How to grow and care for Alocasia reginula Indoors


Alocasia reginula, Alocasia 'Black Velvet'

Botanical name: Alocasia reginula
Family: Araceae
Common names: Alocasia 'Black Velvet', Little Queen

Description

Alocasia reginula commonly called Alocasia 'Black Velvet' or Little Queen, is a compact plant which bears broad, heart-shaped, dark-green leaves with a velvety background, pale green, white or silver veins and reddish undersides.

Alocasia 'Black Velvet' grows by means of a rhizome and goes dormant in the cold season where the leaves die leaving the rhizome alive to propagate new plants during the warm season.

Little Queen is one of the popular Alocasia plants on account of its magnificent foliage.

Size

Alocasia reginula is a compact which grows to a height of 1-2 ft and 1.5 ft wide. The leaves are about 6 in. long and 2.5 in. wide.

Flower

The flowers in (Alocasia Black Velvet are pale-colored spathes which only last a few days. To conserve the plants energy and direct it to foliage growth, cut the flowers as soon as they appear though it is unlikely to flower when grown indoors.

Origin

Alocasia reginula (Alocasia Black Velvet) is native to Sabah State in Malaysia in the deeply shaded limiestone cliffs in Tabin Wildlife Reserve where it is found growing on forest floors.

Where to Buy

Are you looking to add this beauty to your collection? Buy beautiful and healthy Alocasia reginula (Alocasia Black Velvet) from Etsy.

Alocasia reginula, Alocasia 'Black Velvet'

Photo Credit: Logee's Greenhouses

Alocasia reginula Care Indoors

Alocasia reginula (Alocasia Black Velvet) indoor care is easy when the right growing conditions are provided. It thrives in medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soils.

Little Queen also requires regular feeding for lush growth and regular grooming to keep it neat and tidy. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Alocasia reginula grows best under medium to bright, indirect light. Keep it away from direct sunlight as it can cause the leaves to be faded (bleached) and die. It also does well under a grow light where natural light is not adequate.

Too little light for Alocasia Black Velvet 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 Little Queen gets light on all sides for even growth to prevent lop-sided growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Watering

Water Alocasia reginula thoroughly and allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil barely moist but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

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

Alocasia Black Velvet does not like soggy soil as it is prone to fungal infestations like root-rot.

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


Temperature

Average warmth from 150C to 270C is ideal for Alocasia reginula. Below 150C, the plant may drop all its leaves and go into dormancy stage.

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

Humidity

Alocasia reginula requires high humidity inorder to thrive. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

Alocasia Black Velvet can also be grown in a bathroom or other moist areas in the home if the lighting is adequate. Check out these techniques on how to raise the humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow Little Queen in a terrarium where a high humidity can be easily maintained. Read more on how to make a closed terrarium for houseplants.

Regularly clean the leaves by damp wiping them with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pests infestation.

Do not mist the leaves as the water droplets can spot the leaves. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Alocasia reginula with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as the plant undergoes dormancy during this period and growth is minimal at this time.

Flush out accumulated salts arising from fertilizers every 2-3 months 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. Repeat the process several times. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Alocasia reginula prefers to be root-bound, therefore frequent repotting is not needed. Avoid frequent repotting as the plant can take long to recover from repotting shock. Repotting every 2-3 years should be adequate.

Repot into a 1 size larger pot during the growing season only if the roots have grown out through the drainage holes.

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

Soil

The best soil for Alocasia reginula should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for the plant. Buy quality Potting Mix for Alocasia Black Velvet from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Alocasia reginula 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.

Remove the leaves by cutting at the base with a sterilized knife or pair of scissors to avoid disease transimission. Take care not to injure the new leaves that are forming.

Propagation

Alocasia reginula (Alocasia Black Velvet) propagation can be done by plant division at the beginning of the growing season.

How to propagate Alocasia reginula by plant division

Carefully take out the Alocasia reginula 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 sections 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 reginula, Alocasia 'Black Velvet'

Photo Credit: AgriStarts

Alocasia reginula Problems Indoors

Alocasia reginula (Alocasia Black Velvet) problems indoors are due to cultural faults (improper care). The problems include plant death, leaf spots, yellowing leaves, drooping leaves, dropping leaves, pests and diseases. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Leaves losing color and dying

The reason why the leaves in Alocasia reginula are losing color and dying is too little or too much light.

Move the Alocasia Black Velvet to a brighter spot and ensure it receives medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight or instal a grow light if the natural light is inadequate.. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Dropping leaves and plant dying

There are three possible reasons why the leaves in Alocasia reginula are dropping and the plant is dying. These three reasons signal dormancy for Alocasia reginula 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 in Alocasia Black Velvet are dropping and the plant is dying is too little light.

Move the Little Queen to a brighter spot and ensure it receives medium to bright, indirect light or instal a grow light if the natural light is inadequate. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

The second possible reason why the leaves in Little Queen are dropping and the plant is dying is too low temperature below 130C.

Alocasia reginula grows best in average warmth between 150C and 270C. Protect it from cold drafts to avoid sudden drops in temperature.

The third possible reason why the leaves in Alocasia reginula are dropping and the plant is dying is underwatering.

Alocasia Black Velvet prefers the soil to be kept moderately moist 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.

Brown leaf edges

One possible cause of brown leaf edges in Alocasia reginula 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 or place the plant in a bathroom or other moist areas in the home if the lighting is adequate. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow Little Queen in a terrarium where a high humidity can be maintained easily. Read more on how to make a closed terrarium for houseplants.

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

Get rid of the accumulated salts 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. Repeat the process several times. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Drooping leaves

There are two possible causes of drooping leaves in Alocasia reginula. One possible cause is too little light.

Move the Little Queen to a brighter spot where it will receive medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight.

The second possible cause of drooping leaves in Alocasia reginula is underwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist 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.

Yellowing and dropping leaves

Low humidity is the reason for the yellowing and dropping of the leaves of Alocasia reginula. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Alocasia reginula can also be grown in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained inside a terrarium. Read more on how to make a closed terrarium for houseplants.

However, it is natural for the older leaves in Little queen 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.

Dark brown or black leaf spots

Dark brown or black leaf spots in Alocasia reginula 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 the Alocasia Black Velvet

Pests

Alocasia reginula pests; Spider Mites, Mealy Bugs, Scales and Aphids. Isolate the affected plant to prevent further spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Alocasia reginula toxic?

Alocasia reginula (Alocasia 'Black Velvet') like other Alocasia Plants is toxic to both humans and pets.

It 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.

Keep Alocasia Black Velvet away from the reach of children and pets to avoid any mishaps.

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