The Alocasia Frydek also well known as the Green Velvet Alocasia or the Elephant Ear because of its structure is a commonly potted houseplant.
These big long-leaved garden plants aren’t a very easy one to find, but it is one of its kinds. They are also sold by the name – Alocasia Micholitziana ‘Frydek’. Growing the Alocasia Frydek indoors in a tough task, but with all the right steps and tips in mind, it can be maintained well.
These plants are originally from Southeast Asia and are mostly grown for their velvety dark green leaves with the distinct thick white veins. They grow best in highly humid and warm temperatures.
Alocasia plants are generally broad-leaved rhizomes growing in tropical climates. Due to its favored growing temperature being warm and humid, it can be harder to manage an Alocasia Frydek as a houseplant, and thus they are often grown and kept in greenhouses.
Why is the Alocasia Frydek drooping?
The huge, broad, velvety, green leaves with the white vezeins are the star feature of this indoor plant. But at times, due to insufficient growth factors and other reasons, the leaves may appear and unhealthy and may seem to droop downwards.
This can hamper the beautiful appearance and the show of this plant. It is usually caused by the following factors:
– One major cause of the leaves of an Alocasia Frydek drooping can be due to inefficient sunlight. These plants require a good amount of indirect sunlight to properly bloom and grow. They require a bright but indirect source of light.
It is thus advised to place the potted Alocasia under the shade of another plant where it can receive the bright light of the sun indirectly.
Where insufficient sunlight can make the leaves droop and look unhealthy, direct sunlight can also be harmful. Exposure to the sun’s light directly can result in burning of the delicate and velvety leaves. Thus it is very important to provide your Alocasia Frydek with balanced sunlight at all times.
– Under-watering of the potted plant can also cause the leaves to hang down. The preferred way of watering the plant is to make sure that the soil dries out between watering and re-watering. Although the Alocasia needs a good amount of humidity at all times, it also likes its soil to be drier and not wet all the time, those are some extremely contrasting issues right?
Well to overcome this catch, the plant must be provided with misting routines on the foliage and stems to ensure proper moisture to be around the plant without it getting into the soil more than necessary.
Proper watering and moisture can make the velvety leaves of the Alocasia Frydek prop right back up.
– Another major reason behind drooping Alocasia leaves is that many a time the leaves become large and weigh down the tips of the foliage.
It becomes difficult for the petite stems to support the heavy leaves. This can be prevented by staking the plant. Although the top-heavy leaves on the slim stem, later on, recover themselves but for the time being staking proves useful.
A stake can be used to tie the drooping leaves for support. The stake must be shorter than the plant and it should be pushed into the soil properly. Then the stem can be tied to the stake using twines, strings, staking tape, etc.
– Improper temperature settings can also make the plants unhealthy and make the leaves appear sickly and drooping. The Alocasia Frydek being a tropical plant requires a hot and humid surrounding to grow well. The plant can also be shifted outdoors to let it be exposed to more warmth.
– Pests and insects that affect the plant can be another cause of drooping foliage. Mealy bugs, spider mites, aphids, etc. are common Alocasia pests.
The potted Alocasia must be checked regularly for pest and microbe infestation and must be sprayed with disinfectants. Aeration of the soil also helps to prevent pests on the Alocasia Frydek. Spraying warm soapy water on the foliage every week proves to be a useful tip.
It facilitates the cleaning of the plant and thus leads to lesser pest infestation.
– To further keep the mites and bugs away, after rinsing in warm soapy water, the foliage can be wiped with neem oil; this keeps the leaves healthy and pest free.
– You might even notice that an absolutely newly brought Alocasia Frydek starts to have droopy leaves. Well, this is a very plausible condition as the plants suffer a change in habitat.
When relocated from a greenhouse to be planted indoors as a houseplant, the leaves might have a hard time adjusting to it. Although with proper tending, care and provision of required conditions, the plant will soon adapt to the house settings, be it indoor or outdoor.
– Leaves of the Alocasia Frydek often tend to get droopy and appear unhealthy during winters. The temperature is cooler and the humidity in the atmosphere is lower, affects the plant’s growth and appearance.
Also that fact that sunlight isn’t bright enough influences the foliage negatively. With summer approaching the plants seems to get better. Placing the plant outdoors after the winter months helps the foliage to make a considerable comeback.
During winters, the watering and light conditions must be balanced according to the plant needs.
Alocasia varieties comparatively do well in greenhouses than at home as houseplants and thus when at home, these may have a wilted or yellowed appearance but the right amount of care and attention to the growing Alocasia Frydek can always be helpful to this slightly high maintenance plant.
More about your Alocasia Frydek houseplant:
The Alocasia Frydek with its broad and arrowhead or oblong heart-shaped shaped leaves with the velvety texture, rich green color and thick white veins are special houseplants that are most popularly grown for the wild and forest-like appearance of its leaves.
These plants can grow up to a height of 50 – 65 centimeters or even 3 feet high and are great garden ornaments. The leaves in an Alocasia Frydek can grow up to 18-inches long. Also known as the Green velvet Alocasia is a variety of the commonly known Elephant’s ear family of plants.
The shape of the leaves resemble African masks, and thus they are also termed among the Alocasia variety as – African masks.
Compared to the other Alocasia varieties, the Frydek is one of the most difficult to care for as an indoor green. They are very sensitive to pests; require distinct light and water conditions as well as temperature settings.
As a smaller newer plant, the rhizomatous Alocasia Frydek is harder to manage and more vulnerable. They need to be kept happy and should not be neglected. When it grows further, it slowly adapts and adjusts itself and requires lesser tending and care.
Growth and care tips for your Alocasia Frydek:
Here are a few important tips you can keep in mind to assure proper growth and maintenance of your Alocasia Frydek plants:
Alocasia grows in fertile and nutrient-rich soils. It needs to be potted in such a soil which is well-drained and has sufficient aeration.
The soil must hold moisture as these plants need a humid environment to survive. Humus and peat help to make the soil rich and fertile. Adding bits of bark, sand, small pebbles, perlite pumice, etc. helps to make the soil well-drained and makes it porous.
2. TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY
Originated in the tropical and sub-tropical woodlands of Southeast Asia, these plants prefer a good warm and humid climate. Alocasia plants are all warm growing species and an approximate temperature of 60 or 16 is the minimum heat it needs to grow.
Make sure that the temperature never falls below the mentioned minimum. The plant may even be kept outdoors instead of inside the house to provide it with more warmth.
Humidity is also a necessary factor when it comes to the Alocasia Frydek. It requires highly humid air.
A humidifier for plants works just right. A too dry atmosphere like in winters can upset the growth and it can be seen in the foliage which starts to droop down. Misting the plant also keeps humidity for the plant in check.
3. WATER REQUIREMENTS
Alocasias, as we have mentioned, are of tropical origin. To keep a Frydek healthy and happy, it must be watered thoroughly at all times. Make sure you never skip watering the soil.
The potted plant must be watered often as soon as the top layer of the soil seems to become dry. The soil and plant must not be kept dry for too long, as it hampers the plant life of the Alocasia Frydek.
Watering must be done in the right procedure. The soil and well as the leaves must be soaked well. Along with excess watering to suit the moisture requirements of the plant, the soil conditions must not be compromised.
The soil must be well-draining so that it does not retain the water for more than a necessary period. The excess water must be let out through drainage holes.
4. LIGHT REQUIREMENTS
Just like other varieties of Alocasia, these green velvet Alocasias also need bright and indirect sunlight. Exposure to the light of the sun directly is not beneficial for this plant; it can harm the foliage and damage the plant completely.
Morning sunlight is advisable but on the other hand, the harsh afternoon sunlight must be avoided. It is best to let the plant grow outdoors if it is kept under the shade of another plant. This ensures an indirect but bright supply of light.
The plant should also be turned regularly so that all parts of the plant get even exposure to light and it can grow evenly all around.
An East facing window is best for the placement of an Alocasia Frydek, this way the plant gets the morning sunlight straight from the window and is kept away from the harsh afternoon rays.
A rather south or west windowed placement of the plant can be made feasible by placing thin drapes which will assure an indirect sunlight exposure.
5. FERTILIZING THE PLANT
Using a balanced fertilizer for Alocasias is perfect. Using a fertilizer which has properly balanced amounts of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous is important. Such fertilizers are readily available and are commonly used for all kinds of garden plants.
Alocasias require good feeding to grow. Although potted Alocasia Frydek plants do not grow to enormous sizes, thus they can be fertilized accordingly.
When in a pot, due to regular watering, the fertilizers can be easily washed away. To ensure a continuous supply of nutrients and food to your Alocasia plant, it is advisable to mix soluble fertilizers with water and pour onto the plants.
Too much fertilizing can although burn the leaves, thus, it must be carried out with proper caution and in a balanced manner. Summer and springtime are best to fertilize your Alocasia Frydek with diluted fertilizers.
The plant either stops growing or slows down during winters, thus, fertilizing procedures can be done at a slower pace too to match the plant’s growth requirements.
6. YELLOWING LEAVES
A lot of times due to various reasons such as – improper soil, drainage, temperature, humidity in the environment, pest infestation, watering habits, etc. the leaves may seem to turn yellow and lose its velvety green color. The plant can get unhealthy and stressed.
The yellowed leaves must be cut off completely. If the base of the Alocasia Frydek remains and its roots are healthy and not dried out, there are high chances that the plant can grow back. With efficient water, light and soil conditions, your Alocasia Frydek will soon grow back its wild and attractively unique foliage.
Different varieties of the Alocasia:
Alocasias are well known for their wild foliage. A lot of these plant varieties are cultivated and sold for their large and thick veined leaves, some of the popularly grown ones include:
– Alocasia ‘Stingray’
– Alocasia ‘Portodora”
– Alocasia ‘Frydek’
– Alocasia ‘Calidora’
– Alocasia Mandalay
– Alocasia Cucullata
– Alocasia Black velvet
Proper care and tending can bring the best out of these tropical plants and they can add to your home décor with their decorative and unique leaves which are truly magnificent!