Alocasia cucullata is a popular houseplant, as it is believed to bring good luck. In this post, we will learn how to grow Alocasia cucullata and make an addition to our home gardening ideas.
This beautiful evergreen plant is a hardy plant and requires minimum care, as such make it a preferred outdoor plant as well as an indoor plant in. home garden
The main attributes of the Alocasia cucullata which make it a popular indoor plant are its beautiful heart-shaped glossy green foliage with tall green stems with prominent veins.
The genus Alocasia comprises over 113 species and of several species, giant taro (Alocasia mycorrhizas) and Chinese taro (Alocasia cucullata) are cultivated as ornamentals and food plants.
Scientific name: Alocasia cucullata
Common name: Chinese taro
Other common names: Buddha’s hand, Chinese ape, dwarf elephant ear
Local common name: boga kachu, mukhi kochu, panchamukhi lkochu
Alocasia cucullata is a clump-forming evergreen herbaceous plant. It is grown as a food plant as well as ornamental plants.
It is native to the tropical and temperate regions of Asia. It is considered an invasive species in the understory of rainforests and moist areas along streams and riverbanks.
Alocasia cucullata is a perennial herb but in some areas, it behaves as an annual.
Alocasia cucullata is smaller varieties and its size makes it the most preferred plant for outdoor planting and pot planting.
Its evergreen and hardy nature make is suitable for a popular houseplant. The most popular form of growing this plant is on hanging baskets in office and living rooms.
The plant produces slender clear stems bearing dense foliage and all stems are clumped together. Its big heart shape leaves move with the slightest breeze which looks like elephant ears and as such, it is also known as dwarf elephant ear.
The physical appearance of the plant:
Alocasia cucullata has dark green leaves and has a beautiful glossy texture on look. The plant gives rise to dense leaves and all are bound closely together.
The Alocasia Cucullata are found in different sizes and reach different heights, a plant of about 150 cm seen in the natural habitat as well as in the kitchen garden.
Soil requirement of Alocasia cucullata
Alocasia cucullata plant grows well in loose, well-drained, and slightly loamy soil. In its natural habitat, Alocasia cucullata grows even on swampy soil.
If you are considering growing this plant on the container, the potting mixture should be rich in organic and well-aerated. In order to make potting mixer well-aerated adding perlite or peat moss is a better option.
The potting mix should be well-drained and friable loamy soil. The potting mix should not be too dry or wet to get the best performance from Alocasia cucullata.
Slightly acidic soil that is 5.5 to 6.5 pH is ideal for this plant and acidic soil helps the plant absorb nutrients more efficiently.
Alocasia cucullata should be placed in an area where light is bright and receive indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight may cause discoloration of leaves.
If the plant is to be planted outdoor, the young plant must be given hardening treatment in respect of light. A plant receiving ample light produces greener leaves.
In its natural habitat is a forest area of the tropical and temperate region of Asia, water from rain once a week is sufficient.
In the case of container planting, the watering need may vary depending on the season and where the plant is grown that is outdoor or indoor. The indoor plant may require more frequent watering than the outdoor plants.
The best way to know the requirement of water is to test 2 to 3 inches of soil for its dryness, if found dry, water may be given to the plant.
The plant requires less water during winter as it is a dormant period for them.
Overwatering should be avoided as it can cause discolored leaves and root rot.
Alocasia cucullata plants love humidity and grow best in an environment with high humidity levels. But excessive humidity also increases its susceptibility to infection and diseases. The plant performs best when the humidity range is between 65% to 80% and humidity below 60% will be harmful to the plant.
Alocasia cucullata should be repotted only once a year, at the start of the growing season. While repotting, the root system should not be disturbed – the crowded root system should be kept as it is.
The cucullata plants have a natural tendency to become root-bound as such a container that can rightly accommodate its roots without leaving extra space is the best for repotting.
A good habit is to give the right dose of NPK fertilizer every two weeks, especially during the growing period that is starting of spring to starting of the autumn season.
Fertilizer need not be given during the winter season as the plant is not in active growth and it may increase the unnecessary accumulation of salts in the soil and is harmful to the plant.
The natural habitat of Alocasia Cucullata is tropical forest and as such, this plant loves warm temperatures. It performs best within the temperature range of 17 to 23 degree Celsius. Below 15-degree Celsius temperature, Alocasia shed its all leaves.
If the temperature of the area is high, the plant should be kept indoors.
The plant should not be kept near exhaust fan, air-conditioner, and heater
Propagation of Alocasia cucullata
The alocasia plants grow from rhizomes in the soil and can be propagated by splitting the rhizomes. The best time for propagation of this plant is during spring or right before the start of summer.
Conclusion: how to grow Alocasia cucullata
Alocasia cucullata is a tropical evergreen fast-growing plant. It is easy to grow and is hardy plants. As a houseplant, it is best suitable for a spacious room such as a living room, entrance, office, or commercial building.
Its leave contains oxalate crystals, as such, it can be harmful when eaten. Therefore keep the plant away from children and pets.
Concluding: Tips on how to grow Alocasia cucullata
The plant grows best in bright light to diffused shade. The plant should not be exposed to direct sunlight as this may burn the leaves.
The potting mix should be kept moist with water. The complete dry condition of the soil is not good for the plant. Watering in small quantities and often is recommended.
The plant needs a moist environment and must be above average.
The plant may be given slow-release fertilizer. Given fertilizer once in a month is enough and fertilizer should be given during the growing period only.
The Alocasia cucullata goes through the dormant period and during this period leaves faded away and die. So, such happening is normal.
Alocasia cucullata is a fast-growing plant.
The plant is harmful if eaten and causes irritation to the eye and skin.
We hope this post on how to grow Alocasia cucullata has been helpful to you and is an addition to your home gardening ideas and Alocasia cucullata add greenery to your beautiful home gardening