Among all the Alocasia plants, the black velvet Alocasia is one of the favorites for indoor houseplants. It bears dark green leaves with black velvety underneath, just like its name suggests. and compact growth. With proper Alocasia black velvet care, this tropical plant will produce an exquisite, white flower emerging between the foliage.
Suppose you want to have a healthy and full-grown black velvet Alocasia. In that case, you better check out our tips below. We include a guide to successfully planting your Alocasia black velvet and factors that may influence their growth. Some instructions about indoor and outdoor care are also available. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- What Is Alocasia Black Velvet
- How To Care For Alocasia Black Velvet
- Alocasia Black Velvet Care Tips
What Is Alocasia Black Velvet
Alocasia black velvet is one type of cultivar from alocasias, specifically Alocasia reginula. It is a native ornamental plant to Borneo, sitting on the tropical forest floor under the tree canopies.
Like its name, the hallmarks of the black velvet are silvery white veins that stand out against dark green leaves. People love to grow black velvet Alocasia indoors since it grows intact, only around 120-20 inches tall. Meanwhile, the leaves barely reach 5 inches (approx. 3 to 4.7 inches!)
Apart from the beauty of the variegated leaves, the Alocasia black velvet bloom is also the main attraction. Thanks to these features, no wonder this exotic Alocasia plant is the dream of plant collectors. You can easily find it at the nearest local nurseries if you want to plant it. But make sure you live in the US hardiness zone 10a or above before deciding to grow its fantastic plant.
In addition, this variegated Alocasia black velvet is low-maintenance. It favors filtered sunlight outdoors and bright indirect light indoors. And as tropical plants, it loves a humid environment, and in fact, their dazzling leaves must maintain their color.
Although it is easy to maintain and relatively pest-resistant, this does not mean that this plant is free from pest problems. It often deals with spider mites. They can spread rapidly in warm and dry conditions, leaving white spots on the leaves. If it leaves untreated, your lovely black velvet can die.
To remove the spider mites, you can rinse the foliage with cold water and cut the dead ones. Next, wipe the leaves with a mix of dish soap and water.
How To Care For Alocasia Black Velvet
To grow an Alocasia black velvet flower, you need to understand how to properly care for it. The first thing you must know is the factors that encourage their growth so that you can provide growing conditions it prefers.
Below, we include some elements, including light requirements, soil conditions, watering frequency, temperature and humidity, fertilization, and propagation methods. Please pay close attention and read them thoroughly.
1) Light Intensity
The light requirement of Alocasia black velvet is highly related to its origin. This exotic houseplant was found in the South East Asia forest, particularly in Borneo, Indonesia, where it grew under the partial sun to dappled shade. Considering this fact, black velvet thrives best in a bright indirect light area.
Moreover, the best way to mimic its natural habitat is by growing the plant in the pot, then putting the planter on the north-facing spot. It allows your Alocasia plant to absorb light yet avoid direct sunlight. Direct light will burn the leaves and cause the deep green color to fade away.
Also, keep the plant away from artificial light that can have the same consequence.
2) Temperature And Humidity Requirement
Other than light intensity, Alocasia black velvet is also sensitive to temperatures and humidity. Thus, you must know what they need. It requires temperatures around 60-80’F or 15-27’C. Be careful of low temperatures below 60’F as it will switch the plant to dormancy.
In addition, the extreme cold can stop the growth and eventually kill the Alocasia.
Regarding the humidity levels, it must resemble the tropical forest condition. The Alocasia happily grows in the site with 60-75% moisture. It may not be an issue during summer, but it will definitely trouble you during the winter months when the dry air comes within.
To help you with that, prepare a pebble tray with water and place it around the potted plants. In addition, you can set the containers in your bathroom. Or try to mist the plant. But ensure not over-misting because the water sitting on the foliage for too long will rot them.
3) Watering and Drainage
Continuing from the previous factor, we have Alocasia black velvet watering. Given it loves humidity, watering frequency is one of the essential factors in supporting the growth and development of this plant. Offering weekly watering will help your plant to retain the soil moisture.
However, watering must be accompanied by good drainage. Without appropriate drainage holes in your pot, the soil can become soggy and create a surface pool. It is, of course, undesirable because waterlogging can cause root rot.
Therefore, we recommend choosing a porous pot so that water can seep in between. In addition, give the potting mix with peat moss or perlite as it holds the humidity levels, and at the same time, drain the soil as needed.
4) Soil Conditions
You may wonder, what kind of black velvet alocasia soil will help them thrive? Well, the answer is obvious, though. It loves moist but well-drained soil. Never let the soil dry because it can curl and droop the leaves. Also, it may result in yellow or brown leaves. Hence, once a week, watering is vital.
Moreover, you must prepare slightly acidic soil with a pH of approximately 5.5 to 6.5. If your soil does not meet this pH requirement, you can add peat moss, sphagnum moss, perlite, wood chips, or bark. Besides increasing the soil acidity, they also add organic matter to your ground.
In addition, the soil mixture can keep the soil moist without waterlogging.
Even though it is a light feeder, fertilization is one of the most important Alocasia black velvet care as it introduces additional nutrients to the plant. The best time to fertilize this leafy plant is from spring to summer because, in winter, it will shut down for a while.
During these seasons, you may offer fertilizer monthly and reduce it by half its strength in the fall and winter months or give none. If you want to boost the microbial population in the soil, you can add worm coatings.
However, too much fertilizer can cause fertilizer burn characterized by brown tips. So, be wise in giving your plant fertilizer.
It is impossible to exclude the propagation when talking about Alocasia black velvet care. Some suggest that plant division is the best method to propagate Alocasia black velvet. The purpose is to locate the underground rhizome system and split it to stimulate new black velvet growth.
Also, make sure you propagate the plant in the spring. If you insist on doing it in the winter, you will not see any result as it is still dormant. Kindly follow the steps below to propagate the black velvet alocasia properly.
- Prepare a pot filled with good-quality potting mix for later use. We recommend adding materials like perlite and coco coir to ensure good drainage.
- Now, carefully take out your alocasia plant from the planter.
- Remove the loose soil on the roots.
- Check out the mother plant’s roots. If there is any sign of fungal diseases, you can’t use them.
- Next, locate the rhizome, which looks like a clump of ginger. Some people refer to it as the alocasia black velvet bulb.
- Cut it with a sterilized knife or other cutting tools.
- Then, put it in the prepared container. Add the rest of the soil.
- Give light water to the soil to keep it moist.
- Lastly, place the pot in the area with bright indirect light.
Alocasia Black Velvet Care Tips
After acknowledging the aspects that affect the growth of Alocasia black velvet, we will bring you some tips and tricks in growing this dazzling jewel Alocasia indoors and outdoors. Even though they are relatively easy to plant and care for, you will mess it up if you carelessly take care of them without instructions. So, bear with us and kindly read the guide one by one.
1) Indoor Alocasia Black Velvet Care Tips
These indoor care tips may interest you if you prefer to grow Alocasia black velvet indoors. The plants are generally easy to grow, so that they won’t bother you with complicated maintenance. Interested? Check them out!
- Place the pot in the area with bright indirect sunlight. A north-facing window will be great!
- Stay the plant away from pets because it is toxic.
- Keep the humid environment by misting the leaves, offering a pebble tray filled with water, or putting the pot in the bathroom.
2) Outdoor Alocasia Black Velvet Care Tips
In contrast to the previous one, growing Alocasias outdoors may be tricky as it is prone to pests and diseases. But, worry no more because we want to offer some outdoor care tips you can follow. Find them below!
- Wipe the leaves with dish soap if you notice any white spots from the spider mites.
- Do not put it in the south-facing area where the sun shines bright, as it will scorch the leaves.
- Take them inside whenever the temperature drops below 60’F or higher than 80’F.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Do black velvet alocasia like to be misted?
One way to take care of Alocasia black velvet is by misting the leaves. It will help the plant to retain moisture. However, it is recommended to only offer occasionally misting because water sitting on the foliage for too long will rot them. You can also wipe the excess water to prevent this and clean up the dust.
Why is my Alocasia black velvet drooping?
Generally, drooping leaves of Alocasia black velvet are caused by a lack of humidity level and underwatering. If the condition persists, the leaf tips will turn brown.
Hence, watering is crucial in Alocasia black velvet care. Offer water whenever the 2-3 inches of the soil surface dry to keep the soil moist. However, do not over-watering as it will cause root rot.
Why is my Alocasia black velvet leaves curling?
Curling leaves in Alocasia black velvet is a common issue related to improper care. Low moisture and underwatering can curl and droop the leaves as it prefers humidity. It will also change color into brown or yellow leaves. To prevent such a problem, you must fairly water the alocasia plant around once a week. Also, provide good drainage since it cannot withstand soggy soil.
Should I cut off drooping Alocasia leaves?
The oldest leaves of black velvet Alocasia are usually found on the underside of this plant. They will turn yellow before dropping naturally. However, you can cut off the drooping leaves to keep the stunning appearance. But make sure to cut only the ones that are completely yellow or brown. Moreover, it will be one leaf dying at a time, so don’t worry about its display being bald.
How do you save a dying Alocasia black velvet?
It is sad to see your Alocasi black velvet dying. Fortunately, it is possible to bring them back to life through water propagation! Here are the steps:
- Carefully take out your Alocasia plant from the pot.
- Check out the roots. Make sure they do not rot because you can’t save them if it happens.
- Then, remove the loose soil from the roots.
- In the meantime, prepare a transparent container filled with water. It is beneficial as you can see the root growth clearly, whether or not they are growing.
- Next, put your plant into the container. You must choose the container with the proper size as you only want to soak the roots in the water, not all parts of the Alocasia plant.
- Within a week, you may notice new roots growing. And now, it is time to transplant the Alocasia black velvet back into the soil!