This article has been checked for horticultural accuracy by Oliver Parsons.
Alocasia wentii, commonly known as hardy elephant ear, is the perfect choice if you want to make a bold statement with your house plant collection, but aren't afraid of something that requires a little more care. With stunning dark green, glossy leaves with purple undersides and a ruffled texture, it's sure to create an impact in your home. Although it does occasionally produce pale coloured spathes, the leaves are the main feature. Alocasia wentii can become a very tall plant, but kept in a pot indoors it is likely to reach about 90cm, with leaves reaching up to 30cm in length.
How to care for Alocasia wentii
Alocasia wentii can be challenging to grow, but in the right environment and with the correct care, it can thrive in the home. It should be placed in a spot that receives indirect bright light and it requires high levels of humidity. You may find that your plant goes into dormancy (dies back) in winter, or when temperature and light levels decrease, so consider using a grow light to prevent this.
In warmer months, keep the soil moist but ensure it doesn't become waterlogged – reduce watering when it's cooler or if the plant goes into dormancy. It's crucial to get watering right when caring for your Alocasia wentii: too much water can cause root rot and too little could cause it to wilt, and potentially die. Always allow the top few centimetres of compost to dry out before adding more water.
Alocasia wentii can be susceptible to spider mites. These thrive in dry climates so mist the leaves regularly to raise humidity. Standing the pot on a tray of pebbles with water can also help increase humidity around the plant.
Advice on buying Alocasia wentii
- Alocasia wentii needs indirect bright light and a humid environment. Ensure you have the right growing requirements before buying
- You may find an Alocasia wentii at your local garden centre but you'll find more choice online
- Always check plants for signs of disease or damage before buying
Where to buy Alocasia wentii
Alocasia and wildlife
Alocasia has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.
Is Alocasia poisonous?
Alocasia causes an upset stomach, irritates eyes, irritates skin, is harmful if ingested and toxins are absorbed by the skin.
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