Elephant Ear Alocasia

celeySeptember 30, 2013

Hi there!
I have had this plant for over 5 months now. It was sold to us as an Alocasia, nothing more. I don't know a LOT about plants so as soon as we got home I searched to learn how to care for it. Realized in my search we had bought a very particular type of alocasia, known as Elephant Ear, I don't know though, if it is a taro plant or not. At first I had it indoors and after a couple of weeks of the plant thriving, it got pests, like mytes, so i tried the soap with no results and later went for the insecticide which killed everything, but I don't know if it was too late or what but the plant seemed to have died... I put it in the balcony (we live on a 3rd floor apt facing south) and to my surprise, started to get leaves back again, they started out small but have become fairly big lately. It had been doing really good, new big leaves started sprouting and it had like 4 big leaves at the same time with a new one coming. I spray water on it daily and water it a little on the big stem also everyday, seemed she was really liking the humidity. But over the weekend the leaves started drying out, first turned a little yellow around the leaves, the a bit of brown and just completely drying up. Seems to be from one moment to the next, friday they were all beautiful, saturday morning the same; somehow during that day something went wrong and it started drying up. Well this morning i went to water it and its worse, and when I look on the soil saw what I've never seen before, some tiny grey worms that seemed to be not moving... i'VE SPENT ALL DAY SEARCHING AND HAVE NO CLUE OF WHAT MY PLANT HAS OR WHAT O DO... and my plant nursery recently closed and have no idea where to go to, or what to do, or who to ask about it. I love this plant and i need help to save it!!! please help!!!

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marquest(z5 PA)

EEs like shade and moist. The pic is not good but what is on the soil look like maggots. They will appear because a bulb may have rotted.

In that pot you probably had several bulbs. One died causing your soil to be a breeding ground for the bugs.

I would dump the pot find the good bulb that is growing. Repot in good soil and give the plant some shade. The soil should be moist for them but until you get a lot of leaves the bulb will rot.

Since it seems one bulb has rotted the pot it Is in now may be too big keeping the soil to moist.

FYI these do not make good houseplants. They are bug magnets indoors. If they are grown in Morning Sun Afternoon shade and moist they can cover a patio with those big leaves and the bulb will make more bulbs.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 10:34PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

What you have celey, is almost certainly a colocasia, not an alocasia!
Both are considered EE, taro is a common name for colocasia that are used for food crops!

I'm not at all sure what pest you would have gotten on it indoors, while mites are common on EE, they laugh off insecticide, I think it makes their coat shiny...jk...what did the lil buggers look like?

That thing sticking out if the corner of the pot is a runner, a dead giveaway that is a colocasia!
There's also a dead dryied up runner there too!
Lending credit to marquest's suggestion that it's soil maggots, their advice to get fresh soil in, is sound.
Getting too dry could have caused these symptoms also.
They look awful big to be soil maggots, but I bet that's what the are!
They shouldnt hurt much, but they can chew at the bulb and kill a good one, especially if it's stressed!

It's very likely that they are working on it roots, making it impossible for the plant to get enough water up to the leaf, so they burn in the sun, it's also possible that it's just too dry, colocasia can go from moist to dry in no time! Those big leaves need lots of water!
These plants thrive on flooding, no daily sips!
In an apt. it's easier said than done, but when you repot it, you should hose off ALL the soil...replace it with good potting mix!
Water in well and take it easy on the sun and water until its recovered from repotting, keep it evenly moist, but not wet, after a week or 2 you can water daily, and return it to it's spot.
It may look like it dies altogether after the repot, fear not, the bulb will make a come back! And that runner will make a new plant too!
I see your in z10, overwatering a colocasia there is practically impossible!
I grow several if mine fully submerged, they don't mind as long as it's warm out! Alocasia like it drier, again if it's hot, they will take ALOT of water!

It will probably be fine even if you can't repot it...but I think you should replace it!
They are forgiving plants, thanks to that bulb!

I grow most of my EE, 60 varieties, in sun, as long as they aren't too dry, most prefer sun!

They love fertilizer too! Time release would probably be best for you.

Unlike marquest, I think they make excellent houseplants, alocasia are way better for it than colocasia, and they can attract and foster spider mites, it's true, but the mites are easily treated, just mist with water daily, occasionally wipe the leaves down with your hands or a cloth!
Ive never had an issue with anything else on them!

I grow in zone6, all my EE come in for the winter, some as houseplants, others I just let go dormant and then pack away the bulb, in zone 10, you can grow them year round!
If you'd like to learn more, swing by the aroids section, I may be the most hooked, but there's several EE junkies there...I don't think there's a cooler plant out there! Well maybe voodoo lilies top them...

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 12:50PM
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