Among many house plants with a unique shape, alocasia wentii maybe is one of the most popular ones. The unique shape that looks like an elephant ear and striking color combination put it on the top of the decorative plant list. Here, we are going to learn more about this beautiful plant. Hopefully, this article help you treat and care for your alocasia.
Alocasia Wentii Overview
Alocasia is a plant in the Araceae family. The plants in this family are known for their wide leaves. Many of them have unique leaves. Some of them have heart-shaped leaves. As for alocasia wentii types, it has leaves that look like an elephant ear. Thus, it got the nickname “Hardy Elephant Ears” Other than that name, this plant is also known as “Purple Umbrella” and “New Guinea Shield”
People love to have alocasia wentii because of its unique and beautiful appearance. Most people use it as an indoor decoration plant or patio plant. Other than its appearance, this plant is also popular because it is easy to care for and grow, even though it can be considered a big-sized plant.
Alocasia is also known as the tree that grows up to heaven. Many people also believe that this plant is the one that grows to the sky in the Jack and the Beanstalk fairytale. Therefore, people symbolize Alocasia as the way to seize the chance that came into their life, even though there is a risk in it.
Because of those reasons, people start to use this plant as decoration. Now, if you are also interested in alocasia wentii, it wouldn’t be that hard to plant and care for. As long as you follow the correct method of treating this plant, it will grow healthily.
Alocasia Wentii Care Guide and Tips
Here, we have several tips and guides that will help you to grow alocasia wentii at your home. This plant is easy to care for. Even if this is your first time, we believe you won’t have any problems with this plant.
Alocasia wentii has big and wide leaves, doesn’t it? That means this plant consumes more water for the photosynthesis process. So, we can say that this plant likes water so much. Therefore, you can’t let it lack water supply.
However, make sure you are not overwatering it. Otherwise, it will die. The best way to know when and how much water you should give is by using the dry substrate. Alocasia wentii loves this kind of substrate. Use one that is nutrient-rich with a good draining system.
Now, to water this plant, first of all, you need to know the condition of the substrate. For better growth, water it when the one or two inches of the top layer of the substrate are dry. Water it enough to make this layer wet. If you water it too often, it might cause the root to rot. But if you are watering it late, it’s growth might slowed down. So, accuracy is necessary.
Alocasia Wentii Light Requirements
With its big leaves, if you expose Alocasia wentii to direct and bright sunlight, it will only give nothing but damage. The plant will over-photosynthesize its nutrients, which hold its growth. Therefore, make sure you limit the direct light. Place it on a location with bright indirect light.
This plant is suitable for indoor or outdoor placement, as long as there are indirect lights. On outdoor you can place it under a canopy or under a net.
Humidity is essential to help plants in transpiration. Without a proper humidity level, your plant can easily lose its water. That will make it weak, stop growing, and eventually die.
As for alocasia wentii, it needs around 60-80 percent of humidity. That is the normal level where this tropical plant naturally lives. How to get that humidity level?
There are many methods you can use. The easiest one is using a pebble tray with water. Place the alocasia pot close to it, so this plant can get the evaporated water and moisture from the tray.
Another method you also can use is the humidifier. A humidifier can only be used indoor. When you are using it on a room make sure you have a proper ventilation system or you can also open the window in that room. Because if you’re using a humidifier in a room without a proper ventilation system might raise the humidity level above 80 percent, and that might damage the plant.
Alocasia wentii originally live in a tropical area. 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit (22-26 degrees Celsius) is the perfect temperature for this plant. Make sure you place the plant on a location where the temperature are close to it’s original habitats.
Another thing that you also should know is this plant doesn’t like sudden temperature changes. Therefore, if you place it in a room, keep it away from the air conditioner or heater. The drastic change caused by those devices could cause problems for this plant.
Fertilizer is like a booster for plant growth. The plants can get nutrients from the soil. Adding fertilizer can enrich the soil’s nutrient level. The plant will absorb it, which supports its growth and health.
As for alocasia wentii, this plant loves nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. So you can choose a fertilizer that mainly has those three materials. On the other hand, Alocasia also needs a little iron and magnesium. So, you also can give it these two substances in its fertilization process.
If you’re looking for an easier way to fertilize, you can use a water-soluble fertilizer. This fertilizer is easy to absorb by the substrate or soil where you plant Alocasia. If you use a pot for this plant, you should give it enough amount of water-soluble fertilizer with a high level of nutrients that this plant needs.
To use a water-soluble fertilizer you just need to mix it with water. So, when you water Alocasia, you also will give it another amount of nutrients.
Pruning might be needed to ensure that your Alocasia wentii grows like what you want. As mentioned, this plant grows easily and is easy to treat. Once you do everything correctly, it can grow to its maximum size. When you are placing it as an indoor decoration you might need to prune it a little bit to make sure it stays beautiful.
The first thing you should do to prune this plant uses the right type of cutting tools. Knife and scissors are the two best choices in this matter. However, before you use them on your Alocasia wentii, make sure you sterilized them first. It is necessary to prevent any infection that comes from the blade of the cutting tools you used on another plant before.
Before you cut using the knife or scissor, please check your Alocasia first. Find dead leaves or damaged parts first. If you can remove it by hand, do it gently. After that, you can start pruning by using the cutting tools you have prepared before. By removing a dead or a defected leaves you are encouraging the plant to grow a new leaf.
Pruning is indeed one of the necessary processes in gardening. Make sure you only prune this plant when you see it necessary.
Pruning or grooming is the first step you should do before you repotting Alocasia wentii. It is to prepare the plant, so when you change the place where it grows, it can grow healthily from the best condition since the first time you place it there.
The first thing you should do here is choose the right time for repotting Alocasia wentii. The best time to repot this plant is spring. You need to do it at least once a year. Make sure you alocasia is healthy before you repot it.
Because this plant can grow much bigger than before, you should also choose a new pot with more size. At least the new pot should be four to five inches wider than the previous pot.
When you move alocasia wentii from its old pot to the new one, you should do it gently. Tap the pot to loosen the soil. Then, you can remove it slowly using your hand. It would be better if you use a garden towel because it will help you to lift the whole plant much easier. Do it slowly, so you won’t damage the root.
During the repotting process, you also can check the root condition. Make sure this plant has a healthy root. If you find rotten or damaged roots, take your pruning tool once again. Prune off those damaged roots that can hinder growth. Then, put it slowly on the new pot. Add more soil, if you see more spaces.
Read also : Alocasia Stingray : All You Need To Know About
The repotting process is also a chance for you to change the soil or add a new one that has better quality. First of all we recommend using mulch on the top of your soil for your plant. It gives you two things, better aesthetic and performance. Mulch can retain the moisture in the soil. It is necessary to prevent the weed from growing.
There are two types of mulch you can use for alocasia wentii plants. They are organic and inorganic mulch. If you place the plant indoors you can use the inorganic mulch. Stones and pebbles comes with many variations, perfect for decoration and works perfectly in a controlled environment, like your room.
However, if you place alocasia wentii outside your house, organic mulch is the best choice. It can control how many nutrients the soil release after you fertilize it. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about over-fertilizing it.
As for the soil, you need to make sure that the soil has a pH level of five to eight. The soil also need to be porous, which helps the water to penetrate and reach its roots.
Here are our recommendations for alocasia wentii soil mix :
- Worm castings
- Add a bit of perlite and vermiculite.
Mix them all in one pot until it produces an even consistency. The perlite and vermiculite help you to create a better water drainage system inside the pot. They also can improve the substrate’s ability to keep moisture. Both of them are necessary for your Alocasia to thrive.
At some point, you might also want to propagate your Alocasia wentii plants. It gives you more plants to grow. Furthermore, it is also a good method to keep this plant healthy. Now, if you want to propagate this plant, there are three methods you can use.
- Soil Propagation
This method is the easiest one of the three. You can do it when the Elephant Ears start to grow. It will grow in clumps. You can use a sterilized knife to cut the lower part of the plant. Make sure you make a clean cut, so it can propagate properly.
Make sure you prepare the soil mix in the pot with enough nutrients and plant it carefully. The growing process could take up to 10 days. Water the plant regularly and it will develop it’s roots naturally and gradually grow. Then, you don’t need to buy another Alocasia from the store. You can add more Alocasia wentii collections this way.
- Water Propagation
Water propagation is the best choice if you want to have more control over the cutting growth. The method is similar to soil propagation. Make a proper cut on your Alocasia wentii with a sterilized knife.
However, rather than wait for the cut to dry, you dip it in water. Make sure only some part of the plant submerged in the water. For better results, put around four inches of the cutting in the water. The remaining parts of the cutting should stay above the water level.
You also should change the water regularly. It keeps the bacteria gathering in the water and attacks the cutting. The time until the cutting is ready to plant is similar to the soil propagation. It takes less than ten days. You will see the root start to develop during that time. After the root system become much more mature, you can transfer the cutting to the soil that you have prepared before.
- Stolon Propagation
You also can collect the stolon before it grows into clumps with the mother plant. Then, use the water propagation method to stimulate growth. Water propagation is the best method for stolon because, at that stage, the roots are not fully developed. So, the water method is necessary to boost its growth, plus monitor the sign of rots. That way you can prevent any damage that could happen because of that.
If it takes too long to develop a proper roots system, you can dip the stolon in the rooting hormone liquid first, before you plant it in the soil. Make sure the soil is fully fertilized, so it can help the stolon to grow roots, and then grow bigger into mature Alocasia wentii plants.
Alocasia wentii may have a reputation as one of the most popular indoor decoration plants. However, you also need to know that this plant is poisonous to humans and animals. If you have a pet, like a dog or a cat, make sure you keep them away from this plant.
The plant has a lot of oxalic acids. It is one of the forms of calcium oxalate crystal that can produce an intense irritation effect when making contact with you or your pets. You can find this substance in almost every part of this plant. The sap of Alocasia also can cause dermatitis. Therefore, wear gloves when you give the treatment or any care methods above to reduce the risk of making contact with its poisonous parts.
Alocasia Wentii Plant Problems
Even though alocasia wentii is an easy-to-grow plant, you also need to be extra careful, so the problem won’t occur at your plant. Here are some of the problems that could attack this plant.
It happens a lot for those who grow this plant for the first time. People don’t know how much they should water this plant and use the other plant’s standard for watering.
You can easily detect this problem from the leaves. If you find water droplets from the leaves or a brown spot on one part of the leaves that means you have been overwatering this plant. Reduce the amount of water you use. That will prevent the damage, especially the root rot problem.
- Lack of Water
Lack of water also could happen when you don’t water it enough. You can find it easily when the leaves get wrinkled. The growth most likely has also stopped or slowed down. When you find this problem, add more water for a few inches on its substrate. Do not wait for the substrate to dry. Water it more for a couple of days, until it recovers its condition.
- Light Problem
You need to pay attention to where you place the plant, if it doesn’t get enough light the leaves can turn out pale, and in the worst case, they could die soon. So, bring out this plant in the morning and put it under indirect sunlight for four to five hours before you move it indoors.
On the other hand, the plant can also experience the too-much-light-exposure problem especially if you put it on direct sunlight. You can see it from the leaves that have sunburn and wrinkles. So, put it away from the light by giving a shade under a net or a canopy to protect it from overexposure.
Over-fertilizing can be bad, you can see the sign of this problem from your plants appearance. An over-fertilized alocasia will look burnt. So, make sure you use the water-soluble fertilizer and well-drain substrate.
- Pests and Diseases
Another problem you need to face is the pests and diseases problem. The common types of pests that attack alocasia wentii are mealy bugs, mites, and thrips. Garden snails also can become a problem for this plant. To solve this problem, use insect and mollusk repellant or use something like neem oil.
As for diseases, they mostly occur because of fungi. When you find it has a blight and rust appearance on its leaves that is a sign of this problem. You can cut down that leaves. Or, if you have many plants, you may have to isolate the infected plant from the others.
Rare Varieties of Alocasia Wentii
Alocasia wentii is one of the common varieties of this plant. However, there is one more that can be considered very rare. It is a variegated alocasia wentii. The variegated type has a different appearance. The common variety has smooth one-color leaves. The variegated one has leaves that consist of two or more colors. Mostly, it is green with some bleached white and light gray. This unique combination of colors makes it become the main target of the plants collector.
Overall, caring for an alocasia wentii is not that hard, you just need some time to familiarize yourself. Follow our guide carefully and you can make your plant grow bigger and healthier. Now, you have a beautiful plant for your indoor decoration or you can also make your patio and terrace look gorgeous by putting this plant outdoor.