Alocasia frydek (a-loh-KAY-see-uh fry-DECK) is a member of the Araceae family of plants. You may hear this tropical plant commonly referred to as:
- Alocasia Green Velvet
- Elephant Ear Alocasia
- Green Velvet Alocasia
- Velvet Alocasia
- Alocasia Micholitziana Frydek
The genus Alocasia (African Mask plant) consists of approximately eighty species of herbaceous perennial plants that hail from the subtropical regions of eastern Australia and South East Asia. These plants are relatives of the Colocasia (Elephant Ear plant) or taro plant. Its beautiful foliage and leaf patterns make them popular potted plants.
Alocasia Frydek Care
Size & Growth
Some varieties of Alocasia can attain a height of 20′ feet; however, Alocasia Green Velvet typically grows to a height of 2′ or 3′ feet with an equal spread.
The leaves of Green Velvet are typically arrowhead or heart-shaped and about a foot long. Plant leaves are very deep green, almost black with bright white lateral veins. The leaves grow individually on tall, sturdy, succulent stems.
Flowering & Fragrance
Elephant Ear Alocasia has beautiful foliage, but it can flower under ideal conditions in the springtime. It produces a fleshy spadix made up of many tiny flowers. After pollination, the flowers become tiny berries.
The flowering of this plant is an infrequent event, and are very unlikely to ever see an Alocasia growing as a houseplant.
Light Conditions & Temperature
Green Velvet likes partial shade outdoors (no direct sunlight) and bright, indirect light indoors. As a houseplant, this plant does well in an east-facing window where it can get several morning sun and indirect afternoon sun hours.
If you’re keeping your Alocasia in a south-facing window, you may wish to shade it with a light curtain.
These plants like a consistently warm temperature no lower than 55° Fahrenheit and not exceeding 80° Fahrenheit.
Alocasia is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9B through 11. When temperatures become cooler and the days become shorter, your plant may drop its leaves. Don’t despair! This is an expected period of dormancy, and your plant will revive in the springtime.
Watering & Feeding
Like most tropical plants, Green Velvet Alocasia likes moist soil but not soggy soil. Use the soak and dry watering method to water thoroughly when the top inch of soil is dry.
In the winter months, reduce watering. Do not let the soil become completely dry during the spring and summer because this will spur your plant to go into a dormant phase.
In the wintertime, you will want to reduce watering to allow your plant to become dormant and have a rest.
Because Alocasia is a jungle plant, it likes humid conditions. Mist your plant every day and/or keep a humidifier nearby. Yellow or brown spots appear when the humidity is low.
Feed your Green Velvet plant using a diluted solution of a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer during the growing season. Twice monthly is an excellent fertilizing schedule for Alocasia.
Potting Soils & Transplanting
Green Velvet likes a slightly acidic, well-draining, light, airy, fertile soil that holds moisture well. Make sure that the soil is light and well-draining. Use a pot with plenty of drainage holes to prevent root rot.
A soil mixture rich in peat or humus is desirable. Add in elements such as sand, perlite, and/or orchid bark to lighten the soil and improve drainage. Maintain a pH level ranging from 5.5 through 6.5.
Alocasias do not need repotting very often, and these plants like to be a little bit root-bound. Generally speaking, repot once every couple of years in the springtime. Choose a well-draining pot that is one or two sizes larger than the pot your plant currently has.
Grooming & Maintenance
After a cold spell, your plant’s leaves may yellow. When this happens, trim them away using a sharp, sterile cutting implement. Cut each yellow leaf to the base of the plant.
If your plant is outside and a sudden cold spell causes it to die back, simply cut back the dead leaves entirely and protect your plant until it regrows.
Related: Growing Alocasia Polly Amazonica
How To Propagate Alocasia Frydek
After your plants’ dormant phase is over and has started to regrow in the spring, you can propagate new plants through division. To do this, when you repot your plant, simply separate the tubers from the mother plant into two or more new plants.
Because Alocasia is a rhizomatous perennial, you can separate the bulbs individually to create multiple new plants.
Alocasia Frydek Pest or Diseases
The main problems you will encounter with this plant come from overwatering or under-watering. Either can lead to problems such as insect infestation and/or root rot.
Spider mites are especially attracted to Green Velvet plants. Other common house plant pests such as mealybugs may also be problematic in plants over or under watered or kept in less than ideal conditions.
Read this article on natural spider mite killer and Tips on How To Kill Mealy Bugs here.
Overwatering may also cause root rot and yellowing leaves. Lack of humidity may cause loss of leaves, brown leaf tips, or drooping leaves.
Take care that your plant never becomes too cold. It’s best to ensure that temperatures stay above 60° degrees Fahrenheit at all times. When your Alocasia plant goes into dormancy, the leaves will yellow; however, this is not a cause for alarm.
When this happens, simply trim leaves back and wait until springtime when your plant revives.
Is Alocasia Considered Toxic Or Poisonous To People, Kids, Pets?
All parts of the Alocasia plant are toxic to kids, pets, and livestock. This is because these plants contain oxalate crystals. Ingesting Alocasia can cause pain and swelling, and oral irritation. If a great deal of the plant is consumed, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, and gastric distress may ensue.
Is Alocasia Considered Invasive?
This tropical rainforest plant is considered invasive in some parts of Asia. If you live in a tropical or semi-tropical setting and keep your Alocasia outside, take care to keep it contained so that it does not become problematic.
Suggested Alocasia Frydek Uses
Throughout most parts of the United States, Alocasia frydek grows as a houseplant. It is recommended for experienced indoor gardeners because it is a bit finicky and difficult to care for.
Suppose you have a room that receives consistent, bright, indirect sunlight and maintains a consistently warm temperature. In that case, you can be successful with this plant as a houseplant if you can provide a good humidity level.
You must remember to maintain a regular watering schedule and fertilize regularly throughout the growing season.
In a tropical setting, Alocasia is an excellent addition under trees that provide high shade.
You can also grow the plant outdoors during spring and summer in areas with colder winters, but you must remember to bring them in early in the autumn. It’s best to keep them in containers to set outside during the warmer months rather than planting them directly into the garden.