Black alocasia: how to take care of it?

Black alocasia is a tropical plant

Image – ballaustralia.com // Alocasia plumbea 'Nigra'

The common names we give to plants can sometimes be more confusing than helpful, as we may use a single name to refer to several different plant species. This is what happens with the "black alocasia".

A Google search will bring up images of both Colocasia and Alocasia cultivars, two related genera but with notable differences. Now, when it comes to care, they all need the same. So that if you want to know what the black alocasias are and how you have to keep them beautiful, pay attention to what I am going to tell you.

What are the plants known as black alocasia?

Although there are not many, the cultivars that receive that name are so beautiful that, if you are a lover of tropical plants, you will surely want to have them at some point. Look:

Alocasia 'Black Velvet'

Black velvet alocasia is almost black

Image – littleprinceplants.com

The 'Black Velvet' is an alocasia that I am in love with. And that is, just look at it! Its leaves are almost black, with practically white nerves., and you know the best? Which does not grow much: only about 70-80 centimeters in height. For me, this is the true "black alocasia".

Alocasia plumbea 'Nigra'

Black Alocasia is tropical

Image – vipplants.de

It is an alocasia that can reach 50-100 centimeters in height, with dark green leaves and stems. It is a very interesting cultivar to plant, for example, in a clay pot placed on the patio.

Colocasia 'Black Coral'

The colocasia does not need pruning

Image - Flickr / cultivar413

The Colocasia 'Black Coral' It is a cultivar with very, very dark purple leaves.. It is a plant that reaches a meter in height, and that can measure more or less the same width, since many shoots sprout from its roots throughout its life.

Colocasia 'Black Magic'

The black magic colocasia has large leaves

It is a cultivar of Colocasia that it has purple leaves. It grows to a height of about 1 meter and, as it tends to put out many suckers, can measure a width of a meter or more.

How is black alocasia cared for?

Elephant ear is a plant with large leaves
Related article:
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Although we have talked about four species of plants known by that name, the care they need is the same regardless of whether it is an Alocasia or a Colocasia. So what I am going to do now is give you a series of tips so that you can have them beautiful:

Location

  • Interior: They are plants that grow and live very well in a home, but it is important that they are placed in a room with plenty of natural light. In addition, it is necessary to avoid placing them near the fan, air conditioning and others, since the air currents generated by these devices greatly dry out the environment, which is just what black alocasias do not need.
  • Outdoor: if you want, you can grow them outside, but you have to protect them from direct sun so they don't burn. But if frosts occur in your area, I recommend that you plant them in a pot and not in the garden, so you can bring them indoors when temperatures drop below 10ºC.

Irrigation

Both the alocasias and the colocasias must be watered very often. They are plants that need the soil to always remain moist. (but beware: not flooded). So, keeping this in mind, we will water them every two or three days in summer, and once a week during winter. Of course, if it rains or is forecast to, watering can wait.

Humidity

No black alocasia can live in a dry environment, with air humidity below 50%. Under these conditions, the leaves dry quickly, turning brown.

For this reason, we have to, first, see what degree of humidity there is in the place where we have them, for example with a home weather station; and then, if it is low, we will sprinkle the leaves with water every day.

Of course, it is important to find out beforehand, find out if it is high or not, because if we start spraying them daily and it turns out to be 50% or higher, the fungi will kill them.

Soil or substrate

Black alocasia is a garden plant

Image - Wikimedia / David J. Stang

  • the garden: if you want to have your black alocasia in the garden, it is important that the soil is fertile and has good drainage.
  • Flower pot: if, on the other hand, you are going to plant them in a pot, you must put it in one with drainage holes, with a mixture of universal substrate (for sale here!-) and perlite.

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If you are in the northern hemisphere, you can pay it from April to September more or less (if the temperatures start to improve in March, you can start that month; and if the cold arrives at the end of August, then you will have to stop paying earlier).

Use fertilizers or liquid fertilizers if you have it in a pot, such as this, or if you prefer nails, which are much easier to use since you only have to insert them into the ground. And if you are going to plant it in the garden, you can add powdered or granulated fertilizers, one or two handfuls per plant each month.

Rusticity

Both the rhizome of the alocasia and the colocasia can withstand frost, the problem is that the leaves are very fragile, and they die if the temperatures drop too much. That's why, it is preferable to have them at home, or in a greenhouse, if the thermometer drops below 0 degrees.

Do you like black alocasia?


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