Ask a Question forum: African mask care

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Toronto, Canada
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mellieb
Nov 25, 2017 1:01 PM CST
I'm wondering why there is a drooping yellow leaf? And also why there are tears/rips in some of the leaves?
I just moved it a little farther away from the window, but it was in a spot with bright indirect light. I give it a good watering once the soil is dry, soaking and draining in the sink. I've been misting the past few weeks. Its about 72-73 degrees in my apartment.
Any help would be greatly appreciated - thanks!


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[Last edited by mellieb - Nov 25, 2017 1:09 PM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 25, 2017 1:34 PM CST
Hi and welcome. I don't think you need to worry about that plant. It looks very nice and healthy to me. Mine dies right back to the ground here in Florida each winter (we do get nights down into the 40's occasionally here) and comes up again in spring. It could be that your plant is getting cool at night near the window, as well as getting less light due to the weak, low rays of the winter sun up there in the frozen north. (I'm Canadian too btw. but transplanted south Angel ) Even indoor plants detect the differences between weak winter light and stronger rays. But these plants like to grow in the shade here so it doesn't need direct sunlight.

The one little yellowing leaf may be the oldest one, and has run it's useful life. Cut it off. As to the torn leaf, it looks like mechanical damage - do you have a pet that might have batted at it, or a cleaning person that wasn't too careful?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Nov 25, 2017 4:10 PM CST
I concur with Elaine that your Alocasia appears to be quite healthy. Indoors, Alocasia doesn't have a dormant period. Provide as much bright indirect sunlight as possible year round and not too far from the window. Your watering seems to be fine as long as you allow the soil to dry almost to the wilt point before watering. Alocasias tend to lose as many older leaves as they gain new ones, so don't expect it to become an ever-larger plant.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Nov 25, 2017 6:34 PM CST
I think your Alocasia looks great! Mine is a rescue - it was down to one bulb when I found it about 6 months ago. It is now growing its second leaf so seeing yours with multiple bulbs and lots of leaves is wonderful. Lovey dubby
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Nov 25, 2017 11:29 PM CST
Your "African Mask" looks very healthy to me too and I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it ... in other words, I wouldn't change a thing except possibly suggesting less water during the winter months when the plant isn't actively growing.

I have a African Mask (Alocasia 'Polly') around here somewhere and it never goes dormant but I also have the similar looking Elephant's Ear (Alocasia micholitziana 'Frydek') with the velvety leaves and it goes dormant each year. Both of mine are grown in bright shade with no direct sun because the sun here in Florida would definitely fry them.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Toronto, Canada
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mellieb
Nov 25, 2017 11:39 PM CST
Thanks everyone for your feedback... I may have jumped the gun on my concern but that yellow leaf freaked me out! I hope she stays healthy. I've trimmed the yellow leaf and will watch my watering during the upcoming winter months.
As for the tear, I do have 2 pets: a dog and a cat. I just read that this is a toxic plant....!! Does this mean physically ill/fatally toxic i.e. should I re-home?
Love this plant but love my dog & cat more :)
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Nov 25, 2017 11:42 PM CST
Yes, be very careful if your cat or dog like to nibble plants! Alocasia are highly toxic to both canines and felines. Here's the ASPCA page listing the symptoms from ingestion:
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care...
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Nov 26, 2017 7:16 AM CST
There are many plant species listed as toxic to pets. In most instances with most pets, the worst that happens is that the pet nibbles on a plant finds it distasteful and stops after vomiting. I have heard of few instances of plant ingestion being fatal to a pet or causing permanent harm. In your case, I think there is a greater potential damage to the plant than your pets. In any case, you should be aware of potential toxicity and take what you believe is appropriate action.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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