Botanical Name: Alocasia Micholitziana ‘Frydek’
Common Name: Alocasia Frydek, Elephant Ear Plant, Green Velvet Alocasia
About Alocasia Frydek
The Alocasia Micholitziana is native to the tropics and subtropics of Asia and Australia where it enjoys a humid and warm climate. ‘Frydek’ is a hybrid form of Alocasia, characterized by dark green velvety leaves featuring contrasting white veins. It grows tall single stems each ending in one large leaf that can reach up to 18 inches in length. In its native home, as well as yours, these plants can grow up to around 3 feet tall and they will spread about equally as wide.
These stunning plants do best in filtered sun to partial shade. They can handle some early morning or late afternoon sunlight but it’s best to provide them with shade during midday when the sun is strongest. I keep my Alocasia Frydek a few feet back from an east-facing window, where it receives morning sun. It is thriving there and hasn’t had any problems with sunburn. I suggest keeping these plants a few feet back from your window if it receives direct sunlight as they can be somewhat prone to sunburn.
Alocasia Frydek can be a bit fussy about its watering needs. They prefer their root ball to stay consistently moist. This means monitoring the soil of this plant somewhat frequently. As a rule of thumb, water your Frydek when the top two inches of soil are dry to the touch. Although these plants prefer to remain consistently moist it is important not to over-water them, as they can be susceptible to root rot. Having a moisture meter to check your soil is the best way to get your watering schedule just right.
It is important to remember that these plants go through a dormancy period during winter. You should adjust your watering accordingly. Dormant plants will do best with less frequent waterings and a bit drier soil.
Humidity & Temperature
Coming from a tropical environment it’s not hard to imagine that alocasia are humidity lovers. When kept indoors it is best to keep humidity levels at or above 50%. Browning leaves, especially around the edges and tips, are an indicator that the humidity levels are too low for this plant.
Temperature-wise the Green Velvet Alocasia will do just fine in your average home. It thrives in warmer environments from around 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s worth noting that if exposed to temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit these plants may begin to go dormant (even if it’s premature).
Alocasia Frydek is a toxic beauty, it is toxic to both cats and dogs. According to the ASPCA if ingested, the plant can cause oral irritation and swelling of the mouth, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. If your pet ingests any part of an Alocasia it is best to consult your local veterinarian as soon as possible.
The leaves and stems of Alocasia are also mildly toxic to humans if ingested.
If you want to keep your Alocasia Frydek looking its best ensure that it is in a humid location, as the plant is prone to browning leaf tips in lower than ideal humidity environments. A pebble tray directly under your plant can help with its surrounding humidity.
If you want to propagate these plants you can do so by rhizome division. When you notice an offshoot growing from the mother plant (as seen in the image above) you can use a sterile pair of shears to separate the new plant. Before potting up the newly separated rhizome, let the area where it was cut callous over slightly to avoid rot.
Frequently asked questions
If you notice the leaf tips are becoming dry and crispy but the rest of the leaf is healthy, your humidity levels are most likely too low. It is best to check with a humidity meter and keep the air around your Alocasia Frydek at or above 50% humidity to avoid browning and dry leaves. On the other hand, if you notice the leaves of your plant are browning, yellowing, and becoming soft you are probably facing root rot or another fungal issue caused by overwatering. Check your soil and let the plant completely dry out before you water again.
Alocasia Frydek needs well-draining soil that is able to retain moisture so that the plant can remain consistently moist. I recommend adding a good portion of peat moss and perlite to your soil mix. Two parts potting soil mixed with one part peat moss and one part perlite will provide a perfect growing medium for your Alocasia.
There are a few reasons your Alocasia may begin to droop. If it is a mature plant the large leaves can get too heavy for the delicate stems, causing the plant to topple over. To avoid this simply stake your Alocasia with a bamboo pole or other support. Another possible reason for a sad Alocasia is too much or too little water, these plants like to remain moist, don’t let your Alocasia dry out or sit in wet soil. Lastly, it is normal for Alocasia to lose older, smaller leaves naturally when new foliage grows in. If you notice the only stems affected are older and turning yellow this is completely natural.