Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: African Mask, Amazon Elephant's Ear
Alocasia 'Amazonica'

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Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Alocasia (a-loh-KAY-see-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Amazonica
Additional cultivar information: (Alocasia longiloba x Alocasia sanderiana)

24 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Bulbs

Height:
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Spacing:
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

Danger:
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Smooth-Textured

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 32 photos.
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Profile:

23 positives
6 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive aspy25 On May 5, 2012, aspy25 from Lake of the Woods, IL wrote:

This plant came up in my garden a couple of years ago, under some long-established peonies. I have no memory of planting it an had no idea what it was, at first thought it was a weed, but an interesting looking one. This year it is blooming for the first time. That is what prompted me to find out what it was. I just thought it was interesting that I am in central Illinois, and this apparently tropical plant likes our winters and is not bothered by occasional freezes and 20 degree days. I guess I'll just keep ignoring it!

Positive mgeno On Sep 13, 2009, mgeno from Philadelphia, PA wrote:

I was drawn to the alocasia amazonica due to it's dramatic black leaves. My friend calls it the "alligator" plant, but african mask makes sense too I suppose. I saw it at a Lowes or Home Depot store and bought it in the early spring. It's done really well since I repotted it and place it in my north lit window. It gets some direct sunlight in the first hour or so of day then it receives mostly very bright indirect light. It's happy I suppose since it's bloomed twice at one time, or do I have two plants? eh, whatever. I have noticed some brown areas but wonder if it's been a result of the long lasting cloudy stretch we've had or have I been over-watering it? let me know if you have insight on this. I'll post my two pictures on this page.

Neutral Anita_Challis On Jun 7, 2009, Anita_Challis from Chandler, AZ wrote:

Has anyone had any success with this plant in a SW environment. I'm in AZ, zone 9b - heat and low humidity

Positive preferplants On Sep 7, 2008, preferplants from Wantagh, NY wrote:

Fell in love with the dramatic leaves of the plant. Was not successful with the plant at first. I thought, I wasn't going to be successful at all and bought a 2nd plant. I didn't throw away the first plant. I placed it in my "ICU" area. The first plant came back from the dead. I keep both plants in an Eastern facing window. The 2nd plant has flowered twice.

Neutral Darmananda On Jul 23, 2008, Darmananda from New Iberia, LA wrote:

Did not do well in the little container that came with the plant at all. For a long time I did not get any new growth and the tip of the leaves were turning black.

I have now planted it outside on the ground and boy does it do well there! I am seeing new leaves come out one after another and I am not even watering it. It is planted under a huge U-tree so it gets a lot of dead leaves from the U-tree falling around. I read it somewhere that Elephant's Ears like that kind of environment since they grew that way in the tropic. So I am happy to see this plant is now happy out of the pot, outdoors. It is in full shade except for a few rays of sunlight that come through the U-tree, Heavenly Bamboos, Sharon's Roses, and Azaleas.

Here is zone 9b so no way on earth will it live through the winter but it looks good now so that's what counts. As long as the ground doesn't freeze, I heard the bulbs will produce new plants in spring even if the foliage and the plant are killed in a draft.

I will post about its zone 9b wintering once the winter is over.

Cheers.

Positive jdgrannie2 On Jun 9, 2008, jdgrannie2 from Agawam, MA wrote:

I just got this plant and I love it. But, I was wondering if it is supposed to drip water droplets from its leaves. It has a couple of holes in the leaf, but appears healthy. I repotted it when I first got it and it is not root bound yet. I water it like I should and it receives filtered sunlight and a cool temp. I hope I am doing things right. Am I?Thanks. I am new to this site. Seems like a nice place to be.

Positive plantmover On Apr 5, 2008, plantmover from Hampton Roads, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This has been a trial and error plant for me, with my first attempt being a complete failure. My second plant was on its way to becoming a failure as well, until I read an article and found that I was overwatering and keeping the soil too wet. I backed way off the watering; and in just a few weeks' time, the plant rewarded me with new leaves. Thank you, Lariann!

Positive Trudi3 On Feb 8, 2008, Trudi3 from Vero Beach, FL wrote:

I bought this as a potted plant several years back. When it started looking bad, probably not enough light and too much water, I stuck it in the ground on the shaded side of the house, at the base of a gardenia. It loves it there and comes back every year after the leaves die when the temp. drops to the 40s.

Neutral Han_sa On Dec 26, 2007, Han_sa from Kingston, TN wrote:

I haven't grown this dramatic looking plant that long, but I've had other experiences with growing alocasias indoors, in winter. I water them by filling their deep saucers with water and having them under canned lighting with 'incandenscent light' (light bulbs). They bloomed for me also.... indoors. After reading info. on lots of websites; the best way to water alocasias is watering from the bottom, letting it soak up through the soil up to the roots. The droplets of water that might be found on at the leaf edges is the plant's way of getting rid of any excess water. My other elephant ears would have these, when they over wintered indoors.... just a natural thing. I had the African Mask in bright, indirect light, when indoors, but only kept it for a couple of months, when a elderly friend fell in love with it and I gave it to her. Good luck with this striking plant. Also, if you move it to outdoors, in spring... get it used to the brighter light gradually, otherwise it is sure to burn.

Positive cranberryrn On Nov 3, 2007, cranberryrn from Garland, TX wrote:

Mine is sitting on top of my refrigerator (very tall ceilings) facing into full light (west and north) with it's 7th leaf rolling out. I typically water with Superthrive 20-20-20 1x a week. Stands very upright and is very much a focal point. The last two weeks what appears to be "water" is dripping off the leaves.

Positive margaretx On Oct 21, 2007, margaretx from Houston, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've had this plant for two to three years on the eastern side of the house which is the woodland side, under the 150' pines. The AC unit drains there and all the tropical wetland, woody plants seem to love it. Ferns, Barleria, Rivina humilis, and other colored leaved plants. It doesn't stay black when it gets too much sun and burns on the edges but otherwise, it's root hardy and is spreading slowly enough that I'm not unhappy. It is next to the swale which drains what becomes my 1' lake when we have our floods and it handles that well and also takes the droughts because of the constant AC drainage. It's happy; I'm happy.

Positive mypetalpatch On Oct 2, 2007, mypetalpatch from Cloverdale, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Had mine indoors two years now. Leaves periodically die, but are replaced by new. Came in 100% peat moss. Wasn't doing much up top, but roots were coming out the bottom, so this spring decided to repot. Used 50/50 peat to regular potting soil. It took off and bloomed as well as making two babies at the base which were potted up separate and are slowly growing. Prefers bright light in a west window here - 9b. Mine gets some direct sun late afternoon, but window is cracked an inch or two which gets closed when below 60 degrees. Found the moving air seems to prevent burning. Likes top of soil to dry between waterings. Also, we have alkaline water here, so I find orchid fert. works as well as african violet fert. at half strength 2x mo. for neutralizing as well as adding nitrogen. Likes neutral to just slightly acid environ. - check your water's ph! Had trouble with spider mites preferring this plant. I now "stroke" it regularly with a small water dampened artist's brush (great for all indoor plants), and occasionally spray with pyrethrin if I find critters with my 10x loupe!

Positive lazepherine On Apr 19, 2007, lazepherine from Seattle, WA wrote:

4/19/2007 from Seattle WA
I've had my alocasia amazonica for about 8 years now. It's been an indoor houseplant only and has huge leaves (a foot & a half or more). Periodically it looses leaves: the stems droop over and the leaves eventually wither, but new leaves always come up to take their place. Despite reading that you should never let them dry out, my alocasia definately does better when I let it dry out a bit between waterings (top couple inches of soil). It's bloomed several times, and I've found little alocasia seedlings that have poped up in my other houseplants. It's happiest in filtered light, (sun will burn the foliage), and thrives in the same pot it's been in for 3 years now. I'm thinking of replacing some of the old soil in the pot with new to give it more nutrients. Does anyone know the best way to divide the rhizomes? Do you neede to have pieces with active growing leaves on them? Mine has a rhizome about 10" long, but the leaves only grow up from one end. Would dividing this work?

Positive grizzl11 On Jul 16, 2006, grizzl11 from Seattle, WA wrote:

I live in seattle,wa.where I purchased this plant about 2 months ago where it seemed to be very healthy.I admit i am new to plant care,when i brought it home the leaves were very shiny.I belevieve that too much watering has dried the tips of the leaves and created a couple of holes in 1 of them. This is an indoor plant which rests in a window sill with filtered light.This plant has lost only 1 leaf and 3 more are coming up.All in all this plant seems to be bouncing back.
Thanks everyone for all there input,Grizzl11 Seattle,Wa.

Neutral basilio On Jun 26, 2006, basilio from Athens
Greece (Zone 9b) wrote:

I bought this lovely plant about 4 years ago and placed it indoors in a pot, out of direct sunlight but with some filtered light all around. It did well at the beginning, passed the summer growing numerous new leaves but as winter came, the plant started loosing its leaves (first turned brown, then appeared as if rotten), although I didn't water it too much (about every 8-10 days), then was left with no leaves at all. I didn't throw it away, kept watering from time to time and guess what - next summer the plant did an impressive comeback, growing some 10 new leaves! Since then, the story keeps repeating itself - the plant drops all the leaves every winter, appear completely dead and keep coming back every summer, when I place it outside. It's a mystery to me why the plant behaves that way, since my appartement is never cold, there is absolutely no direct sunlight and the water I give it is just average, so who knows? Just a few days ago sprouted 4 new leaves, coming back from the dead once more. It's a beauty, no doubt about it, but it's quite a handful. Nevertheless, its abbility to regrow from the soil year after year is pretty interesting for that kind of a tropical...

Negative msbobolink On May 11, 2006, msbobolink from Tompkinsville, KY wrote:

I fell in love with this plant after seeing it on a gardening TV show where a woman grew it in her Florida garden as an understory plant. It was a really nice big plant. I figured it would be very much like growing other common Alocasia, but boy was I wrong. I've struggled with growing this plant for two years now, never having over three leaves at a time. I've burned the leaves in too much light, nearly killed the root by letting it get too cold, and have had the leaves die for reasons that aren't clear to me. I keep working with it because it's so unusual and I've always figured I was just messing up something that should be easy, but after reading the other comments posted here, it looks like I may never get this right. I have learned some things here and will try them before I give up.

Negative andycdn On Feb 5, 2006, andycdn from Ottawa, ON (Zone 4b) wrote:

I bought this plant as part of a plan to grow a tropical-effect bower in my very Canadian back yard. This means bringing tropical plants out as the weather gets warm enough for them, and later on bringing them indoors when it turns cold. Although this is working with several other subjects, this plant didn't do well outside, and also doesn't like the indoors in winter (temperature fluctuations, dry air, etc.). Although I love the look, it's just too fussy for what I'm after, so I'll try to find something equally dramatic that's happier in my environment. (Spoken like a true gardener!)

Positive jnana On Aug 8, 2005, jnana from South Florida, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

My African Mask is planted outside in a shady spot and it's doing very well. Low maintenance as long as it gets enough humidity and water. Does not like to get any sun, the leaves quickly turn brown.

Positive foodiesleuth On Feb 1, 2005, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

We have had some in the yard for quite a while. We are even starting to get volunteers coming up in other areas not even near any now growing. Ours seem to do well whether in full sun, partial sun or shade. Our area is known for a lot of rainfall, so we don't even water them in between rains even if several days might go by

Positive emilyrasmus On Jan 29, 2005, emilyrasmus from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

After a lot of research along with trial and error, this plant seems to do best with medium light (or in the shade outside) and moderate humidity. I keep a fan on for air circulation and to prevent any water build up any where on the leaves. Pot with a well draining soil mixture and only repot when plant is truley rootbound. Avoid misting this plant. For extra humidity, I keep my plants (I have 3 of them) on a bed of wet pebbles. I only water after the soil has pretty much dried out and fertilize at half recommended strength once a month. This plant has beautiful foliage, but definitely not a "beginners" plant. Blooming times vary. One bloomed in August while another is blooming in late January.

Positive hanna1 On Nov 19, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love mine, and it seems quite happy sitting on the floor against my somewhat shaded full window, it flowered this year and that made me quite happy.

Positive tabby123 On Jun 30, 2004, tabby123 from Walled Lake, MI wrote:

I found a lovely specimen in a farmer's market in Toledo, OH. It was blooming and had two lovely, large leaves. It went into a decline for a few weeks while I learned it's preferences (repotted from 6" plastic to 10" clay). The original leaves and bloom died (one at a time), and were replaced by new leaves. It is now flourishing near a large tinted window (indirect sun, most of the day) with three leaves ranging from 9" to 24" long. A stunning addition to my work-place garden.

Neutral Jamespayne On Jan 7, 2004, Jamespayne from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I bought this plant in December, 2003 after a cold snap in Florida, zone 9b. I kept it inside in a highly lit room with no direct sunlight. There were 4 stems in the pot, and now there are two, with one making a come-back by sending up a small sprout. I don't think this plant was planted deep enough, because the stems kept falling over. I replanted the two stems that are left about one inch deeper in the soil, and have kept it outside becauese we are having days in the upper 70's and night lows in the upper 60's. I bring the plant in when it gets below 60 degrees at night and keep it misted. I hope this plant makes a come back for me, I love the "look" of the foilage.

Positive dogbane On Nov 9, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

For me, this plant works well as a potted specimen, tucked in amongst ferns, bromeliads and impatiens. And though I'm usually pretty daring about placing tender tropicals in my garden, I treasure this one too much to take the risk!

Neutral plantzperson On Oct 27, 2003, plantzperson from Zachary, LA wrote:

I bought this lovely plant for a houseplant but was not able to get it to grow or live inside at all. I believe it must be grown outside but have not tried it again.

Positive tpoe On Oct 26, 2003, tpoe from Flint, TX wrote:

I've been growing the African Mask since 1991, first in Arkansas. The first one did not do well indoors with artificial lighting, but did wonderful outdoors in summer, with filtered lighting. The best growth was in Texas. The plant grew 3ft tall, with leaves over 1ft in length and bloomed several times. It grew very well in my apartment living room next to large windows facing West, with filtered light and grew very well outdoors under large trees. I believe the plant does best with neutral ph level in highly organic soil with good drainage. I have several I planted directly in soil (high ph) that have not done very well this summer.

Positive lgsherk On Mar 16, 2003, lgsherk from Vandiver, AL (Zone 7a) wrote:

In the south this plants is used as a bedding plant by landscapers in full sun at shopping centers. I have used it in my yard and try to give it as much sun as possible. Here in Alabama it likes sun and moisture.I have grown it in a tin pot with other water loving plants,such as Louisiana Iris and canna lilies.I treat it as an annual. Last year it came back as our winter was not severe enough to kill it.
Linda in zone b of central Alabama

Positive mystic On Mar 15, 2003, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love this one,but it's a little picky - it will not take sun. I tried to grow it in a pot shaded under canna leaves and it didn't do well. I had to move it to complete shade. Likes lots of light but no direct sun. Also make sure where the stems meet the dirt it's out of the soil or the stems will rot.

Positive donnajp On Dec 23, 2002, donnajp wrote:

This is a gorgeous plant, but I have had trouble keeping i alive. It has recently grown brown spots on it and the leaves have been deteriorating especially at the point.

Positive mmckay On Nov 23, 2002, mmckay wrote:

Beautiful, striking leaves.. the one I have boasts very large leaves that look like emerald green velvet. My plant is approx 6 years old, and has bloomed several times. The stalks look similar to a defenbachia, with the growth marks. New shoots come up, some survive, some don't. It likes living in my bathroom! :)

Positive DrMikeG On Sep 11, 2002, DrMikeG from Indianola, IA wrote:

Beautiful almost black leaves. Very sharp contrasting veins in the foliage. A stunning, unique houseplant.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Castro Valley, California
Cloverdale, California
Los Angeles, California
Merced, California
San Bernardino, California
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Dunedin, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Islamorada, Florida
Miami, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)
Vero Beach, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Yulee, Florida
Austell, Georgia
Loganville, Georgia
Suwanee, Georgia
Honomu, Hawaii
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Wailuku, Hawaii
Mahomet, Illinois
Quincy, Illinois
Davenport, Iowa
Tompkinsville, Kentucky
Mandeville, Louisiana
New Iberia, Louisiana
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Byhalia, Mississippi
Meridian, Mississippi
New York City, New York
Wantagh, New York
Cincinnati, Ohio
Grants Pass, Oregon
West Linn, Oregon
Columbia, South Carolina
Westmoreland, Tennessee
Baytown, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Red Oak, Texas
Seattle, Washington



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