What makes this plant special? Alocasia cuprea is unique because of its rare, white veins that draw attention to this plant. It is highly recommended for beginners because it requires little care.
- Scientific name and common names: Alocasia Cuprea, White Butterfly Alocasia
- Origin: New Guinea
- Indoor or Outdoor plant: Indoor
- Height and Structure: 6″ to 24″ tall with green leaves that are 6″ to 8″, webbed at the base, and Upright
- Temperature: 50-75 F (10-24 C)
- Flower Color: No flowers
Alocasia curpea is a plant that can be found in moist and wet areas in tropical climates. They thrive in soil that is rich and composted with peat, marsh muck, or loam and water regularly. Water deeply for 1 minute at least once a week, but make sure the soil doesn’t dry out completely.
Alocasia cuprea can be planted any time of the year, but the best time is from October to February, when you have a high chance of success. This is because the humidity is high during this time.
Plant Alocasia Cuprea at least 18 to 24 inches apart. They usually grow rapidly, so they should be placed where you can see them or where the leaves won’t block anything else. If you want more than one plant, make sure there are at least 20 inches between each one.
Alocasia cuprea is a plant that does not like to be moved often. Therefore, it thrives if you keep it in the same spot. However, they do best when placed under fluorescent lights for approximately 14 to 16 hours per day.
Alocasia cuprea thrives when the soil is acidic, so you should use an acid-potting soil mix. If it’s not in a container, make sure you have planted it in a drainable area because excess water can be harmful to this plant.
Alocasia cuprea plant grows at a moderate pace, so you should prune it to keep it in shape or ensure the roots do not compete with nearby plants. The leaves will start to droop after approximately 1 hour if they don’t have enough water. Also, Alocasia cuprea has no flowers and can live for 15-20 years.
When Alocasia Cuprea is put under stress, its leaves will droop. If this happens, place it in an area with less sunlight and more humidity for about a week. That way, the plant will recover and not require staking.
How to stake: How to stake: Put loose rocks (1″) around the base of the trunk where it meets the soil. Then use hemp rope or cotton fabric strips and tie them tightly around the neck of Alocasia Cuprea so you can support new growth.
You should water Alocasia cuprea deeply for one minute at least once a week, but don’t allow the soil to dry out completely. Reduce watering frequency in winter. The plants can also be watered with pure water (rainwater), without minerals (distilled water). If you are fertilizing (and it’s necessary), use liquid fertilizer or slow-release pellets.
Fertilizer feeding is not recommended because they grow quickly and need fewer nutrients than other plants due to their ability to absorb them from the soil. Therefore, Alocasia plant doesn’t require (or tolerate) fertilizers that contain heavy metals such as zinc, copper, and manganese. The best fertilizer to use is a fish emulsion or fish oil mixed in water.
Alocasia cuprea loves humidity. The leaves droop if not enough humidity is given (especially the first few months after repotting).
Alocasia cuprea benefits from mulching because it helps to keep moisture in the soil. Mulch should be applied around the base of Alocasia Cuprea. Maintain a 2-inch high layer of mulch to create an area for beneficial fungi to grow near roots, which will help plants absorb nutrients.
Alocasia Cupra doesn’t require pruning; however, you can prune it during its growing season (outdoors) to maintain its shape or size. It also helps to keep the plant under control and to allow room for new shoots. If you trim a stem, make sure it’s at least 3 inches long because Alocasia Cuprea does not grow from old wood.
Alocasia Cuprea is more than 50% of its weight in water. It needs to be watered often enough to moisten the soil and then some more so that excess water runs out of the pot’s drainage holes and down the saucer’s drain hole. How often: every day or two depends on how hot and sunny it is and how fast their roots dry out.
Alocasia Cuprea can be propagated by division in early spring or autumn. This is because the plant went dormant and is no longer growing.
Alocasia Cuprea can be divided into digging if the plant is too crowded. This is because Alocasia Cupra doesn’t transplant well and doesn’t like root disturbance unless you’re dividing it.
Where to divide Alocasia Cuprea: Where to divide Alocasia Cuprea: You can use a spade or shovel and dig down about 3 inches around the perimeter of the plant and gently lift out pieces of the plant along with their roots. Make sure each new division has a stem and at least 2 (better 3) leaves.
Alocasia Cuprea is susceptible to attack by aphids and whiteflies, especially when the plant is young. Treat for these pests as soon as you notice an infestation. The leaves will start to droop after approximately 1 hour if they don’t have enough water. Also, Alocasia cuprea has no flowers and can live for 15-20 years.
Alocasia Cuprea has different species. These are:
Alocasia odora – this plant is also called Alocasia ‘odora’ or Giant Taro. A large evergreen clump-forming species to 40-60 inches tall by 3 feet wide with edible taro-like corms & long arching leaves that are dark green above with a pronounced silvery-white midrib. The undersides of the leave are tinged purple; all have coarsely serrated margins and are often flushed red underneath, especially in cool weather.
Alocasia macrorrhiza – this plant is also called Elephant Ear – New Guinea. This variety is the hardiest of the genus for outdoor use in California, growing to 20 feet tall with leaves to 5 feet long by 2-3 feet wide, heart-shaped & held on short petioles. The undersides of the leaves are silver-gray with dark green veins.
Alocasia infernalis – also called Black Stem Alocasia – Elephant Ear – Zanzibar. A smaller variety can be grown in USDA zones 8-11. Grows to over 3′ tall over time & features large, shiny black stems ~10″ across adorned with deep purple heart-shaped leaves w/ black veins and teeth near tips. Leaves are glossy green above w/ purple undersurfaces highlighted by prominent dark veins outlined in pale green to white margins.
Alocasia plumbea – this plant is also called Alocasia – Black Magic, and it is a leafy evergreen dark black-purple.
Alocasia zebrina – this plant is also called Zebra Aluminum. Its leaves are green with narrow, irregular white veins and pink margins. The undersides of the leaves are purple, but they show through as stripes near the veins. (more on Alocasia Zebrina)
Alocasia gibbiflora – this plant is also called Giant Taro or Elephant Ear because that’s what it looks like! The dark-green leaves can grow to 2 feet long and almost as wide; each has a pale green underside and heart-shaped base. It’s smaller than its cousin (A. macrorhiza), growing between 1 and 3 feet tall, but the giant taro’s greater leaf production makes it seem bigger.
Alocasia cuprea is also called Alocasia ‘cupid’ or Isle of Flowers Elephant Ear because it has large dark green leaves 8 to 12 inches long with pink veins. The undersides of the leaves are silver. The backside of the leaf has pink color, which is very interesting! This plant is upright and shaped like an elephant ear.
Alocasia Cuprea can be planted with Alocasia Macrorhiza, Alocasia Variegata, and Alocasia Portora. Planting these species with Alocasia Cupra will enhance the attractiveness of both plants. They can also be used as a monochromatic landscape plant either in containers or in the ground. These companion species can grow well together, and you don’t want two species growing next to each other because they might start fighting each other.
The good neighbor for this plant is Paurotis wrightii variegata because it’s easy to maintain and does not need too much room, so it’s perfect for pots on your porch or deck.
Alocasia cuprea contains calcium oxalate crystals, which are raphide crystals that can irritate skin or mucus membranes. So please avoid touching it!
Although no toxicity has been reported for Alocasia Cuprea, it is best to keep this plant out of reach of children and pets just in case.
Alocasia Cuprea is not toxic for cats or dogs. This is because the toxicity of Alocasia Cuprea is reduced when it is dried.