Some plants grab your attention with their blooms, some with their size, or viney-ness, and some grab you with their amazing foliage- the Alocasia amazonica, or African Mask plant, is one of the latter. With deep, almost black, green leaves, the high contrast vein coloration, and the arrowhead shape, the leaves make this Alocasia one of our favorites. Their sculptural lines make them a great stand alone plant, but the high contrast color of the leaves also look cool when mixed in with a plant collection.
GET THE GREEN: African Mask Plant/Elephant’s Ear (Alocasia amazonica)
WATER: Keep soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Plant in pot with good drainage. In winter, water less, allowing soil to get slightly dry between waterings (when top 1-2 inches are dry).
SUNLIGHT: Bright indirect light. A southern facing window is ideal. Avoid direct sun as it will scorch the leaves. Can also be planted outside in warm months, as long as it’s in the shade.
PLACEMENT: Alocasias do best with higher humidity, so a bathroom is ideal, or any area where a humidifier is running. Placing it in a group of plants also helps to raise the humidity levels. Avoid misting the leaves of the plant to add humidity, as that can cause spotting.
EXTRA CREDIT: If you live in a climate that gets cold in fall and winter, you can allow the Alocasia to go dormant during the cold months. Simply reduce watering to only when the soil has dried out. Existing leaves may die off, but don’t worry, just resume watering regularly in the spring and new leaves will reappear.
WORD OF CAUTION: According to the ASPCA, Alocasia are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.
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