Canopy Plant of the month: The Alocasia Zebrina

Canopy Plant of the month: The Alocasia Zebrina

Join us at the altar of the Alocasia Zebrina. The hybrid plant-child of an elephant and a zebra is a complicated and entrancing plant; a guaranteed show-stopper in any collection. Hailing from tropical South-East Asia, it’s tall, striped stems are reminiscent of a zebra and the large, arrow-shaped leaves mean it is affectionately known as Elephant Ear. We love this beauty and we’ve got the goods on how to care for your Alocasia Zebrina.

Why we love

If there was a plant ready for Fashion Week this would be it. A little high maintenance, a touch of glamour and show-stoppingly gorgeous. We love the glossy pink of this conic pot against those catwalk-ready stems.

How to care for your Alocasia Zebrina

The Alocasia Zebrina is a little more high maintenance than other houseplants, but that kind of makes us love it even more. Hailing from a tropical country the Elephant Ear loves to be moist, mist your plant at least once a week to ensure its happiness. Misting is good, overwatering is bad. The thick stems of the Alocasia Zebrina hold a lot of water so be careful not to overwater - drooping leaves are a good sign it is thirsty. A word of warning; the sap from the steps is an irritant to skin so keep out of reach of small children and pets and when ingested the Alocasia Zebrina is poisonous.  

Soil

A well-draining soil is the friend of the Alocasia Zebrina; a nutrient rich, perlite and compost mix is best.

Light

The Alocasia Zebrina loves sunshine as much as we do here in our Peckham studio (though we don't get as much as we deserve). Pop your plant a little way back from a south-facing window if possible, if not the lightest place in your home. As ever, direct sunlight will damage the leaves so make sure it isn’t too bright. The Elephant Ear will stretch towards sunshine so rotate your plant 90 degrees each time you water to ensure it doesn’t grow lopsided.  

Common Problems

Yellowing or spotting on the leaves is a sure sign your plant has been overwatered. Make sure the top couple of inches dry out before you water it again. If those waxy leaves start to brown a little it probably means it has got too much sunlight; switch up the home of your plant and make sure it isn’t in direct light. Come autumn and winter, the Elephant Ear heads to hibernation so don’t be alarmed when the leaves fade and drop - keep your beloved in a warm place, reduce watering and come spring it will be as good as new.

All hail the Kate Moss of the plant world! The Alocasia Zebrina is one of our most popular plants, they fly out of the studio as soon as they arrive. If you want to know when an Elephant Ear drop comes in, sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear.

Don’t forget to share your Canopy Plants out in the wild by tagging #CanopyPlants and #PlantstothePeople.


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