Alocasia plants are grown from underground storage structures called corms. These corms can be propagated by division or by planting individual corms. Here are the steps to grow Alocasia corms:
- Choose a suitable location: Alocasia plants prefer bright, indirect light, which means placing them near a window that receives filtered light, or in a room with bright, but not direct, sunlight. In addition, Alocasias need a warm and humid environment, so it’s recommended to keep them in a room with a temperature range of 65-85°F (18-29°C) and humidity levels of around 60%. A bathroom with a window, or a humidifier nearby, can be a good spot for your Alocasia plant.
- Plant the corm: Select a pot that is slightly larger than the corm itself and has drainage holes at the bottom to avoid waterlogging. Use a well-draining potting soil, such as a mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. Place the corm in the center of the pot, with the pointed end facing upwards, and cover it with soil until it’s fully buried. The top of the corm should be about an inch or so below the surface of the soil.
- Provide proper care: Alocasias require consistent moisture, but they don’t like to be waterlogged. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry. Be careful not to overwater or underwater the plant, as both can be detrimental to its health. During the growing season (spring to fall), fertilize the plant every two to three weeks with a balanced fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing in the winter when the plant is dormant.
- Propagate by division: Alocasia plants can grow large and outgrow their pots. When this happens, it’s time to divide the plant into smaller pieces. Gently remove the plant from its pot and carefully separate the corms. Each corm should have at least one healthy root and one or two leaves. Repot each corm into a separate container, following the same planting steps above.
- Watch for pests and diseases: Alocasia plants can be vulnerable to pests such as spider mites and mealybugs, which can be controlled by wiping down the plant’s leaves with a soapy solution or insecticide. Also, Alocasias are susceptible to root rot, which can occur if the soil is too wet or if the plant is kept in a pot that is too large. To avoid root rot, only water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry, and avoid watering the leaves. If you suspect root rot, remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots. If the roots are brown and mushy, cut away the affected roots and repot the plant in fresh soil.
With proper care and maintenance, Alocasia corms can grow into beautiful and healthy plants.