Do you fancy a dark plant with an honest look? Look no further; Alocasia Black Violet is a gorgeous indoor plant that will radiate your home. The aroid’s leaves are heart-shaped and black. Leaves are full of prominent silvery or white veins.
A fully grown Alocasia makes enviable floor pots, while you can create vivariums and good table pots using the smaller plants. True to its moniker, “the little queen,” Alocasia is a must-have. Continue reading to find out more about this fantastic aroid.
• Scientific name: Alocasia Reginula
• Common name: the little queen
• Origin: Borneo
• Indoor/outdoor plant: Both although it thrives more indoors
• Height; structure: it has an average height of between 30 to 50 cm. the plant’s width spans around 20-25 cm.
• Temperature: ranges between 59 to 80 degrees Celsius. It cannot do well in areas below 55 degrees.
• Flower color: it does not flower when indoors. Flowers are not good looking
Spring and early summer are the ideal times to plant the black velvet. Winters cold takes a toll on the plants. Heat absorbs water from the air and puts the plants in danger of a spider mite invasion or leaf disfigurement. You can use a humidifier to provide good humidity during winter, enabling you to grow your Alocasia.
When planting more than one Alocasia rhizome in lace or pot, keep a distance of at least 50 cm between the plantlets. Through this, the tubers will get enough space to grow unhindered. Lastly, put the holding pot in place full of indirect sunlight.
The plant requires bright indirect light. Direct sun burns the leaves, so refrain from placing the plant in a spot with direct sun rays. The aroid does not tolerate low light conditions. If you live in a humid environment, cease placing the plant near a heater or air conditioner.
Alocasia black velvet does well in free draining coarse soil. A mix of the two forms a rich soil where your plant will thrive. The soil allows the roots to aerate. Potting mixes for the aroid should contain perlite, peat, organic matter, and coconut coir. The potting mix should have good drainage and the ability to hold moisture without hitting getting saturated.
Growing an Alocasia black velvet plant from the bulb stage may seem like a daunting task that experts preserve. In reality, it is easy to grow Alocasia as the bulb does the primary work. To start growing black velvet, you need the following:
- A ready Alocasia waiting to be repotted
- A small container together with a lid. The containers should be shallow.
- Leca balls (optional).
Buy an Alocasia; if you have one at hand, look if it has some bulbs. Remove it carefully from the pot and search the soil for solid round balls. If you find squishy bulbs, you will have to throw them away as the balls are rotten.
Scour the root system for Alocasia bulbs; the number of bulbs you will net from mature plants varies from 5-10. Keep in mind that the bulbs may be firm but still refuse to sprout. The higher the number of bulbs, the greater the odds of success.
Once you are done searching for bulbs, it’s time to transfer them into a small container filled with some water. Ensure that the bulbs do not get fully submerged in water to have access to both moisture and oxygen. Using a lid, cover the container and lay in wait.
You can top up the water levels every week once you notice that the levels have dipped. Another recommended idea is to open the lid for an hour daily to encourage circulation and prevent mold formation on the bulbs.
After the expiry of 4-6 weeks, you will notice some growth of long thin roots that are white. Keep the bulbs in water until they start forming leaves. You can now transfer the bulbs into Leca.
Leica is a growing medium that is similar to potting in usage. Houseplant fanatics use the medium to sprout other types of plants. Leca’s downside is its inability to have complete nutrients when compared to potting mixes. You can compensate for the lacking nutrients through external supply, ensure that you constantly boost the minerals for the wellbeing of the bulbs.
Once you successfully transfer the bulbs into a potting mix or leca, it is time to flex for the job well done. Remember not to overwater leca balls; fill the container halfway to give the plant access to water and oxygen.
The plant has a dormancy and growing season. During summer and spring, the aroid grows and matures faster. However, during winter, it goes dormant, the plant sheds its leaves, curtailing any growth. It remains in sleep mode until the suns shine again.
Some of the Alocasia plant leaves are heavy and can lead to dropping. Staking will help to put them in place and stop them from dropping.
You will have to be careful when watering the Alocasia plants. Too much water will cause root rot, while under watering encourages the growth of fungi and stalls the development of the plant. Before watering, first, ensure that the soil is thoroughly dried. Two dry inches are ideal for watering.
You can fertilize the Alocasia plant once a month. Scour for the correct type of fertilizer and use it at half strength to boost efficiency. If the black velvet has gone dormant, do not fertilize it; instead, wait for the plant to show signs of growth.
The ideal temperature for the plant ranges from59 degrees to 80 degrees. If you have planted your Alocasia in a cold area, it will likely remain dormant until the temperatures rise to warm. In warm areas, the plant is active all year round. Alocasia versatility allows even those in cold climates to plant it.
Alocasia black velvet does well in areas of high humidity. They can also thrive in medium humidity levels environment. You should maintain the humidity levels at 40%, although the ideal levels are 60%-75%. Because of the plant’s ability to thrive in average humidity, it can be grown anywhere.
Mulching helps to preserve moisture for the aroid in hot areas. It also protects against weeds.
The Alocasia black velvet is minimalist when it comes to trimming and pruning. All you need to do is remove any yellowish leaves and dead ones. You can also opt to do away with the plant’s lower leaves in a bid to maintain an appearance or shape that you fancy. Avoid over-pruning as it is detrimental to the plant.
Because of the texture of the plant’s leaves, it is mandatory to probe the leaves for debris and dust. Use a damp cloth to wipe off dust.
Alopecia is potted to replenish its soil. Visible and overgrown roots are the causes of potting; after some time, the pot may need a makeover leading to repotting. When roots supersede soil in a pot, repotting becomes necessary.
When repotting, choose a pot that is 2 inches bigger than the original one. Use bleach to wash pots that have been in use. Ensure that the pot you go for has drainage holes at the base.
The plant is propagated through rhizome division, cuttings, or planting of seeds. Both cuttings and seed propagation take a longer time and do not enjoy success like rhizome division. Early summer and spring present the best time to propagate the plant using rhizome division.
Start by getting alopecia from a pot and cut the tubers into different sizes, and group them.
Take the rhizomes and plant them in soil similar to the one in the pot that housed the plant. Ensure the planting area is surrounded by moderate humidity and indirect sunlight. Water the soil appropriately to evade root rot.
The plant usually is resistant to pests and diseases. However, if it is not adequately hydrated, it can be attacked by spider mites. If your plant comes under attack from the mites, isolate it from others if they are in pots. Wipe and rinse the plant to get rid of the mites. To avoid further problems from the spider mites, always ensure that the plants are properly hydrated.
Do not overhydrate as too much water or humidity causes root rot or fungal diseases. Signs of fungi are brown and black spots on the leaves of the Alocasia black velvet plant. Yellow leaves indicate an underlying problem; it can be cold temperatures, overwatering, or dehydration.
Once you establish the cause of the yellowness, cut off the leaves and adjust the cause to a favorable condition. Curling leaves are an indication of overwatering. Ensure that the soil around the plant is dry before rinsing it with more water. Remember, overwatering can lead to root rot.
Alocasia is a genus with around 79 recorded species. The plants are based in the subtropical and the tropical regions of eastern Australia and Asia. The species roots come in the forms of tubers and rhizomes.
Alocasia black velvet is harmful to pets and human beings when ingested. The plant calcium oxalate crystals irritate the digestive system and the mouth. If you consume it in massive amounts, you may suffer from a severe reaction. Keep Alocasia out of children and pets reach to protect them from potential poisoning.