Alocasia Polly is an indoor houseplant, also known as Alocasia Amazonica and African mask plant. If you like to grow short and stylish looking houseplants. Then African mask plant is the best choice. Because its tropical foliage looks very beautiful. The presence of this plant makes your home interiors more beautiful.
Alocasia is a tropical plant but the interesting part is we have its hybrid varieties in the market. Hybrid alocasia Polly grows short in height, can be easily grown in an indoor environment. Also has high immune power against plant disease and pest attacks.
If you give it the proper care it will thrive like crazy and you will have healthy alocasia Amazonica with beautiful foliage.
Whether you are new to this plant or you are planning to add it to your indoor plant collection. Keep reading on because in this post you’ll find all growing and troubleshooting details about this plant.
Houseplants are easy to grow than vegetable plants. So, if you are new to gardening then you must grow this plant. Because it grows well even if you don’t give it proper care. This way you can learn about the plant needs and prepare yourself for the other plants.
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About the Alocasia Polly
Alocasia Polly is a hybrid plant. This means it is not naturally found in the forests of Asia or South America. In fact, it is created by humans from its mother plants Alocasia Longiloba and Alocasia sanderiana. Most of the plant’s sellers say that this plant is a rainforest plant. But in reality, it is not a tropical plant. Even it is not naturally found in any rainforest of the world.
Yes, its parents are the real tropical plants that are naturally found in many tropical rainforests. But this plant is developed by American Horticultural Scientists in the Lab of Miami in the 1950s.
There was a person who has a plant nursery names Amazon nursery. He names this plant (Amazonica) in the honor of his plant collections. From that day the confusion starts and it is still in the community that this plant is native to Amazon forests.
The plant has beautiful dark green broad leaves with silver lines on the front side. The leaves can grow to a maximum size of 15 inches. Again, the health and size of the plants are totally depending on the given care.
In a low light environment, it grows 1 foot tall. The maximum height of this plant can be 2 feet. Which is only possible if you grow it outside or under grow lights.
Quick care guide
|Common Names||Alocasia polly, Alocasia Amazonica, African mask plant|
|Height||1 to 2 feet tall|
|Temperature||17 to 25 Degrees C|
|Water||Keep soil moist|
|Light||Indirect bright light|
|Fertilizer||Every 3 to 4 weeks|
Growing Alocasia Polly
This plant does not demand much care like many other topical houseplants. The reason is it is derived from tropical plants. It is a hybrid version of them. This means it is developed according to the US environment. It can tolerate more than its parent plants.
Let’s find out what it needs to grow healthy in an indoor environment.
Light & Temperature
Alocasia Polly does not need much sunlight to grow. Indirect bright light is good for growing Alocasia plants. Direct Sun rays damage the plant. It is possible that the large size leaves can tolerate them. But the new small leaves surely die in few hours.
Put it in the place where it only gets bright indirect light. The light source can be SUN or a grow light. Grow lights are made to grow plants indoors. These lights emit light of the same spectrum that the sun emits. Buy a low wattage light for your tropical houseplants. Hang the grow light minimum 2 feet above the plant.
Only use LED grow lights because they are efficient and do not release heat. Growing African mask plants need normal temperature for good growth. You need to maintain the indoor temperature anywhere between 17 to 25 degrees C.
If it drops below the plant leaves start dying. Once the all-plant leaves gone it is hard to revive the plant.
Also, in the winter season do not put the plant pot next to the heat vents. This heat dries the plant and potting soil. You need to give it water almost every day if you do so. Keeping plants healthy and alive in winters is not an easy job. But once you learn how to deal with it. Then you can grow any type of plant easily.
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Water & Humidity
Alocasia Polly is not a 100% tropical plant. It has genes of topical plants so the logic says it needs water like tropical plants. But not in reality because it has a thick stem. Thick stem plants stored water in their stems and leaves. Alocasia Amazonica also stores a good amount of water in its main stem.
So that it can use this water to save itself from dryness. It cannot handle the drought and leaves start dying in such conditions. The watering good practice is to allow the upper 2 inches of soil to dry before watering. This way you can save your plant from overwatering and root rot.
As I said above this particular plant needs 50 % humidity in the air. But this does not mean little ups and down harm it. In fact, it can tolerate the humidity that we have inside our houses.
Just in case you feel that the plant is suffering from low humidity. You can turn ON your humidifier or put the plant in your bathroom. Or put the plant on the pebble tray. Use any method according to the situation of the plant and your convenience.
The plant stores water in the stems therefore it does not need heavy soil. Heavy soil is required for plants that cannot store water for long hours. Well-draining and aerated soil is necessary for growing African mask plants. The quality of soil plays important role in the health of a plant.
If you are new and don’t have knowledge about the soil. And are confused about which soil to use. In this situation, the best thing you can do is buy ready to use potting soil. Go to your near garden soil and ask them the best houseplant soil.
Commercially sold houseplant potting soil is prepared in the factories. You can use such soil for growing all types of plants in pots.
For best deals and discounts visit Amazon Potting soil section.
Do not use your garden soil if you are planning to grow Alocasia Amazonica in containers. If you are growing it outside then the garden soil is best. For Indoor plants never ever use garden soil. Because it contains many types of good or bad organisms. Always follow the recommended guideline for the best possible growth.
For the best possible growth and bright color leaves. You need to feed the plant only in its growing stage. Which is from spring to summer. Do not fertilize on cold days of winters because plants stop growing these days. Fertilizing at this time means over-fertilizing the plants. Anything over the limit is not good for us and even for plants as well.
In the active phase use liquid fertilizer for container plants and powder fertilizer for outdoor plants. Fertilize Alocasia polly only 2 times a month. If the soil you use to grow it includes compost or any other slow-releasing fertilizer. In this case, do not fertilize it at any cost.
The nutrients in the soil are sufficient to grow this short-height plant.
Only low strength houseplant fertilizer is recommended. The use of any high power or highly concentrated fertilizer can burn the plant. It is very hard to revive the plant once it is burned due to the high-power nutrients.
If possible, use synthetic fertilizer. Because they are way more suitable than organic ones for indoor growing alocasia Polly plants. When we grow vegetables then we need to use organic nutrients. Because vegetables are our food. But in this case, you are not going to eat Alocasia Amazonica. So, you can use synthetic fertilizers without hesitation.
To repot, the plant, select the one size bigger pot. Extra-large pots can cause problems. Because such pots store large amounts of water. Excess water causes root rot. If the plant roots get affected by the root fungus. Then your plant surely dies in 2 weeks unless you notice it early and fix it.
There is only one solution to the problem, remove the damaged part of the roots. Then plant it again in the new pot with new potting soil.
The best method of propagation is the division method. In this technique, we separate the baby plants from the mother plants. Baby plants are the new small size plants with tiny leaves.
To remove small plants, use a garden hose to loosen up the soil. Do not take out the pant from the pot. After taking out the small plants put them in the new potting soil in a new container. They will grow exactly like their parent plants.
Like many tropical plants, Alocasia Polly is toxic to cats and dogs. It will become toxic only when consumed in large quantities. Just keep the plant out of the reach of the children and pets. Cats and dogs are clever animals. They smell the plants once and know about the nature of the plant.
If accidentally anyone consumes it, immediately call the doctor or poison control center. For animals call the Veterinarian for advice.
Common Growing Problems
As we all know this plant is soft and delicate. This means it is not highly resistant to plant diseases. Root rot, crown, stem rot are common plant diseases. When you see dark black or brown spots on leaves. This indicates that your plant is suffering from a disease. One thing that is common in all these diseases is water. Overwatering triggers all these diseases.
To prevent them water your plants responsibly. Also, provide good air circulation to your growing plants.
Aphids, Spider mites, Mealybugs are commonly found pests. To prevent them wash your plant with insecticidal soap or use neem spray. Insecticidal soap is only recommended when the plants are suffered from pests.
Whereas neem oil is good to use as a preventive method. You should use it on all your houseplants. This will not cause any harm to them. In fact, neem oil will keep Alocasia polly plants safe and prevent all diseases and pests.