Elephant Ear - Alocasia cucullata

Sprouts of Bristol
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£55.00
 

Scientific Name
Alocasia cucullata (Hooded lotus-root plant)

Common Name
Chinese Taro, Buddha's Hand, Elephant Ear

Origin
Native to tropical and temperate parts of Asia

Description
The Alocasia cucullta's glossy green leaves cup round, giving it its scientific name, meaning 'hooded', but the prominent veins on the leaves also earnt it the nickname 'Buddha's hand', as the finger-like veins reach across the length of the leaf. Believed to bring good luck, you'll also find this plant in Buddhist temples in its native Thailand and Laos. Each leaf perches on the end of a long, green stem and this lush foliage will bring tropical tranquillity to your home.


Light
Bright, indirect light will make alocasias happy- either from overhead or within 2m of a window; in a shadier location, keep the leaves free of dust to maximise light. Just make sure it's not bright direct sun for too long as this can scorch the leaves!


Water
Allow the top third of the soil to dry out in between waters; keep in mind it will need slightly less watering in the cooler months.


Humidity
Average household humidity is fine; when your heating is on, try increasing the humidity with a humidity tray. Misting will also work to raise humidity if done frequently.


Soil
Use a moisture-retentive soil to keep this thirsty plant happy but not too soggy. Repot every two years if absolutely necessary; these plants would rather be potbound than risk being shocked by moving.


Food
Feed every four waters in the growing season, reduce to every six in autumn and winter. Pre-water the soil before adding 'ready to use' products to protect the roots.


Temperature
Ideally likes temperatures of 20-30°C; make sure it doesn't drop below 12°C in winter.


Pet-safe
No, this plant is toxic to pets and small humans.

Sprouts Top Tips
To maintain your alocasia, prune away any yellowed leaves with a sharp blade and clean cuts; don't cut through yellowed tissue and make sure cuts are clean to avoid shocking the plant!