at its own pace).

While it takes longer to finish, the plant will stop absorbing moisture once the soil is saturated.

Then allow it to drain completely after.

 

Alocasia Sanderiana Potting Soil

The best potting soil for the Alocasia Sanderiana is loose, well-aerated soil with good drainage. Well-draining soil is ideal to avoid waterlogging.

This is the second part of preventing overwatering.

Waterlogging occurs when the soil holds on to too much moisture.

How much water the soil holds depends on the kind of soil it is or what components were mixed to make it.

This allows you to adjust soil to accommodate plants that like water or like very little water.

In the case of the Alocasia Sanderiana, it needs the soil to drain quickly but not overly fast. This is why well draining soil is ideal.

This kind of soil holds some moisture but will quickly drain excess liquid. In doing so, it prevent waterlogged soil.

In contrast, if you use heavy or dense soil, the roots of your Kris plant will end up swimming in water even if you’ve been watering correctly.

The good news is that it is easy to create well-draining soil that’s well-suited for the Alocasia Sanderiana.

You can combine:

  • 1 part potting soil
  • 1 part peat moss
  • 1 part perlite

The three components will retain some moisture so the roots stay hydrated while the perlite is there for drainage.

Finally, there’s the third part in preventing overwatering. Use the right pot.

This is simple. Just make sure the pot you use has drainage holes at the bottom.

 

Kris Plant Fertilizer

The Alocasia Sanderiana needs fertilizer to grow optimally.

Because it does not need any special care in this aspect, feeding the Kris Plant is fairly straightforward.

Use a water-soluble balanced fertilizer. Once a month feeding during the spring and summer diluting the dose by half strength each time.

Never apply this when the soil is dry.

Diluting and making sure the soil is moist prevents a very strong solution of fertilizer application.

The reason is that this can cause fertilizer burn which can damage the roots.

Don’t feed the plant in winter and stat again during spring.

 

Kris Plant Pruning

The Alocasia Sanderiana will grow to between 1.5 to 2.5 feet tall. It can likewise produce many large leaves.

Majority of the plant’s height will come from its stems which are upright.

Although different stems have varying heights which does help fill in the gaps in the middle with leaves.

The Alocasia Sanderiana is a moderate to fast grower. In the spring and summer, with proper care, lighting and fertilizing it can produce a new leaf every couple of weeks or so.

The leaves also grow in size quite a bit.

There’s very little growth during the winter and some Kris Plants can go dormant as well depending on the conditions.

Since its leaves take up majority of the plant, there’s very little pruning needed.

You can prune the plant to promote new growth. And you should prune it when you see and diseased leaves, discoloration or old foliage.

 

How to Propagate Alocasia Sanderiana

The best way to propagate the Alocasia Sanderiana is by division. Unfortunately, both stem and leaf propagation don’t work well for the plant.

The best time to propagate the Alocasia Sanderiana is spring to early summer.

This will give the new plant an entire growing season or most of it to quickly get bigger before the winter dormancy arrives.

Here’s how to propagate the Alocasia Sanderiana through division.

  • Carefully take the Alocasia Sanderiana out of its pot. For larger plants, tip the pot on its side and coax the plant out. You can use a trowel.
  • Decide where to separate the clumps in the root ball. Make sure each division have tubers and roots. They should also have a few leaves above the soil.
  • Use your hands to divide the root ball. You can use a sterile knife as well.
  • Plant each of the divisions into their own containers and fill with well-draining potting mix. Water the soil and keep the pots in bright, indirect light.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Alocasia Sanderiana

The Alocasia Sanderiana needs repotting every 2 years or so. It likes being root bound.

But when you see roots coming out from the holes at the bottom of the pot or the soil quickly drying up just a few days after you last watered, it is sign that it is time to repot.

Repot in spring as this is the ideal time to do so.

Since it is quickly growing during this time, plant will recover faster from any stress or shock from repotting.

Similarly, it will be able to grow right after it moves into its new, larger container.

Only move the plant to a container that is 2-3 inches larger. Avoid overpotting since this increases the risk of overwatering.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Alocasia Sanderiana is toxic to cats, dogs and humans. It contains calcium oxalate crystals which become poisonous once consumed.

These activated and become like tiny needles piercing the insides of your mouth, tongue, throat and digestive tract.

As such, it causes inflammation, pain, swelling and irritation.

 

Alocasia Sanderiana Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Alocasia Sanderiana can be prone to common houseplant pests like aphids, spider mites and mealybugs. This is especially true if stressed or sick.

Therefore, keep the plant healthy.

Additionally cleaning its leaves helps prevent insects since these bugs like dust.

You can apply neem oil on the soil and on the plant once a month to reduce the risk of pests as well.

If you do see any pests, make sure to immediately treat the plant. You can use insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Avoid waiting since these bugs multiply very quickly. They lay lots of eggs at a time and it only takes a few days for the eggs to hatch.

 

Diseases

Root rot, bacterial and fungal disease are what you want to look out for.

The Alocasia Sanderiana is not very prone to these except when they are man-made.

Unfortunately, it is very easy to cause these problems. All you need to do is overwater the plant or wet the leaves too much.

Excess moisture increases the risk or root rot. Additionally, the damp environment allows bacteria and fungi to foster.

So, try to stay on the dry side and allow the soil to drain.

Keep the plant in bright, indirect light and somewhere with good air circulation so wet leaves can quickly dry as well.

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