How to Grow and Care For Alocasia Regal Shield (Elephant Ear Plant)?

Alocasia Regal Shield (Elephant Ear plant) is famous among houseplant lovers because of its unique and enormous leaves. It has large, stunning, dark green leaves that are perfect for indoor spaces and outdoor gardens. It exudes beauty, and a forest essence due to its large heart-shaped leaves. Alocasia Regal Shield is a low-maintenance tropical plant.

Alocasia Regal Shield in the wild

Image Source: iStock (Jobrestful)

Alocasia Regal Shield has large, beautiful, dark green leaves and is perfect for indoor spaces and outdoor gardens. It exudes beauty, and a forest essence due to its large heart-shaped leaves. Alocasia Regal Shield is a low-maintenance tropical plant. This beautiful Elephant Ear plant is famous among houseplant lovers because of its unique and enormous leaves. 
It is grown outdoors during the warm season from June to September. Some gardeners bury the entire pot in underground soil to create a more natural look in outdoor gardens.
Let’s learn more about this stunning succulent and how to properly care for and maintain them both indoors and outdoors.

What Is Alocasia Regal Shield?

“Elephant ears” are the common name for tropical perennial plants and are famous for their dark green leaves and fill the indoor and outdoor spaces. These plants are the Aroid or Alocaea family members in the genus Alocasia. Alocasia regal shield is a hybrid cultivar of the cross between two plants: Alocasia odora as a female and Alocasia reginula as the male parent.
This cultivar was developed in Florida in 2007 from the native plant parents of Eastern Australia, Asia, and Africa origin.
Alocasia regal shield is an attractive houseplant because of its stunning heart-shaped leaves, which appear velvety and dark green or black.
Because of its beautiful and unique leaves, the elephant ear plant has a magical aesthetic and is perfect for offices, patios, gardens, and hallways. They grow to between 5ft in indoor environments and 9ft in outdoor gardens with a width of 4 ft.
Pro Tip
The Alocasia regal shield needs wide open spaces whether you grow them indoors or outdoors. They reach up to 2.7 meters in a few years and do not perform well in compact spaces.
In many parts of the world, especially tropical regions, the arum family members are grown for edible tubers and leaves for scratch contents. Due to calcium oxalate crystals, these edible parts need to be cooked thoroughly before consumption.

Quick Alocasia Regal Shield Plant Care Guide

Botanical Name

Alocasia odora× Alocasia reginula

Common Names

Alocasia or Elephant ear plant, Black beauty, black velvet, regal plant, and alocasia regal shield

Family

Araceae or Aroid

Genus

Alocasia

Height

4-5 feet tall. Outdoor, can reach up to 9 feet tall.

Growth Rate

Fast, proliferates rapidly

Plant Type

Herbaceous perennial

Plant Leaves

Mature leaves length ranges from 8-12 inches

Bloom Time

Spring and Summer

Bloom Color

Pale Yellow or Light Green

Sun Exposure

Bright indirect light

Soil Type

Well-draining soil (perlite, pumice, peat moss)

Temperature

1Acidic

Humidity (ideal)

Moderate (60%) - High

USDA Hardiness Zones

10, 11, 12

Toxicity

Toxic to pets, humans, birds

Where to buy

How to Care for Alocasia Regal Shield?

Alocasia Regal Shield is a forgiving plant needing little care and maintenance. However, this beautiful tropical plant is sensitive to cold temperatures but can withstand extreme heat and drought conditions. Its low-maintenance lifestyle makes it the best outdoor and indoor plant. So, good plant care for this beauty means:
  1. healthy well-draining soil mix while potting and repotting.
  2. bright indirect light.
  3. any houseplant fertilizer (half dilution of the recommended dose).
The following are key care instructions to keep your Alocasia Regal Shield healthy and happy;

Water

Alocasia regal shield plant does not grow and tolerate waterlogged soils and overwatering. Allow the top few inches of soil to dry in between every watering. If located in a sunnier spot, it may need more frequent watering.
Interestingly, its water needs vary according to the season and where it is growing, whether indoor or outdoor. During the growing season during the Spring and Summer, Alocasia Regal Shield plant needs more water. While in cold months, it requires less water.
The following tips are best for watering the Alocasia regal shield:
  1. In spring and summer, water your elephant ears plant 3x a week.
  2. In the winter months, water the regal plant once a week or less.
  3. Water the Alocasia regal plant slowly so that the water reaches the plant base.
  4. Always select a plant pot with suitable drainage holes to allow the water comes to the central roots.
  5.  Avoid overwatering the regal plant to avoid root rot and pest infestation.
  6. Most importantly, avoid watering regal plants with tap water. This tropical plant is sensitive to chemicals in tap water and will change foliage color depending upon the chemical concentrations. Use distilled water or rainwater for elephant ears plant instead of tap water.

Sunlight

Alocasia Elephant Ear plant performs best in indirect sunlight in indoor environments. While in outdoor gardens, this black beauty is sensitive to direct or scorching sunlight because it may burn its large heart-shaped leaves. They enjoy the bright shade in outdoors to grow and bloom.
Place the regal plant containers in windows facing the south or north sun in interior spaces. Constantly rotate the plant container to allow better light penetration and support consistent foliage growth.

Soil

Soil is a critical part of the Alocasia regal shield's care playing a crucial role in the plant's overall health. A loamy, well-draining and slightly acidic soil is ideal for your Alocasia regal shield.  For example, if your potting soil is too dense, it will retain water and damage the roots.
On the other hand, if it is light and rich, drains well, the potting mix then supports the root growth and assists the plant in healthy foliage and blooming.
For Alocasia regal shield, well-draining potting soil with equal parts of perlite and orchid bark is ideal. Also, add a handful of worm castings (about 10% of the whole potting mix) for an extra boost of nutrients. Such soil mix will retain moisture but not be heavy on the black beauty.
If your soil is rich and keeps water for an extended time, it will encourage root rot that is difficult to control. 
Note: To ensure the soil mix has good drainage, check that water slowly passes down through the soil towards the central root of the regal plant.

Temperature

A good temperature range for the Elephant ear plant is 60 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range is ideal for tropical plants to grow and bloom.

Humidity

Alocasia regal shield loves humidity due to its tropical and subtropical origins. So, an average humidity level near 80% makes it happy and healthy. To maintain the humidity levels in the indoor environment, try the following methods:
  1. Regular misting with water through a spray bottle
  2. Place a small humidifier indoors
  3. Keep it in areas with high humidity, such as in a kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom (if there is light there!).

Fertilizer

Any houseplant liquid fertilizer is ideal for the regal plants to keep them healthy and gorgeous; apply it every three weeks during the growing season in the summer and spring.

Cutting and Pruning

Elephant ear plant does not need much pruning in indoor environments. While outdoors, it needs trims to restrict the extra height and support healthy growth. 
The following steps are helpful to prune the Alocasia regal shield;
  1. Sterilize the cutting or pruning tools with a bleach solution or fungicide
  2. Wear gloves and prune off the more extensive and older leaves, which look dull and susceptible to injuries. This practice will also allow more sunlight exposure to smaller and young leaves.
  3. Trim the discolored, damaged, and dead leaves to support the new and healthy growth.
  4. Prune away the excessive growth to support the bloom of the elephant ear plant.

How to Propagate Alocasia Regal Shield?

Alocasia regal shields are easy to propagate because it is a rhizomatous plant. So the best way for the propagation of the regal plant is by root separation, and the ideal season for this activity is early spring and summer.

Through Rhizome Division

The following are the steps to follow to propagate the Alocasia regal shield through rhizome division:
  1. Take out the plant from the pot and remove the soil from the root ball as much as possible.
  2. Carefully separate the rhizome or offshoot from the mother plant with a sterilized knife.
  3. Ensure the newly separated rhizome has its own 2 to 3 shoots (growing from it) and adventitious roots. Keep the mother plant for a few hours to heal the wounds and treat them with fungicide.
  4. Replant the mother plant and newly separated rhizome back into their respective containers with fresh soil and indirect sunlight. Avoid the full sun for the mother plant.
  5. Water the plant carefully.

How to Repot Alocasia Regal Shield?

Alocasia Regal Shield or Elephant Ear plant needs repotting once every two years to perform well (produce healthy foliage and flowers). In addition, repotting will introduce plants to the new and fresh potting soil mix. Here’s how to repot the Regal Plant:
  1. Wear gloves and carefully take out the pant from the old pot.
  2. Shake off the excess soil from the root ball and remove the extra roots.
  3. Fill the new pot with soil up to 30% and carefully place the plant in it.
  4. Fill the pot with potting mix and ensure it is well-draining by adding perlite, pumice, peat moss, or orchid bark.
  5. Water the plant thoroughly and put it indirect bright sunlight.

Common Alocasia Regal Shield Problems and Pests

The most common Alocasia Regal Shield issues include overwatering, direct or poor sunlight exposure and saturated soils. Lets dig in:

Yellowing Leaves

If you're seeing yellow leaves, this is a sign of overwatering and waterlogged soil. To prevent and treat this, allow the top few inches of soil to dry between watering. You can check by placing your finger and pressing it into the topsoil. Yellow leaves can also be a sign of a pest infestation, so check your leaves thoroughly.

Dropping Leaves

Dropping leaves in the Regal Plant is due to water stress: either overwatering or too little watering. Always check the top soil before watering.
Dropping leaves can also be a sign of sudden environment changes like cold drafts. Make sure your plant is placed away from doors and windows.

Brown Leaf Spots

The most common causes of brown leaf spots on Alocasia Regal Shield are fungal disease, rust, or bacterial leaf spot. Overwatering, improper humidity, and temperature can make this plant susceptible to fungal diseases. Ensure that you are watering properly letting the topsoil dry between waterings. Keep your plant away from cold drafts like air conditioners, windows, and doors. Make sure your plant is getting proper humidity especially during the winter months.
The improper humidity levels indoors cause the brown leaf spots in the regal plant. Maintain high humidity by regular water misting.

Root Rot

Overwatering and poorly draining soil causes root rot in the Elephant ear plants. Use a well-draining potting soil mix with suitable drainage holes in the pot to avoid this problem. To treat root rot, remove the plant carefully from its pot. Gently shake off the soil from the roots. Using sterilized garden shears, trim mushy brown roots. Healthy roots are yellow/white and stiff/sturdy. After trimming, you can treat your roots with hydrogen peroxide (heavily diluted, 3% in one gallon of water) by diluting and spraying your roots. Replant in fresh potting mix (this is key) and make sure to let soil dry between waterings.

Pests

This tropical plant is exceptionally resistant to pest infestations. However, it gets an infestation of mealybugs, thrips, spider mites, aphids, and scales during the growing season. Spray the plant with neem oil and insecticidal soap weekly to get rid of most of these pest problems.

Other Alocasia Varieties

Black Magic
Alocasia Black Magic leaves
Image Source: iStock (vichuda)
Alocasia Black Magic is a rare plant with dark purplish or black leaves and is famous among gardeners due to its spiritual side. Black magic only grows up to one foot tall so it's great for smaller spaces!
Alocasia Frydek
Alocasia Frydek
Image Source: iStock (Jamaludin Yusup)
Alocasia Frydek or Green Velvet Alocasia is a rare plant that exudes beauty with its dark green velvety and heart-shaped leaves. This beautiful cultivar has white line patterns on leaves and provides dramatic decor fitting for living rooms and patios.

5 Tips on How to Take Good Care of Alocasia Regal Shield

  1. Do not overwater your regal plant.
  2. Maintain higher levels of humidity in indoor and outdoor environments.
  3. Plant your Alocasia regal shield in well-draining soil.
  4. Place the plant in bright indirect light.
  5. Regularly inspect the plant foliage for dull or discolored appearance and pest infestations.
Where to Buy Alocasia Regal Shield?
Obtain this beautiful and magical plant from Neverland because it has air purification properties and adds excellent aesthetics to the indoor and outdoor spaces due to its heart-shaped leaves.

FAQs on Alocasia Regal Shield

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