Alocasia Sanderiana is commonly known as ‘kris plant, ‘elephant ear plant’, and ‘African mask plant’. It makes a stunning addition to your indoor plant collection. It has large dark green, arrowhead shaped leaves, with light green veins that contrast it. My plant is known as the ‘Polly’ variety. It grows 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
It has the most interesting under leaf color of dark purple. It’s a tropical plant from the south Pacific area so it requires a lot of humidity. Since my home is heated by forced air, I run a vaporizer near it every evening. When our temperatures drop low, and the furnace kicks on a lot, I will run the humidifier all day. Another option is to set the planter on a tray of water and pebbles
The Alocasia likes to have it’s soil kept moist. When the top couple of inches is dry to the touch, it’s time to water. It likes a well drained soil, so I used an African Violet mix. Be sure to give it bright, but indirect light. Direct light will burn it’s leaves. It can be propagated by root division but wait until spring. Use an African Violet fertilizer once a month during the growing season, and cut back to every other month during the dormant season.
Be aware. This plant is very poisonous to both pets and humans, and can cause death. You probably don’t want this plant in your home if you have small children and cats. We have an older dog, and she’s never even shown enough interest in indoor houseplants to sniff them.
If you have the right conditions, the Alocasia is a stunning choice for your collection. It’s dark leaves contrast remarkably with typical light green plants in a setting, and make for a beautiful vignette.