Alocasia Odora Variegata

Alocasia Odora Variegata

Alocasia odora variegata is a popular indoor plant due to its striking, variegated foliage. Some of its common names include Alocasia odora ‘Okinawa Silver’ and dwarf Alocasia odora variegata. These beautiful cultivars of the Alocasia odora plant are native to the tropical and subtropical areas of Asia and Eastern Australia. Get to know more about these low-maintenance beauties in this article, including how to care for and propagate them. 

Alocasia Odora Variegata Features 

These plants have large, heart-shaped leaves with white patches on a smooth, green surface. They have different patterns and ratios of white to green, which makes each one unique. The leaves grow in a single arrangement on succulent stems, and under the correct care in the right environment, can reach up to eight feet high and four feet wide. These evergreen plants maintain their good structure throughout the four seasons. 

Alocasia Odora Variegata Plant Care

Since these plants have tropical origins, they are not tolerant of colder environments, especially if the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. They do best in warm, summery climates.

Alocasia odora variegata is a moisture-loving plant that prefers some extra humidity in the air. However, if you mist them, make sure you do not leave stagnant water on the surface of the leaves, as this could attract pests and diseases. 

These evergreens like to be kept moist, but make sure you do not water them until the top two inches of soil are dry to the touch. Check the moisture level by pushing your finger into the soil, or use a moisture meter.  Aim for moist but not soggy soil, since waterlogged soil could encourage root rot.

They prefer indirect light, although they can tolerate a few hours of direct sunlight in the early morning and late afternoon. However, too much direct sunlight can damage the foliage, so be sure not to over-expose the plants to unfiltered sunlight. If you keep the plants outdoors, you can use a shade cloth to shield them from the harsh rays of the sun. 

These plants, although more popular for their foliage, can bloom during the spring and summer, given the right care and conditions. The flowers have a pale peach spathe and spadix.

They are not disease-resistant, and are prone to fungal infections like crown, stem and root rot, as well as fungal leaf spot. These fungal diseases result in pale, unhealthy plants with yellow or brown spots. 

The roots could also be affected and may turn brown to black as they die. If this happens, isolate the plant, remove it from the soil and prune off all the diseased or dying parts, including leaves, stem and roots. Transfer the plant to a new pot with fresh soil and apply a fungicide. Keep the plant at a safe distance from your other plants until it has completely recovered. 

These plants are also susceptible to pests like mealybugs and spider mites. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to eradicate them, or opt for a commercial pesticide if there is a severe infestation.   

Alocasia odora variegata is easy to maintain and does not come with any special instructions, which makes it a constant favorite among plant enthusiasts. However, be sure to keep it away from pets and children because the leaves are poisonous. Ingesting the leaves could cause a swollen tongue, stomach ache and skin inflammation.

You may opt to repot your plants each year, moving them to larger pots with fresh, well-draining soil. The pots should have drainage holes and preferably be made of clay. Trim or prune the plants around spring or summer and remove dried or dead leaves from the bottom. Be sure to wipe them with water or oil to keep the foliage clean and healthy and stimulate new growth. 

Alocasia Odora Variegata Propagation  

These plants are propagated by dividing their rhizomes and planting each separately. Ideally, propagation should be done during the spring or summer after the dormancy phase. 

These are the steps for propagating this plant:

  • First, remove the mature plant from its pot and dust off the excess soil. 
  • Divide the plant by its rhizomes, after which you can put the parent plant back into the pot or replant it in a new one. 
  • Next, plant the divided rhizomes into separate pots filled with moist, well-draining soil with a pH of 5.6 to 7.5 (acidic to neutral). 
  • Make sure that you plant the rhizomes upright. Press the soil around them so they do not move or fall to the side. 
  • Water them as needed and apply fertilizer around the base, at least six inches away from the stems. 
  • Finally, provide them with moderate temperatures and sunlight for fast and steady growth. 

 

By the third to fifth week, roots will start growing on the rhizomes.  Check their development by pulling gently at the plant; if there is resistance, it means the roots are developing well. Continue watering and feeding the plants and be sure to protect them from diseases and pests for optimal health and growth. 

Conclusion 

Alocasia odora variegata is a beautiful cultivar of the alocasia plant, native to the tropical areas of Asia and Eastern Australia. These variegated plants  prefer bright, indirect sunlight and do not do well in dry conditions. They prefer high humidity, and you should ensure that they are adequately watered, groomed and fertilized for optimal health and growth.

Image: istockphoto.com / tylim