A Complete Guide to Alocasia Propagation

Propagating Alocasia in Water
Alocasia Propagation (Source: Pexels)

Little did I know Alocasia propagation is indeed so easy before meeting my new neighbor.

She is a great plant parent, and whenever I visit her, she shares her experiences and knowledge about plants.

The last time I visited her, the large, broad, and striking leaf of Alocasia caught my attention.

I asked her what the plant was; there, I knew it was Alocasia. And the same day, I learned to propagate Alocasia.

Generally, Alocasia grows in a clumping manner and often produces pups through rhizomes or bulbs. To propagate Alocasia, gently separate the pups from the mother plant. Then, plant the offset directly in the soil or use water propagation. 

Alocasia
Alocasia ( Source: Wikimedia Commons)

I agree propagation seems difficult until you do not do how to do it. But, once you know it, you cannot help yourself from multiplying your plants.

Read the full article if you want to learn more about Alocasia propagation on what, how, and why.

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.

You might be aware that propagation yields more plants or is a way of multiplying your plants.

And, the most prominent reason to multiply your Alocasia is its extreme beauty.

Let’s face it, Alocasia’s aesthetic beauty makes us want more of it. Well, you might agree, more Alocasia equals more satisfaction.

Also, propagation is the cheapest way to get new plants. Why spend dollars in a nursery when you can produce several new plants at home?

Another reason to propagate your Alocasia is that it is growing large, old, and unmanageable.

You can shape your Alocasia by dividing them into many young plants. Propagation by division helps to shape and well manage the large, outgrowing plants.

Next, propagation is a faster, easier, and more certain method to obtain a new plant. Then, you can get a new plant without putting in much effort.

Besides, when you produce new plants through asexual propagation, the new plant is genetically identical to the parent plant.

It means you can obtain a new plant that exhibits the same character as your mother plant.

Lastly, Alocasia makes a good gift choice for plant parents. If you have someone who adores plants, you can gift them Alocasia by propagating them.

Why not propagate Alocasia when it can benefit you in many ways?

Alocasia Leaf
Alocasia Leaf (Source: Pixabay)

Best Time to Propagate Alocasia

You might think you will propagate Alocasia any time of year and get fruitful results. If so, I implore you to rethink.

It comes without saying that plants need a favorable environment and time to grow or propagate.

In a broad sense, propagation produces a new plant either via splitting or inducing some new growth.

Thus, it essentially involves some growth or successful adaptation to the newly transferred environment.

What we can conclude from here is successful propagation is related to a favorable environment.

Spring and early summer provide the most suitable environmental condition. Thus,  the best time to propagate your Alocasia is early summer or spring, when the plant enables new growth.

In winter, Alocasia goes into dormancy which makes it difficult to propagate.

If you plant bulbs in winter, it will not produce offshoots until spring.

Moreover, the bulb survives in adverse conditions but will grow only when the conditions are ideal.

Nonetheless, you can carry out Alocasia propagation in winter by dividing offshoots.

But, let me remind you, the plant might take a long time to adapt to a new environment or might die due to stress.

Thus, I suggest you not propagate your Alocasia in winter as the plant will not produce any new growth.

Alocasia comes out of dormancy and starts producing new growth as soon as the winter ends.

Alocasia polly
Alocasia polly (Source: Amazon)

Methods to Propagate Alocasia

Do you want to propagate your Alocasia but do not know how? If so, I am here to guide you.

First thing first, Propagating Alocasia is not a difficult task at all. You can easily make several Alocasias from a single plant. Isn’t that cool?

All you need to understand is the various methods involved in Alocasia propagation. Besides, it is fun and adventurous to make a whole new plant form a small part.

Generally, there are three methods to propagate Alocasia.

  • Propagation through Offshoots Division
  • Propagating by Bulbs
  • Propagation by Splitting or Dividing Tuber

All of the methods mentioned above are the asexual methods of propagation, which is the process of regenerating a new plant by taking some part of the parent plant.

Note: You need to be Cautious while propagating Alocasia as it is toxic. Its parts contain calcium oxalate crystals which if comes in contact with skin and eye, causes irritation. Be careful of its Sap while propagating.

Materials Required

Before you rush to Propagate Alocasia, gather all materials you need. Having things in hand makes your task easier.

Here are the things you will need to propagate Alocasia.

Continue reading the article below as I will briefly explain each method of propagating Alocasia.

Also, I will mention their merits and demerits to make it easier for you to figure out the appropriate one.

1. Propagating Alocasia by Offset Division

Alocasia plant can easily be propagated by dividing Offsets or Splitting of roots. These plants grow in clumps, and each of the clumps can grow into a new plant.

Since Alocasia are tuberous, they produce various clumps from tiny copies of the mother plant.

Generally, you will find a pup growing near the mother plant. These same pups are what you need while propagating Alocasia by offset division.

However, you should not take a pup that is less than 20 cm in size.

Splitting plant roots
Dividing the roots (Source: Pexels)

Here are the steps you need to follow for Alocasia Propagation by offset division.

Step 1: Water your Alocasia plant thoroughly the day before propagating it to moisten the soil.

Step 2: Lay old cloth or newspaper if you are propagating indoors. Gently pull out your Alocasia plant from the pot and remove the soil from the plant.

Step 3: When you have removed most of the soil, pull the pup gently out of the mother plant. You will find it attached to the mother plant by rhizome.

Step 4: Go slowly and make sure you pull out the pups with a small tuber along with the roots attached with it. If you cannot break the rhizome attached to the mother plant in the guided way, use a sterilized knife or blade to cut it out.

Step 5: Cover the cut tuber with antifungal powder, but it is optional. Now, the offset you have separated is ready to be planted.

You can use both water and soil propagation for this purpose.

Merits of Propagating Alocasia by Offset Division

  • It is the easiest and most successful method of Propagating Alocasia.
  • The offsets or clumps have their own established root, so you do not have to worry about rooting them.
  •  If your Alocasia grows heavy, you can separate them by dividing the offsets. It helps to maintain the size of your Alocasia.
  • The new plants obtained exhibit the same character as the mother plant.

Demerits of Propagating Alocasia by Offset Division

  • The mother, Alocasia, appears less bushy and leggy after separating offsets.
  • You might have chances of breaking pup without tuber. In such a case, the pup cannot be used for propagation.

Also watch,

2. Propagating Alocasia by Bulbs

Did you know Alocasia produces bulbs that can be grown into a new plant?

If you take your Alocasia out of the pot and gently remove the soil, you can see tiny round bulbs.

These bulbs are attached to the root of the mother plant and can produce a new plant.

When leaving the bulbs in the pots, it grows naturally into offsets on finding the ideal condition.

Moreover, Alocasia propagates asexually through such bulbs in nature. So, can you take any of the bubs for Alocasia propagation?

You need to be selective while selecting bulbs from Alocasia. Generally, if the bulbs are thin and not round, they are immature to develop a new plant.

However, if the bulbs are round and slightly thicker, they mature and produce a new plant. You need to follow the following step for Alocasia propagation via bulbs.

Growing Variegated Alocasia with Bulbs
Growing Variegated Alocasia with Bulbs (Source: Etsy)

Step 1: Lay any old cloth or newspapers and gently take your Alocasia plant from the pot.

Step 2: Gently loosen the soil around the roots. As you loosen the soil, You start will finding bulbs attached to the roots.

Step 3: Collect all the bulbs you can gather from your Alocasia. Only the bulbs that come out of the root easily are the matured 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 the size of the plant.

Step 4: The next thing you need to do is inspect the bulbs. Unfortunately, not all the bulbs will be capable of growing into a new plant as some of them might be dead.

Squeeze the bulbs of Alocasia; if they are firm, you can use them for propagation. On the other hand, if the bubs shrink and feel mushy, they are not fit for propagation.

Step 5: Now, your Alocasia bulbs are ready to be propagated. Place them with the root facing downward in the soil.

Step 6: Next, cover the plants using transparent plastic or glass to create a greenhouse effect. Lastly, you should keep the soil moist to produce new plants out of bulbs.

It generally takes 3 to 8 weeks to develop these bulbs into a new plant. 

You can propagate these bulbs in the soil, sphagnum moss, LECA medium, and water.

Continue reading the article to learn propagation on different mediums.

Note: Use well-draining and porous potting mix while propagating in soil. Also, the bulbs require a plethora of bright indirect sunlight (6-7 hours) for faster propagation.

Merits of Propagating Alocasia by Bulbs

  • You can propagate more plants by this method of propagation.

Demerits of Propagating Alocasia by Bulbs

  • It takes a long time to produce sprouts, so it is a slower method of propagation.
  • Only healthy bulbs are capable of producing a new plant.
  • It is difficult to propagate Alocasia by buds in winter as the plants enter the dormant phase.

Also watch,

3. Propagating Alocasia by Splitting or Dividing Tuber

Next is propagating Alocasia by dividing tuber. Tubers stores nutrients and help for regrowth or new growth of the plant by providing the required energy.

As the Alocasia plant is tuberous, its tubers or rhizomes can be used for propagation.

However, you will need a matured Alocasia with long tubers to propagate by this method.

You will need to follow the following steps for Alocasia propagation via dividing tuber.

Step 1: Gently remove all the soils from the plant. In doing so, you can find long tuber running from the mother plant.

Or, you can separate your mother plant from offsets.

Step 2: Take a sterilized knife or blade and cut the long tuber from the mother plant.

Leave the mother plant with at least 1/3rd part of the tuber, as removing all of it might stress the plant.

Step 3: Now, you can divide the rhizome or tuber into small pieces of about 2-3 inches each.

Finally, you can apply some antifungal powder to the tubers, but the step is completely optional.

Step 4: Now, the tubers are ready to be propagated. You can place the tubers in potting mix or sphagnum moss, and they will sprout after 2-4 weeks.

Lastly, I suggest placing the tubers at the same depth while growing with the mother plant.

Merits of Propagating Alocasia by Dividing Tubers

  • It is an easier method of propagation and does not generally affect the mother plant.
  • You can get a whole new plant even from a small tuber.
  • You can use the tuber of Alocasia that is about to die. However, if the tuber is soggy and is attacked with diseases, it cannot be taken.

Demerits of Propagating Alocasia by Dividing Tubers

  • You need patience for the rhizomes to grow into a new plant.
  • It is not feasible in the winter season when the plant undergoes dormancy.

Alocasia Propagation in Different Mediums

In the earlier section, we have learned different ways of propagating Alocasia. Here, we will talk about different mediums you can use for Alocasia Propagation.

Alocasia can be propagated in different mediums like potting mix, Sphagnum moss, Water, LECA.

In the subheadings below, I will explain ways to propagate Alocasia in different mediums.

1. Soil Medium

Soil propagation is the most common medium for propagation.

To propagate Alocasia in Soil, you need a well-draining, light, and nutrient Potting Mix. You can also make your potting mix which recipe is down below.

It is best to choose a larger container than the previous one if you are re-potting Alocasia. Generally, a pot that is 2 inches wider than the previous one is best advised.

Soil Propagation
Soil Propagation (Source: Pxfuel)

Here are the steps to follow for soil propagation.

Step 1: Choose a container with good drainage holes and fill it with the potting mix.

Step 2: As your Alocasia offset has roots, you can directly pot them in the soil.

Step 3: Water the Alocasia offsets thoroughly after potting them and leave them in shades.

Step 4: If you are propagating bulbs, Place the bulbs in an upward direction in the potting mix. Follow the guidelines mentioned earlier and wait for your bulbs to sprout.

Step 5: To propagate tubers, plant the tubers in the soil as guided in the earlier section. After a few weeks, you can see your Alocasia sprouting.

2. Water Medium

Did you know that Alocasia can be propagated in water?

Since Alocasia is a tropical plant that loves moisture, it can be grown and propagated in water.

Moreover, when propagating Alocasia in water, you do not have to worry about humidity requirements and watering problems.

To propagate Alocasia in a water medium, take a transparent glass jar and fresh tap water.

Propagating Plant in water
Propagating Plant in water (Source: Pexels)

Here are the steps to Alocasia propagation in water.

Step 1: Put the Alocasia offsets in a jar filled with water. However, make sure to change the water every 3-4 days.

Step 2: Once the roots of the pups are fully developed, you can propagate them in potting mix. However, you can also grow them in water.

Step 3: To propagate bulbs in water, take a shallow container. Pour some fresh tap water into it and put the bulbs in the water.

Step 4: Make sure the bulbs are partially merged in water with half portion in the air and half portion merged in water.

Step 5: Cover the container with a glass lead or plastic and wait until they sprout. Add some water if the water dries out.

Note: Transplanting plant from water to soil medium might stress the plant as it faces problem of low humidity and underwatering in soil.

3. Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum moss provides an ideal environment for the bulbs and rhizomes of Alocasisa to grow.

As the sphagnum moss locks moisture within, it helps bulbs and rhizomes sprout without any problem.

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

Sphagnum Moss Potting Mix for Plants
Sphagnum Moss Potting Mix for Plants (Source: Amazon)

Here are steps to Alocasia propagation in sphagnum moss.

Step 1: Soak the sphagnum moss in water for 2-3 hours.

Step 2: Take a clean pot or a nursery pot having good drainage holes. Fill the pot halfway with sphagnum moss and place the offsets in the pot.

Step 3: Next, fill the pot with sphagnum moss on the sides. Water your offsets once the water dries out.

Step 4: To propagate bulbs, take a clear glass jar filled with sphagnum moss. Place the bulbs with the root facing downward.

Step 5: Cover the car with a lid or transparent plastic. The bulbs will start sprouting within a couple of weeks.

Step 6: Follow the same procedure to propagate by tubers. While placing the tubers, place them with the upward part facing upward.

4. LECA Medium

LECA is a good medium that can be used to root plants. The clay balls absorb water and provide good aeration that helps plants to root without facing many difficulties.

While using the LECA medium, you do not have to worry about water problems, fungal growth, and pests infestation.

So, you can plant your Alocasia in a LECA medium instead of soil and get rid of several problems.

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

Plant grown in LECA Medium
Plant is grown in LECA Medium (Source: Amazon)

Here are steps to Alocasia propagation in the LECA medium.

Step 1: Rise the clay pebbles until the water does not run clear and soak them in water for about 14-24 hours.

Step 2: Take a nursery pot with drainage holes and half fill the pot with clay pebbles.

Step 3: Now, place your Alocasia pup in the pot and fill the sides of it with the clay pebbles. The pups will start producing new leaves within a couple of weeks.

Step 4: To propagate bulbs, take a glass jar. Place the bulbs in the top layer of clay pebbles and cover it will a glass lid or plastic.

Step 5: Follow the same procedure to propagate tubers.

Taking Care of Newly Potted Alocasia Plant

Generally, newly potted Alocasia needs more care compared to matured Alocasia.

It is because newly propagated Alocasia needs time to adapt to the new environment.

Moreover, these young plants need to invest energy both in the development of roots and shoots simultaneously.

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

If you have propagated Alocasia via offset division, lucky, you are. Consequently, the plants need less energy and less care as they already have their roots and shoots.

To grow a healthy Alocasia, you need to maintain ideal humidity, temperature, light, nutrition, and soil moisture.

In the subheadings below, I will explain the ideal condition required for the newly potted Alocasia plant.

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

1. Light Requirement

Like an adult Alocasia, Young Alocasia needs sufficient light for proper growth. Therefore, you need to provide them with 6-8 hours of bright indirect light.

Alocasia is native to the tropical forests of Asia and eastern Australia. In their natural environment, they grow under the shades of large trees.

As the plants are not adapted for direct sun exposure, I suggest not exposing them to direct light. Direct sunlight can easily burn the young and tender foliage of Alocasia.

Sunlight hitting the leaves
Sunlight hitting the leaves (Source: Pixabay)

Moreover, you can also grow your Alocasia in artificial grow lights. Provide the plant with 10-12 hours of Metal Halide (MH) lights for proper growth.

2. Temperature Requirement

Alocasia adores temperatures between 65- 85 degrees Fahrenheit. So, you need to maintain a temperature above 60 degrees for your young Alocasia.

Also, avoid cold, drafty areas and heating and cooling vents for newly planted Alocasia. The temperature fluctuation is high near them.

Likewise, you can control the high temperature indoors by maintaining high humidity.

High humidity helps reciprocate a high transpiration rate (moisture loss through leaves) caused by high temperature.

3. High Humidity

Alocasia needs high humidity and prefers around 50 to 60% of the relative humidity.

You need to pay special attention to the humidity of the plants transferred from water to soil.

Moreover, you can increase humidity around the plant by placing a wet pebble tray below the pot.

Likewise, you can use a humidifier or place the plants in groups.

4. Soil Type

Alocasia needs well-draining, porous, loamy, and moist soil.

Use a potting mix rich in peat moss, coco coir, or perlite as it holds moisture and makes soil light and porous.

They need a slightly acidic soil with a pH ranging between 5.5-6.5. 

Also, you can make your potting mix for Alocasia. Here is how to do it.

  • Take 1 part of regular garden soil,
  • 1 part of  peat moss or coconut coir
  • 1 part of sand or perlite
  • And, 1/2 part of organic fertilizers (Vermiculture, Bone meal, manure, chicken litter, etc.).
Soil Mix For Alocasia
Soil Mix For Alocasia (Source: Unsplash)

5. Correct Container

Using the correct container is vital for the healthier growth of your Alocasia. Therefore, always ensure to use containers that have good support good drainage.

You can use any type of pot material for your Alocasia such as nursery pot, plastic pot, ceramics pot, or clay pot.

However, I recommend using clay pots as they are breathable.

Moreover, clay pots help maintain temperature and avoid waterlogging as they ooze out extra water into the external environment.

If you are propagating your Alocasia from bulbs or rhizomes, use a 4-6 inches pot. However, if you are propagating Alocasia via offset division, use a slightly larger pot of 7-9 inches.

Beautiful Alocasia grown in Pots
Beautiful Alocasia grown in Pots (Source: Alocasia)

I suggest you not use an extremely larger pot for your baby Alocasia. When the pot is larger, it provides larger space for roots to spread.

Thus, the plant invests its energy only on root development.

6. Watering Requirement

I advise you to pay special attention to the water requirements of Alocasia as it is prone to both underwatering and overwatering.

Water your Alocasia only when the top 2-3 inches of the soil is dry. They love moist soil and are prone to soggy soil or medium.

Generally, watering Alocasia twice a week in summer and thrice a month in winter is sufficient for healthier growth.

7. Nutrition Requirement

As soon as you have planted the newly propagated Alocasia, feed them with nutrients. Their growth depends on the nutrients you supply.

Use a potting mix that is organic and nutrient-rich.

Fertilize your Alocasia twice in the growing season with all-purpose liquid fertilizer, compost, vermiculite, or NKP fertilizer (20:10:20).

8. Mini Greenhouse

When it comes to the newly potted plant, greenhouse ensures their proper growth and vitality.

To create the greenhouse effect, you can cover the plant with transparent plastic or glass.

Use an iron stand or wooden sticks to create the base.

Mini Greenhouse
Mini Greenhouse (Source: Pexels)

9. Diseases and Pests Control

If you want healthier Alocasia, you need to protect them from pests and diseases. The pests and diseases stress the plants and hinder their overall growth. Thus, it is best to put an eye on your Alocasia to prevent them from pests and diseases infestation.

Alocasia is vulnerable to pests like mealybugs, scale, aphids, and spider mites.

Likewise, Alocasia easily falls prey to root, stem, and crown rot. Generally, the cause for such rot is overwatering.

Similarly, diseases like Powdery Mildew, leaf spot, Xanthomonas infection is common in Alocasia.

Preventive Measures

  • Spray the plant with warm soapy water every few weeks to prevent pest infestation. However, if the infestation is high, you can use neem oil or insecticidal soap.
  • Use well-draining soil and pot with drainage holes. And, water the plant only after the soil dries out to prevent Pythium rot.
  • If you notice any infection, remove the infected part and loosen the soil to ensure good soil aeration. Proper aeration prevents prevent fungal growth in soil.
  • Re-pot the plant in a new potting mix using fungicides in case of severe infestation.
  • Always place your Alocasia away from infected plants.

Learn more about Alocasia Black Velvet Care and Growing Guide

Alocasia Cuprea
Alocasia Cuprea (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

FAQs About Alocasia Propagation

Can I Propagate Alocasia from Cuttings?

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

Moreover, the Alocasia trunk or stem bears no point from where rootings can occur.

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, if you want to save it for a longer time, keep them in a warm and dark place for about a week or so.

Then, you can warp them in paper or tissue and store them in a cool and dry place.

Can I Propagate Alocasia from Leaf?

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

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

Conclusion

Alocasia propagation is not a difficult task at all. You can easily propagate them by splitting roots or through bulbs and rhizomes.

If provided with the ideal condition, they can be successfully propagated. Moreover, newly propagated Alocasia can grow rapidly when provided with a suitable environment.

Finally, why not multiply your Alocasia when you have learned to do so? Keep propagating, Keep planting!

Learn more about propagating Cape Primrose, Ponytail Palm Plant, Anthurium, Fittona, and Pineapple Sage here. 

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