Alocasia Black Velvet Care
Alocasia Reginula, also known as Alocasia Black Velvet and Little Queen Alocasia, is a must have in your plant collection. This plant has stunning dark coloured, velvety foliage with white veins. This type of Alocasia tends to be quite slow growing and compact.
Alocasia Black Velvet Quick Overview
|Full Size||1.5 feet in height|
|Light||Bright indirect light|
The mature size of an Alocasia Black Velvet can be up to 3 feet in height and 2.5 feet in width. The leaves can reach up to a width of 2 feet. This plant tends to be a slow grower and can take up to 2-5 years to reach maturity.
When kept indoors, Alocasia Black Velvet can reach up to 1.5 feet (18 inches) in height and width. You will find that this plant will often have its lower leaves die off in order to create new growth. Dead and/or yellowing leaves can be pruned off.
Alocasia Black Velvet thrive in medium to bright indirect light. A north or east facing window is the best location as long as the morning sunlight isn’t too harsh. Direct sunlight can burn the foliage and cause it to become pale in colour. Curling leaves can also be a sign of too much light.
A sign that your Alocasia Black Velvet isn’t receiving enough light is if the stems are becoming leggy. If the plant is in a room that has direct sunlight, adding a blind or curtain to the window will help defuse the harsh light and help avoid burning your pants.
If there isn’t enough light, grow lights can also be used to help create brighter lighting. Just light direct sunlight, grow lights can burn the plants foliage if it is placed too close to the light. A distance of at least 60cm should be kept between the plant and light.
Alocasia Black Velvet love warm temperatures and will thrive when kept between 55ºF-86ºF (12ºC-30ºC). This plant can be quite fast growing when kept in warmer temperatures. During spring and summer, you can house the plant in a shady spot outdoors and bring it back inside for the winter.
Spots near vents or drafts that can cause sudden temperature fluctuation should try and be avoided. Alocasia Black Velvet don’t tolerate cold conditions and temperatures that drop below 55ºF (12ºC) should be avoided. Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can cause the foliage to yellow and stop growing.
Alocasia Black Velvet can be kept in a humidity environment that’s above 50%. However, this plant will thrive when kept in an environment that contains 60-70% humidity. Keeping plants in an environment with adequate humidity will encourage faster growth and help sustain vibrant foliage. Brown leaf tips and edges on the leaves can be a sign that the air is too dry for you Alocasia Black velvet.
Providing humidity for your plants can encourage larger and healthier growth. There are a few things you can do to help bump up the humidity in your home if the air is too dry.
- Misting plants: Misting your plants with a fine mist can help increase the humidity.
- Pebble trays: The water evaporating from the pebbles adds moisture into the air.
- Grouping plants together: Grouping plants together can help to increase their humidity.
- Humidifier: Humidifiers release water vapour which adds moisture into the air.
- Greenhouse: Greenhouses can be used to help regulate humidity and temperatures.
You can expect your Alocasia Black Velvet to require watering at lease once a week. However, this will depend on the climate, type of soil you use, the type of pot the plant is in and the season. During the cooler months, watering won’t be required as often.
Before watering your Alocasia, you should check the top 2-3 inches of soil. If the soil feels dry, you should give your plant a drink. Once you have finished watering your plant, ensure it isn’t sitting in water to avoid root-rot.
Yellowing leaves can be a sign of an over or under watered Alocasia Black Velvet. Brown leaf tips and curling leaves can also be a sign of under watering.
When it comes to watering your indoor plants, you should be cautious of over-watering. Excess water to the soil can cause it to become waterlogged. This can lead to root-rot, pests and fungal issues. Once the roots have rotted, they can no longer take in any water or nutrients for the plant. If left intreated, it can lead to plant death.
You should always ensure your plants are potted into pots with drainage and well draining soil. Doing this can help avoid over-watering. After watering your plants, always check to make sure they aren’t sitting in any excess water.
Alocasia Black Velvet isn’t a heavy feeder but can benefit from being fertilised monthly during the growing season (Spring and Summer). Fertilising can be cut back during the cooler months when growth slows and Alocasia enter into their dormant stage.
The best fertiliser to use for Alocasia Black Velvet is a balanced all purpose fertiliser diluted to half strength. If you can, try and avoid cheap fertilisers that are often high in salts as they can damage the roots.
Fertilising your indoor plants gives them the essential nutrients they need for promoting and maintaining new and healthy growth. Applying fertilisers during the cooler months when growth slows and/or Alocasia’s are going dormant can cause salt build up and root burn because the plants aren’t actively growing and using up the nutrients in the soil.
A slow release fertiliser can be used instead of a liquid fertiliser if preferred. Slow release fertilisers are often easier to use and don’t need to be applied as often. A slow release fertiliser can be applied every 3 months or as per packet instructions.
When it comes to fertilising house plants, you should be cautious of over-fertilising. Over-fertilising your Alocasia Black Velvet can burn the roots and foliage. If you think you may have given your plant too much fertiliser, you can either rinse the soil out with water or repot the plant into fresh new soil. Brown leaf tips can be a sign of fertiliser burn.
Alocasia Black Velvet will grow best in a well draining soil. To create the ideal mix, use a mixture of potting soil, orchid bark and perlite. You can also add worm castings or compost to help with nutrients and keeping moisture.
Oxygen and aeration is important in potting soil as it helps the plants roots to breathe. The roots can begin to rot if they don’t have enough access to oxygen. You can add other materials such as charcoal, mulch and bark to help improve drainage.
If you’re wanting to use peat moss, sphagnum moss or coco coir, you don’t want to use too much as they tend to hold onto a lot of moisture which Alocasia Black Velvet won’t love. Root-rot tends to be a common issue with these plants so you’ll want to use a well draining soil that doesn’t hold onto too much moisture.
The soil needs to hold onto enough moisture to keep the roots hydrated but not so much that is caused the soil to become soggy and waterlogged. Soggy soil can cause root-rot, fungus issues and pest problems. In some cases, this can cause plant death. Check out our article on The Best Potting Soil for Houseplants for more information on potting soil.
Diseases & Pests
The most common pests that you may encounter on your Alocasia Black Velvet are spider mites, mealybugs and fungus gnats. The most common diseases are leaf spot and root-rot.
When it comes to caring for your houseplants, the best thing you can do is to try and prevent pest infestations from starting. There are some things you can do that can help prevent and infestations from starting. These things are:
- Isolate new plants for up to a week and check for pests.
- Check all plants for any signs of pests at least once a week.
- Prune off dead and/or dying leaves.
- Clean leaves when they start getting dirty/dusty.
- Try keep healthy plants. Healthy plants can help deter pests but also handle a pest infestation better than plants that are struggling.
- Isolate pest infested plants.
Following this can help keep away any unwanted pests as well as catch any pests before any infestations can start. Keeping happy and healthy plants in the correct living conditions will give you the best shot at avoiding unwanted pest infestations.
Alocasia Black Velvet are toxic to pets and humans if ingested. These plants contain calcium oxalate crystals that will cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract. They should be kept out of reach from children and pets.
Symptoms may include swelling of the oesophagus, GI tract and mouth. Pets may experience vomiting, drooling, pawing at the mouth and lack of appetite.