The one downside to growing Alocasia plants is that you can’t propagate them via stem cuttings or leaf cuttings, which, in a perfect world, would create a houseplant jungle of Alocasias in no time.
But that doesn’t mean to say that growing new Alocasias through propagation is impossible, you just have to do it a little differently.
The best way to propagate Alocasia plants is through dividing any offsets your plant has produced, and while this does mean you have to separate your main plant, it does mean you don’t have to wait for anything to root.
Interested in propagating your own Alocasia plant? Here’s everything you need to know.
A Note On When To Propagate
It’s always worth thinking about when you should propagate your plants, as the time of year can make a huge difference in how successful the propagation is, especially if you live somewhere that gets cold and dark winters.
Always propagate your plants during the growing season, and for most tropical leafy plants (including Alocasia species) this is during spring and summer.
Better light, higher humidity, and warmer temperatures mean that your offsets are much more likely to survive the propagation process, and the growth will also take off faster, too, so it’s worth holding off until spring or summer!
You might think that because your Alocasia has only one stem, you can’t propagate it (see also How To Grow Alocasia Bambino).
Even if there is only a single stalk above the soil line, chances are there are a few corms beneath the surface.
It’s a good idea to wait until these offsets have established into miniature Alocasia plants before you go separating them from the mother plant, as the chances of them surviving get much higher.
How To Propagate Alocasia Plants Through Corms
Alocasia plants grow from corms that are buried deep into the soil, and as the plant grows, the number of corms beneath the soil increases, as long as the conditions are right.
Above the soil, the plant will grow what’s known as offsets or plantlets, which are miniature versions of the mother plant.
It’s a good idea to divide your plant once it has outgrown its current pot, as you’ll be removing a problem (the plant has run out of room), and you’ll create a brand-new plant at the same time.
It’s worth watering your Alocasia plant about an hour before you plan on propagating it, as hydrating the soil and roots will mean the clumps or offsets will be easier to separate.
Remove Your Plant From Its Pot
The first step is to gently remove the plant from its container. If the plant is root-bound, where the roots are circling the drainage holes, squeeze the bottom of the pot (if it’s plastic) to help loosen up the roots.
You may have to do this a few times before the roots will come free of the drainage holes, allowing you to take the plant out of its pot.
Gently Separate The Corms
Now you can see the roots, you should also see some corms, too. These look like little brown rocks, and if they’re healthy, they’re not squishy when you squeeze them gently.
Gently separate them using your fingers and make sure you don’t leave any top growth without any roots or corms.
You can also divide the plant at the roots provided that there will be some top growth on any divisions you make.
If you’re propagating the plant through its corms, you’ll need to gingerly peel away its outermost layer, as this will help the new roots form quicker, without the need to break through this layer.
How To Propagate Alocasia: Through Water Or Compost?
If you’re propagating only the corms of your Alocasia plant, put them straight into a shallow dish with a little water.
Keep only the bottom half of the corms in water, so this will be a minuscule amount of water!
Once you’ve done that, put the container somewhere light but indirect, preferably somewhere warm. To lock in humidity, put a clear lid over the top, or, a clear plastic bag.
Air out the container at least once a week for an hour, and change the water regularly. Once the roots emerge from the corm, it’s time to plant them into some compost.
If you’re dividing the plant through the roots, plant one division back into the original container, and the other(s) into fresh houseplant compost in a separate pot.
How To Propagate Alocasia Through Root Cuttings
Some Alocasia species (but not all of them) can be divided by taking root cuttings.
This method is great as it means you don’t need to divide the plant, only a portion of the roots. It’s also worth trying as you’ll then know if you can propagate your plant this way in the future, and you only lose a couple of roots if this isn’t the case.
Take the plant out of its pot, and have a look at the roots. Grab some sharp and clean scissors, and cut a few pieces from thick, healthy roots, making sure that each cutting is about 10cm long.
Once you’ve separated the root cuttings from the main plant, prepare a tray of compost with some perlite, around 2 parts compost to 1 part perlite, and put the cuttings flat on top, pressing them into the soil slightly.
Use horticultural grit to cover the cuttings very finely, and water the tray. Put a clear lid or plastic bag over the top, and put it somewhere warm and bright.
You should see new growth within a month or two!
Propagating Alocasia: Increasing Chances Of Success
Wait Until Offsets Are Half The Size Of The Main Plant
If you are propagating your Alocasia through plantlets, resist the urge to do so until they are about half the size of the original plant.
Waiting this long means they will be much stronger and are more likely to survive the shock of being removed from the main plant.
Don’t Let Any Offsets Dry Out Completely
Another key to propagating your Alocasia plants is to not let any corms or new plants dry out completely.
These plants hate drying out, and you may trigger a dormancy period in even established plants.
Use A Heat Mat
To speed up the propagation process, you may want to use a heat propagation mat, which can also increase the chances of success, too, as it keeps your Alocasias in warm and stable temperatures.
Use a heat mat rather than a heated propagation box, as you will be able to fit more pots or trays on a heat mat as they tend to be larger.
Alocasia plants are easy to propagate, as long as you do so during the growing season, taking healthy growth through division, offsets, or root cuttings, and giving the new plants a fighting chance by keeping them warm and humid.
Keep your new Alocasia plants out of direct sunlight, and away from sources of heat (excluding a propagation mat), and always take a few more cuttings than you think you need, as not all cuttings will be viable.