Remember the story of Jack and the Beanstalk? Doesn’t Alocasia Amazonica (Elephant’s Ear) look like Jack’s legendary plant? Although it is a myth and imaginary, but we prefer to believe it and consider this plant magical. Continue reading this article in TooPlant in order to learn more about how to grow and care for Elephant’s Ear.
Introduction of Elephant’s Ear (Alocasia Amazonica)
Before addressing how to care for Elephant’s Ear, please allow us to give you a brief introduction about this houseplant.
|Botanical Name||Alocasia X Amazonica|
|Common Name(s)||Elephant’s Ear, Amazonian Elephant’s Ear, Alocasia Amazonica, Alocasia Polly, African Mask|
The attractive appearance and large size of Alocasia Amazonica’s leaves make this plant also known as ‘Elephant’s Ear’. Elephant’s Ear belongs to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, where its leaves play an umbrella-like role for the plant. But around 1950, this plant entered the home as one of the most beautiful houseplants and is still one of the most popular and nostalgic houseplants. We love the attractive and tall appearance of this plant.
In this article, we want to provide you with information about how to care for Elephant’s Ear, so stay tuned with Tooplant.
Care for Elephant’s Ear
In this part, we will focus on the most important aspects which you need to take into consideration while treating this houseplant. The best methods of how to care for Elephant’s Ear include as follows:
Light is among the first important issues to care for Elephant’s Ear. In general, the range of light received by Alocasia Polly (Alocasia Amazonica) varies from shade to full sunlight and varies depending on the specific type of plant. Be sure to ask the seller of the plant about the amount of light required.
It is interesting to know that Elephant’s Ear, which needs more light, usually produces more colorful leaves! Elephant’s Ear prefers adequate but indirect sunlight. Keep it out of the way of sunlight and make sure it is not burning in the sun!
So, as shown above, light plays a significant role to care for Elephant’s Ear.
In the rest, concerning the tips of caring for an Elephant’s Ear, it is better to know that keep the Alocasia Amazonica moist all year round, because it is a water-loving plant! This has made Alocasia Polly watering a sensitive issue. Because you have to keep the soil moist and at the same time prevent it from sinking. You can use your finger to remove a few centimeters of soil surface and measure the amount of moisture. If the soil was dry, you should water the indoor plant.
Therefore, watering is another important aspect in order to care for Elephant’s Ear.
Elephant’s Ear needs less watering due to entering the dormant season during the winter. We recommend watering it regularly but sparingly. Note that Alocasia Polly houseplant is very prone to root rot due to watering. Water it twice a week in spring and once a week in winter. Do not worry after it stops growing in winter, it will return in spring.
In this way, to care for Elephant’s Ear, watering is considered to be of great significance.
Intending to care for Elephant’s Ear, the other crucial matter is soil. Plant Elephant’s Ear in porous pot soil (with excellent drainage) or clay mixed with coarse grains. Allow the topsoil to dry almost completely before each watering. This helps keep the plant soil “wet” after full watering, not soaking wet. Flooded soil is the main cause of fungal diseases.
Thus, it can be said that, soil is another basic and important issue so as to care for Elephant’s Ear.
Humidity and Temperature
Now, we come to temperature and humidity which are assumed to be principal to care for Elephant’s Ear in addition to light, watering and soil that are mentioned above. As the temperature drops below 15 degrees Celsius, Elephant’s Ear will have trouble. Some species even die as the air cools and germinate again from their rhizomes. This beautiful houseplant will grow wonderfully in humid weather.
Moisture is another thing which we need to inevitably pay attention to when talking about how to care for Elephant’s Ear. You can use the water tray method to increase the humidity around the plant. First, place the pot in a tray full of pebbles, then pour water over the pebbles until the water level in the tray is close to the bottom of the pot. This system can improve the humidity for Alocasia Amazonica. Be careful that the pot does not come into direct contact with the water in the tray. Keep your Elephant Ear away from cold winds blowing through windows, doors and cooling devices. Therefore, please do not forget to take humidity into consideration in order to care for Elephant’s Ear in the best way.
When you want to care for Elephant’s Ear, one of the important questions that may come to your mind is “what is the best fertilizer?” In what follows, we will address how to fertilize this plant:
Elephant’s Ear is prone to high levels of fertilizer, especially in large species. During the growing seasons (spring and summer), regularly strengthen the plant by adding liquid fertilizer. You can also use granular fertilizers in small quantities. Nitrogen fertilizer is also suitable for this plant.
As a result, we could say that fertilizer is regarded as one of the fundamental issues when someone wants to care for Elephant’s Ear.
In order to care for Elephant’s Ear, toxicity is considered to be a major issue because it directly relates to your health especially children. Alocasia Amazonica is a very poisonous plant. The leaves of this indoor plant contain crystalline oxalate. If a human or animal chews these leaves or puts them in their mouth, these insoluble crystals will come out of the leaf. This will eventually cause inflammation and swelling of the mouth and gastrointestinal damage. In very rare cases, the airway also becomes very inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. Therefore, keep Elephant Ear out of the reach of your children and animals, and if they eat a leaf of the plant, be sure to see a doctor.
How To Propagate Elephant’s Ear?
When you want to care for Elephant’s Ear, another important question that may come to your mind is “how to propagate it.”
Step 1: Carefully remove the mother plant from the pot. Gently remove the soil around the roots with your fingers.
Step 2: Gently divide the root ball into small lumps. Make sure that each isolated mass has at least a few potato-shaped tubers between the roots. You may need to use a sharp knife, razor or scissors to cut the roots. Each isolated mass will become a new plant.
Step 3: Plant each part in a separate pot. Their soil must be fresh and able to drain well. You can increase drainage by adding a little perlite. After planting in the soil, you should water the plant. You can even put them in water before direct transfer to the soil and allow them to take root in a container of water before planting. Place these fresh plants in an environment away from cooling/heating devices and provide a stable environment for them. Caring for them is like caring for an adult Elephant’s Ear. Of course, to begin with, it is better to have a slightly warm environment.
Caring for Elephant’s Ear: Common Pests and Diseases
In the remaining, concerning the methods of caring for an Elephant’s Ear, it is better to know that although Elephant Ear looks like a hardy plant, it is also a bit sensitive. Different parts of this indoor plant (like leaves, stems and roots) can suffer from various plant problems and diseases.
Signs of the disease in Alocasia Amazonica usually appear as brown/black spots with a yellow border on the surface of the leaves.
Preventing these problems is almost simple. You can provide the conditions for healthy growth by not overwatering, keeping the leaves dry and providing proper air circulation near the plant.
The most common pests of Elephant’s Ear are ordinary bedbugs, flour mites, aphids and spider mites. To prevent the presence of pests, you can spray all parts of the plant with soap and water solution every few weeks. This helps keep the plant healthy and removes dust. But if the plant is affected by these pests, you can use neem oil or special disinfectant solutions. This type of product will kill both pests and their seeds.
After a description of taking care of a Elephant’s Ear, we will explain the problems and their solutions:
Why Are Alocasia Polly Leaves Turning Yellow?
As “leaves turning yellow” is one of the common problems that you may face when you want to care for Elephant’s Ear, we tried to describe the reasons and the ways to solve it in details. 4 Common causes for yellowing leaves on Alocasia Amazonica house plants include the following:
1. Improper watering
The most common cause of yellowing of the leaves of an Elephant’s Ear is improper soil moisture or owerwatering. Alocasia Polly likes to live in moist (but not wet and saturated) soil. So having a good watering plan is very key.
When watering Alocasia Amazonica, you should continue watering until the excess amount comes out through the drainage holes under the pot. It is very important to constantly empty the pot and keep it dry.
If you do not throw away the water left in the pot, the base of the plant will get wet. An unfortunate event that damages the roots, eventually leading to the death of the plant. The yellowing and browning of Alocasia Amazonica’s leaves are the first possible signs of root rot.
It is very important to provide proper and stable moisture for Elephant’s Ear. The constant fluctuation of the soil between extreme wetting and absolute drought causes the plant anxiety; Do not forget that Alocasia Polly is not resistant to drought. So unlike some other plants, you should not leave it completely dry between waterings.
2. Humidity level
Low humidity and dry soil cause wilting and the appearance of brown spots on the surface of Alocasia Amazonica leaves. Yellowing or browning of the entire leaves and their shedding are further complications.
If you want to make the conditions ideal for its growth, it is better to increase the humidity of the environment yourself. Methods such as spraying water on the plant, using an air humidifier or placing a pot on a tray of water and pebbles are very effective.
3. Inadequate lighting
To care for Elephant’s Ear, it is better to know that Elephant’s Ear best growth takes place under abundant but indirect sunlight. However, it can withstand moderate light. If the plant is exposed to direct radiation for a long time, the leaves will burn. It is true that Alocasia Amazonica can adapt to low light environments, but his growth rate will slow down. Now, if the light is too low for him, yellow leaves will appear.
A weak or anxious Alocasia Amazonica is more likely to be attacked by insects. Sucking insects, like spider mites, can swallow all the moisture and fluids in your plant! This problem quickly manifests itself as the petals and stems turn yellow. Bedbugs, mealybugs and spider mites are found in abundance in houseplants. If you do not destroy them in time, they will multiply, pass through the stems and will be present in all parts of the plant. In fact, their piercing mouth empties the plant from within and accelerates the yellowing of the leaves. Especially if your Alocasia Polly has been sick or shocked before due to poor lighting, lack of essential nutrients or watering problems.
In what follows, concerning the methods of caring for an Elephant’s Ear, it is better to know that some yellowing is normal.
Is your Elephant’s Ear growing new leaves?
If you see new and young parts in the plant, you should not worry about falling old leaves. These leaves are generally in the lower part of the plant and their yellowing is completely natural. In fact, by shedding old leaves, the plant sends its energy to expand its young leaves.
Brown Spots on Alocasia Amazonica Leaves (Causes and Treatment)
In response to the question “what can I do with Brown Alocasia leaves?” It is better to do these:
1. Provide some shade for it
To care for Elephant’s Ear, it is better to know that although the Elephant Ear should live in full sunlight, it will sometimes grow better in a little shade. If the edges of your Alocasia Amazonica leaves are turning brown and the leaves are about to burn, it means that the plant is receiving too much light. Try to create a temporary shadow for it with a device. Like big umbrellas, high chairs or even a piece of cloth that you have drawn on the light entrance. See if the browning process has stopped after a few days?
If you have to water the Elephant’s Ear regularly due to the rapid drying of the soil; This also means that a lot of sunlight shines on the plant. If the sun is a problem for your houseplant, move it to a partially shaded area or provide a sunscreen.
2. Pay attention to watering
Overwatering or underwatering can both cause the leaves to turn brown. But dehydration seems to be the reason why the tips of the leaves turn brown. You know that Alocasia Amazonica is a hydrophilic plant, so obviously it will be badly damaged if it does not get enough water and suffers from drought conditions. Before watering, check the soil of the indoor plant. Make a hole about 10 cm in the soil and measure its moisture. If it was dry, you should increase the frequency of watering. If it was still wet, wait a few days and reduce the frequency of watering a little.
3. Limit pesticides use
If you have recently used an insecticide to get rid of aphids or spider mites, and today you are seeing the leaves turn brown, they have probably suffered chemical burns. Although these types of products are useful for killing pests; Unfortunately, some house plants do not respond well to them. Especially if you have used more than the recommended amount.
Before using chemical and industrial methods, it is better to try alternative home methods. Spider mites and aphids can be controlled by spraying water on the surface of the leaves and the body of the indoor plant weekly. The spray should be high intensity.
A household pesticides mixture such as soap and water is also very effective, always have it ready to spray on the plant surface as soon as you see it. In this way, the houseplant will tolerate less anxiety compared to chemicals.
4. Fungal and bacterial diseases
To care for Elephant’s Ear, it is better to know that Bacterial and fungal stains (such as Phyllosticta) are a health threat to Elephant’s Ear. These diseases will eventually cause brown spots to appear on the surface of the leaves. Stains can coalesce and, if leaf untreated, can form large brown patches on the surface. Stains can coalesce and, if left untreated, can form large brown patches on the surface. The best way to control such infections is to water the indoor plant in the early hours of the day. Watering should always be done on the soil surface and never wet the body and leaves (do not pour water on the plant from above.) Remove the diseased leaves from the houseplant and discard all discarded leaves. Do not compost them.
Elephant’s Ear Health Benefits (6 tips you should know about them)
Numerous medicinal properties have been reported for Elephant’s Ear. Some of the most important of them are as follows:
1. Its cooked stem is used as an anti-constipation medicine, its chopped roots and leaves are used as a yeast medicine and its petal extract (leaflet) is also used to fight cough.
2. Alocasia Amazonica is used as a skin irritant to treat skin blemishes or even reduce fever.
3. In some cases, the rhizome of the Elephant’s Ear is used as a dressing to treat acne.
4. To care for Elephant’s Ear, it is better to know that Elephant Ear root is cold and dry and purifies the blood and is useful for general strengthening of the body and causes transpiration and decoction of its leaves relieves dizziness.
5. Its pounded stem is placed like a thick worm on the scorpion sting. Even the extract of some types of Alocasia (Alocasia Cucullata) is effective in treating poisoning caused by arrows and spears. In China, this type of Alocasia is used to heal snakebites.
6. The rhizomes, stems and leaves of Elephant’s Ear are also useful as fodder for cattle and horses. The rhizome of this plant is a rich source of a special type of flour and starch that is widely used in local cuisine.
These medical and therapeutic uses, along with ornamental applications, make this plant an ideal choice for planting and maintenance.
Care For Elephant’s Ear (7 Essential Tips)
Continue reading this article in order to learn 7 Essential Tips about how to care for Elephant’s Ear:
1. Since Elephant’s Ear is a tropical and forest plant, it should always live in moist soil. Water it so that the soil is slightly moist throughout the year, but do not allow it to become completely dry or waterlogged. In winter, its growth rate will decrease, so you should reduce the amount of watering a little. The most important time to check for soil changes is when the seasons change in the spring and autumn.
2. Plant Alocasia Amazonica in a pot with well-drained porous soil. You can combine two parts of African violet soil with regular potting soil or use a mixture of equal parts of coal, perlite, peat and potting soil.
3. This beautiful plant will grow significantly in bright and indirect sunlight. A window that does not receive direct light, such as north or east windows, can be a great place for Alocasia Polly to live. If you have an outdoor space such as a yard, patio, balcony, etc., you can move it out of the house in the warm seasons. Since Elephant Ear is toxic to humans and pets, choose a place that is out of reach of children and animals.
4. In the remaining, concerning the tips of caring for an Elephant’s Ear, it is better to know that Elephant’s Ear enjoys high humidity. Place the pot on a tray containing pebbles and water. These pebbles hold the bottom of the pot just above the water and prevent them from coming into direct contact with each other. By evaporating water, this system makes the air around the plant completely pleasant and humid.
5. To care for Elephant’s Ear, you can put all your tropical plants together; This proximity helps to create a more humid environment for them. To complete this small area, it is better to place an air humidifier next to them. As we know from our descriptions, the best place for it is the wettest place! If you have a skylight in your bathroom, you can place an Elephant’s Ear on the edge of the window. There it will receive enough light and will be completely satisfied with the humidity caused by the water shower.
6. Three to four times a year, give that liquid fertilizer for houseplants. Repot every few years when the root of the plant is over-compressed. (Signs of this include the continuation of the roots coming out from under the pot and the rapid passage of water through the soil. Because the roots are so compressed that they are not able to absorb water). Before planting Alocasia Amazonica in a new pot with fresh soil, check the roots thoroughly. If there is a part of a different color, withered or rotten in it, cut it with a sharp knife.
7. Elephant’s Ear may also bloom, but its blooms are not very lasting and attractive. Very small flowers that grow between pale petals and are surrounded by white or light green sections.
Infographic Of How To Care For Elephant’s Ear
In this article, we tried to explain to you in an infographic the essential tips in the care of Elephant’s Ear, so that you can briefly and usefully learn the methods of caring for this plant.
In The End
In this article, we tried to provide you with the necessary information about the methods of caring for a Elephant’s Ear.