Different Varieties of Alocasia Plant
Alocasia is a genus of elephant ear plants that belong to the family of Araceae. 97 known alocasia plant varieties are native to Eastern Australia, subtropical and tropical Asia.
The shapes of alocasia leaves are quite interesting. They can be slim arrowheads or broad, heart-shaped leaves with vivid veins and numerous textures such as thick, waxy, glossy, and shiny.
These tropical plants come with stunning foliage that can become the focal point of your home space or garden. The visual appeal of Alocasia plants is undeniable, and they make for amazing houseplants.
If you are looking forward to growing elephant ears in your garden, here are some popular varieties of alocasia elephant ears you can grow. I’m sure you will get hooked and love how they bring a slice of the tropics into your home space.
What is the Alocasia Plant?
Alocasia is one of the popular varieties of elephant ear plants with arrow-shaped foliage and grows to a staggering 6 feet in height. The leaves sit on tall petioles. They produce calla lily-like blooms.
If you are looking to grow elephant ear plants in your garden, be sure to select a spot with bright, indirect sunlight and moist soil that drains well. These conditions will ensure that your elephant ears will grow well.
Although there are almost a hundred varieties of alocasia plants (97 to be exact), the characteristics of many of them are very similar.
You will notice some differences in the size, color and shape. The leaves themselves could be black, bronze or dark purple streaks. Another thing I love about these plants is the prominent veins on the leaves in green, black-green, white, or pink shade depending on the variety. And the tips of the leaves tend to point up or outward.
15 Amazing Alocasia Varieties with Name and Pictures
#1. Alocasia Macrorrhiza Odora
Alocasia Odora or Night Scented Lily is just right for containers! They are breathtakingly beautiful and the brilliant green color is easy on the eyes. They can grow up to 4 to 8 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
They stand upright, pointing to the sky and the new leaves which come up are bright lime green in color and give off a wonderful glow until they become old and replaced by new leaves.
We adore this variety for its fragrant blossoms, which take after the calla lily flowers and their broad, paddle-shaped leaves that catch the gentlest breeze and wave their leaves around. They get more fragrant during the night.
This variety of alocasia will look great on a patio or near a swimming pool. If there is room by your front door, you can place them in this spot too to create a great first impression on your visitors.
They do well in height temperature and humidity and flourish in late spring right up to summertime. You can also grow them as houseplants during the winter.
Bright sun, partial shade and rich, moist to wet soil are ideal conditions under which they grow well. If you ensure that they get these conditions, they will reward you with their delicious fragrance and lustrous lime green bloom.
#2. Alocasia Macrorrhizos Stingray
Alocasia Macrorrhizos or “Stingray” is another large variety of Alocasia plants that grows up to 4 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. They stand out because of the distinct tail on the leaf end like a stingray’s tail.
It has magnificent and shiny leaves shaped like a fan and really looks gorgeous! You can enjoy the lustrous, dark leaves all year round. During midsummer months, stingray sprouts creamy white hooded cone shaped blooms.
They do excellently well in indoors with shaded light falling on them. They love bright but shaded light. Moist, well-draining soil that is loose and porous is perfect for growing these plants.
#3. Alocasia Amazonica Polly
No list of the Alocasia varieties is complete without the Alocasia Amazonica or the African mask plant. Supremely popular for its striking leaves that resemble arrowheads, this variety can grow up to 2 feet tall and wide. It is one of the unique big leaf plants for outdoors and indoors.
If you don’t like waiting forever for your plant to grow, you will love the Amazonica for how fast they grow. They can produce a new leaf every week; moreover, the leaves also double in size in just a week!
The Alocasia Amazonica is an ornamental plant with stunning veins, and thick, dark green gleaming leaves. Their striking foliage is hard to miss and you should grow the Amazonica if you are looking for beautiful plants to put up in your home outdoor space or inside.
These plants thrive in part-shade and part-sun. They enjoy humid weather conditions, so feel free to relocate them outdoors during the summer if you are lucky enough to get humid conditions.
You can grow these plants indoors in pots, but if you are a houseplant beginner, you should take more care of them as they are a little tricky!
They enjoy in-between conditions; the soil shouldn’t be completely dried out, nor should it be too slushy. They also like the bright, indirect sun and so you could place them next to a nice, sunny window.
#4. Alocasia Macrorrhiza (Giant Taro)
Stunning! That is the only word to describe the Alocasia Macrorrhiza plant. They boast of having the largest, un-split leaf in the world.
If you want to bring a luxuriant look to your garden, look no further than the Giant Taro! They can reach 3 to 6 feet in height and 2 to 4 feet in width.
Their leaves are gigantic and are endowed with thick, prominent veins that are ruffled and are supported by rigid stalks that protrude out from a sturdy and upright trunk. While not the showiest of plants, you will like the look of the blooms with their yellowish-green spadix and spathe.
They are ideal for beds, containers and shade gardens. These plants appreciate part shade and organic-rich, moist to wet soils.
#5. Alocasia Sanderiana
Alocasia Sandariana is otherwise called the Kris plant. This plant sprouts dark green and radiant leaves in the shape of the letter “V” (shaped like arrowheads or shields). These plants can grow up to 6.5 feet and 1.5 wide.
The leaves of these plants are unlike any other variety. The deep lobes and wavy blades look stunning against the unusually glossy, deep-green leaves and the huge, silvery-white veins. If you are looking for everything unusual and unique, you will adore this plant. The white veins make a striking contrast with the dark green leaf.
The green and white spathe flowers, dramatic foliage and unique look make it a great plant for ornamental use. They are low maintenance, and taking care of them is a breeze!
Kris plants love bright places, away from direct sun, though. They also appreciate plenty of moisture. They will do well in well-draining potting soil. If you are looking for a suitable place in your home to put them up, the bathroom, tropical greenhouse or porch are all excellent locations.
#6. Alocasia Portora
Alocasia Portora has large, ruffled green leaves perched on a purple-tinged stem. They can reach up to 5 to 6 feet high. They spread up to 4 to 6 inches wide. Not only are they easy to handle, but they also grow at a rapid pace!
The base of this plant is arrow-shaped, and it stands upright. They may not be the showiest plants, but they make for good accent plants or provide a tropical feel to mixed borders. You can put them up in large containers in your home space.
Alocasia Portora is a variety that is not so picky. It does well in partial as well as full sunlight. It can also handle and thrive well in wet soils.
#7. Alocasia Longiloba
Alocasia longiloba is an attractive variety known for its large, slender, sagittate leaves. This variety is much smaller and grows up to 1 to 3 feet high. They have the same width as the height.
The leaves are a dark blush green with veins that are a light silvery grey. The deep burgundy-purple undersides are a reason why they are immediately noticeable.
Occasionally, it will sprout flowers of a creamy white hue or light green spathe with vibrant orange fruits.
Loamy clay sandy soils accommodate these plants well. Moreover, they grow well in indirect bright light.
#8. Alocasia Micholitziana ‘Frydek’
Alocasia Micholitziana Frydek is for those looking for a bright and vibrant addition to their gardening needs. It is called Green Velvet Alocasia, thanks to its velvety deep-green leaves.
Another thing that sticks out with this variety is the presence of creamy-white veins on the foliage.
When compared to other Alocasia plants, these are of medium size. They reach a height of around 2 to 3 feet, and the leaves are about 18 inches long.
They flourish well when you expose them to bright, indirect sunlight. Too little light, and the plant can get lopsided and leggy. Now that’s something you don’t want, we bet!
If you are looking to grow Frydek, you should use well-draining, peat soil so that they thrive well.
#9. Alocasia Baginda Silver Dragon
The Alocasia Baginda or the Silver Dragon is one of the most coveted varieties of the Alocasia plant.
If you have seen it, you will know why. The leaves of this species bear an eerie resemblance to that of dragon scales! The leaves have a light silver-green hue with dark green prominent venation. The primary and secondary veins are both dark green in color.
This species is the most compact of the Alocasia varieties, reaching a height of just 1.6 feet. The leaves grow up to 4 to 6 inches. The leaves have a soft, velvet feel with a matte finish.
These light shaded leaves can brighten up your office lounge or living room in a very real way! They thrive indoors as well as in outdoor spaces and do well in bright, indirect light.
They do well in an environment that is high in humidity. This makes it challenging to maintain this species indoors.
You should use a humidifier or mist the plants several times throughout the day for maintaining optimal humidity conditions. This may seem like too much maintenance work, but all that hard work will be worth it once you see how gorgeous the foliage looks.
#10. Alocasia Zebrina
If you are looking for an elegant alocasia variety that is an absolute show-stopper, look no further than the Alocasia Zebrina!
It comes with the typical arrow-shaped leaves that are light and bright green in color. You will notice that these plants are missing the prominent white veins running throughout the leaf.
Are you for something exotic and different? The Alocasia Zebrina sports black and yellow zebra patterns along the stalks, giving the plant its name. They grow up to 3 feet in height and have a similar width.
These plants do well indoors as well. They appreciate bright indirect sunlight, high humidity, and a well-draining potting mix.
#11. Alocasia Reginula Black Velvet
The Alocasia Reginula or Black Velvet is a great option if you are looking for a plant that is dark and stunning. It offers a range of choices as the suede-like leaves range from very dark green to black, making a striking contrast with the veins that are a vivid silvery-white.
The texture is velvety, and the leaves are heart or arrow-shaped. These plants are super compact, rarely growing taller than 20 inches.
Watch out for anthurium-like blossoms of groups of three that add a lovely addition to this regal alocasia variety!
This species appears a whole lot thicker and sturdier than other varieties, and so you must let the soil for the plant dry out more thoroughly. This way, the roots are properly aerated.
They detest direct sunlight, so that is something you should avoid. On the other hand, they adore warm and humid conditions.
#12. Alocasia Cucullata – Hooded Dwarf
The hooded dwarf Alocasia is commonly called the Buddha’s Hand. If you have ever visited Thailand, you must have noticed these plants at Buddha temples around the country.
Magnificent to look at and with a glossy finish, they are known to bring great fortune!
This variety features a long, green stem with sturdy, prominent veins at the underside of the leaves. So, what about the leaves? The heart-shaped leaves are shimmering and upright, and the leaf margins are curvy and upturned.
You will be delighted with how fast they grow, however, they grow only up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet across.
This type of alocasia flourishes in the bright, indirect sun to almost totally shaded spots. The soil should be well-draining so that there is no fungal infection.
#13. Alocasia Wentii (Rubra)
The Alocasia Wentii is commonly called hardy elephant ears as these are cold tolerant and pretty easy to grow. It can grow up to 3 to 4 feet, and the leaves can grow up to 12 inches in length to create a lovely canopy.
The most striking aspect of this variety is the jeweled rich green shade with contrasting reddish-purple underneath. The older the plants, the more apparent the colors are.
They make for a pretty neat indoor addition, thanks to their oval shape.
They thrive in bright indirect sunlight. You should also strive to keep the soil moist along with regular misting to give the plant the best chance of thriving.
#14. Alocasia Cuprea Red Secret
The secret behind the appeal of Alocasia Cuprea is their stunning metallic sheen, coppery look, coppery-green and silver shimmering leaves with dark green primary veins and reddish tones on the underside. The tropical vibes of this species are unmistakable!
They grow up to 3 feet in height and an equal width. These plants love high humidity, so you will find them doing great in a terrarium. You can put them up in well-draining soil to give them a great chance of survival.
#15. Alocasia Lauterbachiana Purple Sword
If you see these plants, you will have no doubts as to why they are called purple swords.
The long, narrow and shiny green leaves have the distinct appearance of a sword, which is the most attractive feature of this plant. The underside of the leaves is marked by copper tones with shades of purple. (It’s one of the plants with green and purple leaves).
These plants grow up to 4 feet in height and 3 to 4 feet across. The leaves are rather narrow and stay a mere 2 inches in width in contrast to other varieties of Alocasia that grow in width almost as much as they grow in height.
They prefer well-draining loose, loamy soil and humid temperatures. They thrive best in bright, indirect light, so put them up in the brightest spot in your home.
Final Thoughts on Different Types of Alocasia Plants
If you are a plant enthusiast, the Alocasia is a must-have variety to spruce up your home, garden or patio. These plants are known for their impressive leaves, stunning foliage, bold markings, enormous stature and distinct foliage colors.
There are so many varieties of alocasias, and if you have a hard time picking one, we hope this guide made it easier for you! Good luck!