Alocasia dragon scale is another beautiful plant from the Araceae family. It is naturally found in many parts of South Asia.
This tropical plant has many hybrid varieties suitable for outdoor and indoor growing conditions. It produces beautiful dragon patterns leaves. The interesting part is Alocasia dragon scale care is simple and easy. You can easily grow it in your indoor garden without learning any specific gardening technique.
I recommend this plant to beginner growers. They should grow it and learn how it feels when you care for a plant.
In today’s article, we will discuss every single growing detail of the Alocasia dragon scale.
This plant produces leaves with dragon scale patterns. It is also called the Alocasia baginda dragon scale. You can grow it outside without worrying about the environment. If your garden is in USDA zones 9b to 11.
The only negative side of the plant is its toxic levels. It is toxic to humans and pets. The ingestion of plant leaves and sap causes swelling throat.
Keep your children and pets away from the plant or grow it where they cannot reach it.
In general, the Alocasia dragon scale grows 3 feet tall and spread 1.5 feet.
If your plant does not grow more than 2 feet. This does not mean you have an unhealthy plant. Every plant has its own growing power.
By giving proper care you can increase its height and spread. But make sure you do not flood your plant with water and nutrients.
Overwatering and extra dosages of fertilizers will only result in burned leaves.
Because dragon scale is from the tropical forests. It needs high humidity to thrive. Even a little bit of drought is deadly for dragon scale plants.
Therefore, you need to pay attention to its growing requirements. To understand if you bring this pant home then how you care for it.
Alocasia dragon scale care guide
To grow it at home you need to keep the balance of necessary growing requirements. Follow the below guide and have a happy thriving dragon scale alocasia.
Light requirements of dragon scale alocasia
Like its natural birthplace dragon scale needs bright light. But the light has to be filtered light, not direct sunlight.
The direct sun rays are hot and extra bright for the soft leaves of the dragon scale.
Such light can burn the plant leaves and you will face another problem.
To keep your plant safe, grow it near the east-facing window. Do not put it on the window sill. There must be some safe distance between the window sill and plant.
So that the direct light cannot hit the dragon leaves.
This way your plant gets filtered bright light and you will never face a leaf burn situation.
In the winter season, the sun emits low intense light. Then you can move the plant pot closer to the window.
On less bright partially cloudy days you can put it on the window sill.
Also rotate it every day so that every part of the plant gets enough light energy.
This keeps your plant healthy on cold days and also prevents many common houseplant diseases and common pests.
Fungi is the most common problem on winter days. When your plant gets a sufficient amount of light and has a draining hole in the pot.
Fungi will not try to even come close to it.
Watering Alocasia dragon scale
The Alocasia dragon scale does not need much water to grow.
This plant has a habit of quickly absorbing the water from the soil at the time of watering.
After then it let the extra water go out of the pot.
Therefore, when you water it, pour the water thoroughly and wait until the water comes out of the draining hole.
Once it starts draining stop immediately and wait for 10 minutes to drain well.
Comes back after 10 minutes and removes the extra water from the tray.
Remember that the extra water can cause root rot and leaf rot in dragon scale plants.
Quality of water
Always use clean water for watering dragon scale alocasia. Because it cannot tolerate dry soil and a dry environment.
The water that contains heavy minerals and chlorine block the absorption of water in dragon scale plants.
When the plant does not get enough water the leaves of the dragon scale start turning yellow and dropping off the plant.
To prevent such conditions, use water that you drink on daily basis. If the tap water in your area is safe for drinking, then it is also safe for your indoor plants.
Otherwise, filtered water or rainwater is the only options.
In my opinion, filtered water is better the rainwater. Because it is hard to collect rainwater in low rain areas. And filtered water is available everywhere.
Set the indoor temperature between 55 to 85 degrees F.
This is the naturally suitable temperature range for the growing Alocasia dragon scale. Below 50 degrees F is not suitable for that plant.
In low temperatures, the plant feels that it is wintertime, which means its resting time.
Then it stops absorbing much water and fertilizers and also stops growing. This gives stress to growers.
They become panic and start searching for a solution to the problem. There is only a single solution to this. Increase the temperature of the grow room and your plant will become active in few days.
Do not fertilize until it shows healthy growing signs or it will result in overfertilization.
Note: Use a temperature monitor device to keep tracking the room temperature. Buy an inexpensive meter from Amazon. Install it in the Alocasia dragon scale grow room.
It needs fluffy soil with excellent draining properties.
You can make a good mixture at home if you have perlite, orchid mix, and coco coir.
Mix all the three ingredients in equal amount and use for Alocasia dragon scale care. The coco coir makes the soil breathable and increases air circulation.
The Perlite store the good amount moisture and keep the soil moist. The orchid mix drains the extra water quickly from the pot. This saves your plant roots from rotting.
In its native place, the plant grows in 80% humidity. But this is the very high range of air moisture that brings problems to the human body.
Therefore, you need to keep the home humidity low in between 40 to 60 %. This range is good for pets and humans.
It is also good for the Alocasia dragon scale care and maintenance.
If the humidity drops below 40% then your place will face problems.
Because it stores water in its leaves the low air moisture keeps the leaves dry in few hours.
This results in loss of leaf color they look fade and turn yellow. If you do not fix the problem on time then the plant drops its leaves. Leaf dropping is not a good sign of plant health.
Therefore, to prevent any problem regarding low humidity try to keep the air moisture minimum of 40%.
Use plant grouping technique or a plant humidifier.
Plant humidifiers are cheap and portable. You can use one small size plant humidifier to increase the entire room humidity.
Do not put the plant in the bathroom because there we do not have good air circulation. And it needs a good amount of fresh air to prevent mold and bacterial infections.
Alocasia dragon is not a heavy feeder plant. It needs a minimum amount of fertilizer for its good health.
Do not give it high concentrated fertilizers. Use any normal houseplant fertilizer and dilute it with water then apply to the plant.
Fertilization is best from Spring to fall but only once in 45 days.
Overuse of fertilizers will burn the plant and you will get yellow and brown leaves.
The first sign of too many nutrients is the browning of leaf edges.
If this is your case then flush the plant-soil with clean water. Stop flushing it when the clear water starts coming from the bottom draining hole.
After that put the plant in a warm and bright location to quickly dry the soil in a safe time period limit.
Unfortunately, the dragon scale plant is toxic to pets and humans. It has calcium oxalates that are non-soluble in the body.
They interact with the stomach juices and cause irritation in the stomach, throat.
In some cases, oxalate trigger skin irritation and redness.
Immediately calling the poison control center or doctor is the way to survive.
Repotting Alocasia dragon scale
You will not need to repot it once you repot it after purchasing from the garden store.
These plant roots do not grow overly than the pot size. In small pots, it grows small and short.
Therefore, you do not need to think about repotting.
But to grow it tall you need to repot it once in 3 years. For that choose once size big pot and fresh soil.
You cannot propagate the dragon plant with stem cutting and leaf cutting. The only way of propagation is the division of clumps.
Unpot the dragon scale plant and remove the soil from the roots.
You will see clumps
Then cut them into different parts.
Plant each clump in a new pot by using fresh soil.
Then give some water and move the pot to the high humid place.
Within 5 to 7 days, they will show signs of growth.
Then you can move the pot to your favorite location.
If you grow it in a hygienic place then it will not face any pest issues.
Generally, sap-sucking insects like Aphids, Scales, Spider mites, Mealybugs are common in unhygienic Alocasia dragon scale plants.
If you see any or all pests on your plants then immediately use insecticidal soap or spray. Rinse your plant with it and this will kill all of them.
After the wash applies the neem oil spray and prevent their future attack. Separate the infected plant from other healthy plants for 30 days.