Ultimate Alocasia
Care Guide

An Alocasia Amazonica. Credit: Choose Your Plant 

By Houseplant Hobbyist

Alocasias are known for
their stunning leaves and particular care needs. Anyone who has owned one has probably struggled at some point to keep it happy.

In this article, I will cover the following topics to ensure you are giving them the correct care: backgrond, watering frequency, light, temperature and humidity, size, and common issues.

Note: This guide is specifically tailored to the Alocasia Amazonica (AKA Alocasia Polly), but the tips apply to almost all the Alocasias.


The Alocasia Amazonica is a hybrid cultivation of its two plant parents: Alocasia Longiloba and Alocasia Sanderiana.

While the parent plants originate from tropical Asia, botanists created the Amazonica hybrid in the United States ~  specifically, Miami, Florida ~ in the 1950s.

Alocasia Amonica goes by multiple names, including:
  • Alocasia Polly
  • African Mask Plant
  • Elephant Ear Plant
  • Alocasia Alligator


In the wild, these plants grow near water sources, so it’s important to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy.

Also, increasing humidity if possible, will help prevent the leaves from getting crispy and prevent spider mites.

Remember to decrease the amount of water in the winter as the plant goes into a dormant stage. This is the case with most plants because less light and less heat mean less water consumption.


Bright, indirect light will be best for your plant. If you notice the leaves are losing their deep-green color, that means it needs more light.

Here’s a helpful guide for determining what type of light they need to get in your rooms.

A plant that needs “bright indirect light” can still receive some direct sunlight. Placing it in a window that gets the less-intense morning or evening sun for a few hours is usually an excellent option.


Amazonicas grow best in warm environments so make sure the temperature does not drop below 55ºF. They will be happiest in temperatures ranging between 65ºF to 80ºF.

Generally, if you are comfortable with the temperature in your home, your plant will be comfortable, too.


This plant will be happiest with high humidity to replicate the natural growing environment of its parent plants.

Creating more humidity doesn’t need to be as daunting a task as it may first seem. For example, you can use a humidifier if available. Otherwise, create a pebble tray, as I did for my Maui Queen Calathea.

Since I keep my Alocasias well-watered I don’t need to supplement with any additional humidity. They have been growing well, so I just let them "do their thing." If you find the leaves are drying out quickly, feel free to make adjustments as needed.

Another option to increase humidity is to keep the plant in your bathroom; but do so only if there is enough natural light to keep it happy.
The constant use of water and steamy showers will give your plant a very humid and happy environment.

Adding humidity.... (TOP) You can see that the leaves are curling up from lack of humidity. This picture was taken as soon as I set up the pebble tray, and within 24 hours the leaves had lost their curl. As long as I keep the tray filled with some water the leaves look great. (BOTTOM) This is just a $1 plastic plate I bought at Target filled wtih some small pebbles purchased at the Dollar Store.

The leaves of the Alocasia Amazonica can grow up to 16 inches long, and the plant itself can grow up to two feet in height and width if cared for properly.

Below are two pictures of HUGE Alocasia Amazonicas.
Common Issues

There are four common issues you may experience with these plants. Don't worry; each one can easily be taken care of with a little effort.

 Spider Mites

These little pests love dry conditions, so make sure you keep the humidity around the plant high enough. If you notice yellow/brown specks, look closely for small webs covering the leaves.

The best product I’ve found for stopping spider mites once they’ve discovered your plant is Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew. Simply spray it all over your plant and watch them die!  

Dropping of old leaves

Alocasias are really heavy feeders. It’s very common for them to drop an old leaf before putting out a new one.

You can stop this from happening by giving them enough nutrients so they don’t have to do this.

Keeping up with their demands is as easy as watering with a diluted amount of fertilizer very often. Some people do this with every watering, but I stick to every second or third watering. Use around one-third to one-half strength when fertilizing. 

By folliwng this regiment, I have been quite successful in helping my plants retain their old leaves while still growing big, healthy new leaves.

Here’s a picture of the newest GIANT leaf on my Alocasia Amazonica. What a beauty!

Root Rot

Your Alocasia loves constantly moist soil, but it will still die if the soil is too soggy. This is tricky to determine, so make sure you have proper drainage and lightweight soil. If you see black spots on the leaves, it could mean root rot.

Yellow leaves

A few factors can cause this. The most common ones are underwatering, overwatering or ~ as mentioned above ~ not enough nutrients.

Both underwatering AND overwatering causing the same symptom can be frustrating. Just monitor your soil and make your best judgment.

  • If you touch the soil and it’s still soggy a week after watering, you are probably overwatering.
  • If you are letting the soil dry out completely, or it’s dry again in only a day or two after watering, you are probably underwatering.

Just keep an eye on it and monitor your watering levels appropriately.
                  Photo:  Sunnyside Gardens 
Final Notes

Alocasias can be very rewarding to grow when you see a giant new leaf opening up, but they can also come with frustrations.

They can be a little tricky to care for a first, but once you get the hang of their needs, they are as easy as most other plants.

I have certainly lost a few big leaves on mine in the past, but if you follow the guidelines above, hopefully, you can prevent that from happening on your plantsTLM

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Houseplant Hobbyist (Twitter handle: @HobbyistPlant) is building a happy plant community where sharing advice, pictures and stories is always encouraged. Go to its Twitter account to sign up for the Houseplant Hobbyist newsletter (published twice a month) to receive exclusive tips, care guides and much more.