The Alocasia Yucatan Princess is also known as the Yucatan Princess Plant or Alocasia Sarawakensis Yucatan Princess.
It is said to be a mutation of the Alocasia Sarawakensis.
The Alocasia Yucatan Princess is best known for its long, upright, stems that keep the leaves high about the soil. its dark, green, wide glossy leaves have a leather look to them as well.
The plant is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Eastern Australia.
How do you care for the Alocasia Yucatan Princess? The plant can tolerate low to bright light but grows best in bright, indirect light.
It thrives in warm, humid environments and can grow indoors or outdoors. Avoid overwatering the plant as it is susceptible to root rot.
Alocasia Yucatan Princess Plant Care
Yucatan Princess Plant Light Requirements
The Alocasia Yucatan Princess prefers bright, indirect sun. It likewise does well in medium light and will tolerate low light.
Ideally, it needs at least 6 hours of light daily. This will allow it to reach its size potential and also produce more large leaves.
The basic rule when it comes to light is the Yucatan Princess Plant enjoys morning sun and afternoon shade.
And while it can take low light, you will notice the plant grow slower in this environment compared to when it gets plenty of light.
That said, with low light you want to watch out for dim or dark spaces.
A simple test I like to do when checking if an area has insufficient light is so place a book, magazine or newspaper on the spot I plan to put the plant.
If I can read the text in any of these publications without any problem, it means there’s enough light there for the plant.
But if I can’t read the content or need to turn on a lamp or ceiling lights to do so, it means there isn’t enough illumination for the plant.
You can use artificial light to keep the plant happy if you want to keep it in that spot.
On the other hand, there’s the issue about excess light.
This is why the Alocasia Yucatan Princess prefers morning sun. That’s because it is gentle. On the other hand, afternoon sun is very harsh.
As such, the Alocasia Yucatan Princess thrives near an east facing window which received early morning sunlight.
But you’ll need to protect it from a south or west facing window since these two directions receive sunlight during the middle of the day.
You can distance the plant at least 2 to 3 feet from the window in this case or use sheer curtains to filter the light.
Excess light will cause its dark green leaves to turn pale. It can also scorch the leaves making them turn brown.
Yucatan Princess Plant Temperature
The Alocasia Yucatan Princess plant is a native of the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. As such, it enjoys warm to hot weather on a consistent basis.
Its ideal temperature range is between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It also dislikes fluctuations.
Since it is a tropical plant, it can likewise tolerate temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit without any issues or harm.
In fact, it will happily live outdoors all year long in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11.
That’s because these areas have warm, sunny weather even from November through March.
On the other hand, you want to watch out for the cold.
The Alocasia Yucatan Princess plant is not frost hardy. Not can it withstand much cold.
Its temperature tolerance is 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which means you want to avoid keeping the plant anywhere colder than this level.
This makes winter outdoor weather a no-no.
Indoors, you also want to watch out for air conditioners and cold drafts.
Similarly, be careful of any areas of your home where the nighttime temperature suddenly drops. Some places can experience more than a 10 degree Fahrenheit drop between daytime and nighttime temperatures.
The Alocasia Yucatan Princess loves humidity. Ideally, give the plant humidity of 50% to 80%.
This is what it enjoys most and it will reward you with faster growth and more vibrant looking leaves.
Unfortunately, keeping this level of humidity may not always be easy depending on where you live. A lot of how moist or dry the air is in your home depends on geography.
That said, always be aware that outdoor humidity is always higher than indoor humidity.
So, don’t use the weatherman’s humidity forecast to tell what the humidity is in any room of your home.
Instead, I suggest using a hygrometer, which is a portable and affordable device that tells you the humidity up to the second for any area.
This will easily let you know if you need to help any of your plants.
If the air is too dry, you can get a humidifier or mist the plant regularly. You can also use a pebble tray or a humidity tray.
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How Often to Water Alocasia Yucatan Princess
The Alocasia Yucatan Princess likes moist soil. But it dislikes soggy soil.
It is important to keep the latter in mind because the plant does not like wet feet. Therefore, avoid overwatering the plant.
Excess moisture is harmful to the Yucatan Princess Plant because its roots cannot sit in water for very long. If they do, they will rot.
When root rot sets in it puts the entire plant at risk of death.
That’s because roots absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil. When too many of the roots are rotten, the plant won’t be able to sustain itself because no matter how much you water or add fertilizer to the soil, the roots cannot absorb enough to support the plant.
This is why overwatering and root rot are very dangerous.
When too many of the roots have rotted, the Alocasia Yucatan Princess will deteriorate and eventually die. And there’s no way to save it because it cannot get any sustenance.
On the other hand, the Yucatan Princess Plant also dislikes drying out.
But between overwatering and underwatering, the latter is a less problematic. Therefore, if you’re going to err, err on the said of caution (less water).
This is why the best way to water the Alocasia Yucatan Princess is to wait until the top half of the soil has dried before watering again.
Doing this will keep you from adding water when the soil is still wet or moist.
Thus, is eliminates the risk of overwatering.
Alocasia Yucatan Princess Potting Soil
The Alocasia Yucatan Princess needs loose, well-draining potting that is crumbly. Keep soil pH between 5.5 to 6.5 so the plant can efficiently absorb nutrients from the soil.
Good drainage is very important for this plant in order to avoid overwatering.
The right soil also prevents waterlogging from happening.
In contrast, never use heavy soils or those that are dense. Anything that tends to retain moisture or gets compacted are problematic as well.
That’s because they will hold more water than the plant wants.
As a result, the roots will end up in too much liquid for long periods of time. This increases the risk of root rot.
For this reason, using well-draining soil is very important.
Contrary to its name, this kind of soil actually holds some water (but not a lot of it). And it will quickly drain the rest so the roots stay dry while leaving the soil moist.
To make sure that the roots get their fill of water, how you water your Alocasia Yucatan Princess plant is just as important as when you water it.
Here’s how to do it.
Add water directly onto the soil.
Never water from above wetting the leaves. The only time you wet the leaves are if you’re cleaning the plant or giving it a shower to increase humidity.
Otherwise, water directly on the soil by using a long-necked watering can or placing garden hose right of the rim of the pot.
Allow the water to keep running until the entire root ball is soaked.
The goals is to saturate all the soil. Doing so will give the roots all the moisture they want to drink.
Once you see water start trickling out from the bottom of the container’s drainage holes, stop watering. Then let the plant completely drain.
This last part takes a while. But it is necessary so all the liquid drains quickly.
What you’re left with are satisfied roots who’ve gotten all the drink they wanted and soil that’s moist not wet.
Yucatan Princess Plant Fertilizer
The Alocasia Yucatan Princess needs fertilizer. It is a larger plant that needs it nutrients.
And while you can go without feeding it, I suggest supplying the plant with the proper minerals to grow optimally.
The important thing here is not to overdo it.
Since this alocasia plant is not very fussy about the kind of fertilizer you use, you can choose among different options.
The most common home growers go with is a balanced liquid fertilizer. You can use a complete or all-purpose fertilizer.
What’s important is the product contains the major nutrients (NPK) along with micronutrients.
Apply once a month during the spring and summer. This is when it the Alocasia Yucatan Princess plant does most of its growing.
There’s no need to feed the plant during fall and winter as it does not grow much during this time.
Therefore, allowing it to rest will help it recharge for next spring when its growing season begins again.
If you don’t like having to do that many applications, you can opt to use slow-release fertilizer instead. This will reduce feeding frequency to about 2 to 3 times a year.
Other options are seaweed or fish emulsion.
Yucatan Princess Plant Pruning
The Alocasia Yucatan Princess will grow to about 6 to 8 feet tall. It can likewise reach between 4 to 5 feet wide.
Note that the plant won’t be a big bushy plant from the top down to the soil.
Instead, a lot of its height will come from its stems with its leaves growing towards the top of the plant.
However, as it gets bushy, you’ll see more and more leaves cover the middle and bottom making it look fully.
This means that you have many options when it comes to pruning.
I know some growers who prefer a more sparse look since it lets the plant show off its burgundy stem and the leaves more prominently.
If this is what you want, you’ll need to prune it regularly to remove some of the stems and leaves that fill up in between.
On the other hand, other growers like a much fuller plant.
While this takes longer to develop, you won’t be doing much pruning with the exception of remove diseased foliage and those that have become discolored or have died.
How to Propagate Alocasia Yucatan Princess
Division is the most common way of propagating the Alocasia Yucatan Princess.
Here, you’ll divide the mother plant into 2 or more smaller plants.
In doing so, you not only grow new plants but also reduce the overall size of the mother plant.
Note that stem propagation and leaf propagation both don’t work for the Yucatan Princess Plant. Therefore, you’re better off propagating by division.
Here’s how to propagate Alocasia Yucatan Princess by division.
- Carefully take the Alocasia Yucatan Princess out of its container.
- Remove excess soil and dirt so you can clearly see the rhizomes. These are where the stems and the roots grow from. And they look like clumps which makes the root system of the Alocasia Yucatan Princess different from most houseplants.
- To divide the plant, separate the clumps. In most cases, growers will just divide the mother plant into 2 smaller plants. But you can split them up to 3 or 4 depending on what you want and how big the mother plant is.
- Use your hands to separate the clumps.
- Make sure each division has enough leaves and roots to survive on its own as a new plant.
- Pot up each of the divisions and fill the containers with well-draining soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Alocasia Yucatan Princess
The Alocasia Yucatan Princess will need repotting as it gets bigger. While this won’t be as frequent as then it is younger, you’ll likely need to repot every 18 to 24 months or so.
Note that this is just a guideline.
And I prefer listening to what the plant is telling me to know when to repot.
The only time you need to move it to larger container (barring any emergency) is when roots are poking out from the drainage holes underneath the pot.
Similarly, if you see roots creeping out from the surface of the soil or in the crevices between the soil and the pot, it means it means the Yucatan Princess plant needs repotting.
Move it to a container that is 2 inches larger in diameter. Avoid going any bigger.
Also, replace the soil with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Alocasia Yucatan Princess is highly toxic when consumed. Its sap can cause skin irritation as well, although this does not affect everyone.
The reason for its poisonous nature are the calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic.
When ingested, it will cause pain, swelling and irritation inside your mouth like tiny needles piercing your oral cavity’s internal lining.
Alocasia Yucatan Princess Problems & Troubleshooting
Pests like aphids, spider mites and mealybugs will attack the Yucatan Princess Plant when given the opportunity.
While the plant has natural resistance to pests, this only works well when it is healthy.
A stressed, sick or unhealthy plant is very susceptible to these bugs.
You can likewise apply neem oil on the plant and soil once a month to prevent these pests from coming around the plant.
Be careful with overwatering as this often leads to more serious problems.
Root and stem rot are two things that you want to avoid at all costs. Both are caused by excess moisture.
Therefore, avoid watering the plant too frequently.
Instead, wait until part of the soil has dried before adding any more water.
Similarly, avoid wetting the leaves. This can lead to bacterial or fungal infections. Misting too much can likewise cause this.