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Amazon elephant's ear (Alocasia amazonica)

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Amazon elephant's ear (Alocasia <i>amazonica</i>)

Amazon elephant's ear

This popular elephant's ear (Alocasia amazonica) is a striking and beautiful houseplant, with deep green leaves accentuated by whitish or light green leaf veins. The leaves are roughly serrated, and in some cases, the leaf color appears as an almost purple green. They are fleshy, truly tropical plants that grow from underground corms.

Growing Conditions:

Light: Bright, indirect light. They can survive in 80 percent shade, but prefer about 60 percent shade. Do not expose to strong, direct sunlight.
Water: Like most alocasias, the Amazon elephant's ear likes wet feet. Keep the potting media moist at all times.
Temperature: This is a tropical plant that will go dormant or die if exposed to cold. Do not let temperature remain under 50º Fahrenheit. If the plant does go dormant, you may be able to dig up the corm and save it until warmer conditions are possible.
Soil: These plants like a fast-draining, well-aerated potting soil.

Propagation:

Amazon elephant's ears are best propagated by division during repotting. In a very healthy specimen with multiple stems, corms can be dug up from the existing pot and repotted into smaller pots.

Repotting:

A well-grown plant may need yearly repotting. Keep in mind, however, that these plants like to be slightly underpotted for best foliage development.

Grower's Tips:

These are excellent houseplants. Amazon elephant ears are striking, and their dramatic two-tone leaf coloration is unique. However, they are truly tropical plants, which means they appreciate lots of warmth, humidity and water. A large specimen may grow up to 3 feet, but most are smaller. Cut away dead and dying leaves for the best presentation, and keep an eye out for mites.
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