Propagating Alocasia | Full Alocasia propagation guide

The genus Alocasia contains a few of the most popular houseplant choices like the spectacular Alocasia amazonica, Alocasia zebrina and Alocasia ‘Stingray’. It’s no surprise many Alocasia owners would like to know how to multiply their plant. With species this spectacular, it’s definitely a case of ‘the more, the merrier’!

If you’d like to know more about propagating Alocasia, keep reading to find out how to divide your plant and care for its offsets.


Note: Don’t actually own an Alocasia plant yet? You can find various beautiful varieties online. Just be sure not to confuse it with the genus Colocasia, which has similar propagation and care guidelines but is not the same!


Propagating Alocasia | Offset division

Alocasia plants are tuberous, which means they sprout from a central rhizome. Because of this, unlike many other houseplant species such as Monstera, it’s not really suitable for propagation by means of taking cuttings. Luckily that doesn’t mean propagating your Alocasia will be a challenge.

This plant grows in a clumping manner, which means that if you remove it from its pot you’ll usually find that it actually consists of multiple plant clumps. In addition to that, a healthy Alocasia plant will often produce offsets itself. These grow from its roots and form tiny copies of the adult plant that can easily be removed and replanted in a separate container.

In this propagation guide we’ll be using my Alocasia ‘Sarian’, a human-cultivated cross between the popular Alocasia zebrina and Alocasia micholitziana. The plant in question was quite crowded when I got it, and because I didn’t want to repot it to a bigger container (this cultivar grows massive!) I decided that division was the way to go. Other popular Alocasia species include Alocasia x amazonica, Alocasia zebrina and Alocasia reginula.

Alocasia houseplant on plastic bag ready to be divided for propagation, close-up of roots | Full Alocasia propagation guide
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Alocasia propagation | Step by step

  • The first step to Alocasia propagation is to remove the plant from its pot and shake the excess soil off its roots. If the soil turns out to be quite clumped, you can soak it in water or use a gardening hose to free up the roots.
  • Once you’ve exposed the roots, you’ll see that your Alocasia is actually made up of multiple clumps and likely some offsets (baby plants) as well. These are all more or less connected through their roots, but you’ll find it’s very easy to (gently) separate a few of them. You can use a disinfected knife or a pair of scissors if the roots are too tangled.
  • Well, voilà! That was it. You’ve now separated your Alocasia.
  • The nice part about dividing clumping plants is that all the clumps will have their own little root system, so you won’t have to wait for them to root. Simply follow the instructions below for either water or soil cultivation and you’ll most likely start seeing new growth quite quickly.
Alocasia houseplant on plastic bag ready to be divided for propagation
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Propagating Alocasia | Water propagation

Water propagation is a method usually used for cuttings that don’t have their own roots yet. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t place the clumps you separated from your mother Alocasia plant in water. It’s a very decorative way to grow houseplants and they can actually thrive in water pretty much indefinitely with the right care.

To grow your Alocasia offset in water, simply clean any soil off its roots and find a container that you like to place it in. I like using glass vases that show off the root system, which is often just as spectacular as the actual foliage. Fill it up with tap water and leave it out for about 24 hours if your country uses chlorine/chloramine in its tap water. Then, just make sure the roots are submerged. Place the container in a spot that receives bright indirect light; direct sunlight can cause algae growth.

As for long-term care, top up the water that has evaporated whenever needed. I also like to change out the water every few months and add in new water with some liquid houseplant fertilizer mixed in to encourage growth.

Divisions of Alocasia houseplant potted into three separate plastic containers
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Propagating Alocasia | Soil propagation

The most common propagation method for Alocasia is soil propagation, since any offsets and clumps will most likely already have their own root system. Just prepare a pot (with a drainage hole) for each plant; I like using normal plastic nursery pots and then placing these in a decorative overpot.

The soil should hold moisture relatively well since this is a tropical species, but it should still let excess water drain. A mixture of potting soil, some coco coir and a handful of perlite should work well.

Once you’ve got everything ready, just plant up your Alocasia offsets and give them a light drink. Place the pots in a location that receives bright indirect light and be patient for a bit. Even though the plant already has its own root system the transplant will still shock it a bit, so it might take a couple of weeks to start seeing new growth. You’ll know the propagation was successful when you see leaves popping up!

Tip: For small offsets of larger Alocasia species, have larger pots on hand. Although the plant might be small now, you’ll be amazed at how fast it will need a repot!

Alocasia care

Although its spectular foliage has made Alocasia a very popular houseplant genus, most of these species are not actually the easiest to grow. They tend to struggle with the lack of humidity in our homes, as they naturally grow in rainforest conditions which can be a bit challenging to imitate indoors.

Here are some basic guidelines for success with your Alocasia babies:

  • Humidity: Try placing your Alocasia in a humid room such as the bathroom or kitchen, away from radiators that might dry it out. Grouping plants together also makes for a more humid environment and you can run a humidifier in the middle to provide extra ‘assistance’.
  • Light: Should be indirect but bright. Alocasia has not evolved to withstand direct sun and burns easily.
  • Watering: Soil should be kept lightly moist at all times, though it should never be wet. Ideally, the top few inches of soil should be left to dry before watering again. Remember that not as much water is needed during wintertime!
  • Temperature: As a tropical plant, Alocasia doesn’t like low temps. Try not to let things drop below room temperature and avoid drafty, cool spots.

Tip: In need of some more Alocasia care info to ensure your new plants thrive? The complete guide to Alocasia care should prove helpful.


If you have any more questions about propagating Alocasia or if you want to share your own experiences with this amazing jungle plant, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!


23 thoughts on “Propagating Alocasia | Full Alocasia propagation guide”

  1. If you propagate Alocasia by dividing the clumps, will you get rhizomes in the future? What is the difference between propagate by rhizomes and by clumps? ~I have Alocasia Dragon Scale propagate by clumps. Await for your advise. Thanks

    Reply
  2. I rescued an Alocasia from the green waste in work. It’s leaves were broken off so I’m left with the rootball and 2 stems. Should this grow more leaves? Although I’ve repotted, thouroughly soaked and it’s now in my bathroom on the dresser, so, nothing to lose by trying, lol!

    Reply
    • Yes, actually I would assume that it will, as these guys are rhizomatous growers. They die off from cold temps as well and re-sprout when they think it’s springtime, so I don’t see why this guy wouldn’t. No further advice really, as long as the spot is nice and light and reasonably warm I think all you can do is wait. The stems will probably die off but new ones should sprout with some luck 🙂

      Reply
  3. I had root rot on my Amazonica and when cleaned the roots, i found several ‘nodes’ or little chickpeas that fell off. Can I propagate those in water or soil?

    Reply
  4. Thank you so much for the article!

    I recently separated my alocasia but some of the bunches did not have roots on them. If I replant the bunches without roots into soil, will they survive or should I propagate in water and hope they grow roots?

    Reply
  5. How many leaves does each tuber produce ? Mine only has two large leaves and I don’t see any new ones developing from the center of the corm.

    Reply
    • I can’t give you an exact number, but each one has the capacity to produce a good few leaves. If yours isn’t then I suppose either it feels like it has enough to support itself given the circumstances, or the circumstances are not good enough for it to grow more. Have you had a look at the Alocasia care guide as well to see if you’re following all the guidelines? Unless you live in a Florida-type humid climate, this can be a bit of a challenging species.

      Reply
  6. Hello! I recently separated my alocasia that had 3 leaves from the mother plant. I unfortunately did not separate it well enough because I only got one root stuck to it. Do you recommend potting it in soil or water in order for it to survive with little to no roots?

    Reply
    • Both would work, it should be fine in a pot as long as the humidity levels are good. So it’s a matter of preference – I like rooting in water just because I like the look of plants in nice vases 🙂 Good luck!

      Reply
  7. Hi,

    I have just propagated my Alocasia and planted in a pot. it’s been a day and leaves are lying down and look sad. Have I killed my plant?

    Reply
    • Hey! Probably not. It’s normal for the leaves to hang pretty limp for a while – the cutting doesn’t have roots, so it can’t absorb water. If you’re really worried you can take it out, rinse it off, and place it in water. That can help if you feel like propagations aren’t going well in soil. Good luck!

      Reply
  8. Sorry I should add mine grows very well I live in Pila Laguna Philippines and it in a bright position but not in sunlight in my outside balcony area I keep it well misted for humidity although it is hot and humid most of the time naturally.

    Reply
  9. Hi I have a nice Alocasia and it has produced 2 tiny offshoots how big should they be before i seprate and re pot?

    Reply
    • Hi! I’d wait until they have a few leaves, maybe 3-4, but that’s just my own preference 🙂

      Thanks for sharing! From your other comment it sounds like the perfect climate for an Alocasia.

      Reply
  10. Hi,

    Thank you for this article, it was informative. I have a question and thought maybe you might be able to help. My Alocasia Polly got detached from its rhizome tuber. I am afraid that it might die since I learned that the tuber provides nutrients for the plant. I believe this happened because it got too top heavy and was not buried into the soil deep enough. Will my plant die without its tuber and how to I save it? Please help.

    Thank you

    Elizabeth

    Reply
    • Oh, yikes! To be honest, I’m really not sure, I’ve never had that happen. If it were me I’d pop the plant in some water to see if it roots – or does it still have roots of its own? I think many plants can grow new tubers, I just don’t know if this is one of them. I’d love an update, sorry I can’t be of more help.

      Reply

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