Large-root alocasia: home care
Large-root alocasia - a native of tropical forests. In the wild, the plant grows up to 3 m. Locals use its leaves as a shelter from rain. In our latitudes alocasia is grown at home and serves as an interior decoration.
Botanical description of the plant
Large-root alocasia refers to giant evergreen perennial grasses from the aroid family, which grow up to 4 m in height. Stem - up to 1.5 m erect, then lodged. The stems end with large leaves. Petioles up to 1.3 m in 1/2 enter the vagina.
The leaves are oval-arrow-shaped, their size is 120 x 50 cm. The marginal part is slightly or strongly wavy. Sheet plates are stained evenly.
Did you know? Alocasia, which is often watered, can produce light rainfall. Moisture, falling into the ground, rises along the stem and is excreted through the leafy plates. In wild specimens, this phenomenon is practically not noticeable.
Inflorescences emerge from the deciduous sinuses. Inflorescences are paired with scaly cataphillas. The stamen is conical-cylindrical in shape, 1–2 cm long. The pistil is cylindrical, 3–7 cm long. The flowers are small, inconspicuous, collected in a large cob, framed by a yellowish-green or white veil.
|Erect to 1.5 m, then lodging
Alocasia stems contain milky juice with a pungent specific taste. It contains the volatile compound aroin, which has medicinal properties, as well as riboflavin, thiamine and antioxidants.
In addition to useful compounds, the plant contains poisonous:
- calcium oxalate;
- mercury chloride.
Did you know? The aroid ones have a highly developed excretory system. Some of them, like predator plants, secrete a secret with a putrid odor during flowering to attract flies and carrion beetles. As soon as an insect sits on a flower, it becomes a prisoner until the moment of complete pollination.
Despite this composition, after heat treatment in the regions of natural distribution, the roots of the plants are eaten. During heat treatment, all harmful compounds disintegrate. Fresh sprouts and roots go to the production of alcohol, and are also used in medicine.
For medicinal purposes, use the stems and rhizomes of alocasia. The energy value of the rhizome is 300 kJ.
Tinctures are used in the treatment of:
- ulcerative skin lesions;
- joint diseases.
When using drugs based on alocasia, there is a high risk of poisoning. When growing at home, special care should be taken when working with the plant. Milk juice, secreted by leaves and shoots, on contact with the skin causes a chemical burn.
Conditions for successful growing at home
In order for large-root alocasia to become an interior decoration, it needs to organize conditions close to natural:
- choose the right location in the apartment;
- observe the temperature and humidity conditions.
Plants do not tolerate drafts, so they are placed away from windows and balcony doors in half-shaded rooms. The best option is the southeastern part of the apartment. Consider the dimensions of the plant when placing. Prepare a flower shelf for alocasia in advance and install it 1-2 meters from the window.
Important! Dieffenbachia, fern and monstera are well suited as neighbors for alocasia. Next to other plants, she will feel uncomfortable or depressing.
In the summer, the room temperature should be maintained within the range of +22 ... + 28 ° C. In winter, the indicator should not fall below +18 ° C.
The optimal moisture regime for alocasia is 70–80%. A tropical plant often suffers from a lack of moisture in our latitudes. Wipe the leaves more often with a damp cloth to improve breathing and clean the pores of the leaves from dust.
For the development of a powerful leafy part and shoots, the plant needs regular top dressing and plentiful watering. Under natural conditions, plants take all the nutrients from the soil. At home, they are deprived of this opportunity due to space limitations.
Watering in the summer is carried out 3-4 times a week under the root. Water is used at room temperature. As the dust settles on the leaves, they need to be wiped with a wet swab and irrigated from a spray bottle.
Important! In extreme heat, it is better to put a pot with alocasia in a container filled with water, after laying stable stones on the bottom. So the roots will not contact directly with the liquid and will be able to absorb the required amount. In winter, it is better to abandon spraying in general in order to avoid the development of fungal diseases.
In winter, watering frequency is reduced to 2 times a week. If drops of water appear on the leaves, watering is reduced to 1 time per week.
The first top dressing is introduced in early spring. Subsequent - once a month throughout the growing season. Given the fact that the plant is grown as a decorative foliage, it will require nitrogenous fertilizers. In this regard, urea is well suited.
Make it in the form of a powder at the rate of 5-7 g per adult plant. Do this 1-2 hours after watering. After the introduction of urea, the earth must be loosened up. Upon contact with air, the drug is converted into a volatile compound, so without loosening from feeding, there will be no point.
Throughout the season, mineral fertilizers containing calcium are added. Dolomite flour has proven itself well. It contains a full range of essential substances that cause rapid growth and support the plant's immunity.
The advantage of using dolomite flour is its ability to neutralize oxidative reactions in the soil that occur after nitrogen fertilizing. The proportions for one plant are 5–20 g, depending on age.
When growing alocasia, only sanitary pruning is performed, when old leaves begin to die or the plant is infected with the disease. Green cuttings and leaves do not cut. They are too juicy and when pruned, the plant will lose a lot of strength, which can die.
Transplantation is carried out in early spring before the beginning of the intensification of intensive growth. After the purchase, transplanting is an obligatory event, because in the shops they sell flowers in small containers, which are not enough for full development, and use peat soil with high acidity.
Learn how to plant indoor flowers in a pot.
The acidity of the soil mixture should not exceed 6 pH.
- sheet earth;
- coniferous land;
- coarse sand.
Make several holes at the bottom of the pot to allow air circulation. Fill the container with 2 cm expanded clay. Then lay part of the soil mixture. It is better to transplant using the transshipment method. This will reduce the risk of injury to the root system.
Important! The root system of alocasia develops in length, and not in width, so choose long, high capacities for planting.
Carefully push the alocasia pot from all sides and start pulling the plant along with an earthen lump. Place alocasia in the center of the prepared pot, align with the root neck and sprinkle the void on the sides with soil.
During the first 3 years of life, plants need an annual transplant. After the procedure, it is performed every 3-5 years, depending on the growth rate.
Alocasia multiplies in several ways:
This method of reproduction is rarely used, because at home, alocasia practically does not bear fruit. If there are fruits, they are picked and, having separated the seeds, are planted in the ground immediately. The substrate is prepared as for an adult plant. Sowing depth - 0.5–1 cm.
The pot with crops is covered with a film and installed in a dark warm room.
The optimum temperature for germination is +22 ... + 25 ° C. Every day, the soil is ventilated for 20-30 minutes. and moisturize by spraying. After emergence, they are dived 2 times, and then seated in separate containers with a diameter of 7 cm.
Important! All manipulations are carried out with sterile gloves and closed clothing to prevent milky juice from getting on exposed skin.
Cuttings are carried out in the spring before the start of active sap flow in the presence of shoots up to 7-10 cm long. Prepare a sharp knife in advance, disinfect it with alcohol. Cut at an angle closer to the root. Treat the wound surface with powdered activated carbon.
Prepared shoots are placed in a solution of "Kornevin" and incubated for a day. Then placed in a loose substrate and sprayed daily to accelerate the formation of the root system.
The simplest method of reproduction is by dividing the bush. It is carried out in parallel with the transplant. After pulling the plant out of the pot, the roots are shaken off the ground and separated with a sharp knife so that each shoot has one full kidney.
Did you know? All aroid ones, due to the accelerated process of respiration, are capable of releasing heat to the atmosphere. This phenomenon is especially clearly observed during flowering. The temperature of the flower is much higher than the temperature of the surrounding air.
All deficiencies in the care negatively affect the immunity of the plant, as a result of which diseases develop and pests spread.
The most common problems with growing alocasia:
- Pale foliage - appears as a result of insufficient lighting. You can solve the problem by changing the location of the flower.
- Yellowing and drying of the leaves is observed when watering with poor-quality water . When using tap water, it is preliminarily defended for 24 hours, and then run through the filter.
- Black spots on the leaves indicate freezing. In this case, you need to change the location or increase the temperature in the room.
- Wither leaves with excessive or insufficient watering. In the first case, in order to avoid root decay, it is better to conduct an unscheduled transplant with a complete replacement of the substrate. In the second - you need to adjust the watering mode.
- scale shield;
- spider mite.
Insects feed on the deciduous part of the plant, which leads to drying out and death. Eliminate them manually with a swab dipped in soapy water. After that, the soil and the plant itself are dusted with ash or tobacco powder.
Alocasia is a beautiful ornamental plant that came to us from rainforests. It is characterized by rapid growth and unpretentiousness in care. Perfectly suits any interior.