3 leaves per Alocasia plant seems sparse

clibanarius(z8GA)January 27, 2009

Greetings,

Last summer I picked up a few small Alocasias (Aurora, gageana California, lauterbachiana in 3" pots) and converted them to soil-less media. Had a bit of a time getting the sunlight levels right, and then we had whiteflies and thrips, and then came the fall. Not the easiest start, but they're all doing fine, slowly but actively growing. So far, though, I can't seem to get more than 3 leaves at a time per plant, so that the opening of each new leaf coincides with the demise of the oldest leaf. The A. lauterbachiana produced a pup, but it too has only three leaves.

Is this typical (in which case denser plantings could solve the "problem")? Or, is it typical of young, or container-bound, or cold, or improperly cared-for Alocasias? I'd like to get a few more species, but more importantly I want to help the ones I have live up to their potential!

Cheers,

Alan

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aroideana(Tropical Australia)

3 leaves is typical for many Alocasias . I can keep several on lauterbachiana , but living in wet tropical conditions nearly identical to habitat really helps .

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 11:33PM
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cheerpeople

Yep. By then time the 4th leaf comes out the oldest leaf is yellowing.
A fuller look = more plants.
Illustris is the only one I had that had maybe 20+ leaves on the same plant.
And I didn't care for those tiny leaves- I like the giant leaves.
Karen

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 7:58PM
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chris_e_uk

Hi, Illustris is a Colocasia, not an Alocasia!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 9:16AM
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lariann(z10 FL)

I have found that my Alocasias typically hold 5 or more leaves (even lauterbachiana) when they are getting a constant regulated feed. This can be accomplished via a fertilizer injection system if your plants are irrigated automatically, or you can mix in a time release fert formulation such as Dynamite (available at Home Depot). Be prepared to repot one or more times in the summer because the plants really grow large that way, too.

I've seen lauterbachianas with 6 or more leaves at a time at a professional nursery with automatic irrigation and a metered regular soluble fertilizer injection system.

LariAnn
Aroidia Research

Here is a link that might be useful: Count the leaves!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 10:19AM
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clibanarius(z8GA)

LariAnn,

Hmm, that's definitely worth a try. I'm still trying to master the feeding of hydrocultured plants, and have been erring on the side of underfeeding. I just got back from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, where in one of the greenhouses I saw a couple huge A. portei (?unlabelled, unfortunately) with at least six leaves each; very impressive! Others were leafier as well.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 9:55PM
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