If you want to grow rare alocasia then you should go for Alocasia Odora Variegata. It is a beautiful plant with large size variegated leaves.
Growing and caring is simple as compared to other variegated plants.
Expose it to bright light for good variegated leaves. Keep soil moisture on the higher side and fertilize it in spring and summer. Humidity should be above 45% for shining healthy plants. You can easily handle pests with rubbing alcohol.
Let’s talk about its growing and caring needs in detail.
What is Alocasia Odora Variegata?
Alocasia Odora Variegata is cultivated from beautiful Alocasia Odora. Alocasia plants are tropical plants and commonly found in jungles of Asia and Australia.
Variegated alocasia odora has beautiful green leaves with white variegation. Every variegated odora is different in terms of variegation.
There is no particular pattern of ratio of white variegation on green leaves.
It has smooth leaves that shine in indirect bright light. With perfect care and maintenance, this plant can grow up to 8 feet tall.
But it is only possible when you turn the indoor growing environment according to its natural birthplace. Which is not possible for us.
Due to the change in its growing environment, Alocasia Odora variegated only grows to 4 feet in height and spread 3 feet.
The leaf size totally depends on your care and fertilization sessions.
How to Grow Alocasia Odora Variegated?
For the best growth of alocasia odora variegata, you must give it an adequate amount of light. Keep the soil moist to keep it thriving. Fertilize as per the season to encourage good variegation and large-size leaves.
Further details are as follows.
Alocasia Odora Variegata Light Needs
Like other alocasia plants, indirect bright light is sufficient to grow it. The problem is, it has a little green portion on its leaves.
The maximum of leaves is white in color. We all know the green part of plant leaves is able to absorb sunlight.
You should place it in bright filtered light for long hours. So that the leaves can easily absorb the light energy.
To full fill, its light needs, place it on the sunny window or use grow lights.
It needs 7 to 8 hours of filtered bright light for proper growth and good variegation.
Place it in morning sunlight for 2 hours before 10 am. After that let it enjoy indirect light for 5 hours. You have two options to full fill its light needs.
Choose whichever method is convenient for you. Both methods are equally effective.
Remember that its light needs are somewhat similar to Alocasia Frydek and Alocasia Lauterbachiana.
Watering Alocasia Odora Variegated
It always needs a little bit of moisture in the potting soil. Do not let the soil completely dry before watering. This technique of watering is used for succulents like Pencil Cactus, Hoya Verticillata, and Aloe Vera.
For best watering keep eye on the soil moisture level. If the soil has limited moisture, then you can water your plant. Otherwise, wait until the top inch of the soil layer becomes dry.
This technique is helpful to keep tropical plants disease-free and stable.
Slightly pour water into the soil and wait for the soil to absorb the given amount of water before giving more water.
Tap water is good to use if it does not contain chlorine and fluorides. If you are not sure whether your tap contains is free from these substances or not.
In this situation, it is best to use filtered water for watering odora variegata alocasia.
Do not forget about root rot and overwatering connection. Every extra cup of water increases the chances of root rot.
General humidity is good for plant growth but for best growth and shining leaves keep it above 50%.
Below 40% is too low for the plant. In low humidity Alocasia odora variegated leaves start losing moisture and turn brown.
The early warning signs of low air moisture are brown leaf tips and crispy leaves from the sides. Then slowly all leaves start turning brown and crispy.
If you do not fix it on time your entire plant will become brown and crispy. In short, your plant will die in 10 to 15 days.
It is hard to revive dying alocasia odora variegata due to low humidity.
You can place it in the bathroom for 1 to 2 days to give it instant moisture. But this is not a permanent solution.
A bathroom is a place where we have good moisture but low circulating air.
Due to lack of air circulation, the plant leaves turn yellow and curl.
How to Increase Humidity for Plants?
The first method is grouping the plants. Move your plants to a single room and place them in a group regardless of their type.
The water vapors lost in respiration give nice comfort to all plants in low humidity.
This technique is good to use in slightly low humidity.
But if the humidity is very low then you need a quick and best solution. A plant humidifier is a device that is helpful in extremely low humidity.
Use distilled water to fill its reservoir and turn it ON. It will boost the room humidity in a few minutes and keep it steady until it is running.
Plant humidifiers are inexpensive and consume few watts of energy.
Choosing Right Container
To prevent root rot and to protect your plant from overwatering. You must use a plant pot that contains 2 or more drainage holes.
The best container for alocasia odora variegated will be terracotta plant pots. This material is porous and allows air to pass easily.
This increases the air circulation in the roots zone and decreases the chances of fungal infections.
Moreover, fresh air is required to keep the roots healthy and strong.
The tiny pores in terra cotta pots allow air to dry the soil to prevent overwatering. The only drawback of these pots is they are heavy and can easily break.
If you don’t use them no problem, instead of terracotta you can use ceramic pots. But do not use plastic material for growing plants like alocasia.
To support a large structure of alocasia plants you need a heavy pot that has some weight and can hold the plant weight.
Well-aerated loamy soil is best to use for variegated alocasia odora. You can use any fast-draining soil formula.
You can also make potting soil with different ingredients and I believe making soil at home is inexpensive and very useful for plants.
1 part potting soil + 1 part perlite + 1 part peat + 1 part compost = Excellent soil for alocasia odora variegated.
Do not use your garden soil or any other oil formula. Succulent soil is not recommended because it does not hold moisture for a long time.
In our soil formula, we have added perlite to hold moisture and compost to make the soil fluffy. Compost also provides essential nutrients to growing plants.
Peatmoss also acts like perlite and holds a little bit of moisture with some nutritional value.
The ideal temperature range for alocasia odora variegata is 60 to 85 degrees F. It will never feel stressed up to 95 degrees F.
But when the temperature drops below 50 degrees F. It will develop spots on its leaves these are called cold spots.
They look rusty and dark black in a circular shape.
The summer season is not a problem for this plant. You need to give it extra care in the winter season.
Bring your plant indoors if it is growing on a patio or in your garden in pots.
Grow it in a warm location but do not place it near the heat vents. The artificial hot air will increase the dehydration in plants.
Move it to a naturally warm location. Move it from the large side windows and from doorways.
You can also use heating mats if you have a good budget for your plant. Place heat mat under the plant and turn it On.
The heating coils will prevent the soil from freezing and give it nice warmth. This way you can save your plant in cold weather.
Fertilizing Alocasia Odora Variegated
Feeding is not a problem when we grow Alocasia Odora Variegata. Because it needs less amount of nutrients to grow.
Spring and summer are the two active seasons of variegated alocasia odora. Fertilize it in these seasons to encourage its growth.
I use general houseplant fertilizer to fertilize my all alocasia plants including variegata odora.
Make sure your nutrient supplement is in a balanced form, which means it contains a balanced ratio of NPK.
Stop fertilizing it 20 days before starting the winter season. In winter alocasia plants go into dormancy.
It is the time when they stop growing and need a few watering applications for their survival.
Like other alocasia plants, it is also toxic to humans and pets. The juice of the plant contains crystals of calcium. They are poisonous and react to stomach juice.
Make sure your plant is growing in a safe place. Ingestion of its parts results in toxicity. Warning signs are inflammation, stomach pain, and sore throat.
Train your pets not to eat the plant parts and teach your kids not to play with this plant. Also, teach them about the plants and their benefits.
Buy a safe beginner’s plant and let them grow their own.
Frequent pruning is not required but you should trim your plant occasionally. This will help you to keep your plant growth in control.
It is a tall plant and produces large size leaves.
Remove the leaves that are brown and yellow. Use sterilized trimming tools like sharp shears or a knife.
To sterilize your tools use rubbing alcohol and cotton.
While pruning your plant make sure you only cut the damage and old leaves that are yellow. Do not trim healthy leaves.
Also, don’t use the pruned parts in compost.
Annual repotting is a good idea to keep the plant healthy and fresh. Use fresh soil for repotting your plant.
Gently take it out of its current pot and fill the new pot with new soil to its half. Place your plant in it and fill the rest of the pot with soil.
Gently tap around the plant and give some water. If your alocasia odora variegated is too large then use a moss pole to support its structure.
Check for the repotting signs before shifting it to a large pot. If the roots are visible over the top surface this means it needs repotting.
The second most crucial sign of repotting need is roots growing through the bottom hole.
Propagating Alocasia Odora Variegata
Propagation of Alocasia odora variegata is only possible with the root division method. You cannot propagate it with stem cutting or leaf cutting.
Below are the steps:
- Give water to your plant 24 hours before propagation.
- Gently loosen the soil and take your plant out of its container.
- Remove the soil from the roots and identify the root divisions.
- Separate the roots from the main stem.
- Now plant the root division in a separate pot and give some water.
- Place the pot in an indirect bright location and follow the regular care guide.
Variegated Alocasia Odora is not a drought-tolerant plant. It needs consistent moisture in the soil to grow. All tropical plants are not drought resistant.
Succulents are plants that can handle dryness in the soil.
The shining leaves of this plant are the result of moisture stored in leaf cells.
Follow the above-suggested watering technique to prevent dehydration and overwatering.
If beautiful variegated alocasia leaves suddenly start turning yellow. This means there is some problem in the roots zone.
Check the soil if it’s wet and smells like rotten eggs then the root rot is the cause behind it.
An excessive amount of water in potting soil invites root fungus bacteria. These bacteria eat plant roots and damage them.
Damaged roots become unable to transport water and nutrients to all parts of the plant.
This results in yellow leaves and it is an early warning sign. Later the yellow leaves turn brown and start decaying.
Repotting is the only method to save overwatered alocasia.
Crispy Brown Leaves
Leaves turning crispy brown indicates two problems one is low humidity and the second is lack of water in potting soil.
If the soil is dry immediately give a good amount of water to your plant.
It grows new leaves in a few days and to help your plant to heal fast remove the damaged and brown leaves.
If you don’t want to face such a problem then follow the general watering routine and keep the room humidity above 45%.
General plant pests are its enemies. They suck the glucose made by the plant and make it nutrient deficient.
Aphids and mealybugs also make small holes in the leaves and lay eggs. Their larvae eat the plant sap and develop into an insect.
The damaged leaves develop small holes and dark spots.
For pest inspection, check the undersides of the alocasia odora variegata leaves. To get rid of pests rinse your plant with insecticidal soap and tap water.
Spray neem oil on the entire plant and place it in bright light but not in direct sunlight.
Your plant will heal in a few days.
These are small red spots that look like rust on plant leaves. A low light, warm and humid environment is the cause of this problem.
Unfortunately, you cannot fix the rusty leaves. Immediately increase the brightness of the light. Move your plant to a sunny window and remove the damaged leaves.
This way you can prevent the problem and also encourage your plant to produce more new healthy leaves.
Alocasia odora Variegated needs bright light, moist soil, occasional pruning, and less attention to grow.
For good variegation, you must expose its leaves to bright filtered light. The more green portion than white variegation on leaves indicates less light for variegation.
Spray neem oil to keep it pest free and fertilize in the active season to encourage large-size leaves.