Alocasia, elephant ear - care and help with yellow leaves

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Alocasia, elephant ear - care and help with yellow leaves: alocasia

These extravagant tropical plants are among the most beautiful petals and are the eye-catcher in every living room, conservatory or on the windowsill. Their attractive stalked leaves are getting bigger and bigger over the years. They can be completely green or stand out with a white-green pattern. The rather rare white flower bulbs show their relationship to the arum family.

Care Instructions

The care of these very noble looking plants is a bit more expensive than most houseplants. In order to thrive optimally, they need environmental conditions that prevail in their natural habitat. Only then can they develop into true beauties and unfold their full splendor. There are no major differences in care between the numerous representatives of this genus of plants. The main focus is on the supply of water and the right location.

habitat requirements

The elephant ear thrives best in warm, partially shaded locations with sufficient daylight and no blazing sun. After a short settling-in period this plant gets along well in completely shady locations.
  • Sun is beneficial in the morning and in the evening
  • Blazing sun can quickly lead to burns of the leaves
  • Location in front of an east or west facing window recommended
  • Well suited is a heated conservatory
  • From the end of May to about September, an outdoor location is also possible
  • In addition a protected place in the garden, on balcony and terrace select
  • Avoid direct sunlight, drafts and temperature fluctuations
  • This applies to indoor and outdoor locations
  • Elephant ear needs a lot of heat throughout the year
  • Optimum room temperature is between 15 and 22 degrees
  • Temperatures should not fall below 15 degrees, even in winter
Tip: As the Alocasia likes to grow in the direction of the light, it is advisable to rotate them regularly.

soil quality

Elephant Ear - Alocasia - Alokasia

Above all, the substrate should be loose and slightly acidic. For this one can use high-quality potted soil with some sand and coarse particles such. fine gravel, grit, expanded clay or lava. The addition of Kokohum increases the structural stability of the substrate, it loosens and the storage capacity of water and nutrients is increased.
Another alternative is a mixture of commercially available potting soil, Kokoshumus and Tongranulat or Perlite. Dried coffee grounds may improve the acidic environment of the substrate. In addition, there is a mixture of Lauberde, peat and sphagnum moss. Instead of Lauberde also commercially available unit earth can be used, which adds some peat.
Tip:Peat as an admixture has the property to regulate the acidity of the soil and thus contributes to soil improvement.

to water

Earth culture
The water requirement of this fascinating plant is comparatively high. The substrate or bale should be evenly moist at all times. Especially in summer, a constant high soil moisture is important due to the higher evaporation. However, waterlogging should be avoided, as it can quickly damage the roots. Therefore, excess water in coasters and planters should always be removed quickly. The substrate should not completely dry out either.
Tip: It should preferably be watered with soft, room warm rainwater, if necessary also with mineral water. Kalkhaltiges tap water is less well suited.
To optimally supply specimens in hydroponics with water without drowning them, it is advisable to use a water level indicator. It uses a scale to indicate when and how much water the plant needs. The less the water level indicator moves specifically at the elephant ear, the better. For hydroponic crops, it is usually sufficient to water once a week and once every two weeks in winter.


In addition to sufficient water, this attractive plant needs a constant high humidity. At its natural location, this is more than 90 percent. In order to be nearly fair, they should be sprayed regularly, preferably daily, with well-tempered, lime-free or low-limp water. In addition, it is helpful to place the plant in a bowl filled with stones and water. She should not stand directly in the water.
Tip: For example, optimum humidity can be achieved very well in a closed flower window or in a plant display case.


  • Need for nutrients is moderately high
  • Regularly supply manure leaves from March / April to September with fertilizer
  • In a fortnightly rhythm, administer a high-quality liquid fertilizer over the irrigation water
  • Commercial long-term fertilizer less well suited
  • Over-fertilization should be avoided at all costs
  • The substrate would over acidify and damage the roots
  • If in doubt prefer to fertilize less than too much

To cut

Alocasia - Elephant Ear - Alokasia

Basically, a cut of these plants is not required and usually not desirable. Advisable is only the occasional cleaning dry, welker leaves. A branching, such as those obtained when pruning other plants, remains with the Alocasia. Yellow, unsightly leaves that naturally appear from time to time in the lower part of the plant can easily be removed at any time.
Cut out the flower
A flower, in the form of a white bulb, surrounded by an initially light green and later white bract, is rarely seen in the Alocasia. As a rule, only older and larger specimens produce flowers and only under optimal conditions. Should it really bloom, it is recommended to cut them off. Leaving them will cost the plant a great deal of energy, which could make them dying in the worst case.
Tip: From the fertilized flowers develop bright red berries, which are very decorative, but strongly toxic, unless one cuts off the flowers before.


From about September, the elephant ear stops a growth break. Then it should be bright, at temperatures not below 15 degrees. This plant also tolerates year round temperatures around 20 degrees. In a cooler hibernation wilks part of the leaves and falls off. The new launch will take place from April. Even if the water requirement is significantly lower in winter, a uniform soil moisture should be maintained and the substrate should not dry out completely. There is no fertilization during this time. Only at the beginning of the growing season, a little more is poured and fertilized regularly with the first new shoot.


Due to the strong growth of the Alocasia every 2-3 years, repotting in fresh substrate and a larger planter is recommended. At the latest, when the roots grow out of the drainage holes or are already visible on the surface, it is time to repot.
  • The best time is the late winter from mid-February to the end of March
  • The new planter should be big enough
  • Diameter of the new pot about 20% larger than that of the old one
  • First carefully remove the plant from the old pot
  • Free bales from the old earth
  • In doing so, damage the root as little as possible
  • Then equip the new pot with drainage for protection against waterlogging
  • Add a portion of the substrate and insert the plant
  • When filling with substrate, gently shake the plant back and forth
  • So cavities in the root area should be prevented
  • These could endanger the stability of the plant
  • Fill planter with soil up to a few centimeters below the edge
  • Press lightly on the soil and sprinkle well
Tip: For higher planters, it is advisable to use suitable plant inserts, which ensure that the roots do not come into contact with stagnant water.


Sowing is possible all year round. However, the seeds should be as fresh as possible, as they remain viable only for a very short time and therefore are also very limited shelf life. It is best to sow them directly after the purchase. Before starting the actual sowing, let the seeds soak in lukewarm water for about 24 hours. It is then spread on a mixture of commercially available seed soil and sand or perlite and covered a maximum of 1 cm with substrate. Kokohum is also very suitable as a seed substrate.

Alocasia - Elephant Ear - Alokasia

The substrate is lightly pressed and moistened. It should be constantly moist throughout the germination process, but never wet. In a warm place, at temperatures between 25 and 28 degrees germinate the seeds with a little luck after about 3-6 weeks. Not all seeds germinate at the same time, but rather irregularly.
Another more effective way to multiply the elephant ear is to divide the rhizome. It is best to use repotting to split the plant. After taking them out of the pot, divide the rootstock into individual pieces, which are then allowed to dry slightly. Each of these sections should have small shoot approaches. Now you can drive them by placing them horizontally on moist peat and prefers.
From the age of about three years an Alocasia forms so-called daughter plants, which can be used very well for an increase. They should have a minimum size of 15 cm. It is carefully separated from the mother plant and put into a mixture of sand and peat. The whole thing is moistened and placed in a sheltered and above all warm place. The conditions should remain constant until fully rooted.

Causes of leaf discoloration

The occasional appearance of yellow leaves is a natural process and not a cause for concern.However, if it does increase, it may also have other causes, such as: an unfavorable location or mistake in the care. Very often too much wetness or stagnant moisture is responsible for the yellowing of leaves. This, in turn, may be the result of a lack of drainage or impermeable substrate.
Even if the substrate is permanently too dry, this can lead to yellow leaves. Brown-yellow leaf tips are usually an indication of low humidity. On the other hand, if the leaves and their leaf veins are yellow or lightened, there may be an iron deficiency, which is often caused by a too high pH or calcareous irrigation water. On the other hand, yellow speckles on the leaves may indicate an infestation with sucking insects.

Help with yellow leaves

Alocasia - Elephant Ear - Alokasia

The promises first a corresponding change of location. In addition, the casting behavior should be adapted to the needs of the plant and affected plants should be repotted if necessary into fresh substrate. Excess irrigation water must be removed in a timely manner. The humidity can be increased by frequent spraying accordingly. Casting with lime-free water can counteract iron deficiency and unfavorable soil pH. If there is a pest infestation, this should be eliminated as soon as possible.


Causes of a pest infestation, for example, with spider mites, wool or lice are often unfavorable housing conditions, especially dry heating air in the winter months. Remedy can be the manual removal and brewing with room-warm water and treatment with neem oil or paraffin oil containing preparations. In addition, the use of beneficials can be helpful.

What to look for when buying?

When buying an Alocasia, you should pay attention to a few things to enjoy this beautiful plant for a long time. Best time to buy is spring, so she can get used to the new conditions best. The size of the pot and the density of the plant can say a lot about the quality of the plant. The leaves should already have a stately size and the individual drawing should be clearly visible.
Damaged leaves but also discoloration of the leaves or leaf margins are often the result of poor transport and storage conditions. For example, leaf spots may indicate damage caused by both cold and too much sun. In addition, one should pay attention to a possible pest infestation and avoid such plants better.

Video Board: Proper Care Of The (Elephant Ear) Alocasia.

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