THE ALOCASIA STINGRAY

It’s hard to miss this plant wherever it’s at. With its interestingly shaped leaves, this bad boy is quite the attention seeker. Thankfully, it’s equally easy to take care of—as long as you don’t give it more water and sunlight than it needs.

Look at the plant and you’ll understand exactly why this handsome fellow is called the Alocasia Stingray. With its big stingray-shaped leaves and zebra-like stems, you can bet that he’s going to be quite the eye-catcher and conversation-starter.

The Alocasia Stingray is a fairly easy plant—as long as you don’t give it more water and sunlight that it needs.


LIGHT


Keep these guys happy by giving them bright, indirect light or morning sun. Too little light will cause their stems to droop and light that is too harsh will burn their leaves in no time. The leaves will tilt towards the light so remember to rotate the plant regularly to avoid a lopsided plant. Do note that if you transfer them from a bright spot to a less lit space, the older leaves will likely start drooping. It will be hard to save those leaves so we’d encourage you to just go ahead and snip them off so that the plant can focus on maintaining its current leaves instead.


WATER


This fellow prefers lightly moist soil but be very careful not to overwater—they are very sensitive to overwatering. Root rot is very common for these plants as many of them are now cloned using tissue culture and therefore, the bulk of these plants have become less hardy with time. Water thoroughly only when the top 2-3 inches of the soil are dry or when the soil is about 60-70% dry.


SOIL


Well-draining soil is key—use regular potting mix with some additional sphagnum peat moss to retain moisture and perlite for drainage.


TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY


Alocasia Stingrays are tropical plants and are not a fan of the cold weather. Keep them away from cold drafts (in front of the a/c is a no-no!) and well-protected indoors during summer. These boys are humidity snobs—cluster them together with other plants or use a pebble dish to increase humidity.


PESTS AND DISEASES


Common pests are mealy bugs, scale, aphids, and spider mites. To prevent any infestation, wipe down its leaves every 3-4 weeks with a tad of neem oil or mildly soapy water.


GROWTH


Don’t be expecting new leaves every couple of weeks, especially since they don’t have a lot of leaves to begin with. Slow and steady wins the race!


FERTILISATION


Feed them during growing season (warmer temperatures). Simply refer to the instructions on your fertiliser product and halve the amount of fertiliser required to reduce the risk of fertiliser burn.


PROPAGATION


Like other Alocasia plants, these bad boys grow from rhizomes in the ground. Hence, the best way to propagate them would be to lift the plant from the pot, comb out the soil carefully and divide the tubers. Each of these can be grown on its own.


REPOTTING


Check the drainage hole(s) to see if roots are starting to outgrow its container. If you see roots, simply loosen the soil around the plant, pull it out, gently remove excess soil from its roots, place it in a slightly larger container and top it up with soil. If you don’t see roots but get a sense that the soil is tired or worn out, go ahead and repot it with fresh soil in its current pot. They should only need to be repotted once every 1-2 years.


TOXICITY


All parts of the plant are highly toxic when consumed. Make sure to keep it away from the mouths of your furry babies and children!


What was your experience with the Stingray Alocasia? Share your story with us. If there are any plants that you’d like to learn more about, let us know. Till next time, happy planting!

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© Martin & Mango 2019.