Brown Tips On Alocasia - Knowledgebase Question

Beloit, WY
Avatar for walkew
Question by walkew
September 16, 1998
I have a question about my Alocasia. I notice that one of the tips started to turn a light brown color and I snip the brown off and within a couple of days it reappears. Does this mean that the plant may have a disease, or should I just stop snipping the brown off? Please Help, I don't want to lose this plant because it is so lovely. I have named my Alocasia "Amistad".

Answer from NGA
September 16, 1998
The usual causes for brown tips on the leaves of houseplants are dry air, or flouride in tap water that's used for watering. Try using distilled water instead of tap water to see if that makes a difference. The edge of leaf where you make a cut will naturally turn brown as the plant seals off the injury. The more often you cut off the brown part, the more often it will turn brown. Alocasias are uncommon, and you'll find few books that reference them, but they're striking plants; erect with arrow-shaped leaves and pale-colored veins. Unfortunately these spectacular plants are not really happy in homes, and much prefer growing under greenhouse conditions. But, if you're up for a challenge, here are the growing requirements for your Alocasia: Keep the temperatures warm (over 70F in the summer, above 65F in the winter). Give the plant bright light in the winter and semi-shade in the summer. Water very sparingly in the winter (let the top of the soil dry out between waterings), but keep the soil constantly moist in the spring, summer, and fall months. Mist the leaves once or twice a day to keep the humidity high around the plant. Good luck with Amistad!

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