Alocasia wentii is a striking and exotic centerpiece that will be a subject of conversation among friends, visitors, and other plant enthusiasts when cared for properly. This plant’s unique green and purple foliage make it an excellent houseplant to add a decorative touch to your home or garden.
However, it would be best if you were equipped with proper Alocasia wentii care knowledge before enjoying this plant.
The good news is that this is one of the easiest varieties of Alocasia to grow and care for because it’s not that demanding. Due to its low maintenance needs, this alocasia variety is among the simpler to grow. This doesn’t make the Alocasia wentii a beginner’s plant or that you should neglect your plant.
Instead, you must offer your wentii plant favorable conditions and pay the required attention for it to flourish and brighten your home.
For a starting point, Alocasia wentii likes bright indirect light and rich, well-draining soils such as perlite or orchid bark that stay slightly moist. Still, there is a lot more. Read through this post to fully understand all there is on Alocasia wentii care to ensure your plant is healthy.
About the Alocasia Wentii
Knowing this plant’s origin will give you an edge in understanding Alocasia wentii care requirements. Interestingly, this plant is a crossbreed between Alocasia Odora and Alocasia Gageana.
It’s native to the highlands of New Guinea, hence its alternative alias, New Guinea Shield. Also, this plant’s exceptionally hardy and enormous elephant ear-like foliage gives it the name hardy elephant’s ear.
Being a subtropical plant, it’s best if you replicate this plant’s native habitat to ensure it remains healthy all year round with minimal care effort. For a starting point, the hardy elephant’s ear loves humidity and bright indirect sunlight.
This plant has unusual foliage making it popular among plant parents. The leaves’ enormous size and slightly ruffled edges make the New Guinea a rare specimen in the Alocasia family.
The elephant ear-shaped green leaves with a distinctive bronze-purple underside add a decorative touch to any indoor or outdoor space.
When cared for properly, Alocasia wentii leaves can reach incredible sizes of up to 1 foot, and the plant grows up to 3 feet tall and wide. Another desirable feature of the hardy elephant’s ear is its ability to grow fast, producing new leaves almost weekly during the growing season.
Although it remains evergreen during the growing seasons, Alocasia wentii can experience dormancy during the cold season. Don’t stress because it will flourish again when the weather warms up.
Another feature to consider before growing this plant is its toxicity trait. Alocasia wentii is toxic to humans and pets. All parts of this plant contain calcium oxalates that are harmful when ingested. Also, it’s best to wear gloves when handling your wentii plant because you may get skin irritation from its sap.
Summing it up, Alocasia wentii is rapidly becoming the go-to ornamental plant. Here is a detailed Alocasia wentii care guide to ensure you get the best from this plant.
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Alocasia Wentii Care Tips
As mentioned above, replicating this plant’s native habitat will ensure it remains healthy. Follow this guide to ensure your New Guinea Shield flourishes:
1. Choosing Proper Soil
A suitable potting mix gives your Alocasia wentii a perfect soil base and helps in the watering process. As we will discuss below, it’s somewhat challenging to settle for the ideal watering routine for this plant.
However, with well-aerated and fast-draining soil, it will be much more streamlined to water this plant. Not to mention that your wentii plant will thrive when grown on an aroid mix.
So, how do you choose the proper soil for your Alocasia wentii? This houseplant requires moist, well-draining, and nutrient-rich soil. Choose a growing medium and soil base to retain moisture while allowing excess water to drain. Luckily, it’s not complicated to find such a combination.
A quality potting soil mix precisely for aroids offers ideal growing conditions. Alternatively, you can combine your soil using peat moss, composted organic matter, worm castings, perlite, and orchid bark. Worm castings provide nutrients and minerals for your plant, while orchid bark offers stable soil pH and aeration.
Perlite ensures your mix has sufficient air and drains properly. With this combination, your Alocasia wentii will flourish.
2. Watering Needs
Like most Alocasia plants, the hardy elephant’s ear has medium water requirements. In their native habitat, rainfall is abundant, but the soil drains well, creating a moist growing medium. We’ve stated that an appropriate potting mix helps settle for a perfect watering routine.
First and foremost, ensure the soil never completely dries up or becomes soggy. The accepted rule of thumb is to wait for the top 2 inches to dry or water it once or twice a week during spring and summer.
When producing new leaves, Alocasia wentii tends to be super thirsty. Therefore constantly check the soil moisture when you notice fresh leaves sprouting.
If this plant sits on boggy soil for an extended period, it will develop root rot. On the other hand, it will start drooping if you deprive your wentii plant of water. Also, cut back on watering during the cold or winter when Alocasia wentii is dormant.
Another crucial tip to when watering your plant is to water from the top of the soil instead of the fleshy stem. This helps prevent your New Guinea shield from developing stem rot.
3. Light Requirements
When considering Alocasia wentii care, the light requirement is a crucial aspect. Being a tropical plant, the Alocasia wentii is a sunshine-loving plant. Also, since it grows under tree canopies in the wild, the wentii plant only receives intense morning sunlight. The afternoon sun scorches the leaves.
Therefore, in your house, place this plant in an area that receives limited morning and evening sunshine, preferably close to the north or east-facing window. New Guinea Shield can also thrive under artificial plant lights for households where access to sunlight is impossible.
4. Alocasia Wentii Humidity Needs
All Alocasia are humidity-loving plants, and the New Guinea Shield is no exception. Therefore, this plant requires humidity levels ranging between 60-80%. Although your plant may flourish under lower humidity levels of up to 40%, to ensure optimal Alocasia Wentii health, aim for 60-80% levels.
The good news is that this plant can tell you when it’s not receiving sufficient humidity. So if you notice the leaves’ edges turning brown, your wentii plant has humidity stress.
Also, there are other practices for ensuring your houseplants receive sufficient humidity. They are:
- Misting weekly. However, excessive plant misting can cause diseases and attract pests.
- Place your plants on a sizeable pebbled tray that’s filled with water.
- Use a humidifier.
- Finally, group your plants in one room and place them in an area that receives regular humidity, such as the bathroom or kitchen.
5. Fertilizer for Growing Alocasia Wentii plants
You have to be cautious when fertilizing your hardy elephant’s ear—excessive fertilizing this plant more than needed causes it to burn its foliage. Still, Alocasia wentii is a heavy feeder during the growth season.
So, feed monthly during the growing season. Also, if your plant’s leaves lose the lustrous green color, you might be overfertilizing your wentii plant. Finally, stop fertilizing during the cold seasons or when your plant is dormant.
In choosing the right fertilizer, organic fertilizer outranks all forms of artificial fertilizer since they are safe and slow releasing.
6. Temperatures For Growing Alocasia Wentii Plants
This ornamental piece thrives when grown in temperatures between 60-80 Fahrenheit ( 15.55 -26.67 degrees celsius. What we like about Alocasia wentii is that it’s a bit more resistant to cold, unlike other houseplants.
Still, in temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, your plant will have stunted growth and lose some leaves. More importantly, cold drafts and sudden temperature changes will damage your plant.
7. Potting and Repotting
The New Guinea Shield likes to be root bound and only requires repotting every two years. Also, repot your Alocasia wentii if you notice your plant’s roots emerging from drainage holes or small plants growing around the edges of the plant.
Don’t transfer your plant to an enormous container; instead, increase the pot’s size by an inch or two in diameter.
Like most Alocasias, wentii plants love being overgrown in a snug container because huge pots stress this plant. Still, ensure your container has drainage holes to prevent the soil from retaining excess water that may cause root rot. Spring season is ideal for repotting or propagating this plant.
8. Alocasia Wentii Plants Diseases and Pest Resistance
The hardy elephant’s ear can become vulnerable to various pests and diseases when not cared for properly. Spider Mites, thrips, and mealybugs feed on this plant’s nutrients leaving it to die. These pests hide under leaves, joints, and crevices.
In addition, yellow and white spots on the leaves signify spider mites attacking your plant. And worse, sticky webbing indicates a severe infestation.
The good news is that insecticidal soap spray and removing the affected leaves will treat pest infestation. In addition, occasionally cleaning your Alocasia plant using neem oil helps prevent pest infestation.
Proper Alocasia wentii care ensures your plant is disease free. Damp soil conditions cause fungal infections, causing root rot, a mushy stem, and yellow leaves. You can remedy these conditions by repotting your wentii plant in a fresh soil mix, pruning the affected leaves, and cutting back on overwatering.
9. Alocasia Wentii Propagation
Alocasia plants sprout from a central rhizome, making propagation through division suitable and easy. The New Guinea Shield is a tuberous species that grows from a rhizome root. Here are quick steps to handle Alocasia wentii propagation:
- First and foremost, only do divisions from a mature, healthy plant. It’s best to propagate your plant during spring, the same time you will be repotting it.
- Gently remove your plant from the pot, shake off excess soil and inspect the rootball. Look for small short lateral roots ( offsets ) connected to the parent plant and tangled up. Also, look out for corms which are bulbs, before turning to offsets.
- Then divide the roots to take the offsets. Carefully untangle the roots using a pair of scissors.
- Place the split clumps in damp soil in indirect light in a suitable environment.
- Finally, only water the new shoots when necessary, and you might add some diluted fertilizer to encourage growth. Your new wentii plant might take a few weeks to mature, so patience and proper care are vital.
Final Thoughts on Alocasia wentii care
Beautiful as the hardy elephant’s ear plant is, understanding its care needs ensures you get the best from your houseplant and be the conversation topic from other plant enthusiasts and visitors.
If you follow the above Alocasia wentii care tips, there is no doubt that this unique gem will add a decorative and exciting view to any room.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will My Alocasia Wentii Flower?
Under the right conditions, this plant will flower. However, most subtropical plants rarely bloom indoors. So, if your wentii plant doesn’t flower, don’t stress about it. Furthermore, the white blooms aren’t the desirable feature for this plant compared to its magnificent foliage.
How Can I Make My Alocasia Wentii Grow Faster?
Provide your plant with optimal temperature and humidity levels and grow it in a suitable potting mix. Also, you can fertilize your plant monthly during the growing season. Most importantly, subject your plant to bright indirect sunlight. Read more on the detailed Alocasia Wentii Care tips above.
Why is My Alocasia Wentii Drooping?
Drooping happens due to insufficient water. It’s a way of telling you that your plant is thirsty. Therefore if you notice your Alocasia wentii drooping, check if the top two soil inches are dry and find a sustainable watering schedule.
Hey, I’m Lisa and I’ve been an avid gardener for over 30 years. I love writing, talking and living in the garden! Feel free to connect with me on my socials below