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Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Step by Step Detailed Information on How to Repot Jewel Alocasia Plant (How to Safe my Dying Jewel Alocasia)


INTRODUCTION:

I often get a lot of queries on how to repot Jewel Alocasia, the very fact is that at most if not all these plants that have been produced from the nurseries have used only cocopeat as medium which is not suitable for long-term condition for these types of Jewel Alocasia, all the more when introduced in the garden conditions where it is too wet and too hot in the same time - turning the potting media becoming too wet causing root rot or too dry that the roots are unable to absorb proper nutrients.

Hence repotting them to the correct media ensures the longevity of the plant life and these can grow and be maintained for many years to come.

POTTING MEDIA : MATERIALS

COCONUT HUSK CHIPS

After years of experience with many trial and errors, I finally came the most successful candidate - where it works best for me. Of course, different gardeners will propose and use based on their experience and their garden condition - in my context. I find the best that works for me are coco-chips. Do not get me wrong, it is not the same with using cocopeat or fiber. I strong discourage gardeners to use purely cocopeat as these retain too much water for long-term duration causing root and stem rot.

However, coconut chips alone will not work as it would be too dry and sparse - hence it need to be mixed with other material.

Here I use, in rough estimation of  50-75% coconut chips mixed with sand and compost.



RIVER SAND

I find River sand works best, the one that I chose are the slightly granule type and not the fine dust sand. These really helps to regulate the breathing process for the roots. You can use perlite as a substitute however I find perlite are quite light and may easily washed off when accidentally sprayed / watered strongly on the pot. Also they may easily float which doesn't really help in keeping the density in the potting medium. 

Apart from Sand or Perlite - fine coarse pumice or even aquarium fine pebbles or pebbles wash stones can be used though I find these are quite expensive based on the weight and quantity sold. Also washed construction sand does work - however you may have to get the denser coarse material more in the mix comparison to the fine sandy parts.

Another addition is LECA BALLS however it doesn't retain much moisture as needed in comparison to coconut chips - you can add leca balls together in the mix but not solely unless the leca balls are exposed to constant watering system at the bottom as these regulate proper moisture.



Picture Above:

Here I have unpotted and uprooted the dying Jewel Alocasia. Just in time to save the plant from dying as I can notice the soil medium is too dense and too wet which may cause root rot easily even though it may have been watered once a week. The medium is retaining too much water.
The current medium used here is regular potting mix.





After removing the medium, I had carefully washed the root ball to check if there are any sign of root rot which can be detrimental to the plant. These had some dead rotting root branches in some section which I had carefully cut and removed them off from the main root structure.


I often layer the medium first, the first layer - I would put the coconut chip, at times, I would also put in a thin layer of compost and another thin layer of coconut chips again.

After that carefully lay the root ball. Normally - I would place the plant at the side of the pot, giving more support for the plant to lean against the pot wall.



After this, it is the sand followed by a little pieces of charcoal to deter the rot problem. You can skip the charcoal if you don't have it - I'm just using it as additional. (Charcoal chips - optional)


Then, it is just a slight constant layering of chips, sand and chips until the whole root ball is stabled and unexposed, you can lightly compress the mix by hand and add more of these potting medium until the pot is 90% full - do keep a little space for watering as you don't want the medium to wash down from the when watering.



This is how it looks like when it is fully done, Do try to avoid trimming off the dying leaves as it may trigger stress for the plant & this can cause the plant especially the Jewel Alocasia types to get into dormancy - they they trigger into dormancy - refrain from watering - just keeping the medium moist once a week. It is ok if the medium becomes fully dry before the next watering as the whole thing is just root ball and stem. 

Over-watering in the dormancy stage can cause rot problems which can be fatal to the plant - hence ensuring the right medium for this condition saves the plant from dying.


This is still in the experimental stage and I find that this method is very successful. 
What I do is, place a transparent plastic cup at the bottom of the drainage of the pot and just ever so slightly - making sure that the water is just touching the base of the pot - keeping the moisture intact as not to totally dried out.

I do water these in the pot - from the top of the medium keeping the whole pot wet but just once a week. The next watering - I make sure the top medium is fully dried before watering again. Usually once a week is considered very ideal.



Picture Above:

Shown here where the plant had almost died - I only had a small tuber which had gone dormant, here I just used coconut chips and leca balls and the plant had rejuvenated from dormancy after 3-4 months. Of course - I had the choice of ditching this dying plant and start all over again purchasing a new one however it was a trending plant then and these were sold very expensive during that time.

Now the plant have fully recovered and I had changed to more suitable medium of sand / coco-chips and compost giving the plant to grow and mature more vigorously.


CONCLUSION

Eventually the Jewel Alocasia may overgrow and give out more tubers and baby plants may be produced over the course of few months to a year. Do take note - not to overpot the plant, rather slowly repot them in just a slight bigger pot as sudden change of potting media which is too big may also cause them stress. These Jewel Alocasia loves to be in tight potting medium especially when it comes to coconut chips - these works best.

(Do note - though it is in a tight enclosed type of potting medium - sand also is required as these roots need to breathe - hence fast draining medium. Just tight enclosed medium as the regular potting medium can retain too much water causing root and stem rot)

Another factor that I also noticed when it comes to Jewel Alocasia - the top crown and the leaves will appear healthy and beautiful even though they are facing root / tuber and stem rot underneath the pot where it is not visible. Only when the plant is totally rotten and death- you will suddenly find the bottom stem being squishy and rotten - it is too late to safe anything when it is in this condition.

Hence underwater is still a good thing in comparison to overwatering.

 

7 Easy Black Elephant Ear Plants to Grow & Cultivate


This is very much the update of my Black Colocasia & Alocasia in my Collection. 
Here in this video, I will be sharing my Tips and Hacks on How I care & cultivate my Black Ripple Colocasia and together with other Alocasia & Colocasia in my Collection. 

These types are commonly known as Elephant Ears due to the large leaf structure, though some of them are identified as different class and species names. I will be covering detailed information on soil medium, watering, lighting and fertilizer requirements. Also pest management. 

These are in this Plant Collection: 
Colocasia Black Magic, 
Colocasia Black Ripple, 
Colocasia Black Coral 
Colocasia Illustris, 
Colocasia Tea Cup, 
Alocasia Black Stem, 
Colocasia Lemon Lime Gecko

Quick Plant Care Hacks: Giant Elephant Ears Plants (Alocasia Macrohiza 'Black Stem' / Giant Taro - Colocasia gigantea 'Thailand Giant' / Blue Taro - Xanthosoma violaceum )



Here are the Collection of 3 different Types of Elephant Ears which I'm showcasing here: 

1) Alocasia Macrohiza 'Black Stem' 
2) Giant Taro - Colocasia gigantea 'Thailand Giant' 
3) Blue Taro - Xanthosoma violaceum 

Tip 1: 
Super Size Growing Plant These are Giants 
- hence do keep in mind for their growth space. Lacking growth in open space in their natural elements especially in open sun and rain may cause them to get over stressed harboring spider-mite infestation together with other stress related pest on them. 

Tip 2: 
Since they are in shade 
Do watch out for spider mites 
- however spider mites do not like wet humid area and be sure to keep the leaves wet and spray on them often or you can wash them with light soap to get rid of them. 

Tip 3: 
The Bigger the Plant 
- the Thirsty It Gets Especially the Blue Taro where I grow them inside an aquatic feature container where it is freely growing inside the container without any soil medium and it's doing just fine. 
Not all species can do this as I had tried with Black Stem Alocasia which it had rotten away.

The Difference between Colocasia Black 'Ripple' & Colocasia Black 'Coral'



Here I'm identifying side by side plant comparison to note the difference between these two plants. However do note that these need good strong sunlight for them to fully reveal their colors and feature difference to really compare and note the difference. 

The difference in corrugation 
- Black Ripple The difference in color tones 
- Blue in Black Coral and without corrugation.

Tips & Thoughts about Plant Shopping in Supermarket



This is my light & easy Plant window shopping here in the local supermarket in Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia. These are some of the popular indoor and herbs plants trending now in affordable prices here in this region. 

Few of the Plants which I discuss here are: 
Monstera Borsigiana, 
Lucky Bamboo, 
Corn Plant, 
Pussy Willow, 
Kalanchoe, 
Succulent, 
Polka Dot Plant, 
Herbs and Indoor Plants.

Cane Begonia's Unique Heart Shaped Flowers



Here is a review of some of my Cane Begonia Collection 
where it is more on the emphasize concerning their flowering characteristics. 

Most of them are not profoundly showy however they have this unique features where the buds are very much in heart-shaped. 

Do check out the characteristics of the 4 Cane Begonias here in this video: 
1) Cane Begonia - Maculata (Original) 
2) Cane Begonia - Pink Rubra 
3) Cane Begonia - Maculata Albo Picta 
4) Cane Begonia Sinbad

Friday, February 4, 2022

Alocasia Longiloba


CHARACTERISTICS:

This particular Alocasia is considered very much a native plant grown naturally surrounding the Southeast Asia regions and in most cases are not considered as an ornamental plant - It may be cultivated among collectors however this variety were not sold exclusively as a house plant. 

There are few varieties of this particular type spanning from red back leaf, stripped banded stem to the highly sought after "Grandis" variety - however, due to the post trending plants - these have now had burst it's trend bubble and those who may had invested on purchasing these types of plants may face a dilemma of over supply and huge price drop resulting with competition and losses.

These are considered common and easily available plants growing easily by the roadsides and surround areas. Locally known as Alocasia longiloba "kampung" / keladi kampung - these joined together in the band wagon then with other sought after Alocasia during  trending days.  

The one I'm cultivating appears to be slightly faded in their foliage features - very much having the same features like Alocasia Polly - however this one is rather toned down in colors and features. These do tend to grow slightly larger and robust given the right conditions.

I'm cultivating this very much in the conditions where I'm observing the plant growth conditions and see how their behavior in various conditions and places - so far, this is the only location that they managed to survive - hence, I had introduced the rest of the prized Alocasia plants in this location.

When it comes to light, watering, medium, feeding and pest control - it appears to be very much similar basic care and maintenance for all Alocasia species.








 Do click to the Link Below 

To check on the Main Page Concerning Different Types of Jewel Alocasia:

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Alocasia Cuprea 'Red Variety'


CHARACTERISTICS:

Among all other Alocasia plants this one has a distinct appearance like a shield or 6 pack abs. that truly give an interesting look. This one is native to Borneo and also considered as a Jewel Alocasia. This appears to be a larger version of a cuprea where the plant can grow into considerable size when it receive a good optimum growing factor.

Also commonly known as Mirror Plant. It has a bright green with coppery hues, lighter sunken veins with reddish undersides. I have come across 3 different varieties of this kind. This particular variety is the the Red Variety.

Another common Green Variety is also been in circulation among plant enthusiast and vendors - however they do sell the tubers with affordable prices however it can be challenging to note whether the ones sold are of the desired colors as I understand most of which these may be poached from the wild and sold in bulk prices. 

Again, these may also be quick to succumb to tuber rot as they were not acclimated for lowland climate conditions - all the more as ornamental plants since if they are collected from the wild - most likely these were taken from highlands almost with temperate climate zones. 

However, those were the days were these were considered rare plants and highly sought after during trending times - now they all must reverted back to the normal affordable prices in the plant market currently.

When it comes to light, watering, medium, feeding and pest control - it appears to be very much similar basic care and maintenance for all Alocasia species.







This particular picture is taken during the night time with the flash on. You can able to note the red sheen in appearance - shining by the foliage.



 Do click to the Link Below 

To check on the Main Page Concerning Different Types of Jewel Alocasia:


 

How to Care & Cultivate Jewel Alocasia Collection (Updated Version)


INTRODUCTION:

Very much earlier I had an Alocasia collection which have been decimated due to heavy spider-mite infection, I tried few methods using various pesticides, neem soap and neem oil, and constantly washing the leaves and plants hoping to eradicate the infection - each time I do so, the plant succumb to stress and goes into dormancy - I did end up losing few species over time, and with my overzealousness -  even trimmed and pruned the damaged leaves. This only caused more stress and the poor plant eventually died.

After few months of rest (just to make sure - there is no residue of the spider-mites that might come back and infect this second collection in rebound) I started slow with just the Black Velvet Alocasia. I believe these are produced using tissue culture which came in a bulk and with a huge price drop. Usually these plant cost RM50 when it trending, very much earlier for RM30 for a normal price. But these tissue culture plants cost almost half of that (RM17.00)

However the rest of the collection retained to the original prices ranging from RM30-RM50. This was my deciding factor whether I would want to start all over again knowing the nature of these sensitive plants of which they cannot tolerate any mistakes - overwatering and wrong medium. Let alone, spidermites that can be devastating when left unchecked.

By then, I have figure out the solution where locating the best planting position for them, they are exposed to daily watering where the get their foliage wet but not the medium - this ensures to discourage the mites from infesting again but to make absolutely sure - I do apply miticide which I found the best one so far that eradicate them in one application without my worry on the re-infection.

Hence, armed with this second experience and knowledge, here are the list of the things that I had listed below for future reference for Plant Care and Maintenance:


LIGHT:

One of the Main factor is Lighting - they require good indirect bright light - neither exposed to direct hot sun and that will scorch the leaves also not total indoor shaded area as it will make the leaves grow leggy and pale looking. 

An ideal lighting would be like few hours of morning sun shaded away from direct rain as these will not do well when exposed to open direct rain water.


POTTING MEDIUM:

I often find this one grown and cultivated inside a cocopeat and end up killing it when overwatering it. And thus removing the access cocopeat and mix the medium 50% coco-chip with 50% sand to create the fast draining factor for watering purpose.
Also I would layer the bottom draining hole with cotton fiber and put 2-3 tablespoon of compost. I came to know that vermi-compost would be the best however if you can get those, a regular compost will do. Make sure you put those at the bottom and then later the sand and coco-chip - layering the root ball carefully as not to direct expose them to the compost.

Another factor is that the medium needs to be fast draining - the river sand and the coconut chip seemed to be the best I had found so far that doesn't kill the plant over time. In comparison to so many other potting medium which I had bad results where the plant suddenly dies due to accidentally overwatering over too dry a medium that cannot hold moisture -  this is the best alternative medium that I had found so far that works.

There are other suggestions where perlite, pumice and  a mixture of cocopeat are also used together, if it does work for you - then I guess it had acclimated and suited to your garden conditions. I must say that my garden conditions are too wet, hence it is not possible - as it can easily cause root and tuber rot.

Also please note - the rot is not visible until it is too late - even the leaves will look sturdy and without damage especially the top crown. Once the rot had taken full damage where the tuber appears to turn into a mush - the plant is totally doomed even though the top crown appears unaffected.




WATERING:

Overwatering is the main reason why this plant dies - do be very concern about this matter.  The rule of the thumb is to water it 3-4 days once or to check with a poke test to see whether to medium is dry before the next watering. The best would be at least 30% of the top soil is dry before the next application. 

Again, this correspond very much together with the medium used as the potting medium. Again -  a lot of trial and error make take place until you get this part right. Once you have succeed in cultivating the right watering and the correct medium for this plant that suit your garden condition, I would truly recommend to get the rest of the different species in your collection as you know they are quite pricey and not easy to come by.

However I have also noticed that most of these plants do come in huge bulk as they are cultivated using tissue culture making their prices cheaper and very much affordable in comparison to the grown tuber counter-parts which may take years and propagated using corms that been produced by the parent plant. 

This may be one of the reason why this plant is still considered rare due to the slow growing process and their sensitivity when they suddenly die due to wrong plant care cultivation.



FERTILIZER:

Once the Plant had established itself it is a good growing cycle, you can rest assured that there will be a new leaf growth in each new month and that will last at least for 3-4 months before the leaf matures and dries off. 

Regular weekly foliar fertilizer would be the best for this one. I had come across some gardeners use osmocote for this particular plant - however, it can be unpredictable when you would want to use the next application as too much of those can actually kill the plant in long term basis. Hence you would never know what actually when wrong until it suddenly dies without any warning. These Jewel Alocasia do just that.

So if in doubt, apply sparingly - however, the best would be just a weekly on the maximum basis as these are slow growing plant which doesn't really need heavy application.


Also I had found with my research the best would work together with fertilizer is added with a root hormone known as B1 or a seaweed solutions. This truly helps the strong root growth process as the life of the plant is very much in the tuber - the more stable and well balanced the root growth - the healthier the plant.



PEST:

I must say the greatest challenge I often faced with Jewel Alocasia apart from rot problems are actually Spidermites and mealy bugs. Also I had found a lof to the pesticides don't seemed to be effective - at times, over application stresses the plant, especially the oil based ones.

I also resorted to trimming and pruning off the badly damaged leaves only to cause more stress and the poor plant dies. The ones that does recover - goes through shock and takes at least about 3-4 months for it regenerate back - any added stress to that cause the whole tuber to rot away.

I had lost almost all of my collection due to this stress and wrong pest management.

Based on my experience, do infest in a good miticide and pesticide. Spidermites are biologically not insect hence that would be the main reason most pesticides that are geared towards insect category don't work on them. Another factor is a strong regime of weekly application - when skip one, they came back with vengeance especially when they would had laid eggs and the 2nd generation may also become immune to the miticide.

Hence take good care not to introduce an infected plant in your collection - it can be devastating if not observed on daily inspection.



Picture Above

Initially this is how it appears to be like in my first batch until the spider-mite infection had decimated the whole collection where I have to remove all of them - replant and reset due to the heavy infestation. I have managed to safe only my Alocasia Simpo &  Alocasia Silver Dragon from this collection - the rest however died over-stressed either by heavy application of pesticides and heavy pruning.



Picture Above

This is the current appearance of the Alocasia Plant Collection currently been cultivated with new additions of Black Velvet Alocasia here in this space. This is the second batch which can be considered successful in this setting.


 Do click to the Link Below 

To check on the Main Page Concerning Different Types of Jewel Alocasia:


Alocasia 'Zebrina'


INTRODUCTION:

Unlike other types of Alocasia where the ornamental beauty is focused on the foliage, this one however the beauty is very much directed on the stem - the banded appearance on the stem seemed to create the hype one time ago as trending plant and may fetch easily RM150-RM300 one time ago, not have reduced to RM75.00 - RM50.00 in the plant size range.

Though is it now not highly sought after, it is still a desirable plant where Alocasia die-hard fans can now own these types of plant in more of an affordable price range. 



CHARACTERISTICS:

I can say that it appears to be a hardy and fast growing plant, I have not explored the full potential of this plant in exposing it to daily watering and strong feeding regime. 
There are however few varieties of these kind where the banded stem features are very much evident in few different types of Alocasia. This one however were one of the few that have been cultivated as the ornamental house plant - though not so popular like the "Jewel Alocasia" category.

The foliage appears to be glossy when newly unfurled and slowly turn dark green with sturdy firm texture without any fold or coloration. There are few other collectible Alocasia which have this similar characteristics of this foliage without the unique banded stripped features on the stem.

I must say there are easily a huge variety and now with many cultivated hybrids that are circulated among collectors and plant enthusiast together with breeds and plants vendors alike.

When it comes to light, watering, medium, feeding and pest control - it appears to be very much similar basic care and maintenance for all Alocasia species.




 Do click to the Link Below 

To check on the Main Page Concerning Different Types of Jewel Alocasia:


Alocasia Simpo (Mature Form)


INTRODUCTION:

Alocasia Simpo appears to be very much like any other ordinary Elephant Ear Plant - however it is often sold in the "rare" "Jewel" Alocasia category. Often you will find them sold in a seedling where the foliage appear to be in a circular formation where the sinus is not divided.

Only once its in a mature form - it have more detailed features, here you can see, it appears to have a stronger appearance where it is hardy exposed to rain and sun - the leaves however have a beautiful green & blue tones. It does appear to have few mix characteristics with some of the Jewel Alocasias namely like the Alocasia Sinuata where the veining and coloration are very much similar. 

There are not much of botanic information concerning research or any opinions based on any growers or gardeners concerning this Alocasia Simpo. Somehow it brings to consider that it could just be a marketing gimmick to rename or re-label an existing Alocasia plant by most plant vendors.

In fact, Alocasia Lukiwan appears to have very strong similar characteristics with Alocasia Simpo which bring me think that the the factor of ID can be very challenging when the true name of the plant are not been properly identified when used by plant vendors.

However based on the pictures viewed - Alocasia Lukiwan does look much wider in comparison to Alocasia Simpo. I hope more accurate and proper research are available for me to make any comments on these - as for now, I hope the pictures do justice for identification.


CHARACTERISTICS:

Apart from the foliage characteristics, I can say that this particular one is very hardy and easy to grow - almost like any Big leaved Elephant Ears Type of Plants. However it is also not immune to spidermite infestation hence routine check is necessary to make sure no major damage takes place.

I had faced a horrible spidermite infection where I placed this in the indoor condition away from rain and shine - the damage was permanent and you might not even know whether they are still infected or wipe-out with the current damaged plant. The first thing is that you would be tempted to trim off all the plants and hope for the new leaves to emerge without any damage - however you will be totally risking the whole plant as it can go into shock and the plant can rot and die.
(This happened to almost 90% of my collection) The surviving ones took almost 6 months to recover, others though was considered an unfortunate reality. A hard and difficult lesson to learn, hence forth - I always check and quarantine my new bought or introduced plant and apply a good measure of pesticide / miticide to protect my current collection.



WATERING / MEDIUM / FERTILIZER

I do daily watering for this one using coco-chip and sand for potting mix and weekly application of foliar fertilizer for this plant. Normally - I would apply foliar fertilizer for all my garden plants and these get included in the weekly regiment.

Apart from this, I think everything else is very much the same basic care and maintenance of the plant.





(spidermite infected leaves)



(comparison of the new leaf with the old infected leaf - bottom)


Do click to the Link Below 

To check on the Main Page Concerning Different Types of Jewel Alocasia:


 

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