Growers are interested in growing African Mask Plants indoors because they have beautiful flowers. They are very easy to grow and produce large amounts of fruit, which can be eaten raw or cooked. The plants do not require much water and need little attention other than regular fertilizing. Alocasia indoor plant is tolerant of poor light conditions and does well with moderate temperatures (65F – 75F). However, it will thrive best if given adequate sunlight during the day time hours.
The seeds of African Mask Plants are very small and difficult to see when planted. They germinate quickly once the soil is moistened. The plants will only bear one seed per year from their first bloom until the last blooms in their second season. Once the plant reaches its third season, it will stop producing new fruits altogether, but it may continue to produce leaves and stems.
The plant’s stem can be used for various purposes such as hanging baskets or trays, etc..
African Mask Plant Alocasia Indoor Planting
Growing African Mask Plants indoors is fairly simple. You will need a sunny location with at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sun each day. If you live in a cold climate, you may want to consider growing them outside where they will receive some warmth and protection from winter weather. For indoor growers, the ideal temperature range for African Mask Plants is between 55 F and 70 F.
They can tolerate temperatures as low as 40 F – 50 F.
The plants should be watered well with room temperature water each week. You can place them outside in the summer and grow them outdoors in a shady location if you want to save yourself some work. The soil needs to be kept moist, but not drenched on a regular basis. They are susceptible to root rot if the soil is kept too wet or too dry, so it is important to find a happy median.
The plant will require some fertilizing about once every 2 to 3 months. You can use a time released fertilizer or use one specifically made for foliage plants. Follow the directions carefully to avoid burning the plant’s roots and foliage.
Propagating African Mask Plant is not too difficult. The plant prefers a rich well-draining soil, but will survive in normal potting soil. The soil should be kept moist, but not soggy while growing them. The soil should be kept moist during the first season.
Afterward, the plant will do best with a water soluble fertilizer about once every 2 to 3 months.
The plant should be fertilized at the beginning of its first year and then after each bloom cycle until it stops producing flowers or leaves. It can be difficult to get African Mask Plant to re-flower. One way is to prune the stem near the bottom and remove some of the bottom leaves. This can trick it into blooming again.
Another method is to move it into a longer day length. While it does just fine in normal house lighting, some growers have reported success with placing the plant outdoors for a few days to a week each month as the days start getting longer in spring.
You can always discard the African Mask Plant once it begins to look ratty and brown and get yourself a new one.
African Mask Plant Care Questions?
Other Options To Consider
There are many varieties of plants that can produce “fuzz” on their foliage. Some good ones for you to choose from include the following:
Cast Iron Plant – As the name suggests, this variety is very hardy. It will thrive in almost any condition and is one of the more common varieties of plants used for “fuzz” in decorating.
Elephant’s Foot – Another common one with a charming name. The leaves are shaped like an elephants foot giving it the name.
Fur Plant – The fur covering on this plant is softer than the other varieties of course. It can be used in decorating to give a nice accent, particularly in a kitchen or bath area.
Pony Tail Palm – This plant has a more tropical look and feel to it.
You might enjoy some of these plants as much or more than African Mask. They all have their own unique qualities.
Make sure to read labels and do your homework. Buying a plant that has a fuzzy look to it does not necessarily mean it is going to be an African Mask Plant. There are many other plants out there that have a similar quality. You can always do a search online or at your local library to find pictures of all the different varieties available.
You want to end up with the plant that has the qualities that are right for you.
Also, be sure to check the laws in your area concerning the African Mask Plant. Some locations have outlawed it completely so if you are not a felon you should be fine.
Sources & references used in this article:
Phytosanitary state of ornamental plants in greenhouse by A Stankevičienė – The vital nature sign [electronic resource]: 12th …, 2018 – vdu.lt
Characterization of transpiration rates for different indoor plants in interior design application by YM Su, CH Lin, YC Wu – Advanced Science Letters, 2013 – ingentaconnect.com
Plants for tropical landscapes: a gardener’s guide by R McCreary – 2006 – Storey Publishing
Taxonomic revision of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. dieffenbachiae strains and pathogenicity on Araceae plants by FD Rauch, PR Weissich – 2000 – books.google.com
The A to Z of plant names: a quick reference guide to 4000 garden plants by EC Constantin – 2017 – biblio.ugent.be
Interior landscape dictionary by AJ Coombes – 2012 – books.google.com
Key West Gardens and Their Stories by J Steele – 1992 – books.google.com
The wet and the dry: irrigation and agricultural intensification in Polynesia by P Blanc – 2008 – WW Norton & Company