There are many beautiful alocasias to choose from when you want to add some jungle vibes to your houseplant collection.
Among the most ‘classic’ of cultivars is Alocasia micholitziana ‘Frydek’, grown all over the world for its striking arrow-shaped leaves in emerald green, with prominent white veins. Give the plant the right care, and these leaves can get huge.
Not sure if Alocasia ‘Frydek’ is right for your home? Here’s everything you need to know.
A Note On Toxicity
Before we get started on care, it’s important to note that all alocasias are toxic to some degree, as they contain harmful calcium oxalate, which can cause lots of problems if ingested.
So keep this plant well out of reach of pets and children.
How To Care For Alocasia Frydek
Alocasias can be tricky plants to care for, as they tend to go dormant when the growing conditions aren’t right.
It’s a constant fight to keep this plant out of dormancy when it’s the active growing season for this plant, but provide it with the right conditions, and this won’t be a problem.
The good news is that the bigger an alocasia gets, the more robust it becomes, and the easier it is to look after.
You can even keep a smaller alocasia in a mini greenhouse until it gets bigger, helping to keep the plant happy while it is fussier in its smaller form.
Sunlight And Position
Alocasias love lots of light, but what they don’t like is a lot of afternoon sunlight. Aim to give the plant some direct light, and during the morning is best when the rays tend to be weaker.
You could place this plant in a bathroom where there is a privacy film on the window, which acts as a filter for the light, blocking the strongest of rays from scorching the plant.
A Northern-facing window would also work, but an Eastern-facing window would be better, as the light will be stronger, but not too strong.
You can pop the plant as close to the window as possible in these cases, but anywhere else you should set it a little back from the window, putting some distance between the stronger light and the plant.
It’s a good idea to rotate your plant occasionally so that the growth stays symmetrical and balanced. An alocasia will always grow towards the light, and as it gets bigger, you don’t want it to lean!
It’s important to remember that alocasias hail from the forested parts of Asia, where they have adapted to balmy temperatures and humid air. The closer you can replicate this, the better your alocasia will grow.
The bare minimum temperature these plants will survive in is 60°F (or 16°C), which is doable for most homes, even in winter.
If you can keep the temperature above 65°F (or 18°C), this is ideal, as it mimics the plant’s native conditions, and you’ll see bigger and more frequent growth.
In terms of humidity, average humidity levels will do until winter, unless your home is very dry. You can increase the humidity by grouping together several plants, creating a microclimate of higher humidity, which will help give all the plants a boost.
You could also invest in a humidifier if you have a lot of plants, which helps during the winter months when the heating is on, as this dries out the atmosphere more than anything.
When To Water Alocasias
While all aspects of Alocasia care are crucial, one of the most important elements is mastering the watering requirements.
It’s important to soak the soil each time you water, rather than just giving the plant a trickle of water and hoping that it is enough.
Allow the excess water to drain away, and always discard it so that the plant isn’t sitting in a miniature lake.
Between each watering, you want the top inch or so to dry out. This is enough to prevent root rot and other diseases, but not enough to stress the plant out by depriving it of water.
Never let the plant dry out completely, as this can and will trigger the dormancy process, and you want to avoid this.
Ideal Soil Mix And Repotting Guide
Regular houseplant compost is okay for alocasias, but you can and should improve it by adding one part perlite to three parts compost.
This will help sharpen up the drainage (which is essential as these plants love a good drink), and also encourage more oxygen to get to the roots of the plant.
On the whole, alocasias like to be root-bound more than they like lots of room in the pot. This can make it trickier when it comes to watering, so you must soak the soil each time you water, making up for the masses of roots that will grow around the pot.
Only repot alocasias when the roots are near all the way around the pot, and they start to emerge from the drainage holes.
When you do repot an alocasia, only go up one pot size, no matter how big the root system has gotten.
This is a good rule for repotting any houseplant, as you don’t want to make the ratio of roots to the soil too unbalanced, as it will cause the soil to become boggy, and the risk of root rot is much higher.
Should You Feed Alocasia Frydek?
It’s a good idea to feed alocasias occasionally in the growing season to give them a boost. Use a balanced, generic houseplant feed, feeding every fourth watering or so in the growing season.
If you have it, you could use a fertilizer for tropical plants, if you prefer, but a regular and balanced feed will do the job just fine.
How To Propagate Alocasia Frydek
The only real way to propagate an alocasia at home is to divide the plants at the roots when you repot it in spring when the plant is out of dormancy.
Growing Alocasia Frydek: Problems To Watch Out For
Alocasia Frydrek is not the easiest plant to care for by any means, but it is well worth the effort.
Here are some problems that you might run into while growing this plant, and what you can do about them.
Sometimes alocasias will start to droop at the outer leaves, and mostly this happens when you bring it home for the first time.
It helps to know that most alocasias are grown in bright light, so when they are transferred to the darker area of your home, it will take some time for them to adjust.
Drooping outer leaves can also be a sign that the temperature is cooler than what the plant is used to, or that the light is weaker.
Another reason why the leaves can droop is that the soil has become bone dry, in which case you need to give your plant a good soaking, and quickly.
Alocasia Leaves Turning Yellow
Alocasia leaves can turn yellow for several reasons. It may be too cold, or there’s a problem with the moisture in the soil: it’s either too dry or too wet.
Alocasia And Dormancy
If the plant gets too stressed, it will go dormant as a defense mechanism. The leaves die back completely, but as long as the roots aren’t completely dry, you can encourage the plant to regrow with enough moisture and light.
If there’s any pest that will attack an alocasia, it’s the spider mite. Plants that are in too-dry an environment are more susceptible to spider mites, so this is something to keep in mind.
One good way to prevent them which only costs you a few minutes at a time is to mist your plants regularly.
This won’t improve the humidity for more than a few seconds, but wiping down the leaves once you’ve misted them will help keep pests at bay, also freeing the foliage of any dust or dirt.
If your plant does have spider mites, you can use rubbing alcohol on a swab, directly applying it to the fuzzy areas to get rid of them.
Alocasia ‘Frydek’ is a beautiful plant that isn’t too complicated to care for, once you understand what it needs.
One way of really boosting its growth, and allowing the leaves to get larger is to place it somewhere shaded outdoors in the summer.