With their dramatically shaped and vividly colored leaves, Alocasias are increasingly popular additions to indoor and outdoor gardens. But with dozens of Alocasia varieties available, how do you choose the right one? Understanding the differences between Alocasia corms can help you select the perfect species or cultivar for your needs.
Overview of Alocasia
Alocasias are a group of tropical perennial plants in the Araceae family, native to Asia and Eastern Australia. They are grown for their distinctly shaped, erect leaves rising from tuber-like underground stems called corms. Foliage comes in shades of green, gray-green, black, and variegated.
Alocasias thrive as houseplants or in outdoor gardens in warm, humid environments. They appreciate rich, moist soil and filtered sunlight. Once established, these striking plants will continue growing from their corms year after year.
Key Differences Between Alocasia Corm Species
There are around 79 recognized Alocasia species, with many additional hybrids and cultivars. While they share similar care needs, Alocasia varieties vary significantly in size, leaf appearance, and growth habit.
Popular Alocasia Varieties for Home Gardens
Here are some top Alocasia corm options for indoor and outdoor growing:
A compact houseplant with arrowhead-shaped silver-green leaves and white veins. It reaches just 1 foot tall and wide. The Alocasia Polly is well-suited for smaller spaces, such as balconies or indoor settings, and its manageable size makes it a great option for beginners in gardening.
‘Zebrina’ has gracefully drooping, violin-shaped leaves decorated with dark green veining on a light green background. Height ranges from 2-4 feet. Known for its elongated, arrow-shaped leaves, adorned with vivid green patterns resembling zebra stripes, this variety adds a touch of exotic beauty to any landscape.
Dramatic, upright leaves emerge bluish-green then mature to dark green with creamy white veining. It grows up to 4-6 feet.
This variety showcases large, lush leaves with prominent veins and striking silver-green hues. Commonly known as the “Elephant Ear Plant,” the Alocasia Amazonica thrives in tropical climates and adds a touch of drama and elegance to any garden. However, it requires a bit more attention and care compared to other varieties.
Alocasia ‘Regal Shields’
This elegant hybrid reaches 3-4 feet at maturity, with glossy green leaves featuring contraasting dark green veining and ruffled edges.
Alocasia ‘Black Stem’
‘Black Stem’ is prized for its deep blackish-purple stems and veins contrasting with dark green arrowhead-shaped leaves. Height is around 3 feet.
Alocasia ‘Silver Dragon’
The 20 inch tall and wide ‘Silver Dragon’ shows off deeply lobed, wrinkled gray-green leaves with striking white veining. Plus, it’s relatively compact, so it’s ideal for making a big impact in a small space.
Key Factors in Selecting an Alocasia
Keep these considerations in mind when choosing Alocasia corms:
- Your space – Select appropriately sized varieties for the room or garden area.
- Sunlight levels – Some tolerate more sun than others.
- Desired aesthetics – Choose leaf shapes and colors to create your ideal look.
- Growth rate – Faster growing ones will reach mature sizes quicker.
- Planting location – Consider indoor vs. outdoor environment.
- Availability – Rare or unusual species may be harder to locate.
- Price – Variegated and hybrid cultivars often cost more than common green-leaf species.
Where to Buy Alocasia Corms and Plants
Alocasia corms, bulbs, and young plants are available from the following sources:
Local nurseries and garden centers – Especially in spring and summer.
Big box stores – Sometimes carry commonly grown Alocasias.
Online specialty plant retailers – Large selection of varieties, ships dormant corms.
Direct from growers – Source for rare or newly developed hybrids.
Fellow gardeners – Trade sections of overgrown clumps.
Shop around for availability, prices, and plant health when acquiring your Alocasias.
With their stunning tropical foliage, Alocasias are addicting plants for indoor and outdoor gardeners. Taking time to understand the differences between Alocasia species and cultivars will let you make an informed choice from the many options. Select varieties based on your growing conditions, space constraints, and visual preferences. Then enjoy growing these eye-catching beauties for years to come.