Alocasia lauterbachiana is a handsome indoor plant that you can grow without too much effort. Let’s have a look at how to grow The Purple Sword.
Alocasia lauterbachiana is a tropical houseplant featuring bicolored leaves that are green and mauve on either side. With sturdy stems, ornamental wavy patterns on leaves that have the potential to grow more than a foot long, and minimal conditions for care, The Purple Sword is a captivating choice for beginners and experts alike.
Propagating Alocasia lauterbachiana
Growing Alocasia lauterbachiana is very easy from divisions. Just take the entire plant out, cut the root sections and plant them in a different pot. However, as it can be a time-consuming process, it would be best to get a new plant from a nursery.
Requirements for Growing Alocasia lauterbachiana
Alocasia lauterbachiana thrives best in indirect, filtered sunlight. Placing it by an east-facing window draped with curtains that filter sunlight is a surefire way to go. This is because excess sun scorches its leaves, fading their color and shine in the process.
Like all tropical plants, the Alocasia lauterbachiana has moderate watering needs. It grows best in potting soil with adequate drainage, but its roots tend to rot when the soil gets extra soggy.
A good trick is the index finger rule, where you put your forefinger down all the way until your knuckle hits topsoil, and if that feels a little dry then only water the plant.
When it comes to Alocasia lauterbachiana use potting mixes specially designed for succulents or tropical plants, as these contain perlite, peat moss, and similar such components that promote water drainage. Additionally, it helps to be specific about the soil pH, as the plant grows best in mildly acidic soil (pH 5.5-6.0).
Alocasias are incredibly forgiving about the temperature conditions indoors. This is because their optimal temperature range (18-22˚C) lines up perfectly with indoor temperatures.
Your safest bet is to keep Alocasia lauterbachiana in a corner of your home that is neither too dry nor too cold.
Alocasia lauterbachiana craves humidity and grows best at levels above 45%, which is most conducive for growth. Too less humidity may cause the leaves to develop brownish tips. Keeping the potted plant over trays containing water, or keeping it in the bathroom, where humidity levels are above 70%, would be the best.
Alocasia lauterbachiana Care
Fertilizing helps encourage strong growth and does wonders to boost the foliage of Alocasia lauterbachiana. Use a handful of cow dung manure every month. Use can also feed it with a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to 1/2 of its strength, once in 5-6 weeks.
Pruning is another way to care for and maintain the Alocasia. This involves cutting off old, unhealthy leaves annually. You can also chop off leaves growing at the lower part of the stem to boost the overall growth rate.
Pests and Diseases
Bugs like spider mites and aphids can be a problem. Watch out for a grayish discoloration of leaves as that is a clear sign of pest infestation. Protective strategies include spraying foliage with neem oil, fungicide solution, alcohol, or castile soap solution.
Root rot is a clear sign that your Alocasia plant needs a different soil mix to grow in, one that is well-aerated and doesn’t retain excess water. To tackle the problem of root rot, you can consider watering less than you do, and maybe clip off the black, rotted roots while treating the remaining unaffected ones with a fungicide solution.
Albeit a delight to the eye, the Alocasia lauterbachiana is a surprisingly toxic houseplant. Its leaves contain deposits of oxalate crystals, which can cause poisoning when ingested by cats, dogs, and humans alike. Therefore, it is best to keep this plant away from toddlers and pets.