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Alocasia Regal Shield Care and Growing Guide

Two years ago, I received an Alocasia royal shield as a gift at my graduation. Back then, I did not know how to care for a plant.

I went through different websites and blogs to research. To date, the plant is healthy and striving in my indoor plant collection.

Caring for the Alocasia Regal Shield plant is simple but requires careful monitoring frequently.

Alocasia Regal Shield prefers indirect sunlight with temperatures between 65 and 75°C and humidity levels above 70%. They prefer moist, well-draining soil with plenty of organic content. Use a balanced fertilizer once a month to promote healthy growth during the spring and summer.

Alocasia Regal Shield grown in a pot
Alocasia Regal Shield is grown in a pot (Source: White Flower Farm)

The plant can be grown indoors and outdoors, making it versatile.

Despite its versatile nature, there is a list of things that need to be taken care of as; proper humidity levels, watering, the type of potting medium, pot size, and choice of fertilizer to ensure proper growth.

This article presents you with the care tips and a basic understanding of Alocasia Regal Shields.

Alocasia Regal Shield Overview

  • Plant Origin: Africa and Southeast Asia
  • Common Names: Alocasia Black Magic, Alocasia Broad Leaves
  • USDA Zones: USDA Zone 9 to 11
  • Plant’s Height: 4-5 Feet
  • Plant Shape: Upright
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Spread: Lateral spread with the leaves supported by long and erect petioles
  • Leaves: Velvety black appearance
  • Blooming Period: January – February, November – December
  • Flowers: White flower with a spathe and spadix
  • Toxicity:  Toxic to humans and animals.

Fun Fact: The Alocasia Regal Shields are also known as “Elephant Ear Regal Shields” because of their oversized shape of leaves.

A Complete Grow and Care Guide for Alocasia Regal Shield

Every different plant requires specific conditions for its optimum growth.

Alocasia Regal Shield Plants prefer proper soil mixture, ideal temperature, sunlight, location, and other factors for its optimum growth.

Nevertheless, considering these following factors can give your Alocasia Regal Shield some added benefit.

Let’s have a look at a quick summary of its care requirements.

ParametersIdeal Conditions
LightIndoors: Bright, indirect sunlight
Outdoors: Morning shade (4-6 hours)
WateringWater every alternate day.
Tempreature65°F to 75°F
Soil TypeWell-draining soil with plenty of organic matter
Soil pH5.5 to 7.0
HumidityAbove 70%
FertilizerApply balanced liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks during growing season.
PotTerracotta, clay containers 2-3 inches bigger than plant.
DiseasesPowdery Mildew, Crown and Stem rot.
PestsSpider mites, mealybugs and Thrips.
RepotEvery 2 years
PropagationRhizome division
Leaves CleaningMonthly

1. Proper Soil Mixture

Talking about the soil mixture, Alocasia Regal Shields prefers a soil mixture that matches well with its water requirement.

Ensuring that the soil does not remain wet or muddy for a long period is the top priority.

Alocasia Regal Shields prefers well-draining soil rich in organic matter with pH levels around 5.5 – 7.0.

Aeration of the soil is essential for ventilation and airflow. Avoid loamy soil as it does not hold moisture.

You can make use of a high-quality peat-based potting mix for the best results.

Lack of proper soil mixture may lead to waterlogging of the root, which may cause root rot diseases and fungal infections.

soil-mixture-preparation
Soil mixture (Source: Unsplash)

The ideal potting mixture would be to use a soil mixture that does not retain water for an extended period.

To make the ideal potting mix for Alocasia Regal Shield, you can use a starter potting mixture with a 50:50 ratio of peat and perlite or Sphagnum.

It would be beneficial for the plant in its early growth stage.

Some recommendations of potting mixture for Alocasia Regal Shield, which you can easily find on Amazon, are:

2. Ideal Temperature

The ideal temperature is another factor that affects plant growth and development.

Alocasia Regal Shield usually prefers warmer temperatures around 65- 75 degrees Farehnnhiet.

To survive the harsh winter conditions outdoors, it is best to move the plants indoors or into a greenhouse during the wintertime.

With extended exposure to temperatures below 60°F (16°C), these plants become dull and sluggish growth, and they may even lose their leaves.

The best location for the Alocasia Regal Shields would be around the balcony, patio away from direct sunlight.

Tips to Maintain Ideal Temperature

  • Using an air conditioner to maintain the temperature during hot summers would be our best bet.
  • During the summer, try to keep any electronics that produce heat, such as heaters, water boilers, motors, away from the room in which the plant is grown.
  • If the room receives plenty of lighting, make efforts to shade the room by using window blinds, covers.
  • Also, using quick-growing vines on the walls can be an alternate solution to maintain the room’s temperature.

Quick Tip: Do not place the plant near windows, doors, as it does not prefer direct air breeze.

3. Adequate Sunlight and Proper Location

The Alocasia Regal Shield plant prefers indirect bright light.

The south or north-facing window would be the best location for the plant in indoor settings.

It tends to grow in the direction of the sunlight. So it would help if you keep rotating the pot every week for well-rounded growth.

If grown outdoors, you can provide morning sunlight for around 4-6 hours.

Similarly, a 40% shade cloth would be great to protect it from direct harsh sunlight.

Alocasia Regal Shield Grown in a Pot in Indirect Sunlight
Alocasia Regal Shield Grown in a Pot in Indirect Sunlight (Source: Lively Root)

Avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight as it may damage the plants due to burning and scorching.

The scorching marks on the plant leaves indicate excessive direct sunlight.

Lack of adequate lighting conditions may lead to slow growth of the plant.

4. Maintain High Humidity

The plant is native to tropical regions and usually prefers a humid environment.

Alocasia Regal Shield prefers high humidity up to 80%, which is difficult to maintain in all household settings.

During winter, the humidity levels are a problem for the plant as it drops around 40%.

If the humidity levels drop below 50%, the leaves lose their color and turn brown.

Regular misting, using pebble trays, using humidifiers, and grouping the plants are a few ways to maintain the humidity level for the plant.

However, grouping the plants may result in pest infestation. That’s why it is not recommended.

You can place your plant in a more humid area of your houses, such as a Bathroom or Kitchen.

Humidity water drops on leaves
Humidity water drops on leaves (Source: Unsplash)

5. Adequate Watering

Alocasia Regal shields also prefer plenty of water. It likes wet soil, which is not too much soggy.

Avoid complete dry out and water the plant every alternative day to ensure proper soil moisture. 

The plant’s large leaves require adequate water supply for proper growth and remaining fresh.

Therefore, you may need to water the plant more frequently during the growing season.

As a rule of thumb, you should water the plant when the top 2 to 3 inches of the plant is visibly dry.

Root infections can be avoided by digging a drainage hole that drains excess water.

During the winter, the plant tends to become dormant and does not require as much water in the summer.

Being dormant does not mean it does not require water at all. It just means it prefers less water as it is not active.

You can water the plant every two weeks during the winter months.

A lady is watering the indoor plants
Optimum Watering (Source: Unsplash)

Tips to Provide Adequate Watering

  • Instead of watering your plant thoroughly, water it slowly. Because slow, deep watering helps the root ball to absorb moisture.
  • Stick your fingers into the soil about half an inch. If it’s still damp, wait for two days before testing again. Then, water your plant if it is dry.
  • Water the plant is to water around the center of the plant and not directly on top of it.

It ensures that the water filters down to the roots easily and reaches the plant’s root ball.

Slower watering is more effective as it helps water the roots more effectively.

5. Growth Habits

Alocasia Regal Shields native to tropical regions grow stunningly when it receives the appropriate water and fertilizer requirements.

The plant can reach up to 5 feet when grown in a pot within two years.

If adequate conditions are provided, it reaches a mature height of almost 2-3 feet in almost two years.

Regal Shields should be repotted every two years to ensure it grows to its full potential.

The plant grows rapidly during the summer. However, water, nutrients, and care differ during the active and dormant (winter) months.

Dormancy is when Alocasia Regal Shield enters a resting phase and shows stunted growth.

It will help if you avoid fertilization during this phase as it may cause harm to its roots.

Beautiful Alocasia Regal Shield Leaves
Beautiful Alocasia Regal Shield Leaves (Source: Lively Root)

Alocasia Regal Shields contain thick and durable green leaves with dark purple-tinged undersides and extend from eight to thirty-five inches (20cm-90cm) in length.

Besides, these leaves boast light green veins on the upper surface and feature purple-yellow-green veins on the lower surface.

6. Proper Fertilization

The ideal fertilizer type for Alocasia Regal Shield is a liquid, slow-release fertilizer that reaches all root areas.

Apply a regular houseplant fertilizer once a month throughout the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing.

To avoid overfeeding, make sure it’s diluted to 50% strength.

The composition of the NPK fertilizer should be 20-20-20 to ensure the best results.

Furthermore, adding fertilizer is important as it is a heavy feeding plant.

Ensure to halt the fertilization process during the winter, as the plant becomes dormant and does not require any fertilizers.

Organic fertilizers, rich in nutrients, can also be used. However, animal dung manure compost is best for Regal shields.

You don’t want to overfeed your plant since it promotes fertilizer salt accumulation in the soil.

The roots and leaves will be damaged as a result of this.

Overfertilization can lead to the chemical burning of the plant, which can cause yellowing of leaves, rotting of roots.

Some more uncommon signs of overfertilization include the plant wilting, falling of leaves and flowers.

In addition, flushing the soil every few months is a good idea.

Excess salts and minerals are carried away with the water in this way.

Some best fertilizers for feeding Alocasia Regal Shields are:

8. Flowering Habits

Talking about the flowers, it hosts Aroid flowers with pale yellow to light green color during the summer season.

The Alocasia Regal Shield flowers bloom in the late spring to early Summer, also its active growing season.

Alocasia Regal Shield produces small and white on a tall green, light yellow, or white spadix but sometimes hides beneath the foliage.

Alocasia flowers.
Alocasia flowers. (Source: Pixabay)

When the plant suffers from an external form of stress, it is best to remove the flowers.

Flowers require a lot of energy for their growth and development; removing them would be our best bet for the plant’s survival.

Flower development also leads to seed formation, which is not so important when facing external stress.

The main priority should be the survival of the plant.

Despite being an indoor plant, Alocasia Regal Shields requires some time outdoors during its growing seasons to bloom.

An ideal way to make the Alocasia flower bloom during the spring is to bring it outdoors.

9. Common Pests in Alocasia Regal Shields

The plant may suffer from infestations from many pests and insects, which leads to stress for the plant.

Despite the tropical plant being naturally resistant to pests, it can be infested at times.

Hence, it is better to check now and then.

Most common pests include Spider mites, mealy bugs, and thrips.

To minimize the possibility of pests, you should carefully check the plant before purchasing it.

To avoid pest infestations from the new plant, isolate it from others initially.

Here is a short description of the pests and the signs and symptoms of their infestations.

PestsSigns and symptoms
Spider MitesYellow sunburnt leaves.
Leaves curling up.
MealybugsCreate a sticky, shiny honeydew in stems.
ThripsDamage to the leaves leaving silver trails and dried spots.

Solutions

  • Use a strong water jet to remove the pests.
  • Deadhead the infected part as soon as possible.
  • Make use of insecticidal soap.
  • Use neem oil, horticultural oils to mitigate pest infestations.
  • Make use of a blunt knife or blade to remove the visible pests.
  • Use Trichogrammatidae and Eulophidae to control their population.
  • You can also use dish soap and water mixture and spray the whole plant.
Plant pest with eggs
Plant pest with eggs (Source: Pixabay)

Preventive Measures

  • Make sure to regularly check on your Regal Shields for any signs of pests.
  • Never group your Regal Shields with other infected plants. It increases the risk of pest infestations.
  • Do not keep the plant waterlogged as it invites new pest infestation.
  • Wipe off your Alocasia plant with soap water once in two weeks.

10. Common Diseases of Alocasia Regal Shield

Although the occurrence of diseases is pretty rare for this plant, you should still have some knowledge about these for your future reference.

Fungal diseases, fungal gnats, powdery mildew, and bacterial leaf spots are common in Alocasia Regal Shields.

Crown rot, stem rot, and root rot are also common in the plant, primarily caused by overwatering, which leads to waterlogging of the roots.

But do not worry; these can be managed with a few care tips and tricks.

Here are some of the common diseases and their symptoms and causes.

DiseasesSymptomsCauses
Fungal DiseasesLeaves turning yellow, brown.High relative humidity levels.
Fungal GnatsStunted growth and deformed leaves.Insects laying eggs in moist soil.
Bacterial Leaf SpotsDamp waterlogged discolored blotches on leaves. Chronic watering of the plant.
Leaf EdemaFoul smell from the plant.Bacterial infection from water droplets.
Powdery MildewWhite spot on leaves which turns brown over time.Overwatering, low humidity conditions.
RustSmall rusty brown spots on leaves/. Fungal disease caused by lack of sunlight, humidity.
Root rot1. Brown spots on the leaves
2. Yellowing of leaves.
Fungal infection caused by overwatering.
Crown Rot1. Drooping plant
2. Foul smell from the stem
Fungal infection caused by wet soil conditions.

Treatment for Diseases

  • Apply fungicide and dry out the soil every month to minimize the risk of fungal infections.
  • Trim the diseased part of the plant and make room for healthy foliage only.
  • Provide adequate space for the plants to grow in their storage location to improve the airflow.
  • Using copper-based fertilizer can be beneficial for the treatment of plants suffering from bacterial leaf spots.

Preventive Measures

  • Deadhead the infected part as soon as possible. Remember to use sterilized pruning shears and scissors.
  • As humidity is one of the main issues related to disease initiation in Regal Shields. Using a humidifier can help maintain the humidity levels.
  • Maintain a proper watering schedule; most of the diseases are a result of overwatering or underwatering the plant.
  • Use a well-draining soil mixture that drains water quickly to avoid waterlogging.
  • Use sterilized potting mix and clean pots. If you want to reuse old pots, clean them thoroughly before use.
  • Keep your Regal Shields away from other infected plants.
  • Spray the plant with fungicide every year to avoid fungal growth.

11. Plant Propagation

Propagating Regal Shields is fairly easy and can be done by rhizome division during its growing season.

They can also be propagated using new plantlets, but most plant enthusiasts do not prefer it as it takes a long time to grow properly.

Propagate Alocasia Regal Shield by Division

Follow these steps to propagate your Alocasia Regal Shield easily.

  1. Remove the plant from the pot and remove any excess soil from the roots.
  2. Identify the clumps, offsets in the roots and separate a few of them using a sterilized knife or scissors. These clumps are rhizomes that have their unique root system and can form new plants.
  3. Place the rhizomes into the soil with proper potting mix to grow individual plants. Upon reaching maturity, the Regal Shields can be cut using a knife to divide them into sections, later used for propagation.
  4. Place the plant in a warm, humid environment with indirect or dappled sunlight.
  5. After the soil has dried to around 90%, spray it with water. Around the fifth week, you’ll be able to see how the shoot is developing.

Note: The plant will establish itself in the soil and create new roots in 2–3 weeks. For a baby plant to reach full maturity, 14–20 weeks is optimum.

Propagate Alocasia Regal Shield by Leaf Cuttings

Alocasia Regal Shield can be propagated via Leaf cuttings during the spring and summer.

Because alocasia plant leaf cuttings are sensitive and do best in colder conditions.

As a result, the optimum time to do this is when it’s been warm enough for Alocasia Regal Shield plants to develop but not too hot.

Propagating Plant by Stem Cuttings
Propagating Plant by Stem Cuttings (Source: Pexels)

The leaf-cutting method is suitable for rhizomes that do not have a well-developed root system.

Follow these steps to propagate your plant using the Leaf-cutting propagation method.

  1. Tear off sections of alocasia leaves about eight inches long from healthy alocasia plants with a couple of sets of mature leaves.
  2. Clean off the roots and place them in any clean container you prefer.
  3. Place the plant such that the underdeveloped roots are completely submerged in water.
  4. Place the container in a location that receives bright indirect light.
  5. The alocasia leaves should be floating in a single layer on top of the water, not touching or coming into contact with anything else in the glass.
  6. It will take around two weeks for the roots to develop. Once the roots become well developed, transfer them and grow them in a pot of your choice.

Quick Note: Avoid placing the plant in direct lighting during leaf cutting propagation as it may lead to algal growth in the container.

The roots produced by Alocasia Regal Shields are white, located at the end of the Alocasia Plant Leaf cuttings.

Both the methods are suitable, and their utility varies according to the preference of the owner’s plant growing style.

Also, watch the video to know more about propagation and pruning Alocasia Regal Shield in detail.

12. Potting and Repotting

The ideal pots for Alocasia Regal Shield would be at least 2-3 inches bigger than the plant size, Terracotta pots with drainage holes at the bottom.

Using clay pots can also be beneficial. Clay is porous and removes excess moisture from the soil.

Clay pots are beneficial for individuals who often tend to overwater their plants.

Adding a few stones at the base of the container can also be beneficial in maintaining the water moisture level in the soil.

Alocasia Regal Shield is grown in a Terracotta pot with a saucer
Alocasia Regal Shield grown in a Terracotta pot with a saucer (Source: Plantvine)

Repotting Alocasia Regal Sheild

It is one of the few indoor plants which does not require frequent repotting.

As a general rule, Alocasia Regal Shields need repotting every two years as it allows for the root system to grow more rapidly.

Signs your Alocasia Regal Shield Needs Repotting

  • Roots begin to emerge from the drainage holes.
  • Your Alocasia Regal Shield is root-bound.
  • When the soil is compact and waterlogged, replacing the old compact soil with fresh potting soil is always better.

Like any other plant, while repotting, it is vital to ensure that the new pot’s root system and drainage are similar to the current pot before replanting.

While repotting, it is best to use a container 2 inches bigger than the current one as it allows for the root and the plant more space to grow.

Before repotting, soil nutrients such as perlite and vermiculite should be maintained, which helps to keep the soil moist and healthy.

Repotting Plants
Repotting Plants (Source: Unsplash)

Step by Step Guide to Repot Alocasia Regal Shield

Follow these steps to repot your Alocasia Regal Shield properly.

  1. Water the plant an hour before repotting to hydrate the roots properly.
  2. Remove the plant using a blunt knife from the original pot.
  3. After removing the plant, inspect the roots and make sure to untangle and break the roots.
  4. Prepare the new pot, which is 1-2 inches bigger than the previous one. Fill it up with a proper soil mixture of around 30% to act as a base for the plant.
  5. Place the plant in the center of the pot and add the soil underneath the rootball to ensure stability.
  6. Keep adding the soil to hold the plant upright. Lightly tap the soil while adding to remove any air pockets.
  7. Water the soil when it becomes completely covered.
  8. Maintain the ideal temperature as the plant becomes sensitive after repotting.
  9. Place the newly reported plant away from direct heat or cold sources (away from fans, heaters) but near shaded windows to ensure proper lighting and temperature during the day.

Note: It will take two to four weeks for the plant to begin growing again. This is due to the shock of relocating.

13. Frequent Pruning

After blooming, Regal Shields needs to be pruned frequently.

The best pruning season for the Alocasia Regal Sheild is during the fall or around springtime before the new buds grow.

Trimming discolored leaves and dead leaves is also a good idea to keep the plant healthy.

At times, it is best to trim the larger leaves, which block the sunlight for newly formed buds, leaves and prevent their growth.

Tips for Properly Pruning Alocasia Regal Shield

  • Locate the old and withered leaves that need pruning.
  • Then Put on your gloves and get a sterilized knife or pruning shears.
  • Use your hands to break the stems in a single motion, which are not growing properly, and remove them.
  • Snip off withering or drooping leaves with the help of a knife or a scissor.
  • Cut back to the base of the plant without sawing off.
  • Clean the area and wash your hands properly after pruning.

14. Plant Toxicity

Quick heads up!

Alocasia Regal Shield is toxic to humans and animals if ingested.

The sap of the stem and leaves contains sharp-pointed calcium crystals and proteolytic enzymes.

A few common symptoms of ingesting the plant include skin allergies, sore throat, and vomiting.

The symptoms result from the irritation of the mucous membrane, which may even lead to respiratory paralysis.

The plant can accumulate the toxins it comes in contact with if it faces issues with proper growth.

Over time, the constant accumulation of toxins causes growth-related issues and makes it unhealthy.

The most common way to reduce the uptake of toxins is to change the environment around the plant and clean up spills absorbed by the plants through the roots and leaves.

If you see any of the above symptoms in yourself or your child, seek medical attention immediately.

Call the APCC at (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian asap if your pet shows any of the above symptoms.

Additional Tips for Growing Alocasia Regal Shields

By now, you have learned all about the essential care requirements for your Alocasia Regal Shields.

These care tips will further help your Alocasia Regal Shields grow beautifully.

  • Avoid using tap water as the chemicals may change the leaf color.
  • Make sure to distilled or rainwater, as it is rich in nutrients and is less likely to be contaminated with chemicals.
  • Always use a peat-based mixture for the soil to avoid waterlogging of the roots.
  • Avoid repotting the plant frequently as it hinders the growth of the plant.
  • To avoid repotting shock, make sure to repot them before Summer or after winter to avoid extreme temperatures.
  • Make sure to rotate the plant by 90 degrees to ensure symmetric growth of the leaves.
  • Clean leaves every month to maintain its foliage healthily and shiny.
  • To clean, place them in a sink and spray them with filtered water from a watering can to knock the dust off.
Healthy and Green Alocasia Regal Shield Leaf
Healthy and Green Alocasia Regal Shield Leaf (Source: Etsy)

FAQ About Alocasia Regal Shield

1. Why are my Alocasia Regal Shield Plant Leaves Dropping and Yellowing?

The most common causes of yellowing and dropping leaves are improper soil moisture and overwatering of the plant.

This issue can be easily solved by following a proper watering schedule by watering every alternative day.

2. Can you Propagate Alocasia Regal Shield in Water?

Alocasia Regal Shield can be propagated in water, allowing roots to form.

After the roots have been developed, they can be shifted to a smaller-sized pot to allow proper growth.

3. How Often should Alocasia Regal Shield be Misted?

Misting the plant once a week is enough to keep it healthy and maintain the moisture level.

Make sure to mist only the leaves and not the soil, as it may lead to waterlogging issues.

4. Is Alocasia Regal Shields Rare?

The Alocasia Regal Shield is found all across the globe. These plants thrive, especially in a tropical environment.

To Sum It Up!

Alocasia Regal Shield is a beautiful tropical plant known for its unique ‘elephant-shaped leaves.

In addition, it is a plant well known for its purifying abilities and would be a perfect pick for any household.

Despite its tropical nature, it can be grown in a household environment with attention and care.

Following the proper care tips and tricks, the plant can grow into full size within a couple of years.

Alocasia Regal Shield is one plant you need to have if you want a mix of aesthetic and tropical looks.

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