Alocasia Amazonica : The Correct Way To Grow

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Lots of people nowadays prefer to have a decorative plant that stays green every year. The attractive foliage of Alocasia species, especially Alocasia Amazonica here will not lose to the other plants with stunning flowers. The distinct features of this plant leaves are dark green color, arrowhead shape, white or silvery thick veins, and wavy edge.

Thanks to cultivation effort in 90s, we are spoiled with this pretty greenery.

Alocasia Amazonica History

Is it coming from Amazon forest?

NO, it isn’t. The name “amazonica” here is completely misleading anyone with zero knowledge of plant. In fact, this is a hybrid plant resulting from Alocasia sanderiana and Alocasia longiloba. Its mother plants are native to Asia. And, the term “amazonica” appeared because the creation of this decorative plant took place in a nursery, located in Miami, Florida, 1990.

Based on that fact, then why choosing this name? The reason for this confusing name is Salvadore Mauro. He worked as a Postman as well as an owner of a plant nursery called “Amazon Nursery”. Now the nursery in question is closed, people use his nursery plant name as an honor. While it has become a common name, it seems that people will still getting confused about it.

Are Alocasia Amazonica and Amazonica Polly a Same Plant?

They are a similar, but Amazonica Polly has smaller size. It is like a miniature version of Alocasia Amazonica variant. They also have other well-known name such as African Mask and Elephant Ear. These two share the same care treatment, so whatever you buy you can use this guide.

How Big Will It Grow?

A mature version of this plant is able to reach 1-2 feet in height and width. The leaves could thrive to 16 inches. By looking at the size, the care for this plant would be simpler and easier. It would also not block your movement around the house.


How Much Lighting It Needs?

In order to stay green, this plant requires bright indirect light (indoor) and partial sunlight (outdoor). The leaf color will fade if it lacks of light. Strong and direct exposure of light will scorch the leaf. Furthermore, the plant will gradually stop growing.

Lighting Strategy

Outside. If the plant staying outside on daily basis, put them under the shade. The shade should be able to cover around 60% of the plant living space. Grouping it with other greeneries and put the plant under other trees could provide the partial sunlight it needs. Never let it exposed to direct sun if you don’t want to have burnt or bleach foliage.

Bring them back inside during cold weather if your living area has four seasons. It is because this plant is weak to cold. Outdoor setting is tricky because nature might change suddenly.

Inside. Consider placing the plant near/in front of a window without touching it. The distance is quite closer than other plants since it’ll hard to survive if far from the lighting source. Sunroom, conservatory, or room with skylight are also ideal option. Light is crucial for photosynthesis, so put more effort to provide a proper lighting.


Watering aims to keep the soil moist, but not soggy/too wet.

  • First, check whether the top inches of soil is dry.
  • Second, pour the water slowly start from the soil continues to other parts. Another suggestion is to water the plant from the root zone to avoid the leaves from being too wet.
  • Wait until the excess water comes out through drainage holes.

In winter, just give a little bit of water. Never let the plant experiences a prolonged dryness if you don’t want it to stop growing. In its origin area, the parent plant of Alocasia Amazonica used to grow near water. As a result, this plant needs a constant moist soil. In addition, let it stay in water for extended time would also bring disaster for the plant.

It is necessary to adjust the watering frequency and amount based on the lighting and temperature around the plant. Create a watering schedule and occasionally check the soil moisture before and after watering.


Amazonian elephant ear enjoys spending time in ideal temperature around 65-75°F like in Southeast Asia or tropical areas. In outdoor, 60°F temperature is safer for its survival. It would not tolerant in a temperature under 50°F. As a protest to the cold, the plant leaves turn yellow and fall one by one. Leaving it in this condition for an extended period will force the plant to go dormant.

Furthermore, this evergreen is also sensitive to cold draft as well as heating. It might be troublesome, but try to create a balanced environment.


After lighting, watering, and temperature, next is humidity requirement. Below you will see two contrasting things to pay attention while trying to increase the humidity.


The safest option is using humidifier. Choose the right humidifier according to your needs, e.g. warm-mist humidifier, cold-mist humidifier, or other types. Turn on the humidifier for several hours. Some product have adjustment setting, so that you can set the time for humidifier to turn off.

In case having humidifier is too much, you can simply grouping the Alocasia Amazonica with other plants. Transpiration is a process where plants release water through their foliage. Therefore, other plants would also get benefit from each other. This method is absolutely enhancing the humidity level beautifully.

Placing the watered pebble tray under or near the pot can increase the humidity. The water you filled should not pass the upper pebbles. Evaporation result of the water will naturally rise the humidity. It is worth to try with one or two plants. Still, it won’t be efficient if you have too many Alocasian.


In many guides and tips, misting becomes one of the easy option to increase the humidity. Well, in one way or another, misting does give some positive effects. However, wrong method could bring more trouble.

For instance, misting too often during cold night would invite the infection from fungus and bacteria. It could get worse when the wet leaves stay in that state and you forget to dry it.

Read also : Alocasia Maharani : Proper Maintenance for a Stubby & Rare Plant


Getting the soil on the forest floor where this plant originated is not a frustrating thing anymore. Stores specializing in gardening stuff have been selling various type of ready-made potting mix for plant lovers. Pay attention the label which said aroid mix or jungle mix as a beginning. They contains many of the basic nutrients that a houseplant needs.

Examples of good ingredients you can add to your own potting mix are:

  • Orchid mix
  • Coconut Coir
  • Fir Bark
  • Worm Castings
  • Perlite
  • Peat
  • Horticultural Charcoal
  • Sphagnum moss

To create a loose, well-draining, and porous soil mix, the key is to balance each ingredient. When your original potting mix doesn’t seem right or feels heavy, it might help to add perlite or sand in a moderate amount.

A good sign that the soil is doing well is when the excess water can drain easily and the moisture is enough for the plant to constantly growing.

Note. Any first time gardeners should prefer the ready soil mix instead of trying to create a personal soil composition. You know that a good start is important, right?


All-purpose fertilizer should do the basic for fertilizing. Warm season is a crucial time for the plant to have more nutrients. In contrast, don’t give any fertilizer in autumn and winter.

·        Liquid Fertilizer

Although it is in liquid form you still have to dilute it to half-strength. Apply this twice a month from spring to summer.

·        Slow-Release Fertilizer

There are 2 options to choose from here. The first type is in the form of granules. You just need to spread them on the soil surface. Meanwhile, you can mix the second type inside the potting mix.

·        Organic Fertilizer

The famous organic fertilizer kind includes seaweed fertilizer and fish emulsion. Others prefer to apply it in summer every week.

Dealing With The Abundant Mineral Salts

Sometimes, the leaves turn yellow and some people sprinkle Epsom salts or add micronutrient. However, beware of the buildup of mineral salt. This might occur when the fertilizer is too strong and consequently the leaves burnt. It would also cause toxicity-related issue.

As a solution, flush the soil with running water slowly. Each process is last for around 5 minutes and repeat this every few months. It works well to wash out the unnecessary salts inside.


You may have to go trial and error before finding the right container for Alocasia Amazonica. And to maintain the soil moisture, the pots must be able to keep the soil moisture longer. It means that, it won’t let the moisture go away too fast.

Choosing New Pot

  • Terracotta pot and clay pot are not the best recommendation for this plant. The reason is because the soil inside will dry quicker than it should be.
  • A regular plastic container could work, but it might not be stable enough to support the growth of this plant.
  • To save you from misery, using glazed ceramic pot will make your though job easier. This material would help managing the necessary moisture amount.
  • While material is highly important, you must make sure it has enough drainage holes. The slightly bigger new pot is useful to provide space for the growing plant.


  • Remove the mature plant from the current pot.
  • Clean the dirty roots with your finger.
  • Fill the new container with soil until a quarter is full and then pour some water.
  • Put the clean plant into the pot.
  • Add more soil, but don’t completely bury it too deep to evade stress to the plant stress.
  • Water the plant and the soil once more, then wait until the remaining water drains well.
  • Return the plant in its original position.

You are not obliged to repot this plant often as its growth is generally slow. However, under certain conditions, this evergreen can grow significantly faster than usual. It might be unnoticeable, so you need to see if the roots have outgrown outside the container.

After 1-3 years you can make a schedule for repotting in the growing season.



Propagation is about transferring the current plant in a larger container. While propagating the plant, people often repotting their plant all at once.

Propagation through seeds is possible but a difficult task. You must have the seeds in the first place. Sadly, Alocasia Amazonica rarely blooms the flowers produce seeds, while flowers are the one that produce seeds. Additionaly, it is hard to be sure if the seeds are sterile for propagation.

Now, the only option left is propagation using offset division method. Here are the process to follow.

  • Prepare a clean area before you take the plant from its pot. You can place a newspaper on the floor, table, or any flat surface.
  • Lift the plant gently and place it on the mentioned space above.
  • Clean the roots carefully from any soil and dirt.
  • When dividing the offset, make sure each of it has many roots you can gather.
  • Replant each separated offset in an organic rich soil inside a quality pot.
  • Offer the exact care as what its mother plant receives.

Pruning Requirements

This simple task only needs you to cut the damaged or dead leaves occasionally. To do so, you should use sterile tools. Wipe the shears, knife, or blade using disinfectant/alcohol. Also use gloves when you pruning the plant. These are the prevention measures to block the transfer of pest or disease to the plant.

Foliage Cleaning

The frequency for cleaning the foliage depends on the condition of environment you live in. like a car, this plant needs cleaning to look more fresh. Even if you plant it outside, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore this kind of plant maintenance. Furthermore, cleaning the leaves would promote better photosynthesis.

Option 1. Wipe the leaf using damp cloth.

Option 2. Spray the plant using a mixture of room temperature water and dish soap (not a strong one). Next, rinse the remaining soap by lukewarm water.

Option 3. Take the plant for a while from its pot to the sink. Gently spray it with warm water and rinse the plant till clean.

Note. Several expert do not recommend the use of plant shine products. The residue left on the foliage might intrude the air exchange.


All Alocasia have high calcium oxalate, a toxic content. The initial sign when accidentally contacted with this substance is skin irritation. If anyone consume it by accident they would suffer from gastrointestinal issue.

Aside from human being, especially little kids, animals are also prone to this poisonous substance. The symptoms that appear when the pet is sick including swelling and irritation on the mouth area (both inside and outside), excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty to swallow.

To protect yourself and your family, keep the children and pets from this plant. And then, always use protective gloves when handling the plant.

Read also : Alocasia Cuprea : Caring and Loving A Tropical Plant with Unique Foliage


The humid native forest of Southeast Asia let the plant to be active all the time. In an unsupported environment, particularly those with cold climate, dormancy normally occurs. There are other reasons why dormancy might happen such as low temperature, draft, dry soil, and unstable change.

If you see the plant seems “petrified”, reduce the watering. Even though the watering decreases, never let the soil to completely dry. A good indication that the plant is still alive is a firm tuber. Once the warm month arrive, let your plant stays outside, under the shade of course.

You don’t have to worry if you live in an area with warm weather all year. However, if you grow it inside a room with AC turn on daily, you would unintentionally let the plant entering dormancy.

Handling Alocasia Amazonica Health Issues

Discoloration. Whenever you see discoloration on the leaves (getting pale), always examine what is the exact cause of it. However, the common cause is lack of proper light. No matter where you put the plant always make sure it gets the bright indirect light at the same amount continuously.

Fungal infection. Overwatering often causes fungal infection. Black or deep brown spot is apparent symptoms you would notice on the leaves. Sometimes, the leaf edges become yellow too. The first thing to do is to remove the infected leaves and spray it with fungicide. To prevent the spread of this disease, exclude the plant from others.

Pest infestation. Constantly cleaning the plant will keep the spider mite, mealybug, and aphid away. If these pests have attacked, spray insecticide to kill the insects and their eggs. Then, apply neem oil or insecticidal soap thoroughly on leaves (surface and underside). This will get rid of the remaining pest and prevent them from coming back.

Root rot. Moderate watering and moist soil could protect the plant from root rot. The earlier you notice the problem, the faster you will save the plant. Immediately take an action once you see a black colored part on the plant base and leaves before it is too late.

  • Check for any mushy and dark roots after you remove the plant from the pot.
  • If the damaged part is a just a little bit, simply separate the particular part from the rest. Remember to use sanitized tools.
  • Completely replant the plant in a good condition. For several days delay the watering, and then give it water as usual to keep the soil moist.

Note. If the bulb is rooting too and the affected area is wider than expected, prepare to say goodbye to this plant.

How to Care it Outdoor

Despite the fact that Alocasia Amazonica has a purpose as an indoor houseplant, you may prefer to grow it outdoor. As what you can expect, outdoor environment has its own challenge.

Staying in the summer

This plant absolutely loves warm water, rainwater, high humidity, and good air circulation. If you hold the plant for too long inside, it is not bad to put it outside in the summer. This plant would grow vigorously and flourish better in this growing season. The plant size is getting bigger and it looks healthier and happier.

Creating a shade or shelter

Both of these have a function to protect the plant from various threats. It is better to combine the trees and shaded terrace/patio. They filter and block the direct hot sunlight as well as secure the pot from strong wind (and don’t use weak pot in the first place).

Avoiding plant shock

After staying indoor for a long time, don’t suddenly move the plant outside. The plant needs to adapt the new condition for a while. Try to move them a little bit for a while back and forth. In this way, the plant becomes stronger and ready to welcome a new chapter.

Going all out with watering

Similar to the basic watering requirement, you must water the plant after the top soil dry. Due to the unpredictable situation, you could throw away your indoor watering schedule for now. Specifically during hot summer days, watering it more often is inevitable. This is because the soil will dry faster as the result of warm temperature that ultimately encourage rapid growth.

You know that an extended dry soil condition is no good. Moreover, the soil must be constantly moist. In conclusion, the plant would take any moisture it can get outdoor.


Get Lost With Alocasia Amazonica

Do you know that Alocasia species has similar varieties and hybrids? If you see the parent plants (Alocasia sanderiana x Alocasia longiloba), they can be mistaken as the Alocasia Amazonica itself. Moving to Alocasia Polly, the only difference you can spot is its more compact size. Another example is Alocasia watsoniana that has dark leaves which is almost black rather than green.

Alocasian plants basically have the same care and maintenance routine. For instance, Alocasia Sarawakensis would thrive really well under partial sunlight. If you are unable to provide the required environment for this plant or might think growing it is such a hassle, you’re free to choose other plants outside Alocasia.

As a rule of thumb, there is nothing as too easy or too difficult in growing plant as long as you have determination.

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