dwarfing alocasia?

paul_(z5 MI)November 17, 2009

I was curious if it is possible to dwarf an Alocasia. I have a bunch of bulblets from an Alocasia 'Polly'. I thought it might look cool to put them in a bonsai pot that I have. However, I am too new to them to know whether being kept confined to a small pot will induce them to stay small -- assuming they sprout for me. Any ideas?

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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

I find that any of the Alocasia I have grown (only a few by the way) stay much, much smaller in a pot than in the ground and produce far fewer leaves......not sure if this is my poor culture conditions or generally true, but I'm guessing they will stay much smaller.....I've got a few Alocasia with big yellow leaves (can't remember the name) that have only grown leaves 2-3 inches long in the 3 inch pot they are in compared to 3 feet long when in the ground.....again, limited experience, but seems to work if you really constrain them and never bother to fertilize.....best of luck :o) Dan

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 9:42PM
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I have zero knowledge of bonsai but I do study aroids.

I'd suggest you talk to someone that knows how to create a bonsai but my guess would be you are dealing with two very different groups of plants.

What I know for certain is Alocasia Poly is only a natural form of Alocasia Amazonica. I traded mail with my friends Denis and Bill Rotolante at Silver Krome Gardens just this morning who found the form now sold as Alocasia Poly (correctly with one L, not two) to confirm this information. The only difference is "Poly" is a smaller variation.

The "poly" came from the term polyploid which indicates a plant has double the normal chromosomes. However, in the case of Alocasia Poly DNA tests proved otherwise. The plant is just a natural variation of a plant that was originally hybridized by Salvadore Mauro in Miami, FL in the 1950's at a nursery named the Amazon Nursery. Thus the name "amazonica". There are no natural Alocasia species in the Americas since all 100 or so species come from SE Asia and/or the islands in the near Pacific region.

If you're interested the entire story it is told at the link below but I caution the story is evolving each and every day so I'm now forced to update the page daily.

It is likely a story will be published by another author on the International Aroid Society website in the next few months about this "sordid affair".

Here is a link that might be useful: Alocasia Amazonica

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 12:05AM
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I enjoy reading this thread. Please see the attached web page from Aroidia Research and you will see a very small Alocasia....Smallest I've ever seen.

Here is a link that might be useful: A. Microdora

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 11:48AM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

There is an obvious difference between dwarfing a plant and having a bonsai. You could theoretically use a dwarf form of any aroid (or a dwarf aroid) as a companion plant for your bonsai display......but this is way beyond any discussion here.

As I said, if you want to dwarf a large Alocasia confine it to a very small pot and it will never get large.....I have Alocasia 'Lime Zinger' in a 3 inch pot......have had it that way for 2 years.....the largest leaf is around 3 inches.....if this is what you want (mine is like that because I got it for free and just had no interest in it at all so have never bothered with it) then you can do it :o) Dan

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 10:46PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Thanks folks! While I love bonsai, Dan, I don't think I have the patience or vision to truly succeed at one. I'll settle for dwarfing. LOL

I enjoyed the article, btw. :)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 5:50PM
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