Last Updated on December 4, 2022 by Plant Mom Care
Alocasia Amazonica or also known as Alocasia Polly is a compact plant that belongs to the elephant ear family and is characterized by its distinctive glossy leaves. Technically speaking, the name is confusing as it doesn’t originate from any native habitat and certainly not from the Amazon.
It’s a hybrid cultivar selectively bred to be smaller than the “parent” Alocasia Amazonica, which was developed from two other Alocasia varieties, Alocasia Watsoniana (China) and Alocasia Sanderiana (Philippines), by Salvadore Mauro in the 1950s. He named the new hybrid after his business, the Amazon Nursery.
Alocasia Polly has become the most popular variety grown indoors due to its compact growth that is ideal for smaller indoor spaces, growing up to 24” high and 10” wide.
It is an attractive plant with leathery-looking, arrow-shaped, and dark green leaves with light, creamy green midribs that sprout from a corm.
While it produces creamy-white to yellow flowers outdoors, it rarely flowers indoors. The plant’s blooms are a flowering spadix encircled by a light green colorful bract or spathe. However, the blooms are not as lovely as the large leaves.
Alocasia Polly Light Requirements
Although it is a hybrid cultivar, it still needs the same kind of lighting as the other varieties that grow in tropical rainforest habitats where direct sunlight is blocked by taller trees so keep the plant in a location indoors under plenty of indirect light.
Alocasia Polly Watering
Tropical rainforests are pretty humid places and that’s exactly what Alocasia amazonica “Polly” will need in the home as well. Keep the soil always slightly moistened, particularly during warm summers. You can reduce watering during winter.
Alocasia Polly Humidity
This plant thrives in humidity levels of 60-75%. Maintaining these levels can be assisted by placing the plant near a humidifier or a pebble tray filled with water, but regular misting is the easiest way.
Keeping the plant in your kitchen or bathroom can work provided there is sufficient light. Grouping it with other plants can also work since they can all take advantage of the moisture expelled by each other.
Alocasia Polly Temperature
This plant prefers temperatures between 65-77°F. room temperature and they can even tolerate higher temperatures, although temperatures below 65°F will make your Alocasia polly go into dormancy.
Alocasia Polly Soil
This plant along with other species in the family prefers a loose well-draining substrate that allows air to penetrate around the roots. Excess water retention will quickly lead to root and corm rot.
You can make a suitable mix with a little sphagnum moss or coco coir, potting soil along with material that promotes drainage like perlite or pumice.
Alocasia Polly Repotting
This plant likes to be a bit root-bound but has to be repotted every 2 years or so to help its continual growth and refresh the soil. However, younger plants must be repotted annually.
Upsize the container to one that is at least 2 inches wider and filled with fresh substrate. Repotting is best done during spring and summer.
Compacted soil tends to retain moisture, causes root rot and also prevents the roots from getting enough oxygen, and affects the health of the plant.
Repotting is also a good time to divide the plant. As the plant grows, many small corms and clumps form, each having its root system and can be divided and potted separately.
Alocasia Polly Propagation
Like other varieties in the family, this plant grows from a single central corm so division is the sole option to propagate the plant as mentioned, a mature plant will form clumps that are easy to separate, particularly during repotting.
Take the plant from its container and shake off the excess dirt and lay it on a clean surface to study the roots. In many instances, individual clumps will already start to separate at this point.
If any clumps are attached, cut them apart making sure you don’t damage their root systems. Some clumps might not have a root system but can easily be rooted in water or moistened sphagnum moss.
Clumps with root systems can be potted in the substrate and watered well. They might take a little time to settle down at first, but they will continue growing as normal afterward.
This plant is not a heavy feeder, but it still appreciates a boost during spring and summer. Use a diluted balanced fertilizer once monthly when watering. Do not fertilize it during winter, particularly if growth slows down or it shows signs of dormancy.
Dormancy usually occurs when the temperature drops below 65°F. A dormant plant will stop growing and likely shed its foliage, reduced to just a corm, but this doesn’t mean the plant is dead. Once the weather becomes warm in spring new growth will emerge.
This can be jump-started by providing it with warmth, light, and a judicious amount of lukewarm water. Keep doing this without watering it too much and you should be able to see new growth in a few weeks. It generally doesn’t need pruning except to remove any dried-up leaves.
Alocasia Polly Common Problems
Insects like aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites can affect the plant, sucking sap, and creating browning, spotting, or curling of leaves. These can be treated by using a natural insecticide like neem oil and by keeping the leaves free of dust by washing and wiping the leaves.
Powdery mildew, root rot, and other fungal infections can also affect the plant’s health, resulting in yellow leaves. Do not over-water and remove any dead vegetation around the plant to prevent these diseases.
Another issue to watch is the amount and quality of light the plant receives. Direct sunlight is harsh and will cause browning and yellowing of the leaves. Insufficient light can also cause some problems, make sure the plant gets enough indirect light.
Lack of vitamins and minerals (particularly nitrogen) can be a problem if the plant grows for a long time without repotting or changing the soil. This can also show up as the leaves turn yellow. Supplemental feeding during spring and summer is necessary to prevent this from happening.
Exposing the plant to cold drafts will make the plant turn yellow and even die, avoid keeping the plant near drafty areas or near conditioning vents.
How big will Alocasia Polly get?
The plant usually reaches a size of 2 feet tall and about 1 foot wide although the leaves can grow quite large – between 1-10” wide and 1-20” long. While it is a compact plant and great for growing indoors, the plant can sometimes grow as large as 3 feet tall and as wide.
Is Alocasia Polly slow growing?
Under ideal growing conditions, this perennial plant can grow fast. Mature plants might grow 1 or 2 new leaves every month, while younger plants tend to grow slower.
How do you make Alocasia Polly grow faster?
Feed it once a month during its growing period of spring and summer and stop feeding it if it becomes dormant in winter. However, if the plant does not become dormant, it will continue growing as normal.