How to Care for Alocasia Polly
Truly tropical, Alocasia Polly, also known as Elephant Ear, Polly African Mask, Amazon Taro, and Alocasia Amazonica Polly, is a perennial evergreen with large, bold arrow-shaped leaves adorned with creamy white streaks. It can grow up to 18 inches in height and 45 centimeters wide and produces occasional yellow flowers that are like calla lily flowers.
Described as gentle perennials, they make the perfect greenhouse plant or indoor houseplant for its striking architectural shapes, as well as for containers, shade gardens, beds and borders, and patio giving off that ideal tropical touch.
While considered easy to grow and fast-growing, their very particular needs might not be the best idea for beginner plant parents. But if you’re feeling adventurous and want something exotic, bold, and proud for an ornamental plant, then here are some basic rules that must be respected to ensure your Alocasia Polly thrives well.
Where To Place Your Alocasia Polly
Being a tropical plant, Polly treasures stable humidity, warmth, and water. It also prefers medium to bright, indirect light and must be kept away from direct sunlight and low light to avoid the leaves from burning and drying.
However, a bright spot is still the most suitable, so rotate it every week and provide it with moderate shade to give sunlight exposure to all sides of the plant and maintain its straight-up growth.
One of its distinct characteristics is having thick stems that store moisture so that it doesn’t have to be dependent on soil moisture to feed itself. Oxygen is also vital for its thick but soft roots. These qualities make Polly sensitive to overwatering, so it’s crucial to only water when the soil is dry.
A handy trick is to get a sense of the plant’s weight by lifting it after watering for the first time. Do the same step after two weeks, the plant should be light by this point which indicates that it’s time to water again.
While Polly is a tropical plant, it’s not drought tolerant so never leave it under prolonged cycles of dryness that can cause the browning of leaf edges. A suggested schedule is to water it weekly and give it regular misting to ensure the soil is constantly moist. Adjust your watering practice particularly during the dry season to at least every two days while every few weeks for the rainy and winter season.
When Polly is inactive, it’s normal to see fading or drying leaves. Lessen watering and feeding and move the plant to a warm area until the next growing season.
Humidity and temperature
As mentioned, Polly loves a warm and humid environment. You can supplement this further by doing regular misting, setting it alongside other indoor plants, or putting it on a pebble tray with water.
The ideal temperature is within 18-25ºC and best to avoid sudden temperature drops and cold drafts.
During the growing season from spring to summer, provide Polly with monthly feeding while once every three months during the fall and winter seasons. You can use either a general houseplant fertilizer, liquid fertilizer, or fertilizing sticks (3-4 times a year).
Adding tattered bark or cocoa bean hulls throughout the plant base also nourishes the soil and retains moisture.
Propagating can be done either by collecting Polly bulbs from the parent plant or waiting for the bulbs to grow into baby plants before separating. You can also choose to propagate it in water since it has semi-aquatic properties.
Is Alocasia Polly Toxic?
Polly can cause skin and eye irritation and is harmful when ingested, so ensure its location is not easily reached by children and pets at home.