The Alocasia Jacklyn is a stunning ornamental plant native to Indonesia that is a fairly new discovery. Because it is still new to the plant world, Alocasia Jacklyn is considered rare and not as readily available as other Alocasia varieties.
But with its vibrant green foliage with darker green veins on striped stems, this plant is sure to become a favorite of all who are lucky enough to grow it.
Care-wise, this tropical plant requires humidity >60% and thrives in bright indirect light. Making sure there is sufficient airflow to its roots is important, so a well-draining potting mix, coupled with a porous container and good watering practices, is key.
Let’s dive into the details. 🙂
What are the origins of the Alocasia Jacklyn?
The Alocasia Jacklyn hails from Sulawesi island in Indonesia, where it grows in mountain forests. It is thought to be a mutation of the Alocaia Portei, and may be sold under its scientific name, Alocasia Sulawesi.
How to care for your Alocasia Jacklyn
The Alocasia Jacklyn thrives in at least 8 hours of bright, indirect light per day.
In fact, exposing this plant to direct afternoon sunlight for more than 3-4 hours a day will cause the leaves to burn, scorch, and become damaged.
A bright East-facing or North-facing window is ideal. If you only have access to a South or West-facing window, place your plant a couple of feet away from the windowpane to reduce light intensity.
The amount of water the Alocasia Jacklyn needs varies depending on several factors, including the time of year, size and age of the plant, and indoor temperature and humidity.
A good general rule of thumb, however, is to water the plant about twice a week during its growing season. This amount is reduced when the plant goes into its dormant period, which is the fall and winter.
Since the Alocasia Jacklyn is prone to overwatering, it’s important to always check the soil moisture level before watering. This is done by inserting your finger about 2 to 3 inches (5-7.6cm) into the soil. If it feels damp, wait a day or two and test the soil again. Only water when the top couple of inches feels dry.
Alocasia Jacklyn thrives at humidity levels above 60%. To increase the humidity level in the room, use a humidifier or a drip tray. A drip tray is a shallow tray filled with small pebbles that houseplants sit on top of.
When you water the Alocasia Jacklyn, the excess water will run out of the pot’s drainage holes and into the tray. This water will then naturally evaporate into the air and increase the humidity level around the plant.
Choosing a terracotta pot also helps wick away excess moisture, promoting evaporation and increasing humidity levels around the plant.
This tropical plant needs an environment that is consistently warm and humid, and it grows best when temperatures are between 65 and 80 degrees F (18-27 degrees C).
While it can tolerate temperatures as low as 55 degrees (13 degrees C), it isn’t recommended to keep the plant at such low temperatures for a long time. Cold temps like these can cause the Alocasia Jacklyn to go into shock, resulting in leaf drop.
In its native habitat, the Alocasia Jacklyn can grow almost 9 feet tall (2.7 meters) with leaves that can reach several feet in length. 🙂
Of course, this plant doesn’t get nearly that size, however, when grown as a houseplant. When grown indoors, Alocasia Jacklyn can grow up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) tall under ideal growing conditions, and their leaves can reach an average of 12 inches (30cm) long.
Additionally, Alocasia Jacklyn has a relatively fast growth rate, growing an average of 3 to 5 feet (0.9 – 1.5 meters) per year when grown outdoors and 1 to 2 feet per year (0.3 -.0.6 meters) when grown indoors.
Soil or Growing Medium
Alocasia Jacklyn needs soil that is light and well-draining. Avoid compact soil, as it doesn’t allow for proper drainage, nor does it allow for the plant’s roots to have sufficient airflow.
We typically like to use a mix of:
- 1 part indoor potting mix
- 2 parts perlite
- 1 part orchid bark
- 1 part horticultural charcoal
- 1 part pumice
If you don’t have all those elements, it’s okay.
As a general rule, combine ~15% of potting mix with ~85% of chunky amendments to improve drainage. You can swap out the chunky amendments for pine bark, vermiculite, or silica, depending on what you have on hand.
You can also use peat in place of potting mix, but in that case, keep peat to a minimum – just 10% of the total mix.
Alocasia Jacklyn isn’t a heavy feeder but will benefit from applying a gentle, urea-free liquid fertilizer once a month at half strength during its active growing period, which is spring and summer. Fertilizers will help promote strong and healthy growth.
Never apply fertilizer during the fall or winter months, which is when the plant goes into its dormant stage.
We like using Dyna-Gro Grow for most of our houseplants, for its high nitrogen content and gentle formulation. Nitrogen encourages lush foliage growth, and a gentle formula is important for fragile roots.
Because of its fast growth rate, the Alocasia Jacklyn will typically need to be repotted every few years when the plant becomes root bound. When roots begin to grow out of the drainage holes or above the soil, you know the plant is root bound.
To repot your plant, carefully slide the plant out of the pot and replant it in a container that is about 2 inches (5cm) bigger than the original. Add fresh soil as needed and then water deeply.
Unless it is due to an emergency, such as disease, repot the plant only during its active growing season. During this time, growing conditions are optimal for your plant, allowing it to bounce back from the stress of repotting.
Alocasia Jacklyn is, unfortunately, according to the ASPCA, toxic when ingested by humans, cats, and dogs.
When ingested, the plant can cause gastrointestinal distress, including abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
While ingesting Alocasia Jacklyn is not typically fatal for humans, it can pose a serious risk to the health of your pets. Even a small amount can cause organ damage and even death in cats and dogs. Immediately call your veterinarian or poison control if your pet has ingested any part of the Alocasia Jacklyn.
Another thing to consider is that the sap that this plant naturally produces can cause contact dermatitis. Because of this, you should always wear gardening gloves whenever you prune, propagate, or repot the Alocasia Jacklyn.
Being a tuberous plant, the Alocasia Jacklyn is propagated using the rhizome division or through offsets. Propagation is best done in Spring.
Propagation through Rhizome Division
- Carefully remove the parent plant from its container.
- Tease away the soil to reveal its rhizome. Rhizomes look like ginger.
- Using the sterilized blade, cut off a healthy portion of the rhizome that has a few stems and some established roots.
- Repot the separated rhizome in its own pot, and repot the parent plant.
- Keep both plants in a warm, humid location with plenty of indirect light. If you have a humidifier, place it next to the plants and set it at 80%.
- It will take about 4-6 weeks for roots to establish in the baby plant, and for your mother plant to recover. Your plants may show signs of stress in the meantime.
- New growth indicates your plants have recovered!
Propagation by Offsets
A healthy and established Alocasia Jacklyn spontaneously grows corms (sometimes called clumps, bulbs or offsets), which are baby plants, under its soil.
- Prepare by watering your plant the day before propagation, which reduces the risk of transplant shock.
- Carefully wriggle your plant out of its pot, using your fingers to free compacted soil to dislodge the rootball.
- Examine the roots of the mother plant. You should see some corms growing near the roots.
- Gently untangle the corms from the mother plant.
- Make sure the corm is still hard by pressing gently against it. (hard corms = still viable.)
- Pot the corms into a separate pot with fresh soil, with the roots facing downwards. Return the mother plant back to its own pot.
- For the next 6 weeks, ensure your new plant’s soil remains evenly moist but not waterlogged. Never let it dry out completely. If you have a humidifier, place it next to the pot and set it at 80%. Ensure your new plant is in a warm location with PLENTY of indirect light.
- Note that the mother plant may show signs of stress (eg, drooping leaves) but this is normal as it recovers.
- After 4-6 weeks, your new plant should be established in its pot, and your mother plant has fully recovered.
- Treat both plants as you would any other Alocasia Jacklyn.
Pruning the Alocasia Jacklyn not only keeps its size in check but can also remove dead or damaged leaves and help encourage new growth.
For the best results, prune the plant in spring when the plant is actively growing, use sharp and sterilized pruning shears, and always cut just above a leaf node.
Common Pests and Issues
Regular inspection of the plant can help quickly catch an infestation before it becomes out of control.
If any pests are found, treat the Alocasia Jacklyn with insecticidal soap, making sure to liberally apply the pesticide to the top and underside of the leaves.
One of the great things about the Alocasia Jacklyn is that it isn’t prone to many diseases. However, the one issue that can become a problem is root rot.
The good news is that root rot is preventable. Simply avoid overwatering the plant and only grow it in well-draining soil.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
Another potential issue is bacterial leaf spot. According to the University of West Virginia, early signs of infection are water-soaked legions on leaves.
This bacterial infection spreads most rapidly in wet and humid environments, which, unfortunately, are the very conditions that your plant typically grows!
To reduce the risk of infection, water your plant near the soil line, and avoid wetting the leaves. Refrain from misting your plant.
To treat, quarantine the plant to avoid contamination, snip off infected leaves and dispose of these securely. Then, apply a copper-based fungicide to prevent its spread.
It’s a good idea to sterilize all your gardening tools with 70% isopropyl solution to prevent the infection from spreading to your healthy plants.
Why are my Alocasia Jacklyn leaves turning yellow?
Overwatering and underwatering can both cause your Alocasia Jacklyn’s leaves to turn yellow. An easy way to distinguish between the two is to check the soil.
If it is soggy, the problem is too much water. If it is dry, the yellowing leaves are caused by too little water.
Why are my Alocasia Jacklyn leaves turning brown?
Brown leaves can be caused by a number of problems, including not enough water, lack of sunlight, or the temperature being too cold. Underwatering can cause the leaves to turn brown and crispy, while lack of sunlight or improper temperature will cause brown and limp leaves.
Why does my Alocasia Jacklyn have brown spots on the leaves?
Brown spots can appear on the Alocasia Jacklyn for a number of reasons, including improper lighting and not enough water. They can also be a sign of a fungal or bacterial disease known as leaf spot.
If the issue is simply caused by improper lighting or underwatering, merely fixing the lighting or watering problem will correct the issue. Brown spots caused by a disease are a little harder to treat.
Leaf spot disease will require removing and securely discarding the infected leaves using sterilized scissors. Then, treat the plant with a fungicide to prevent its spread.
Why is my Alocasia Jacklyn not growing?
There can be many reasons for poor or stunted growth. The first thing we like to check is light levels, as this is the main culprit. Is your plant getting at least 8 hours per day of bright, indirect light?
If so, then check that humidity is >60%, that you are using a well-draining potting mix, and watering your plant whenever its topsoil is dry. Warm, stable temperatures are also important for healthy growth.
You may also want to examine the leaves for signs of pests.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make my Alocasia Jacklyn leaves grow bigger?
One of the main reasons why leaves are small is that your plant is not getting sufficient light. Check that your Jacklyn is receiving at least 8 hours of bright, indirect light per day.
Humidity levels >60% and warm stable temperatures are also important to promote leaf size.
What is the best type of pot for the Alocasia Jacklyn?
Alocasia Jacklyns can grow in just about any type of container as long as it has drainage holes at the bottom. Drainage holes allow for excess water to drain out of the pot.
Ideally, you’d also want a container that is porous, like terracotta. Terracotta wicks away excess moisture and promotes airflow to the roots. This reduces the risk of root rot and increases humidity levels around the plant.
Should I mist my Alocasia Jacklyn?
We don’t typically advocate misting an Alocasia Jacklyn, as wet leaves can lead to fungal disease. Instead, use a humidifier, or check out other ways to safely increase humidity levels.
Other Alocasias we Love
- Alocasia Zebrina – This popular plant has elephant ear leaves held upon thick, zebra-striped stems.
- Alocasia Frydek – A stunning plant known for its dramatic lime green veins contrasted against darker green foliage.
- Alocasia Cuprea – A small-sized Alocasia with copper-colored, glossy leaves.
- Check out our Alocasia #1 Round-Up (w/PHOTOS!)
Alocasia Jacklyn is not a hard plant to care for, though it does have a few requirements to thrive.
These requirements include:
- light and airy soil that drains well;
- indirect but bright light;
- watering only when the topsoil is dry;
- warm temperatures of between 65-80 degrees F (18-27 degrees C);
- a humidity level that is 60% or above.
Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.