Alocasia zebrine is a very rare plant seldom seen in the wild. It comes from India and is very similar to Alocasia Micholitziana. It is a beautiful plant with light green leaves 2ft long with dark green veins running through them. It also has silver spots that look like an artist painted on them. The plants can get quite large, especially in the shade where they will reach 3 ft tall and as broad as 2ft.
A unique thing about this plant is the flower form it takes. It emerges from the center of the leaf on almost a pencil-thin stem that looks like an obelisk.
- Scientific name: Alocasia zebrina
- Common names: It is sometimes called the elephant ear plant due to the shape of its leaves, but this name applies to other plants of the Alocasia family. other common names include tiger plant due to its stem that resemble a tiger, and Zebra Alocasia.
- Bloom time: Rarely blooms in cultivation. It must be grown under particular conditions to set seed and reproduce successfully. The flowers are not very showy either because they produce a foul odor, primarily what attracts the night-scented beetle pollinators.
- Origin: India
- Appearance: Dark green, large leaves with silver spots. There are also tinges of red on the underside of the leaves when they are young.
- Size: 3 ft tall, 2ft wide
- Flower Color: Yellow.
This plant can be challenging to grow from seed, but if you do manage to get seeds, it should be planted in a substrate of soil and peat while planting the sprouting seedling. The most appropriate season for planting is spring. If you cannot get the seeds to sprout in the spring, they can be planted from cuttings during the summer months.
This plant needs a humid environment, and it is recommended to plant this in very enriched soil and surround the roots with moss or put damp peat over the top of it. The plant should be watered at least one time per week. If it is hot, you can give it more water. Overwatering this plant once in a while is not a problem, but it should never be allowed to dry out. It should also not be overwatered frequently as this could cause root rot.
If you are planting this in your garden, it should be 20-30 ft away from any other plants. This is because the root network is expansive and will compete with other plants for water and nutrients. It is also recommended to plant it in an area where there is high humidity.
At the same time, you should not put these plants too close together because it will cause problems transporting water and nutrients throughout the plants. This plant generally does better when planted alone than if you had planted 3-4 on top of each other.
This plant likes shade, and the leaves will begin to turn yellow if it is getting too much light. It would be best to plant this in an area where it gets some dappled sunlight or afternoon shade. If you are growing it in an area with no natural shade, you can always grow it under something else. If you are trying to get the plant to flower, it will require total sun exposure for about 20 hours a day.
This plant requires a soil that is moist but not boggy. It will also do better in an area where the soil drains very well because it has relatively shallow roots. If you are growing this potted, peat moss is recommended as your primary substrate for your potting soil. You can use sand or perlite to make it drain better.
Fertilizer should be used sparingly, if at all. Because of this plant’s particular substrate and watering needs, it is best not to fertilize more than one time a year in early spring or fall around September/October. If you decide to put fertilizer on your Alocasia Zebrina, it is best to use high magnesium and low nitrogen fertilizer.
This plant is slow-growing, but it can reach up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. This plant is long-lasting because the leaves do not decay quickly like other plants. It also has relatively large root systems that do not diminish over time. It does well in containers because of this characteristic as well as its looks.
This plant is better left unstaked because the stalks are not very strong, and they will bend over if the weight of the leaves and flowers becomes too heavy.
This plant does not require mulching because of its extensive root system. Mulch will reduce the amount of water that reaches the roots, so it is best to skip this step.
You can prune dead leaves off anytime you feel inclined to do so, but it is better to leave them on the plant as they break down from organic matter. If you do not want to have them on your plant, you can wipe them off with a damp cloth.
This plant does propagate by seed and root division. It is best to separate the roots and replant them in an enriched soil or sand substrate. You can propagate it by seed by placing the seeds in a pot with soil and allowing them to germinate.
If you have a plant getting too big, separate the root system into pieces around 1 foot in length and replant them in moist soil or sand substrate. This can be done any time of year.
Alocasia zebrina is not a very sensitive plant, and it does not have many pests or diseases. Aphids, mealybugs, and mites can be a problem with this plant, but they can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil if you find any insects on your plant.
Alocasia Nymphaeifolia is similar to Alocasia zebrina, but its leaves tend to be smaller, and it only grows to be about 1 foot tall.
Nepenthes Stanleyana is another similar plant, but this one has larger leaves, and the veins on those leaves are noticeable. It also only grows to be about 1 foot tall.
Anthurium Andraeanum is the most similar plant in comparison to Alocasia zebrina. They are almost identical, but Anthurium Andraeanum is not hardy in cold temperatures.
Alocasia zebrina is also sometimes confused with Colocasia Esculenta because they are both dark-leaved plants with similar traits. However, Alocasia zebrina has a textured vein pattern throughout the leaf, unlike C. Esculenta, which has a smoother vein pattern.
Colocasia Esculenta, Anthurium andraeanum, Alocasia Sanderiana, Philodendron Domesticum, Hedera helix Ivy plant, and Strelitzia Nicolai all act as good companions for Alocasia zebrina.
The plant is toxic, just like many other plants in the Alocasia family. If ingested in large amounts, the plant can cause adverse reactions in people. The sap of this plant can irritate skin and eyes if it comes into contact with them. The plant should be kept away from children and pets because of this. It produces calcium oxalate crystals.
Common signs to watch for in case of poisoning in pets and children.
- Pawing at the face or mouth
- Oral pain
- Decreased appetite
The biggest problem with this plant is its sensitivity to cold temperatures. If you live in a climate that has winter, you should make sure your plant receives plenty of sunlight during the warmer months so it will be strong enough to withstand the colder months of the year. Alocasia zebrina does not like to be in water either, so keep that in mind when watering your plant.
If you live in a climate that does not get icy, and there is no chance of frost, then Alocasia zebrina should do fine outside during the summer months.
If you have been caring for your Alocasia zebrina plant, and it all of a sudden begins dropping leaves, then this is likely caused by root rot. It can be caused by over-watering or under-watering the plant. If you think that the problem may be rooted in its soil being too wet or too dry, adjust accordingly.
Brown spots or patches on the leaves of your plant are likely due to over-watering or cold temperatures. Be sure to take better care in watering your plant. Also, if you believe the temperature is too low for your Alocasia zebrina plant, then move it to a warmer spot.
The tips of your Alocasia zebrina plant are browning and dying. If you have noticed the tips on your plant beginning to turn brown, then this is likely due to water damage or cold temperatures. Be sure that you are only watering the roots of the plant, not its leaves. Also be sure that it will not get too cold for this plant, especially if you plan on leaving it outdoors during the colder months.
Leaves are yellowing and dropping. If your Alocasia zebrina leaves are turning yellow and falling off of the plant, then this is likely due to under-watering or over-watering.
Alocasia zebrina is a beautiful, exotic-looking plant that does not require too much maintenance. Just make sure to keep it in a place where it can get plenty of sunlight and out of a place with lots of moisture or standing water.