Alocasia Baginda is a stunning houseplant that offers a certain eerie but beautiful aesthetic to whatever space they are placed in. And it comes as no surprise that they are so popular among home gardeners and designers when looking at the Alocasia genus.
The Dragon scale (as it is sometimes also referred to) is admired for its lush, exotic emerald green and scaliness that bears a close resemblance to the scales of dragons.
Alocasias are well loved by many and used as a decorative plant in so many homes dating back to the 1950s; the beauty of the Alocasia Baginda is one of the numerous reasons it is so loved. Another, is the fact that it is also easy to grow and care for. This makes it a darling to many plant lovers.
A quick check of the Alocasia Baginda shows that it is native to Southern Asia and Eastern Australia. It is a rhizomatous plant, which is a part of the Alocasia genus and the Araceae family – this goes to show that it is a tropical plant and its natural habitat is the rain forests.
An interesting fact to note is that the Alocasia genus has over 70 other species; a whole family of beauties.
|Botanical name||Alocasia Baginda|
|Common name||Dragon plant or Dragon scale plant|
|Mature size||31 to 70 inches|
|Sun exposure||Indirect, bright sunlight|
|Soil type||Well draining but moist loamy soil|
|Soil pH||Slightly acidic (5.5 to 6.5)|
How To Care For Alocasia Baginda
Whilst it may be easy caring for an Alocasia Baginda it is not a rosy experience for beginners. Learning and knowing how to give proper care to them is important, this way one can enjoy and appreciate how beautiful they can be. The points following will give you some of the most basic care guides to keep your dragon scale thriving.
Plants will only survive and do well in soil that favors them and meets their nutritional needs. This principle is no different from the needs of the dragon scale. It favors well-drained, moist soil.
If the soil appears to be too heavy, then it is recommended that you add one part of perlite or sand to the mix of aroid amended with organic high-quality fertilizers.
Frequent repotting is inadvisable and not required. The Alocasia Baginda will do just fine when root-bound. If there arises a need for repotting, then it should be done in the spring season; at this time the dragon plant is just exiting its dormant phase. You should take note that repotting becomes very necessary when the plant has outgrown its pot. A common symptom to know when this happens is the yellowing of leaves.
Alocasia Baginda lighting needs
The Alocasia Baginda in its natural habitat can be found under a canopy of bigger trees and plants thriving from indirect or filtered sunlight. The same principle applies if it is to be grown in-house. The foliage if exposed to direct sunlight will be scorched, and the browning of leaves and its eventual death.
You wouldn’t want this, that is why indirect but bright sunlight is your best shot at keeping the Dragon plant happy (one of your shots).
Temperature and humidity
Plants also go through stress; this stress can result in numerous negative factors stunted growth is one of them. The Alocasia Baginda when it is not placed or grown in a suitable environment will begin to lose its beauty or never bloom at all in the first place.
To Avoid the Dragon scale losing or not reaching its full beauty, you need to ensure that your plant is kept away from hot or cold drafts. The ideal temperature for an Alocasia Baginda is 61℉ to 81℉ (anything below this level or above it would only result in stunted growth or eventual death).
The plant does better where there is higher humidity. If you must have them indoors then consider an indoor humidifier which will come in handy when the air in the home becomes too dry. When you don’t have access to a humidifier, then fill a pebbles tray with water and place the plant in it; this would work just fine, as the water evaporates it leaves the air humid for your Alocasia Baginda.
Maintaining the Alocasia Baginda doesn’t require much, this is evident in the fact that fertilizers aren’t applied as often as possible compared to other plants; sometimes, for the dragon scale just once a month during the warmer season and it requires no application of fertilizers when it becomes cold. Note that this isn’t a hard and fast rule, you may need to apply fertilizers during the colder seasons in case of special needs.
It is recommended that at least once every six weeks is enough; the recommended quantity is half diluted house plant fertilizer.
Propagating the Dragon Scale
It is important to note that the Alocasia Baginda cannot be reproduced through cuttings of its leaves or stem but through its offset and clumps (produced by the plant). It is propagated by splitting and cultivating the cutouts independently. Mid-sp in the ring is the best propagation time.
Common pests and diseases
The dragon scale does encounter a few problems with the likes of spider mites and mealybugs. Treating when infested by these is easy. Soap or a simple insecticidal spray on the leaves of the affected plant will clear the problem. The application of this should be done once every four weeks.
Other problems that affect the Alocasia Baginda include
This is a black or dark brown spot that appears on the upper, sometimes lower, or even both sides of the leaves. These spots are rimmed by some sort of yellow coloring around them. Watering will prevent this from happening, this also covers avoiding overwatering.
Whilst it is easy to care for the Alocasia Baginda, one needs to remain careful because these plants tend to be very sensitive and a handful sometimes. Its sensitivity can extend to minerals such as chlorine and calcium, even to excessive salts. Ensure that you always use a balanced fertilizer and watering must be done with water low in chlorine else spots begin to appear on the leaf. That wouldn’t be a pretty sight on an Alocasia Baginda.
The blooms of the Alocasia Baginda are just as beautiful as the plant. Its flowering season begins around summer and spring as well. The blooms are however not the primary reason why the plant is grown – its center of attraction is its striking metallic-green foliage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The simple answer is yes, they are poisonous to humans. The plant contains toxins that can cause skin irritation and a burning sensation in the mouth and throat. Ingestion may also lead to severe consequences like respiratory problems, swallowing difficulty, and even seizures.
Whilst cats are generally not affected by the plant but still pose some risks, it can be deadly to other pets like dogs; it can make them ill due to a substance called calcium oxalates. If ingested in high quantities, it could lead to kidney failure.
If you always have a strange feeling that your Alocasia Baginda sweats, then you’re right and it means you need to pay attention to your plant. A sweating Alocasia is a sign that its potting soil is too moist; although the plant favors moist environments, it detests sitting in an overly moist one.
A drooping dragon plant is not a good sign. This may be because the plant needs water. The Alocasia Baginda needs more water compared to other Alocasia species. Also, it may be drooping because it does not get enough light. Nutrient deficiency is also another reason, ensure that you fertilize the plant so it gets enough needed nutrients.
Depending on the size of the plant they range anywhere from as low as $10 to over $200 per piece.