The Alocasia Sarian is a large plant with very impressive leaves. It is also called the African Mask plant because its looks is similar to the masks used in African culture.
The leaves are stunning thanks to their dark green color and white/light green veins that extend out from the mid vein.
It is native to South Asia making it accustomed to warm, humid environments.
How to do you care for the Alocasia Sarian? The plant does best in plenty of light. But avoid intense direct sunlight. Instead, give it filtered, indirect and dappled light.
Keep the plant in warm, humid location. Maintain moist soil but don’t leave it wet. Feed regularly during its growing season to sustain its growth.
Alocasia Sarian Plant Care
The Alocasia Sarian thrives in medium to bright indirect sunlight. This allows it to develop its beautiful leaves and maintain its gorgeous colors.
As such, try to keep the plant either near an east or west facing window.
Both locations provide plenty of light that will allow the plant to grow optimally.
That said, it can likewise grow in low light without any problems.
The important thing here is to avoid leaving it in too little light. insufficient light will slow its growth or even cause it to get stunted.
Additionally, lack of light may make the plant leggy as it tries to reach out to the light source in an act of desperation.
On the other hand, make sure you keep it away from too much light as well.
Overly intense light including direct sunlight from late morning to mid-afternoon can damage the plant’s leaves.
This will cause they to get discolored or even scorch them.
That’s because the Alocasia Sarian cannot tolerate that much light intensity. Instead, it is best suited for indirect or filtered light indoors.
Outdoors, keep it in semi-shade or partial shade.
The Alocasia Sarian grows in the Southeast Asian rainforests. This makes it accustomed to tropical climate which is best described as hot and humid.
But since the plant lives under the larger trees, it does get the benefit of the shade of the leaves overhead.
This is why it prefers temperatures between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Of course, it can tolerate warmer conditions as well. But you do want to be careful with going too high since it can experience dehydration and heat stress as well.
More importantly, be careful with the cold.
The Alocasia Sarian has a temperature tolerance of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Below this temperature, it will start having difficulty. This will become evident initially with slower growth.
But after a while, its leaves may turn yellow or even drop if the temperature gets colder or it is left there for long periods of time.
In extreme conditions, the plant will suffer cold injury or could even die.
Ideal humidity for the Alocasia Sarian is between 60% to 70%. It is used to this environment in the rainforests of Southeast Asia.
In general, the region is not only hot but also humid.
To add to that, the regular rainfall in rainforests increases the humidity.
As such, it is a good idea to keep the plant somewhere with consistent moisture in the air.
Note that the Alocasia Sarian can tolerate humidity of 50% and slightly lower. I’ve seen it do well in 40% humidity.
But whenever you have lower humidity, make sure the plant is well-hydrated (without overwatering it).
Better yet, if you have dry air in your home, try to increase humidity around the plant.
You can mist it regularly a few times a week. Another option is to place it on a pebble tray or group it with other plants.
Finally, you can get a humidifier.
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How Often to Water Alocasia Sarian
The Alocasia Sarian has moderate watering needs.
This means that it needs watering about one a week. But what makes this tricky is that the weather changes.
When the weather is sunny and hot, soil dries much faster. On the other hand, cold weather with less sunshine makes soil stay wet longer.
As such, you cannot just use the same fixed schedule if you live somewhere with four seasons.
Instead, the best way to water is to adjust based on the weather.
This is why many beginners struggling at watering plants like the Alocasia Sarian.
However, one way to make it easier to know when to water the plant is by feeling the soil.
So, instead of relying on the time to know when to water the plant, you depend more on what the soil is telling you.
This ensures that you don’t end up overwatering your Alocasia Sarian, which it hates.
Wait until the top 2 inches of soil dry before adding more water.
This will allow you to keep the plant well-hydrated and the soil moist. But without the risk of watering too often that the roots end up in wet, soggy soil.
It also avoids leaving the roots sitting in too much moisture for long periods of time.
Finally, also be aware that the Alocasia Sarian is not drought tolerant.
Therefore, it does not like going dry. And avoid letting the root ball go complete dry.
If this happens, you’ll see its leaves start turning brown. They will dry up and turn crispy.
Alocasia Sarian Potting Soil
Because the Alocasia Sarian likes moist soil but hates wet feet, make sure you use well-draining soil.
The plant needs loose, well-aerated soil with good drainage.
This will ensure that the soil holds some moisture but will get rid of excess water very quickly.
In doing so, it will allow the plant to grow optimally without the risk of overwatering or underwatering.
To create the right soil for the Alocasia Sarian, combine:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part peat moss
- 1 part perlite
In addition to well-draining soil, make sure that your pot also has drainage.
Choosing containers with holes at the bottom will allow any excess liquid that drains from the soil to drip out of the container.
The Alocasia Sarian needs fertilizer to grow. While it does not need a lot of it, it does require the nutrients for optimal development and to avoid nutrient deficiencies.
You can use a balanced or all-purpose liquid fertilizer which works well for this species.
Once a month application diluted to half strength is all it needs. And only apply fertilizer during spring and summer which is the plant’s growing season.
This is when it will grow the fastest.
Since the plant is not picky about the kind of fertilizer, you do have other options as well.
You can use a slow-release fertilizer if you prefer to feed the plant just a few times a year.
The Alocasia Sarian can grow to between 5 and 10 feet tall and reach a spread of between 2 to 6 feet wide.
Indoors, its size usually gets to 4 to 6 feet high which makes it more manageable to keep inside homes.
As such, pruning the Alocasia Sarian usually falls under one of three categories.
The first is to limit its size and shape the plant. Trimming it can keep it from getting too big or too wide so that it easily fits where you want it to in your home.
Second, you can prune the plant if you want it to produce more leaves.
This is a good strategy if you have a sparse looking plant.
Third, prune to remove any old, dead, damaged, discolored or diseases leaves. You don’t want any of these staying onto the plant for long.
How to Propagate Alocasia Sarian
The most common ways of propagating the Alocasia Sarian are by division or from their offsets.
Note that you cannot propagate the plant from stem cuttings.
The good news is that while they sound intimidated both rhizome division and propagation from offsets are straightforward.
You just need to be ready to get your hands a bit dirty.
Propagating Alocasia Sarian from Offsets
The Alocasia Sarian grows from rhizomes. And it will produce small plantlets or offsets.
These will grow at the base of the plant.
So, all you need to do is check to see if there are any.
The downside to relying on offsets for propagation is that you don’t know when the plant will produce them.
Therefore, you’re at the mercy of nature.
But if there are offsets, you’ll see them as the base of the plant. You can then separate them from the parent.
Offsets are basically “baby plants”. And they will grow up to be clones of the parent plant.
All you need to do is plant these offsets into a pot filled with soil mix.
Propagating Alocasia Sarian by Division
Since offset propagation is not very reliable, most growers who want to grow new Alocasia Sarian plants use division.
Here, you’ll be dividing the mother plant into 2 or more smaller plants.
These will grow and get as big or bigger than their parent in time with proper care.
Here’s how to do it.
Carefully take the plant out of its pot.
Then brush off excess soil so you can see the clumps. Since the Alocasia Sarian grows from rhizomes, you’ll see the root system all connected instead of being fibrous.
All you need to do s separate the rhizomes depending on how many divisions you want and where you want to split the plant up.
The important thing is that each division should have roots, stems and a few leaves. This way, the new plants can survive on their own.
Then plant each division in its own container with well-draining potting mix.
How to Repot or Transplant Alocasia Sarian
Repotting is only needed when the Alocasia Sarian has outgrown its container.
In most cases, this happens in around 2 to 3 years.
As such, don’t hurry to move the plant to a larger container. Instead, check the bottom of the pot to see if it is time.
When the plant is root bound, you’ll see roots trying to sneak out from the holes at the bottom of the pot. This tells you they are looking for more room to grow.
Similarly, don’t repot a plant as soon as you reach home.
Instead, let it get acclimated to the environment in your home.
The only reason I’ve ever found to repot a newly purchased plant is if I notice that the soil is holding too much moisture.
In that case, you need to replace the soil with better draining potting mix to avoid overwatering.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Alocasia Sarian is toxic. Therefore, try to keep it away from young children, dogs and cats.
It becomes poisonous when ingested.
Once chewed, swallowed or consumed, it can cause irritation, pain and swelling in the oral cavity as well as the internal lining of the digestive system.
Alocasia Sarian Problems & Troubleshooting
Spider mites are the biggest pest problem for the Alocasia Sarian. In fact, it is something that all alocasia varieties can have problems with.
However, mites are not the only ones.
Mealybugs, scales and aphids can also wreak havoc to your plant.
As such, it is important to regularly check the leaves including the undersides for any signs of these bugs.
If there are, treat them immediately with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Root rot is the biggest thing to watch out for. In this case, the rhizome of the Alocasia Sarian can rot.
This is often caused by overwatering.
As such, be careful with too much water.
Always make sure to wait until part of the soil has dried before adding more water.