The Q&A Archives: New alocasia owner worried about plant's behavior...

Question: I recently purchased an alocasia x amazonica (african mask

Answer: The plant should seem perky for lack of a better word. If the leaf is drooping, it may need more water, or it may have been mistreated before you bought it. Here is a photo showing a healthy leaf and a droopy one.

Here is another photo, this one from a wholesale supplier of Polly. If you look carefully on the left side of the plant there is a lower leaf that is sideways. This is probably due to seeking more light and angling for it. It is possible your plant has done this if it was growing in an odd corner at the nursery or something like that.

These plants need shade (preferably gentle morning sun or dappled shade when outdoors, or bright but indirect light if grown indoors) and rich moist soil, they also need wind protection and they love humidity -- they are tropicals so think "jungle". When you water, water thoroughly and allow the excess to drain out. If allowed to get too dry (or too cold,) sometimes they will die back to the ground and "rest" then re-emerge after their "winter". You will probably want to rest your plant each fall unless you have a good humid area to grow it indoors. When the foliage begins to die back, reduce watering, then stop. Turn the pot on its side and store it (dry) at about 55 degrees, then in spring you can water it and start it back into growth.


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