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How to Grow and Care For Alocasia Polly

Alocasia Polly is a popular and stunning hybrid plant (Amazon x amazonica) that is part of the Araceae family. Alocasia Polly sports dramatic, glossy deep-green leaves with light-green to cream veins and serrated leaf edges.

Alocasia Polly (Alocasia x amazonica) in a white pot.

Photo by mokjc on Shutterstock.

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Commonly known as Elephant Ear plants, Alocasia is a genus of perennial, rhizomatous, flowering plants native to the tropical rainforests of South East Asia, India, and Southern Pacific Islands thriving in warm and humid environments. To date, there are about 90 accepted cultivars of Alocasias.
Alocasias can tolerate dim light, but their leaves can burn with prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Their soil should be constantly wet, but not waterlogged or soggy, or else they may suffer from root rot or fungal diseases. They are grown for their spectacular leaves rather than their flowers (which rarely bloom especially indoors).
Alocasia Polly, a Jewel Alocasia, will only grow to 2 feet tall, despite the fact that Alocasias can reach up to 8-10 feet tall in the wild jungle! Despite their fussiness, proper care can result in Alocasias thriving in their environment. In this care guide, we will examine how you can keep your Alocasia Polly thriving both outside and indoors.

What is a Alocasia Polly?

Alocasia Polly is a popular and stunning hybrid plant (Alocasia x amazonica) that is part of the Araceae family. Alocasia Polly sports dramatic, glossy deep-green leaves with light-green to cream veins and serrated leaf edges. It has a fairly moderate growth habit for Alocasias growing up to 2 feet tall and wide when mature.
The actual origin of Alocasia Polly is disputed and the scientific name, Alocasia x amazonica, commonly used is believed to be misleading as there are no Alocasia species traced to the Amazon rainforest as the name “amazonica” implies. Aroid grower, John Banta and aroid writer Julius Boos were able to trace the hybrid to a nursery owner Salvadore Mauro who named the Alocasia amazonica after his own business, Amazon nursery. The name since then has been applied for decades, although incorrectly.
Alocasias made their way into our living rooms as early as the 1950s and have grown in popularity since then with Alocasia Polly winning the British Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit given to plants that perform well under UK growing conditions.

Quick Alocasia Polly Care Guide

Botanical Name
Alocasia x amazonica
Common Names
Alocasia Polly, Elephant Ear Polly, Kris Plant
Family
Araceae
Plant Type
Tropical perennial flowering plant
Difficulty
Beginner to Intermediate
Growth Rate
Moderate during growing season
Growing Season
Spring to Summer
Water
Moderate - water when topsoil is dry. 1x a week.
Soil Type
Nutrient-rich, well-draining soil w/ perlite
Soil pH
Slightly acidic (5.5-6.5)
Fertilizer
Balanced houseplant fertilizer every two months during growing season.
Propagate
Rhizomes, Seeds -- NO CUTTINGS
Temperature (Ideal)
60-80 degrees Fahrenheit
Humidity (Ideal)
60-80%
Window Placement (Ideal)
East, West, or North facing windows. Don't require direct sunlight.
USDA Hardiness Zones
10, 11, 12
Companion Plants
Coleus, Begonias, Ferns, Chinese Hibiscus, and other perennials or annuals that like partial shade.
Toxicity
Toxic to pets (dogs and cats)
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Alocasia Polly Care Guide

Plant care for Alocasia Polly is similar to other Alocasias. Being a tropical houseplant, it loves warm climates and high humidity.
Alocasia Polly grows best in medium to bright indirect light in warm temperatures with high humidity but can also tolerate low light conditions. Well-draining, houseplant potting mix is preferred. It loves to be watered once the top 2 inches of soil are dry. Fertilize once a month during the growing season in Spring and Summer.
Here are some essential care tips to keep your Alocasia Polly thriving.
Alocasia Polly glossy, leathery deep-green leaf foliage.
Image Source:Yulia YasPe on ShutterstockAlocasia Polly bears leathery and glossy dark-green leaves with serrated cream edges and veins.

Growing Outdoors

Being tropical plants, Alocasia Pollys grow well in USDA hardiness zones 10, 11, and 12. They prefer temperature ranges in at least the 60s, but can tolerate as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re growing outside of the recommended hardiness zones, make sure to overwinter your plant by bringing it indoors during the colder months. 
Place your Alocasia Polly in partial shade and sun. It prefers bright to medium diffused light, but can do with a little bit of exposure to direct light. Alocasia varieties bearing darker leaves generally like more shade. 
Being Jewel Alocasias, Alocasia Polly is a more compact form of a standard Alocasia plant growing up to 2 feet tall and wide. When grown outdoors, they can be grown in a container or as a border plant. They plant well with coleaus, begonias, and other annuals or perennials that grow well in partial shade.

Overwintering

If you live outside USDA hardiness zones 10, 11, and 12, you must overwinter your Alocasia Polly since it is not frost tolerant. You can either bring your plant inside and grow it as a houseplant or dig up its tubers and store them until the following spring season. Cut back the foliage after the first frost, clean off the soil, and store the tubers covered in peat moss to store them.

How to Water

As a general rule of thumb, It's best to water Alocasia Polly once a week during the growing season in Spring and summer. The alocasias like to dry out a bit between waterings. The best way to determine when to water is to examine the soil's top layer. Water only when the topsoil is dry. Reduce your watering when the plant is dormant in the winter.
Pro Tip Icon
Pro Tip: Use distilled water.
Alocasias can be sensitive to salts and minerals found in tap water. You can use distilled water or leave tap water out for 24 hours to help.
Alocasia Polly cannot endure being overwatered, which results in soggy, waterlogged soil. It's a good idea to delay watering it if you're not certain. Root rot and fungal diseases are the most common issues that Alocasia Pollus suffer from, and they result from soggy soil and improper watering and drainage. 
Growing Alocasia Polly in a clay pot can help maintain a healthy root system by helping wick away excess water and prevent root rot.

Sunlight Requirements

Alocasia Polly prefers to live in bright indirect light conditions, so place them near west, east, or north-facing windows in doors. They can also tolerate lower light conditions. South-facing windows receive the most direct sunlight, so place your plant five feet from south-facing windows if you want diffused light. 

Temperature and Humidity

Alocasia Polly prefers warmth and high humidity, as tropical plants do. The indoor temperature range should be 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid locations with cold drafts such as exterior doors, windows, or air conditioners or heaters in the winter. Alocasia Polly may be damaged if subjected to drastic temperature changes, resulting in damaged leaves and stunted growth. 
Maintaining a humidity level of 50% or higher is recommended, but Alocasia can survive in lower humidity environments without any issues. You may put your alocasia in locations like the laundry room, kitchen, or bathroom where humidity is naturally higher.
You may also increase humidity by using a small humidifier, grouping humidity-loving plants together, or placing your plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water. 
Pro Tip Icon
Pro Tip: Should I mist my Alocasia Polly?
We don’t recommend misting this plant often because it can lead to fungal issues or leaf rot if the water sits there for too long. Occasional spray won't hurt, but there's more effective ways to increase humidity.

Soil

Alocasia Polly prefers a nutrient-rich, well-drained potting soil mixture. Achieving the correct balance of maintaining moisture while filtering out extra water is critical for preventing fungal infections. Even though common houseplant potting soil might work, perlite, peat moss, and coco coir may be added to improve aeration, moisture, and nutrition retention.
By using peat moss, you may maintain moisture without becoming waterlogged. Perlite, on the other hand, has a higher structure than peat moss, which allows it to aerate soil and prevent it from compaction.

Fertilizer Requirements

Alocasias generally aren’t heavy feeders but can do with fertilizing once every month or two, especially during the active growing season from Spring to Summer. Make sure to stop fertilizer during the wintertime when the plant is dormant.
Be cautious with fertilizing your Alocasia Polly too much as they are sensitive and over-fertilization can cause root burn. A slow-release, liquid fertilizer can be a great option for this plant. You can use a heavily diluted (¼) strength fertilizer every two months. Use a balanced fertilizer like a 10-10-10 to 20-20-20.

Pruning and Maintenance

Alocasia Polly requires very little pruning because of its slow to moderate growth rate. You should remove any damaged, dead, brown leaves to keep the plant looking good.
Pruning should be done during the growing season in summer and spring to enable faster recovery and increased growth. However, pruning can be done at any time of the year. 
Alocasia Pollys can bloom but rarely do. In the case that they do, you can deadhead faded blooms as part of pruning.

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How to Repot your Alocasia Polly

Alocasia Polly is a relatively slow-growing plant outside of the summer and spring growing seasons, so it only needs to be repotted once every two to three years when it's completely rootbound. Stunted growth, yellow leaves, or roots emerging from the drainage hole are all symptoms of being rootbound.
Repotting should be done during the growing season to improve healing.
Note Icon
Repotting is a great time to propagate.
When you are repotting can be a great time to propagate your Alocasia Polly!

01

Choose a new pot or container 2-3 inches larger than your old one. They love to be grown in clay pots.

02

Softly remove the plant from its old container and loosen up the soil from the roots.

03

Inspect the roots and use sterilized gardening shears to remove any dead, mushy, and yellow roots (signs of root rot).

04

Fill up your new container with fresh, well-draining potting mix leaving room for your plant.

05

Place your plant into the new container and backfill with soil.

06

Water right after and maintain a regular care schedule.

How to Propagate your Alocasia Polly

Unfortunately, Alocasia Polly cannot be reproduced through stem or leaf cuttings, unlike other common houseplants. Alocasia Polly seeds or rhizomes are the most common methods for growing new plants. Rhizomes are usually grown from mature Alocasia Polly plants.
Pro Tip Icon
Note: Wear garden gloves when propagating and repotting!
Wear garden gloves as Alocasia Polly contains skin irritants.

Propagating Alocasia Polly By Rhizome Division

A common way to propagate Alocasia Polly is through rhizome division. Only use this method when a plant is mature. Rhizomes grow slowly, so a new Black Velvet won’t be available to propagate for several years. You can only propagate by rhizomes during spring to the middle of summer. In the winter dormancy, propagation is not feasible.

01

Grab your garden gloves, a sterilized knife, new containers and fresh, well-draining soil mix.

02

Gently remove your adult plant from its container wearing gardening gloves.

03

Softly loosen up the roots and remove excess soil. 

04

Using your knife or shears, separate the pups by cutting the roots attached to the mother plant.

05

Fill your new containers with fresh soil and place each pup in a container.

06

Water the pups thoroughly and place in bright, indirect light.

07

It can take up to 4 weeks for shoots to appear and three months for the plant to establish.

Growing Alocasia Polly From Seed

Propagating Alocasia Polly by seed is rare because seeds are harder to find. Not only do Alocasia have to bloom indoors in order to produce seeds, but it can take many years for the plant to mature to produce even a single flower.
Just because Alocasia Polly produces a flower, doesn’t mean it’ll contain the seed. The flower must also be pollinated which makes it even more complicated!
The seeds this plant produces are also sensitive and have a short life. It’s best to propagate Alocasias through division. 

What's wrong with my Alocasia Polly?

Fortunately, Alocasia Polly is generally pest resistant except for spider mites. The most common issue you’ll encounter is overwatering which can lead to root rot and fungal diseases.

Fungal Leaf Spots

Pro Tip Icon
Symptoms of Fungal Leaf Spots
Brownish spots are the most common symptom, but tan or black concentric rings or dark margins may also be present. Fungal bodies may be present as black dots either in rings or central clusters in the spots. Blotches may be formed over time as the spits combine. 
Fungal leaf spot on alocasia polly
Image Source:Beagle_studioFungal leaf spots can appear as yellow spots with black concentric rings or darker margins.
Fungal leaf spots are commonly caused by overwatering or allowing moisture to stay on the leaf. Leaves become discolored as a result. To remedy the situation, remove and throw away the afflicted leaves. Make certain you don't overmoisten your plant or allow it to stay damp. 

Root Rot

Note Icon
Symptoms of Alocasia Root Rot
Symptoms can include rapidly yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and a rotten brown base.
Root rot is a common plant disease that causes symptoms like wilting, yellowing leaves, and reduced growth. If left untreated, root rot can kill your plant. When roots get infected by pathogens, they become less effective at absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.
If this is your first time experiencing root rot, read our full guide on root rot.
Alocasia Polly is one of the more common houseplantsthatsuffersfromroot rot. Thedamage is usually caused by wet or waterlogged soil.Here is how to deal with the conditionifyounoticeit:

01

Remove the plant from the pot and gently remove the soil so you can see the root system.

02

If the roots are brown and mushy, you must take action immediately.

03

Clean off the roots with sterile water.

04

Take sterilized scissors and trim any mushy roots.

05

You can use a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect the roots.

06

Once cleaned up, repot your plant in fresh houseplant soil mix.

Spider Mites

Note Icon
Symptoms of spider mite infestation.
Wilting, drained plants and yellow and brown leaves.
An ectoparasitic arthropod, spider mites feed on plants. They like hot weather and dry conditions, and they eat a wide variety of plants. Spider mites may be red, yellow, or orange, depending on the species. Although they are tiny, you can see them with the naked eye.
They suck nutrients out of plants through their leaves, leaving stalks behind as they feed. They create webs as they feed, resulting in drained plants and yellow and brown leaves. They may kill a plant in as little as a week or two if left uncontrolled in your yard. 
If this is your first time managing spider mites, read our in-depth guide on how to get rid of spider mites on indoor plants.

How to spot a spider mite infestation on my Alocasia Polly?

The damage caused by spider mites is distinct from that caused by cutting insects. It does not leave holes in the leaf; rather, it causes large discolored areas made up of tiny dots or dots.
As previously stated, you may notice a web-like substance on your plant's leaves or tiny specks on them, or you may see the leaves or entire proportions of your plant curling and withering if the infestation has progressed further. 
To treat spider mites, quarantine your plant to prevent spread. You can wash your plant with water to clear our some of the infestations initially and then use insecticidal soap or neem oil to spray your plant and wipe off spider mites. Repeat this process daily until the infestation is gone.
Visit Neverland today for more tips and useful resources. Plants bring a lot of joy, so we strive to help you have the best plants growing experience possible!

FAQs on Alocasia Polly


How do I get Alocasia Polly to grow new leaves?
During the growing season from spring to late summer, you can encourage active growth by feeding your Alocasia Polly balanced houseplant fertilizer once a month.
How big does Alocasia Polly grow?
Alocasia Polly is a jewel alocasia known for its compact size. They can grow up to 2 feet tall and wide when mature.
Does Alocasia Polly like sun?
Alocasia Polly likes bright, diffused light and can even tolerate lower light conditions. Avoid direct sunlight as that can scorch the leaves.
Can I put my Alocasia Polly outside?
Alocasias thrive in partial shade, but can manage with partial sun exposure. You can grow them outside in hardiness zones 10, 11, and 12.
Does Alocasia Polly flower?
Yes, mature plants can bloom and flower. Their flowers are a typical aroid type of flower with a white to green spathe surrounding a white or cream spadix.
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