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Alocasia Black Velvet Care – #1 Best Guide

The Alocasia Black Velvet – also known as the Alocasia Reginula – is a miniature Alocasia known for its stunning foliage. It gets its name from the dark velvety appearance of the leaves, which are offset by the striking white veins. 

Alocasia is a genus of 80 tuberous species according to NC State Extension.

Like many variants of Alocasia, the ‘Black Velvet’ needs a special care regimen, and can sometimes be a little particular. The good thing is that once you know the main aspects, you will be able to manage this beautiful little plant just fine. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Care

The Alocasia Black Velvet grows best in a temperature range between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit (21-27 degrees Celsius). The ideal humidity lies at 65%. The soil will need to be well draining and needs to retain moisture. Water lightly about once a week when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry. Bright indirect sunlight is best.

Alocasia Black Velvet Care
Alocasia Black Velvet Care

Alocasia Black Velvet Care In a Nutshell

LightBright indirect light
WateringWeekly, once the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry
SoilWell draining aroid soil that holds moisture
Temperature 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit (21-27 degrees Celsius)
Humidity65%
PropagationBy separating the underground rhizome
RepottingOnce a year
Growth Height: 20 inches (50 centimeters) Leaves: 3 – 4.7 inches (8 – 12 centimeters)
FertilizerOnce a month in spring and summer. 1/2 of suggested strength. Every two months in winter.
ToxicityToxic to animals and humans
Alocasia Black Velvet Care Overview

Alocasia Black Velvet Care Guide

Alocasia Black Velvet Light

Found in the lush rainforests of Asia, the Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ is specifically native to the Borneo jungle environment.

As such, in the wild, it is exposed to dappled or shaded light under the canopies. You will want to recreate this environment as best you can for your ‘Black Velvet’ Alocasia. 

The best way to do this in the home environment is to place it in a sunny room but away from the window, so that it receives bright but indirect sunlight.

Be careful of direct light or how the sun approaches your windows at different times of the year as any sudden exposure can damage the leaves. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Watering

For watering, the same principles need to be applied in order to ensure the Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ feels at home. You want to recreate the natural environment. For this tiny plant, this means being watered lightly but regularly. 

This is important in order to keep the soil constantly moist without becoming waterlogged. You can achieve this by ensuring you are watering lightly and holding back if you feel the soil is becoming dense with water. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Soil

The soil conditions too will need to support the particular needs of this exotic plant. You need soil that can retain moisture but without becoming waterlogged. Make your own mix to suit your Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ by combining standard potting soil with peat or sand. 

That will give it the consistency it needs to facilitate good drainage. This is key, as whilst the Alocasia species enjoys moist soil, it can also be susceptible to root rot if exposed to excessive water for prolonged periods. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Temperature

The Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ craves warmth, especially in the summer months. So, temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal. In the summer, it really wants to be in an environment that approaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Be careful with lower temperatures, below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and the plant will go dormant. Extremely low temperatures will damage its growth.

Alocasia Black Velvet Flowers

The Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ does flower on occasion, although this is not the main reason for purchasing the plant. The Alocasia species is prized for its beautiful leaves, and none are perhaps as striking as those on the Black Velvet. 

So dark they are almost purple, the leaves are the key feature. So flowering is usually a side event, and the flower is usually unspectacular anyway.

Many Alocasia owners remove the flower at the first sign, as it can cause the plant to divert energy from the leaves for a while. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Humidity 

One of the key factors you need to monitor if you have an Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ is the level of humidity in your home.

This is a tropical plant, at home in the rainforests, and so it requires high levels of humidity. This means levels that are at least 60%, but ideally, the plant is most comfortable at around 70% humidity. 

This can be a challenge for you, especially during the winter months, as the air usually becomes quite arid if you are using radiators.

Help your plant by placing it in a more humid environment – such as the bathroom – and mist the leaves regularly. If it is struggling you may need to consider a humidifier. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Propagation

The Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ is best propagated by the division of the underground rhizome system. In the wild, these will grow out from the mother plant to around 20 centimeters below the ground. 

Of course, your containerized Black Velvet will likely have a smaller rhizome system, and it is from these that you will need to propagate.

It is also possible to propagate the Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ from seeds, however, this is a slow process. The rhizome splitting method will give you faster results. 

To begin, ensure it is the right time for propagation. Doing it in the winter, when the plant is dormant, will not bring any success. Wait until spring is showing its first signs, then get ready. 

Take your Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ from its pot and gently shake off the extra soil around the roots. At this point, you should take the opportunity to check the root system of the mother plant is in good condition and not showing any signs of fungal infections or entanglement. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Plug Plant
Alocasia Black Velvet Plug Plant

Next, inspect the rhizome system. These look like clumps of ginger, and you will be able to see where the best place is to cut them. Use a clean knife or cutting instrument – and ensure you are wearing gloves – to remove the rhizome of your choice. 

Next, it is time to plant it. You need a potting mix that will create the conditions the new plant needs in order to thrive. Mixing standard potting mix with coco coir is a good option. 

Once ready, place your rhizome into the soil and give it a light drink. Place your new plant in an area that gets bright but indirect sunlight. Then, follow the same regimen you have for the mother plant. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Repotting

It is good practice, once a year, to check your plant to see if it needs to be repotted.  Even if it doesn’t, it is a good opportunity to check the soil and the root system, to verify if the plant is getting cramped or not.

Lift it out gently, and if the roots are restricted or if they were poking through the drainage, it is time to graduate your plant up a pot size. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Growth

The Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ is a little mini Alocasia! The maximum height it will grow will not be more than 20 inches (50 centimeters), although 12 inches (30 centimeters) is the norm. Leaves can reach about 3 – 4.7 inches (8 – 12 centimeters). 

So you won’t find the Black Velvet taking over your living space. If you have a bigger room to fill, such as one with vaulted ceilings or a large hall, the Alocasia ‘Dark Star’ may be one to consider.

Alocasia Black Velvet Fertilizer

Fertilize Alocasia Black Velvet once a month in spring and summer and reduce fertilizing in autumn and winter to every other month.

Dilute regular houseplant fertilizer to 1/2 its strength.

Alocasia Black Velvet Toxicity 

The Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ is toxic to both animals and humans. So, you need to keep it away from any animal or child that is likely to try to explore it. When handling the plant, especially during propagation, make sure you wear gloves. 

Watch out for signs and symptoms of inhalation or exposure. This would likely include burning or tingling, swelling of the airways and in extreme cases death. If you think there has been an exposure in your household make sure you contact a vet or doctor promptly. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Leaf
Alocasia Black Velvet Leaf

Common Problems with the Alocasia Black Velvet

Following this care guide will take you a long way to keeping your Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ happy. But, the plant can be known to be a little fussy, so it is key you know how to address any problems quickly. 

Luckily, the majority of them are easy to fix and cause only temporary damage to the leaves. But, since the leaves are the prize feature, this can be upsetting for collectors. Let’s look at the main issues that the Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ can experience and how to address them. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Crisping Leaves 

Crisping or curling leaves can be a sign of either under watering or low humidity. Check firstly that the soil is maintaining a degree of moisture. If not, you need to increase your watering regimen. If the soil is indeed moist enough, then check on the humidity levels in your home. 

Levels at under 60% would be too low, and can mean that the plant is not able to replace the moisture lost through the leaves. Try misting the leaves daily or moving the plant to a more humid location such as a bathroom 

Alocasia Black Velvet Low light levels

The Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’, like other Alocasia variants, will ‘search for light’. If it is not getting adequate levels, then it will start to droop down at the stem in a bid to search for it. 

 This can make your plant look misshapen and sad. Make sure you have your Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ as close to the window as possible without it being in direct sunlight. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Root Rot and Overwatering

If your plant is wilting, looking insecure in the pot ,or soft around the base, you will need to check for root rot. This is a problem common to many plants and is caused by too much water content in the soil. 

This seals up the air pockets and saturates the roots, which in turn means they don’t absorb any water. The damp environment gives rise to fungal infections which, if not treated properly, will likely result in the death of the plant. 

Make sure the soil is moist but not saturated, that there is no water pooling in the soil and that you do not let the plant sit in a plate of water. 

Alocasia Black Velvet Insects and pests

The Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ can also get its fair share of unwanted visitors. Mealybugs are one of the most common pests to be found on the plant.

They breach the protective outer layer of the plant and feast on the plants’ nutrients. Apart from causing the leaves to look unsightly, they can also spread infections. 

If you notice white spots forming on the leaves you should also check for spider mites. Take action to remove any signs of infestation. You can start by trying to hose or rinse them off or using a soapy water mix. If that doesn’t work you may need to use a light pesticide. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Alocasia Black Velvet

Why are the leaves on my Alocasia Black Velvet crispy?

This is usually related to the humidity levels in the home. The leaves lose water during the day at different rates, depending on how humid the room is. 

If the environment is particularly arid – for the Alocasia, arid means any levels less than 60% – then the roots won’t be able to replace the water lost quickly enough. Check the humidity levels and rectify if necessary, try misting the leaves and make sure the plant is getting adequate water. 

My Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ isn’t flowering. Why?

If you are looking for a flowering plant, the Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ might not be the one for you. Whilst the plant does flower on occasion, the display is often unspectacular and often occurs at the detriment of the leaves. 

For that reason, many Alocasia lovers prefer the plant not to flower. Flowering will happen when the plant is in optimal conditions, but is not guaranteed. So, don’t hang your hat on this plant bringing you flowers and focus on the beautiful leaves as the main attraction instead.

Conclusion About Alocasia Black Velvet Care

The Alocasia Black Velvet does best in bright indirect light and temperatures between 70-90 °F (21-26 °C).

Use a well-draining aroid soil that holds moisture well and water lightly once the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry. Fertilize monthly in spring and summer and every 2 months in winter and autumn.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.