The alocasia wentii are one of the few alocasia plants with enormous foliage. The plant itself can grow up to a size of 3 feet high and wide with its leaves reaching a size of around 30 to 40cm each. This is one of the easier varieties of alocasia to cultivate as it requires minimal maintenance.
Some other names associated with the alocasia wentii include the purple umbrella, new guinea shield, and the hardy elephant ear.
Alocasia wentii can be spotted easily because of their enormous foliage with great color combinations. Their leaves are green with a glossy look, ruffled texture adorned with a purplish underside hence the name purple umbrella.
The alocasia wentii is a cross breed between two alocasian parents ( Alocasia Gageana and Alocasia Odora) and originates from the mountains of New Guinea in the southeastern part of Asia.
|Scientific name||Alocasia Wentii.|
|Common name||New guinea shield, purple umbrella, Hardy elephant plant.|
|Size||3 feet high and wide.|
|Lighting||Bright indirect sunlight.|
|Soil||Moist but also well draining.|
|Temperature||60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit ( 16 to 30 degrees Celsius).|
|Fertilizer||Diluted organic fertilizer.|
|Soil pH||Neutral or acidic.|
|Propagation||Through root division.|
How To Care For Alocasia Wentii
Watering the alocasia wentii is pretty straightforward. Just like the other alocasia varieties, the alocasia wentii requires constant watering to keep the soil moist. Over watering of the alocasia wentii can cause soil compaction hindering air and other nutrients from reaching the root of the plant. During potting, ensure a well-draining soil is used to help drain/filter all excess water.
Seasons of the year will determine the frequency with which you water the plant. During the growing season ( spring and summer), you can water the plant once a week or as required to keep the soil moderately moist to prevent root rot. During the winter season, watering is not required as the plant roots might be inactive due to it being in a dormant state.
Before watering, always ensure you measure the level of dryness of the soil. This can be done manually by feeling the top of the soil with your hands to feel how wet it is or with the use of a moisture meter.
Considering the pot size, whenever the top one or two inches of the soil is dry, that’s the best time to water.
Just like all of the other varieties of the alocasia plants with origins from the southeastern part of Asia, they require a constant dose of sunlight. The alocasia wentii needs access to bright and indirect sunlight to be able to grow without issues.
To maintain their colorful bright leaves, they need sunlight for photosynthesis which is the process through which plants manufacture their food using chlorophyll, carbon dioxide, and sunlight.
Alocasia Wentii kept as a household plant needs to be placed in an area with access to bright and harmless sunlight. East-facing windows are best as they give access to early morning sunlight from the east.
And in situations where access to sunlight seems impossible at the moment, a plant light can be used as a substitute for sunlight. After watering, Place the alocasia wentii under the plant light and switch it on. This has the same effect on the plant as indirect sunlight.
The best type of soil for the alocasia wentii is one that is moist and well-draining. Waterlogged soil can lead to root rot causing serious damage to the plant.
To create better aeration in the soil, use a potty mix that contains one-third soil, one-third perlite, and finally one-third peat. This helps make the soil well-draining, porous, and at the same time moist.
Also the pH level of the soil matters. The ideal soil is one with a pH level of 5 – 8 which helps the soil gain access to all the necessary nutrients needed for healthy growth.
Temperature And Humidity
The tropical rainforest is known for its warm and humid weather conditions. Alocasia Wentii and most of the other alocasia varieties had their origin from the tropical rainforest thereby making them accustomed to certain weather conditions.
Alocasia Wentii requires a warm and humid environment to survive. Alocasia Wentii should be placed in spaces with a temperature range between 60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit ( 16 to 30 degrees Celsius).
Also, humidity plays an important role in the well-being of the alocasia wentii plant. Plants should be kept in a humid environment as a dry environment can cause the plant to go into hibernation.
A humidifier can be used if the space used for housing the plant is not humid enough.
Fertilizer application for the alocasia wentii and as well as most alocasia plants depends on the season and age of the plant.
Diluted Organic fertilizer should be applied at least every two weeks during the spring and summer seasons as this is the most active period of the plant’s growth. It should be noted that as they grow larger, the frequency and quantity of fertilizer applied might increase.
During the winter season, there is no need for fertilizer application. During this period, the plants are usually in a dormant state.
Dormancy in simple terms is a situation where plants go into hibernation. Plants require a daily dose of sunlight, warmth, and moisture to survive. During the winter season, these are not readily available as the weather is dry and cold. Plants exposed to this kind of weather find it hard to develop, so they go into a self-preservation mode by shutting down.
During this period, the alocasia wentii might exhibit signs of stunted growth, they might lose all or some of their leaves and appear weak. This is normal and shouldn’t cause panic. As the spring and summer season approaches, the plant will begin to rejuvenate itself.
During this period, fertilizer is not needed as applying it might cause the root of the plant to burn. Also, limit the number of times you water the plant to only when the soil’s top layer is dry as watering the plant can cause the inactive root to rot.
Propagating alocasia wentii can be done through root division. This is because most varieties of alocasia plants are tuberous i.e they grow from a central rhizome.
Over time, baby bulbs grow attached to the parent bulbs. This is then divided and the baby bulb is planted in a separate pot. The best time to carry out root division is during repotting.
Steps to propagate Alocasia Wentii
- Prepare two new pots with the appropriate potting mix for planting.
- Remove the adult alocasia wentii plant from its old pot with care so as not to damage its root system.
- Shake off any extra dirt on the root of the plant and wash off any extra dirt under a slow-running shower. This is to ensure no disease from the old pot is transferred to the new pot.
- Using a sharp and disinfected knife, locate the point of connection between the parent and child bulb and divide the bulb across that line without damaging their root system
- Add both parent and child bulbs into their respective already prepared pot.
- Water both plants and then place them close to a window to get access to sunlight for healthy growth. Add diluted fertilizer to aid faster growth.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes. Dead leaves should be pruned away using a disinfected pruning shear. Cut all dead and infected leaves with care. This will help the plant concentrate more of its energy on the newer leaves.
Alocasia Wentii needs water to grow. The dryness of the soil should guide you on how much water your plant will need. You should be expected to water your plant at least once a week depending on how fast your soil drains water.
Remove the plant from its pot with care so as not to damage the root. Dust off any residue of soil on the root and then place them in the new pot with a treated potting mix. Water the plant and then place it close to a window for access to sunlight.
Alocasia Wentii can be propagated through root division during repotting. This process involves dividing the root of the parent plant containing a baby bulb. Both bulbs can be planted separately.
Always place your alocasia wentii in a location that has access to bright and indirect sunlight such as windows and under plant light.