Alocasia Azlanii – (Care & Propagation TIPS!)

topview of alocasia azlanii plant with a single leaf with purple veins and a light green leaf border

Alocasia Azlanii is one attractive plant. 🙂 This low-growing Alocasia is known for its metallic, purple leaves with pinkish veins and green leaf borders.

Leaf undersides are reddish, held on top of lime green stems.

BUT – in the shade, the Azlanii’s stunning veins are not obvious at all. The plant just looks like it has dark leaves…. so be warned that only in the sunlight is its true beauty is seen!

Care-wise, your Alocasia Azlanii needs loads of indirect or filtered sunlight, high humidity (>70% is ideal, though 60% is tolerable), and a coarse, free-draining soil.

We like to use neem oil to fend off spider mites, which are attracted to Alocasias.

Let’s dive into the details!

Alocaisa Azlanii vs. Cuprea

side by side comparison between alocasia azlanii (left) and alocasia cuprea (right)
Alocasia Azlanii (left) vs. Alocasia Cuprea (right)

A quick note on Azlanii look-alikes. The Alocasia Cuprea is another dwarf Alocaisa with similarly shaped leaves. But you can tell the 2 apart by looking at the color and veining on the leaves carefully.

The Cuprea has copper-colored leaves that are shiny. Leaves do not have colored veining. The Azlanii has dark leaves with a pinkish hue, and stunning pink veins.

Alocasia Azlanii vs. Infernalis

side by side comparison between the alocasia alzanii (left) and the alocasia infernalis (right)
Alocasia Azlanii (left) versus Alocasia Infernalis (right)

The Infernalis is another dark leafed Alocasia. The easiest way to tell its an Azlanii, NOT a Infernalis, is to look for purple veins and a light green leaf border!

The Infernalis lacks veins and looks almost black.

Also, the Azlanii is usually A LOT more expensive, around US$100 for a starter pot. The Infernalis is usually US$15-20 on Etsy! You can always tell the difference with the price tag! 🙂

How to care for your Alocasia Azlanii

Light

Your delicate Alocasia Azlanii likes plenty of bright, indirect light… at least 6 hours a day is ideal!

With that said, however, this plant can handle a few hours of direct morning sun since it is not nearly as harsh as midday sun rays. Ours is sitting pretty in an East-facing windowsill, where it gets plenty of filtered light.

If the leaves look scorched or pale, that’s a sign to relocate the Azlanii to a shadier spot!!

On the other hand, dull and slow growth may mean your Alocasia needs more sunlight.

Water

Your best bet is to water the Alocasia Azlanii about once every 10 to 14 days. A good way to make sure you don’t overwater the Alocasia Azlanii is to wait until the top 2 inches (5cm) of soil is dry.

Simply use your finger to check the soil moisture before watering…. but do this often so that you don’t accidentally let the plant dry through its pot!

Using this method ensures your Alocasia Azlanii is well-watered, but doesn’t suffer from SOGGY roots.

Soggy roots typically lead to root rot, which can quickly kill the plant after only 10 days.

Does my Alocasia Azlanii need distilled water?

This really depends on where you live and how much mineral salts are present in tap water. In Singapore, our experience has been that we don’t need to use distilled water to water our Azlanii.

However, our plant friends in the USA and UK tell us of differing experiences!

topview of alocasia azlanii plant with purple veining

Humidity

Alocasias of all types need high humidity levels, much higher than what the average home’s humidity level typically is. This is especially so for the Azlanii which comes from Borneo.

While 70% (and above!) is ideal for the Alocasia Azlanii, this plant still grows well when the humidity is only 60%. 

Check out 4 ways to raise the humidity levels in your home here.

Should I mist my Azlanii?

No! We caution against misting your Alocasia, as when airborne fungal spores meet wet and warm conditions, like on wet foliage, they settle and breed, causing leaf spots.

Instead, use a humidifier.

Temperature

Since Alocasia Azlanii is native to tropical regions, it’s only natural that it would need warm, stable temperatures. Keep temperatures to 65 – 85 degrees F (18 – 29 degrees C)!

According to the University of Florida, if you live in USDA hardiness zones 8b-11, you can even opt to grow your plant outdoors year-round. But do choose a spot that is away from any direct sunlight, as sunlight is much more intense outdoors.

Bright shade that is protected from the wind and temperature fluctuations is perfect. You can look for spots that are shielded by trees, plants or other objects.

Also choose a spot that is protected from temperature fluctuations (drafty doors, wind) as this can lead to drooping and yellowing leaves.

Seasonal Dormancy

During the winter, triggered by low light and low humidity, your plant may go into dormancy. This is normal and does not harm your plant.

But it can look worrying – in some cases, there is no new growth, and existing leaves drop and die back. The key thing is not to panic. Beneath the soil line, your plant has all it needs in is rhizomes, which store energy and have the ability to produce new growth.

When warmer weather returns, your plant will start growing again.

During dormancy,

  • Don’t fertilize your plant.
  • Watering requirements drop off significantly. Check the soil moisture more frequently so that you know when your plant needs a drink, but don’t water unless the topsoil feels dry.

Growth

Alocasia Azlanii isn’t as tall as some of the other Alocasia varieties, and typically only reaches 12 inches (30cm)!! In our opinion, this makes it a great option for windowsills 🙂

This Alocasia will typically reach maturity, and its full height, after only a couple of years. They grow new leaves every 1-2 months. So be patient!

topview of alocasia azlanii plant with a single leaf with purple veins and a light green leaf border

Soil or Growing Medium

For Alocasia Alzaniis, choose a slightly acidic (pH 5.5 – 6.5) potting soil that is rich, airy, and well-draining, but one that still retains a bit of moisture. Confused? Don’t worry, we’ll show you some good mixes we recommend.

For a fuss-free option, buy a pre-made commercial mix for African Violets, and add an equal portion of perlite to improve drainage. That’s it!

Alternatively, LECA is a good option too. If you are a LECA newbie, check out this article on Pros and Cons of LECA to see if its a good fit for you.

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12/17/2022 12:00 am GMT

Fertilizer

Even though Alocasia Azlanii doesn’t need a ton of feeding, the plant will still benefit from monthly feedings during the spring and summer months. Use a GENTLE (urea-free) liquid fertilizer, and dilute it to 1/2 the recommended strength before applying to the Alocasia Azlanii.

Additionally, always water the Alocasia Azlanii before you feed the plant. This helps prevent root burn, which can occur if you fertilize the plant while it has dry soil.

Repotting

In most cases, the Alocasia Azlanii will only need repotted once every few years when it outgrows its container.

Seeing roots growing out of the bottom of the pot is a sure sign that your plant needs repotting. Do so in spring, when growth conditions are optimal for your plant to bounce back from the stress of being uprooted!

Toxicity

According to the ASPCA, all varieties of Alocasia, including the Alocasia Azlanii, are considered toxic to humans, dogs, and cats when ingested.

Alocasias contain oxalate crystals in stems, roots and leaves.

Even ingesting a small amount of the Alocasia Azlanii can lead to unpleasant symptoms, including burning of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat, as well as gastrointestinal distress.

Propagation

Being a rhizomatous plant, the best way to propagate your Alocasia Azlanii is not through stem cuttings, but through rhizome division. Only propagate your Alocasia when it is healthy and mature – anything less will be asking for trouble.

Remember that propagation is stressful for your plant, so expect some recovery time after the deed is done. For best chances of success, propagate in early spring.

  1. Water your plant 24 hours prior to propagation. This helps reduce transplant shock and helps your plant more easily wriggle out of its pot.
  2. Gently place your Alocasia Azlanii on its side, and remove your plant from its pot. You may need to use your fingers to loosen any compacted soil, and coax the plant out. Try not to damage the roots.
  3. Examine the rhizome and roots.
  4. Use a sterilized, sharp blade to cut a part of the tuber. Ensure this part has a few stems and some roots.
  5. Choose an appropriately sized pot for the new plant (don’t use a too-big a pot, please!)
  6. Keep the soil evenly moist, and place the plants in a warm spot away from direct light.
  7. It may take about a month for both mother and baby plants to recover from the ordeal.
  8. New growth signals your plants have recovered!

Pruning

Alocasia Azlanii doesn’t need regular pruning, and because it has such a small stature, you won’t have to deal with out-of-control growth. 🙂

You should, however, simply snip off any dead, damaged, or dying leaves. This helps the plant refocus its energy on NEW growth!

Common Pests and Issues

Spider mites

Sadly, Alocasias tend to attract spider mites like a moth to a flame!!

  • Related to ticks, spider mites are not technically insects, but rather eight-legged arachnids.
  • They love dry environments (low humidity) so dry winter months are favorable to these pests, although, in summer, they reproduce more quickly.
  • Being very small (1/50 inch or 0.2mm), they are harder to spot and come in many different colors.
  • A tell-tale sign that spider mites are present is the presence of fine webbing on the undersides of leaves. Check under the leaves of your Alzanii, and especially where the leaf meets the petiole (leaf stalk).
  • In addition to plant sap, spider mites also suck on chlorophyll, causing white spots on leaves. Other signs of an infestation include stippled, yellow, and crispy leaves.

To get rid of spider mites,

  1. Thoroughly inspect all your plants, including under the leaves and at leaf axils. These bugs love to hide in hard-to-reach corners!
  2. Quarantine any infected plants away from all other plants to prevent spread.
  3. Using sterilized garden shears, trim off any visibly damaged or heavily-infested parts of the stems and leaves. We use 70% isopropyl solution to sterilize our gardening tools; this is important as contamination is a common cause of spread.
  4. Use a water jet to gently hose off any remaining visible insects.
  5. Apply an Insecticidal Soap spray to the remaining stems and leaves. Reapply as necessary and as the instructions dictate until you see that the infestation has been eradicated. We like to use insecticidal soap as a soil drench as well.
  6. Apply a neem oil solution to all plants in your home as a preventative measure against infestation. Neem oil disrupts the growth of larvae and prevents spider mites from feeding, growing and reproducing.

Overwatering or underwatering

Another potential issue that could occur with the Alocasia Azlanii is overwatering or underwatering. Overwatering is usually much more concerning than underwatering, but both can cause harm to the plant.

To prevent overwatering, we can’t emphasize enough to not water your plant unless the topsoil is dry. Refrain from misting your plant (use a humidifier instead), and avoid wetting the leaves when watering. Importantly, choose a well-draining potting mix so that excess water can drain freely from the pot.

Another tip is to choose a terracotta planter, which helps wick away excess moisture and enhances breathability for your plant’s roots. 🙂

Troubleshooting

Why are their brown edges on my Alocasia Azlanii?

Brown edges on the Alocasia Azlanii leaves are a symptom of underwatering or too-dry air (too little humidity).

When a plant doesn’t get enough water, its leaves will turn brown and crispy at the edges, and they can even wilt and fall off the plant.

Brown edges can also be a sign that the environmental conditions are too dry. Implementing a good watering schedule and investing in a humidifier will help!

What would cause white webbing on the Alocasia Azlanii’s leaves?

Sorry to break it to you – fine, white webbing on the Alocasia Azlanii is a sign that your plant is infested with spider mites. 🙁

Spider mites are small, sap-sucking insects that feed on the juices inside the plant. They pierce the soft tissue of the Alocasia Azlanii with their mouthparts and then suck the juices out. This will cause small spots to form on the leaves, and can even make the plant more susceptible to diseases.

These are the steps to get rid of spider mites.

How can I get rid of brown spots on my Alocasia Azlanii’s leaves?

Brown spots on the Alocasia Azlanii leaves are usually a sign of leaf spot disease.

This fungal or bacterial disease can be serious and difficult to treat. The best defense against leaf spot disease is prevention, which requires watering the plant near the soil line.

The pathogens that cause leaf spot disease are found in the soil, but usually don’t cause any issues until they come in contact with damp leaves. This occurs when the infected soil is splashed on the leaves, which is common when watering overhead.

If, however, you water at the base of the plant, you prevent such infections from occurring. 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Alocasia Azlanii a good plant for beginners?

Alocasia Azlanii is not a difficult plant to care for, and could even be a good plant for beginners. It does still, however, require a level of care that isn’t as laid back as some other popular houseplants. 🙂

If you’re looking for a truly BEGINNER-level plant, try the

How can I make my Alocasia Azlanii grow more leaves?

While you cannot force an Alocasia Azlanii to grow more leaves than the plant is capable of, you can make sure its growing conditions are ideal 🙂

The top 4 tips are to

  • ensure your Azlanii has sufficient sunlight;
  • apply a high-quality urea-free fertilizer once a month during spring + summer, at half strength. incorporate this into its watering regime to reduce the risk of root burn;
  • apply a dilute solution of neem oil to ward off spider mites;
  • regularly inspect the Azlanii for any potential pests + diseases. Early detection is key!

Should I cut the dead leaves off of my Alocasia Azlanii?

Pruning the dead leaves off of your Alocasia Azlanii can help improve the overall appearance of the plant, while freeing up space and resources for new leaves to emerge.

Just make sure to use sharp, clean pruning shears and snip the dead leaf off as close to the stem as possible.

Other Alocasias we Love

Wrapping Up

The Alocasia Alzanii is a beautiful plant with stunning purple veins. These tips will help you keep the Azlanii happy:

  • Don’t overwater. Water only when the topsoil is dry, but check the soil moisture frequently.
  • Use a coarse well-draining potting mix.
  • Mild indoor temperatures are best for growth.
  • Humidity >60% is critical, with >70% being ideal.
  • Refrain from misting Alocasia leaves.
  • Use a urea-free fertilizer once a month at half strength.
  • Regularly inspect plants for spider mites. Apply neem oil as a preventative measure.

Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.