The Alocasia Silver Dragon is also called the Silver Dragon Alocasia along with a few other names including:
- Alocasia Baginda Silver Dragon
- Silver Dragon Scale Plant
- Alocasia Silver Dragon Scale
Its complete name is Alocasia Baginda Silver Dragon which tells you that it is a hybrid of the Alocasia Baginda. While it does share some similarities with its parent, it is smaller in size which makes it easy to distinguish between the two.
It is worth noting that the Alocasia Silver Dragon is a very rare Alocasia variety and is sought after by collectors.
Another important thing to be aware of is that while some of its other names may hint it, the Alocasia Silver Dragon is different from the Alocasia Dragon Scale.
That said, the Alocasia Silver Dragon, Alocasia Dragon Scale and Alocasia Green Dragon come from the same species, they are different variants of the Alocasia Baginda.
How do you care for Alocasia Silver Dragon? Give the plant plenty of light but avoid direct sunlight during mid-day and summer when it is very intense.
Keep the plant in a warm, humid place and the soil moist. But don’t overwater it and make sure to use well-draining soil. For optimal growth, feed once a month during its growing season.
Alocasia Silver Dragon Plant Care
The Alocasia Silver Dragon thrives in bright, indirect light. This will allow it to grow optimally and maintain its beautiful leaf patterns.
The plant can likewise tolerate low light but in a lesser degrees than those with more green foliage.
As such, you want to be more careful here as the silver color may become more green in low light. This happens as the plant will produce more chlorophyll which incidentally makes the leaves green.
But the actual reason the plant increases chlorophyll production is because chlorophyll is what absorbs light. Therefore, the more chlorophyll there is, the more light it can collect even when the source is not ideal.
Thus, when you see this happening, move the plant to a brighter spot and the leaves will turn back to silver as it will regulate itself.
On the other hand, while the Alocasia Silver Dragon likes a well-lit location, too much light is bad for it.
Excess light including too many hours under strong, direct sunlight will burn its leaves. This is irreversible. So, you’ll need to prune the affected foliage or parts of the leaves.
The Alocasia Silver Dragon has an ideal temperature range of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It loves consistently warm weather because it is native to the forests of tropical Asia.
Therefore, it is used to warm to hot climate.
Just as importantly, it does not experience the cold since there are no winters in those parts of the world.
So, the plant did not develop much tolerance for the cold. Instead, once temperature drops under 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll notice its growth slow down.
The problem here is that the colder it gets, the slower the plant’s functions become. This means that it is less able to sustain itself. So, growth slows down and eventually, if it does not produce energy, you’ll see it deteriorate.
This is why it s important to avoid leaving it in very cold areas for long periods of time.
Once example is making sure you bring it back indoors around fall as the weather gets colder. It won’t survive winter outdoors as the plant will die back into the soil.
Although, its underground structures will stay healthy as long as the ground does not freeze over.
This allows it to start growing again when the warmth of spring arrives.
However, it will have to start over and develop shoots before any leaves come out.
On the other hand, they don’t have issues with temperatures of 90 or 95 degrees Fahrenheit. But once you hit 100 degrees or more, you need to make sure to keep it well-hydrated otherwise the fast evaporation can dehydrate the plant.
If you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, you can plant the Alocasia Silver Dragon in the ground outdoors or keep it in a pot outside all year long.
The Alocasia Silver Dragon likes humidity of 60% and higher. But it can tolerate 50% humidity and slightly less than that.
But once you go under 50% you do want to monitor it more.
That’s because if the air gets too dry for the plant’s liking, its leaf tips and edges will turn brown and crispy. They will become brittle as well.
This is your sign that it needs more humidity.
Unfortunately, like other aroids, the Alocasia Silver Dragon needs this kind of moisture in the air. If you don’t give it that, you’ll see more and more leaves turn brown.
Thus, it is up to you to increase air moisture around it.
You can use a humidifier, mist the plant or place in on a humidity tray. All of these methods work. But they vary in their effects, except for the humidifier which you can set to a target level and let it regulate the humidity in the room.
As for the others, they need some trial and error. But they’re free and don’t cost you a thing.
How Often to Water Alocasia Silver Dragon
Allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry between waterings. This is essential when caring for the Alocasia Silver Dragon.
While the plant likes consistently most soil, it is important to allow part of the soil to dry before you add more water because the Alocasia Baginda Silver Dragon is prone to overwatering.
And when it experiences this too often or for very long periods of time, it increases the risk of root rot.
Thus, it is very important to always be mindful of how much and how often you water the plant.
That said, underwatering will also stress the plant.
This means you don’t want to let the soil completely dry out, even when the plant goes dormant during the cold winter.
Lack of water prevents the plant from properly functioning. And as a result, it will get stressed.
The problem is that a stressed or weak plant makes it more susceptible to pests and diseases.
What makes watering tricky is that how often you water will change depending on the amount of light, heat and humidity the plant is getting.
So, during the summer when the weather gets hot, may need to water twice or thrice a week. But in winter, you’ll cut back on watering to once every 2 or 3 weeks because it takes much longer for soil to dry.
This is why the best way to tell when to water the plant is to check the soil.
Stick your finger into the soil down the second knuckle or so. That’s about 2 inches. If the soil is wet or moist in any way, don’t add water yet. Wait 2 days and check again.
Only water once that level feels completely dry to the touch.
By doing so, your watering schedule will automatically adjust based on how quickly or slowly the soil dries. So, you don’t have to remember anything.
Instead, just rely on the soil to tell you when to water the plant.
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Alocasia Silver Dragon Potting Soil
The best soil for the Alocasia Silver Dragon is loose, well-draining soil with pH of 5.6 to 7.0. This allows the plant to stay away from overwatering and waterlogging issues.
Well-draining soil means that it holds on to some moisture, which is enough to keep the roots hydrated. But will quickly drain excess liquid to avoid leaving the roots in too much water.
Doing so not only prevents the roots from drowning in water, but loose soil also allows for good aeration. Thus, the roots are able to get enough oxygen to stay healthy.
One thing some people are not aware of is that roots need both air and water, not just water.
This is why too much water can destroy the plant because the roots suffocate when left under water for long. They can’t breathe.
Just think about it.
When the soil holds too much water, the soil is wet and the roots end up drowning in liquid. As a result, it cannot breathe. After a while, they suffocate. That’s when root rot occurs.
But if the soil drains water too quickly, the soil dries up before the roots can have a drink. They become dehydrated. Still, there is a lot of air.
Both are bad situations in different ways. So, the soil needs to help with balancing water and air for the roots to stay healthy.
Fortunately, it is easy to create the potting mix that’s perfect for the Alocasia Silver Dragon. Mix the following ingredients in a bowl and use it to fill a pot.
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part peat moss or coco coir
- 1 part perlite or coarse sand
The Alocasia Baginda Silver Dragon needs fertilizer to grow at its best and produce its lovely-patterned foliage.
You can give it what it needs by using a high quality balanced fertilizer. I like to use a water soluble product because it is easy to dilute. This gives you control over the concentration.
Apply once every 2-4 weeks when the plant is actively growing. This happens in the spring and summer when the Silver Dragon Alocasia is growing the fastest.
Stop application by fall and don’t feed it in the winter.
Each time you apply, don’t’ forget to dilute to half or quarter strength. You can do this easily by adding more water.
The Alocasia Silver Dragon is a small plant relative to the other alocasia varieties. It will grow up to 2 inches high with its leaves making up everything on top of the pot.
As such, you want the plant to get bushy as the leaves look amazing when they seem like they pile on top of one another.
Because the leaves are what make the plant and its appearance, very little pruning is needed.
That said, if your plant only has a few leaves you can prune to encourage it to grow.
As usual, make sure to remove any dying, yellow, brown, damaged or diseased foliage.
How to Propagate Alocasia Silver Dragon
The Silver Dragon Alocasia is usually propagated by division of from offsets.
Both methods are similar in a way.
But they are different. So, I’ll go through the steps below for each one.
Here’s how to propagate the Alocasia Silver Dragon from offsets.
- Check the base of the plant. You are looking for plantlets or offsets, which are baby Alocasia Silver Dragon plants. You can separate these from the parent plant and grow them separately.
- Note that you may or may not see any. This is the downside to this method. You can’t tell when the plant will produce plantlets.
- If you do see plantlets, look for the bigger ones. I like to wait until they grow a couple of inches before taking them. The bigger ones have a higher chance of surviving on their own.
- Separate the plantlets from the parent. You can use a sterile knife. You may also need to dig some of the soil as well to get the plantlets out.
- Once separated, you can plant the offshoots into a pot with well-draining soil.
Take care of it like you would the parent plant.
In a few weeks it will start to sprout.
On the other hand, here’s how to propagate the Alocasia Silver Dragon by division.
- Division is different from taking offsets in that you’re splitting up the mother plant into smaller plants.
- Begin by taking the plant out of its container.
- Brush off excess soil so you can clearly see the roots.
- You’ll see multiple clumps that make up the underground structure of the plant. This is what you’ll be dividing.
- Decide on how many divisions you want to make. Often, growers will divide the parent into 2 smaller plants. But you can make more depending on how many you want and how big the plant is.
- Once you’ve decided, use a sterile knife and cut the rhizomes. Make sure each division has enough roots and a good amount of leaves. The roots ensure the new plant can survive. The leaves are there for photosynthesis but also so you don’t have to start the new plant from scratch.
- Plant each division into its own container with well-draining soil.
Since the divisions have roots, you don’t need to wait for the new plant to root like you would stem cuttings. Also, from here, the plant will just grow and produce more shoots and foliage.
How to Repot or Transplant Alocasia Silver Dragon
The Silver Dragon Alocasia enjoys being in the same pot for a very long time. It also likes being in a snug container.
Therefore, there is no hurry to move the plant or repot it since it seems to enjoy its time in a tight pot.
The only time you’ll need to repot is when it gets root bound. Even then you don’t have to hurry and leave it there for a while.
But avoid doing so for too long such that the roots get overcrowded in the pot. This will cause the plant to get stressed.
The best time to repot is during the spring to early summer when the plant it actively growing. This allows it to recover from the stress or shock of repotting quickly.
Choose a pot that is one size larger (about 2 inches bigger) than the current one. Avoid overpotting as this increases the risk of overwatering.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Do not let the Alocasia Baginda Silver Dragon be consumed by kids or pets. It is toxic when ingested. So, chewing, swallowing or consuming the leaves or stems will cause side effects.
The most common are oral pain, irritation and swelling. It can make breathing difficult as well and cause vomiting among other things.
Call your veterinarian or pediatrician in case this happens.
Alocasia Silver Dragon Problems & Troubleshooting
The Alocasia Baginda Silver Dragon is naturally resistant to pests. However, it does not mean it is immune to them.
Instead, it is very unlikely to experience any pests when healthy.
However, once stressed, weak or sick, it become susceptible as its natural defenses are down. This is when aphids, spider mites and mealybugs attack.
If you spot any, treat immediately with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Root rot is the biggest thing to look out for here.
This means you need to be mindful about overwatering and waterlogged soil.
As such, don’t water the plant until part of the soil is dry. Also, make sure to use well-draining soil to avoid waterlogging. Finally, use a pot with drainage.
Otherwise, the liquid drained by the soil is stuck at the bottom of the pot keeping the soil wet.