How to grow and care for Alocasia 'Polly' Indoors

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Alocasia X amazonica 'Polly', Alocasia Polly, African Mask

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

Botanical name: Alocasia x amazonica 'Polly'
Family: Araceae
Common names: Alocasia 'Polly', African Mask, Elephant's Ears Plant

Alocasia 'Polly' Description

Alocasia x amazonica also called Elephant's Ears Plant, Alocasia 'Polly' or African Mask is a strikingly beautiful plant which is moderately easy to grow indoors.

The stems in Alocasia 'Polly' are erect and bear enormous, arrow-shaped, dark-green leaves with distinctly white-colored veins.

Alocasia 'Polly' Origin

Alocasia 'Polly' is a hybrid of Alocasia longiloba and Alocasia sanderiana both species of the family Araceae.

There are about 90 species in the Alocasia genus which are native to tropical and subtropical Asia to Eastern Australia.

Alocasia 'Polly' Size

Alocasia 'Polly' grows to a height of 1ft and a width of 1ft. The large leaves can grow up to 2 ft long.

Alocasia 'Polly' Flower

The flowers in Alocasia 'Polly' are are unimpressive pale-colored spathes which only last a few days. They grow at the end of a short stalk but they are not conspicuous; they are often hidden behind the leaf petioles.

Alocasia 'Polly' for Sale

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Alocasia X amazonica 'Polly', Alocasia Polly, African Mask

Alocasia 'Polly' Care Indoors

Alocasia 'Polly' Light Requirements

Alocasia 'Polly' grows best under bright, indirect light. Keep your Alocasia 'Polly' away from direct sunlight as it can lead to brown sunscorch marks on the leaves.

Too little light for your Alocasia 'Polly' will signal dormancy to your plant which may cause the leaves to start dying in readiness for dormancy.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure that your Alocasia 'Polly' gets light on all sides for even growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to water Alocasia 'Polly'

Alocasia 'Polly' prefers the soil to be kept moist at all times during the growing season and watering to be reduced in the cold season to keep the soil barely moist but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Underwatering your Alocasia 'Polly' will signal dormancy to your plant which may cause the leaves to start dying in readiness for dormancy.

Alocasia 'Polly' does not like soggy soil as it is prone to fungal infestations.

Therefore, ensure the pot for your Alocasia 'Polly' has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Alocasia 'Polly'

Average warmth with a minimum of 160C is ideal for your Alocasia 'Polly'. Below this temperature Alocasia 'Polly' may drop all its leaves and go into dormancy stage.

Alocasia 'Polly' also needs to be protected from draughts as it hates sudden changes in temperature. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Alocasia 'Polly'

Alocasia 'Polly' requires high humidity inorder to thrive. To raise humidity for your Alocasia 'Polly' set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Check out these techniques on how to raise the humidity for houseplants.

Regularly clean the leaves of your Alocasia 'Polly' by damp wiping them with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pests infestation. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Alocasia 'Polly' Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Alocasia 'Polly' with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 3-4 weeks during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as the plant undergoes dormancy during this period.

Regularly flush out accumulated salts arising from fertilizers every 2-3 months for your Alocasia 'Polly' by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainage holes. Let the stream of water run for a few minutes and repeat several times. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Alocasia 'Polly' Repotting

Alocasia 'Polly' prefers to be root-bound, therefore frequent repotting is not needed. Repot into a 1 size larger pot during the growing season only if the roots of your Alocasia 'Polly' have grown out through the drainage holes.

The best soil for your Alocasia 'Polly' is a rich, free-draining soil inorder to ensure that it does not retain excessive moisture.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to fungal infestations.

Alocasia 'Polly' Pruning

Pruning Alocasia 'Polly' is easy as it only requires removal of yellow and diseased leaves as they occur to maintain your plant neat and to reduce chances of diseases and pests infestation.

Alocasia 'Polly' Propagation

Alocasia 'Polly' can be propagated by plant division at the beginning of the growing season.

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How to Propagate Alocasia 'Polly' by Plant Division

Carefully take out your Alocasia 'Polly' from its pot and gently divide the rhizome into sections by cutting through with a sharp sterilized knife. Ensure that each section has 1-2 stems.

Plant the Alocasia 'Polly' divisions in individual pots in moist free-draining soil at the same depth that they were in the previous pot.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges after which routine care can begin.

Alocasia X amazonica 'Polly' Care, Alocasia Polly Care, African Mask Care

Photo Credit: altums.com

Alocasia 'Polly' Problems Indoors

Why are the leaves of my Alocasia 'Polly' losing color and dying?

The reason why the leaves of your Alocasia 'Polly' are losing color and dying is too little light.

Alocasia 'Polly' grows best in bright, indirect light but away from direct sunlight.

Move the plant to a brighter spot and ensure it receives bright, indirect light. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Why are the leaves of my Alocasia 'Polly' dropping and the plant dying?

There are three possible reasons why the leaves of your Alocasia 'Polly' are dropping and the plant is dying. These three reasons signal dormancy for Alocasia 'Polly' and hence the leaves die in readiness to enter dormancy.

This happens during the cold season (winter) when the plant undergoes dormancy. Even if the foliage may die, the underground rhizome is still alive and can regrow under favorable conditions.

One possible reason why the leaves of your Alocasia 'Polly' are dropping and the plant is dying is too little light.

Alocasia 'Polly' grows best in bright, indirect light but away from direct sunlight.

Move the plant to a brighter spot and ensure it receives bright, indirect light. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

The second possible reason why the leaves of your Alocasia 'Polly' are dropping and the plant is dying is too low temperature below 160C.

Alocasia 'Polly' grows best in average warmth between 160C and 240C. Protect the plant from cold and hot draughts which cause sudden changes in temperature.

The third possible reason why the leaves of your Alocasia 'Polly' are dropping and the plant is dying is underwatering.

Alocasia 'Polly' prefers the soil to be kept moist at all times during the growing season and watering to be reduced in the cold season to keep the soil barely moist but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Why do the leaves of my Alocasia 'Polly' have brown leaf edges?

One possible cause of brown leaf edges in your Alocasia 'Polly' is low humidity. Where the air temperatures are high, the air humidity is likely to reduce significantly.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Alocasia 'Polly'. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second possible cause of brown leaf edges in your Alocasia 'Polly' is accumulation of salts in the soil which could have come from fertilizers or water.

Regularly flush out accumulated salts arising from fertilizers every 2-3 months for your Alocasia 'Polly' by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainage holes.

Let the stream of water run for a few minutes and repeat several times. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Why are the leaves of my Alocasia 'Polly' drooping?

There are two possible causes of drooping leaves in your Alocasia 'Polly'.

One possible cause of drooping leaves in your Alocasia 'Polly' is too little light. Move your plant to a brighter spot. Alocasia 'Polly' prefers bright, indirect light but away from direct sunlight.

The second possible cause of drooping leaves in your Alocasia 'Polly' is underwatering. Alocasia 'Polly' prefers the soil to be kept moist at all times during the growing season.

Reduce watering in the cold season to keep the soil barely moist but never allow the soil to dry out completely. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Why are the leaves of my Alocasia 'Polly' yellowing and dropping?

Low humidity is the reason for the yellowing and dropping of the leaves of your Alocasia 'Polly'.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your plant. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

However, it is natural for the old leaves of Alocasia 'Polly' to turn yellow and drop as the plant continues to grow.

Remove such leaves by snipping them off at the base with a clean sharp knife or a pair of scissors to keep the plant neat and reduce pests and disease infestations.

Why are there dark brown or black spots on leaves of my Alocasia 'Polly'?

Dark brown or black spots on leaves of your Alocasia 'Polly' are an indication of Leaf Spot Disease which is enhanced by soggy soil and overwet conditions.

Isolate the affected plant immediately to prevent spread to other houseplants, remove the damaged leaves and treat with a fungicidal solution.

Ensure that there is proper drainage of both the soil and the pot to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Avoid misting and wetting the leaves to Keep them dry and ensure there is good air circulation for your Alocasia 'Polly'.

Which plant pests attack Alocasia 'Polly'?

Common plant pests in Alocasia 'Polly' are Spider Mites, Mealy Bugs, Scales and Aphids.

Isolate the affected Alocasia 'Polly' to prevent further spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Alocasia 'Polly' toxic?

Alocasia 'Polly' (Alocasia x amazonica) like other Alocasia Plants is toxic to both humans and pets.

Alocasia 'Polly' contains crystals of calcium oxalate which if ingested can numb and swell the tongue and pharynx leading to difficulty in breathing and sharp pain in the throat.

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