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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Introduction to Jewel Alocasia


Jewel Alocasia comes in the category of tropical ariods which has a unique leaf structure and formation. These are different from the common Alocasia variety where they are much larger and hardy in comparison which often labelled as Elephant Ears - often planted outdoors which receives open bright sunlight and rain.

Jewel Alocasia however are shade dwelling plants where they require limited controlled watering regime. Too much watering or water logged can cause the plant to succumb to root rot and fall apart literally. 

These Alocasia are native to the rainforest areas in Borneo, Southeast Asia and surrounding regions.

These are my collection which I managed to collect over the years and still learning to figuring it out in creating an optimum level for the robust growth and well being. 

Here they are totally shaded from direct sun as they receive bright shaded sunlight and also covered from open rain from getting into them.


There have been challenges where I had faced mealybug infestation brought by ants. Another fatal attack from a heavy infestation of red spidermites which I was shocked to find all the foliage where badly damaged - the leaves were losing it's vigor and appears faded.

I had taken the trouble to wash each leaves with sulfuric bath soap and leaving the foam to cover upon the leaves overnight - yet they come back within few week's time. I had washed 3 times but to no avail and I had switched my tactic by spraying oils and pesticide.

The plants are slowly recovering and I'm really hoping to see the new formed leaves are free from those attacks as these pest often go these young tender shoots first.

Also do consider proper care on application to strong pesticide as it can be detrimental to the plant too as Jewel Alocasia are sensitive plants. I had killed a few on my overzealousness of heavy application of pesticide. 


I only water them 3-5 days once and that too is very light watering and I do not let the water to drain out from the drainage hole - and so I just determine how less I water them. They are not however a drought tolerant plant but they won't able to stand over-watering and may cause the plant to suffer root rot.

The trouble is - you won't able to notice the root rot problem until it is too late especially based on appearance the top crown plant structure shows no sign of distress even though the bottom hidden part may be rotting away in weeks time. When it is really too late - the top part of the plant will just fall apart and the roots had rotten and long gone and nothing can be saved.

Hence it is always better to underwater than overwater - however the soil medium content is the key for success.

Jewel Alocasia grows ever so slowly and therefore a lot of care is required to make sure that nothing jeopardize their growing conditions. I just have to watch the watering followed by the pest control and later look into the fertilizing regime to monitor their healthy growth.


I must say that I had encountered that each successful gardener had found their own successful recipe that works best in their garden condition and their style of watering system.

At times - I noticed that some gardeners are able to water these plants in a care free manner of just spraying water in a hose just like any other house plant and these plants thrive.

Others however just use a water canister and carefully water at the medium without touching the foliage. Another may use a saucer and pour water from the bottom of the pot and let the medium take in from the drainage hole.

My method:
I would carefully water them as not to get the leaves too wet and water them less.

I often find these plants sold in nurseries comes with cocopeat as medium and remove them and replace them with my own soil composition as below.


This is my medium composition:

1) 30% river sand
2) 30% rich compost - mixture of vermicompost and cow manure
3) 30% coconut husk chips

I would first put in the coconut husk chip at the bottom as a hold for drainage hole. And carefully place the rootball in between the coconut chips and layer the sand & compost to hold the plant upright. 
I would loosely layer the medium as not to press it too tight and compress the root ball.

I also add a good amount of perlite but it is really not necessary. 


I also noticed apart from the usual NPK fertilizer - a good root growth hormone actually helps them to grow and have a stable good growth.


I find the easy way is the formation of new pups forming from the mother plant where new corms are formed and the plantlet slowly appearing from the sides of the pot - these baby plants will grow bigger eventually and once they are half the size from the mother plant - they are ready to be replanted in separated pot.

Another rare method is the formation of seedpod appearing at the inflorescence which may take months and careful regime of germination and protection against rot and other elements.

Once these things are observed and taken cared of. 
They can be considered an easy plant with not much fuss to care about.

I grow them in the similar conditions as I would grow a succulent plant:

1) Bright indirect Light

2) Less but adequate watering - Do let the medium to slightly dry off before next watering
Usually I would check the medium and only water them when the medium is dry.

3) Watch out for Pest Infestation

4) Fertilizing Regime.



There is a high contention here considering this matter however I choose to do as to let the plant to conserve energy on the foliage growth rather than the inflorescence formation and seeding which may require a lot of energy from the plant which can cause the plant to go dormant or spend.

Thus I immediately trim off the new formed flower bud for this reason.


Here I would delay until the leaves had totally dried off turning into crisp as it would channel all its energy back to the tuber center. This however is a tuberous plant and hence like any other types - all the energy are back tracked and storage into the tuber once the leaves are totally dried off. And therefore refraining from trimming the leaves when it is slowly turning yellow is important.

Of course - different gardeners have their different thoughts about this matter - I for one follow this method above as it works best for me. Some gardeners are so good that they have a method to make these form seed and grow from those seedling into a new plant - I however have not reached that expert level.


Often I find this particular types do go into dormancy when they are suddenly faced a stressful factor - usually a climate change or medium change shock when propagating the pups or going through root rot rescue when they are discovered early.

It may take months but they will eventually spring back with new foliage growth with vigor and lush.

Do click to the Link Below 
To check on the Main Page Concerning Different Types of Jewel Alocasia:

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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