The Alocasia Cuprea is Known by many names, among which are “Red secret”, “Jewel Alocasia”, “Mirror Plant” etc as a result of their arrow-like shaped leaves which have a plastic-like feel to them.
Their leaves can be dark green with purplish edges, or copperish with a glossy metallic look.
They are natives from the hot humid area of Borneo in southeastern Asia. Alocasia Cuprea was introduced into Europe by Thomas Lobb in the 1950s and has over the years become a household plant.
The word Cuprea is a Latin word for copper which represents the color of their leaves which is one of the major features that distinguishes them from the other alocasia plants. Identifying them can be quite easy as their leaves are shaped in the form of an arrow and they appear in either green, black, or reddish hues.
How To Care For Alocasia Cuprea
Unlike other household plants, watering the alocasia Cuprea requires extra care due to its sensitive nature to moisture.
Watering the plant to the point of being soaking wet causes soil compaction which is a situation where the soil becomes too stressed and dense causing displacement of air from the pores between soil grains.
Waterlogged soil can cause root rot if not handled properly. Alocasia Cuprea like other plants requires water to survive but it has to be in moderation.
Over watering the plant without any means of draining the soil can damage its roots and under-watering them is no good either.
To beat this Challenge, always measure the level of dryness of your soil before watering. This can be done manually by feeling the texture of the topsoil, or you can use a moisture meter to a
ascertain the level of dampness.
The results obtained from the soil moisture analysis should serve as a guide on the quantity of water needed for your plant.
One of the outstanding characteristics of the alocasia Cuprea is its bright and colorful leaves.
They need access to bright and indirect sunlight to grow. The level of sunlight the plants get will determine the color of their leaves.
Chlorophylls are responsible for absorbing sunlight and giving plants their colors. If they are denied sunlight, the leaves lose their colors, and if exposed to excessive sunlight, the leaves can become tolerated and die off.
Alocasia Cuprea should be placed in areas with access to bright and indirect sunlight such as windows.
Plant lights can also be used to provide illumination in situations where the window is not suitable for the plant. For outdoor cultivation, they can be kept in shaded areas with protection against direct sunlight.
Alocasia Cuprea requires well-draining soil for proper growth due to its susceptibility to root rot. A good potting mix will not only aid the growth of the plant but also help in discarding excess water trapped in the soil.
Soil needs to breathe and soggy soil blocks air and other nutrients from reaching the roots of the plant thereby causing compaction.
This can be remedied by using a potty mix that includes peat, coir fiber, and perlite as they can assist the soil in draining excess water.
Temperature And Humidity
Alocasia Cuprea, just like most plants in the tropical rainforest, is accustomed to a particular range of temperature, as any significant change in this can hurt them. The tropical rainforests are usually humid, moist, and warm. So for the healthy growth of our alocasia Cuprea, we need to replicate such an environment in our homes.
A temperature range between 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit will be sufficient for the healthy growth of the plant.
They can also be kept in locations with high humidity within the household such as the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. If that’s not sufficient, a humidifier can be used to maintain a high level of humidity in the room.
Just like with the alocasia Amazonica, diluted organic fertilizer can be applied to the plant every 2 weeks during the growing season.
During the winter season, do not fertilize the plant as this might burn the root of the plant due to it being in a state of dormancy.
Alocasia plants require a warm, humid, and moist environment to grow. During the winter season, the environment becomes cold and dry which is not ideal for plant growth. When faced with such situations, they go into a self-protective mode by becoming dormant.
During this period, they might experience leaf loss, and appear stunted and weak. After winter is over, and the environment becomes conducive again, they bounce back to their original state.
Common Pests And Plants Disease In Alocasia Cuprea
One of the common diseases among all alocasia varieties is the crown, stem, and root rot. This disease is caused by a Pythium parasite. It is a waterborne disease that takes advantage of waterlogged soil to cause root rot which will later spread to the stem and crown.
This disease is difficult to diagnose as it occurs beneath the soil and only spreads upwards when the roots are already damaged. Always look out for any mushy smell emanating from the soil as this might be a sign of root rot.
To remedy this, the plant needs to be transferred to a new pot. During the process of switching, ensure you dust off any residue of soil on the plant before repotting.
The most common pest that attacks alocasia Cuprea includes spider mites, Whiteflies, and aphids. Spider mites attack the leaf of the plant leaving behind a trail of spots, discoloration, and patches.
Whiteflies and aphids are Sap sucking insects that attach themselves beneath the leaves of alocasia Cuprea. Their sap-sucking activities cause the leaves to turn yellow, dry off, and fall off
They can be controlled by using Neem oil or insecticidal soaps.
Alocasia Cuprea Propagation
Root division is the ideal method of propagating alocasia Cuprea and the best time for doing it is during repotting. In carrying out this process, ensure that the plant has more than 1 bulb with flowers growing on them.
The steps to achieve this include:
- During Repotting, remove the plant from the pot with care so as not to damage the root system.
- Dust off any remaining soil on the roots of the plant.
- Separate the child root from the parent by using a disinfected knife to divide across the middle.
- Transfer both bulbs into their already prepared new pot.
- Cover the roots of the bulbs with a potting mix and water them.
- Place both pots beside an east-facing window to get enough sunlight.
In a few weeks, you should be able to see both plants recuperating.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
You can propagate Alocasia cuprea through root division. During Repotting, use a disinfected knife to cut between the two bulbs. Place them in their new pot, water them, and place them under bright and indirect sunlight.
Yes. Using clean and disinfected pruning shears, cut off the dead leaves from the plant. This will allow the plant to focus all of its energy on the remaining newer leaves.
Alocasia cuprea requires sunlight to grow effectively. For larger leaves, ensure you find an optimal location where your plant can get constant access to indirect sunlight as this will help boost foilage size.
After 4 to 6 weeks, you should be able to start seeing changes in your newly planted bulb.
Start by setting aside a new pot for repotting. Remove the plant from its old pot. Dust off any bit of remaining soil on the root of the alocasia Cuprea. Place the plant in the new pot and place it beside an east-facing window.