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A Complete Guide to Alocasia Propagation

Alocasia grows clumping and often produces pups through rhizomes or bulbs. 

These vegetative parts bless you with a new one.

To propagate Alocasia, gently separate the pups from the mother plant. Then, plant the offset directly in the soil, water, or other suitable media. 

Despite the easy propagation regime, care plays a crucial role in its establishment. Let’s learn about it all.

Reason to Propagate Alocasia

Alocasia is one of the vibrant house plants with over 97 different species. What gives Alocasia a stunning look is its large and broad leaves and distinctive veins that knit a beautiful pattern.

Propagation has topped the chart with its less demanding process and quicker result than seed germination.

Besides being easy, new plant growth is more certain via propagation methods.

Moreover, these vegetative methods of populating a plant give offspring with the exact genetic characteristics of the parent plant.

And, rather than spending a few dollars every time you long for the plant, propagation easily fulfills the purpose with subsequent grooming of the existing old, large unmanageable plant.

Best Time to Propagate Alocasia

Belonging to the tropical rainforest of Southeast Asia, Alocasia finds comfort in warm, humid conditions.  

Thus, the best time to propagate your Alocasia is early summer or spring (January to March) when the plant awakens from winter sleep. Alocasia comes out of dormancy and starts producing new growth as soon as the winter ends.

Even if you plant bulbs in winter, they may survive adversity. But, a quick reminder, the plant might take a long time to adapt to a new environment or might die due to stress.

Mostly, they do not produce offshoots until their active growing phase. 

Methods to Propagate Alocasia

Generally, offset division, bulb planting, and tubers are three common ways to propagate the Alocasia plants.

However, use a glove ahead of the process to prevent the toxic effect of calcium oxalate crystals in the Alocasia plant. 

Further, here are all the materials required for propagation.

1. Propagating Alocasia by Offset Division

Generally, you will find a pup growing near the mother plant, emerging from the plant’s root.

A rapidly growing Alocasia looks heavily bushy surrounded by the offset, so removing them revives the plant’s aesthetics. 

Pups more than 20 cm in height are what you need while propagating Alocasia by offset division.

Top view of the Alocasia offset emerging from near the mother plant.
Youn offset of Alocasia fails to develop into a new plant.
  • Take the Alocasia plant out of the pot and remove the excess soil.
  • You will find the pups attached to the mother plant by the rhizome. Gently pull them apart with a small tuber and roots attached, or use a sterilized knife to cut them.
  • Cover the cut tuber in antifungal powder. (optional)
  • Fill a pot with a suitable potting mix and plant the offset. 

The offsets or clumps have their own established root, so you do not have to worry about rooting them.

However, the risk of damaging the mother plant is the only persistent demerit of this method.

Further, repotted plantlets may show signs of potting stress that regain strength once adapting to their new home.

2. Propagating Alocasia by Bulbs

To find the bulbs, you need to loosen up the soil around the bulbs, and only the firm and mature ones are viable.

Further, you can also identify the mature bulbs by squeezing them. If it’s firm, then collect all those that easily detach from the roots and discard the mushy ones.

On average, you can find 5 to 10 bulbs in a healthy mature Alocasia. However, the number varies according to species, environmental factors, and plant size.

  • Place the bulbs with the root facing downward in a well-draining potting mix.
  • Cover them using transparent plastic or glass to create a greenhouse effect.
  • Provide bright indirect sunlight (6-7 hours) to the bulb for speedy growth.
  • Mist the mix to keep the soil moist for root and shoot initiation.
  • The sprout should emerge in about 3-8 weeks.

You can transplant the sprout in the soil, sphagnum moss, LECA medium, or water medium only after 2-3 true leaves appear.

But, it might take a few weeks to months for the sprout to attain a transplantable stage.

3. Propagating Alocasia by Splitting or Dividing Tuber

Tubers store nutrients and help the plant regrowth or new growth by providing the required energy.

For propagation, you can use an aged tuber unless it is not soggy and disease free. But, the method could check your patience as the rhizome takes more time to develop into a new plant.

  • Take a sterilized knife and cut the long tuber from the mother plant with 1/3 part of the tuber intact, as removing all of it might stress the plant.
  • Divide the rhizome or tuber into small pieces of about 2-3 inches each and apply antifungal powder to the tubers.
  • Place the tubers in potting mix or sphagnum moss into a depth similar to that of the mother plant.
  • The tuber will sprout after 2-4 weeks.

Uncommon Medium for Alocasia Propagation

A well-draining porous medium that retains enough moisture is ideal for propagating an Alocasia plant. 

Most gardeners do not prefer experimenting beyond the traditional growing medium (soil and water), but the market has a few interesting substrates available.

1. Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum moss locks moisture within, providing an ideal environment for the bulbs and rhizomes to sprout without any problem.

Moreover, there are fewer chances of humidity and watering-related problems while carrying propagation in sphagnum moss.

2. LECA Medium

Not only do the LECA balls promotes aeration in the Alocasia plant’s root zone through the air pockets between the balls, but it also prevents root rot. 

The roots do not directly come in contact with the water, which saves Alocasia from rotting.

While using the LECA medium, you do not have to worry about water problems, fungal growth, and pest infestation.
Alocasia tubers sprouting when planted in LECA balls in a black plastic pot.
LECA mediums are not only beneficial for Alocasia but visually appealing.

Interestingly, you can use the LECA medium to grow your plants even for a long period when kept clean. 

For that, take a bucket with balls and water, and wash the balls thoroughly. Repeat the process until the leftover water is near to clean.

Taking Care of Newly Potted Alocasia Plant

Generally, newly potted Alocasia needs more attention to adapt to the new environment, developing roots and shoots simultaneously.

So, provide them with an ideal care environment to favor growth.

On the contrary, Alocasia, propagated via offset division, needs less pampering as they already have their roots and shoots.

Here is a quick summary of the favorable conditions.

Parameter Favorable Condition
Light Requirement 6-8 hours of bright indirect light
Temperature Requirement 65- 85 degrees Fahrenheit
Watering Conditiononce or twice a week in summer and thrice a month in winter
Ideal Humidity 50 to 60% of the relative humidity
Nutrition Requirement Twice or thrice in growing season
Soil Type Well-draining, light, porous and nutrient rich soil with pH 5.5-6.5

FAQs About Alocasia Propagation

Can I propagate Alocasia from cuttings?

Alocasia is a tuberous plant that propagates from tubers or central rhizomes.

Hence, it is generally not possible to propagate Alocasia from cuttings.

How do I save my Alocasia bulbs?

You can directly propagate harvested bulbs of Alocasia.

However, keep them in a warm and dark place wrapped in paper for prolonged shelf life. 

Can I propagate Alocasia from the leaf?

Alocasia leaves are not capable of rooting as they do not have nodes.

Instead, they grow from the central rhizome, the primer method of Alocasia propagation.

Conclusion

The propagated offsets, bulb, and tuber can be a meaningful gift to your friends and family.

Moreover, you can add a humidifier to fulfill the dampness that Alocasia craves and enjoy the lush green foliage with a purple-bronze underside.

Keep planting!

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