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The Alocasia Calidora, more commonly known as the ‘Elephant Ears plant’, is one of the biggest Alocasia plants. It is an excellent choice for those who like large plants with minimum care. Popular for its massive arrow-shaped leaves, it is a treat for sore eyes.
The Alocasia Calidora is a beautiful plant with typical houseplant needs. This tropical-looking beauty should ideally be placed in bright, dappled sunlight close to a tinted window or door.
The plant prefers room-temperature water thrice a week and peat-moss and perlite soil mixes. The Alocasia Calidora plant likes being fed twice or thrice a week during the growing seasons.
The Alocasia Calidora plant is native to the tropical and subtropical areas of Asia and Eastern Australia. The Alocasia species primarily belongs to the Araceae family. This Alocasia plant has various names, including Taro and Elephant Ears.
In Borneo, the Alocasia Calidora plants are widely cultivated. The tropical species can grow up to 13 ft. (4 m) and has over 79 known species.
Due to its striking looks and vintage vibe, it is now grown as an ornamental plant; however, the decorative form is inedible.
- 1 Alocasia Calidora Plant Care
- 2 Common Problems for Alocasia Calidora
- 3 Tips for Growing Alocasia Calidora
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions About Alocasia Calidora
- 5 Conclusion
Alocasia Calidora Plant Care
Alocasia Calidora grows best in a chunky soil mix using perlite, peat moss, and some potting mix. Water frequently but make sure the soil does not get soggy or stay overly wet in-between waterings. Bright filtered light and temperatures between 61 to 81 Fahrenheit (16 to 27 degrees Celsius) are best. An optimal humidity range is between 60% to 80%. Fertilize frequently using an organic fertilzer.
For any plant to reach its full potential in terms of size and growth, it must be grown in the ideal soil mix. In the case of the Alocasia Calidora plant, well-drained and moist soils are the right choice. Any soil that holds excessive water or is too dry will cause significant plant damage.
I recommend using porous, chunky, and airy soils for your Alocasia Calidora plant as it does not hold excess water. The soil should have considerable aeration with good draining characteristics. An excellent choice is an equal mix of amended aroid and organic, good-quality fertilizer.
Moreover, you can add compost, perlite, or peat moss into the potting mix. If the soil seems too weighty to you, I suggest adding some sand, but not too much. This will help you make just the correct type of soil texture for your Elephant Ears plant.
The best pH level for your Alocasia Calidora plant is slightly acidic to neutral (5.5 to 6.5). The acidity of the soil will help the Calidora plant absorb nutrients efficiently. Since this tropical beauty has moderate watering needs, do not overwater or under-water it.
I advise you to water your Alocasia Calidora plant’s soil only when its top few inches seem a little dry.
The gorgeous Alocasia Calidora plant has the watering needs of a typical houseplant. Since it has a tropical to subtropical nature, it prefers being watered every other day. However, avoiding extremes is a must, as frequent or inadequate watering can lead to several issues, such as yellow leaves and wilting.
Please allow your Alocasia Calidora plant’s soil to somewhat dry up before watering it. I suggest not to let it completely dry up nor be too wet. You can always check the Elephant Ears plant’s top 1 to 2 inches before you water it.
A good option to assess when to water the Alocasia Calidora plant is by using a moisture meter, a device that accurately measures the soil’s moisture content.
Checking the soil condition before watering will prevent you from overwatering and under-watering the plant. Both conditions can lead to significant damage, such as water-clogging and droopiness, respectively.
An essential water determinant of the Alocasia Calidora plant is seasons. Mostly during the dry, warm days of the growing seasons, spring and summer, your Calidora plant will require more water. On the contrary, its watering needs will decrease considerably during the dormant winter and fall seasons.
The Alocasia Calidora plant thrives in bright, filtered sunlight. The key to the best growth is to avoid the two extremes of complete shade and direct sun exposure. Exposure to harsh and continuous sunlight can cause leaf-scorching, while scarce sunlight can significantly limit new growth.
If you plan to place your Alocasia Calidora plant outdoors, please ensure that you put it in a partially lit area or move it to a partially-shaded location during the intense hours of the day.
If changing the plant’s spot is not possible, I suggest using a shade cloth to mellow the sunlight.
However, if you are growing the Alocasia Calidora plant as an indoor houseplant, place it close to a southwest or north-facing window; this allows just the right amount of sunlight to come into contact with the plant. Alternatively, you can grow the Calidora plant under artificial growing lights.
The Alocasia Calidora plant is usually easy to care for; however, it has a limited temperature tolerance due to its tropical nature. Most Alocasia plants tend to grow better in hot, humid environments as compared to cold, dry regions.
The ideal temperature range for the Alocasia Calidora plant is 61 to 81 Fahrenheit (16 to 27 degrees Celsius). The plants placed in temperatures below the ideal range may suffer from stunted growth or wilting. Likewise, temperatures that are above the mentioned range can lead to extensive, often irreversible, damage.
Typically, most households fall within this temperature range of 61 to 81 Fahrenheit. However, some may have different temperatures. If you reside in a very warm area, place your Alocasia Calidora in a cool and slightly dry area, preferably in an air-conditioned room.
On the other hand, if you are a resident of the colder regions, simply bring your Calidora plant inside during the winters and put it in a temperate and temperature-controlled room.
The main point is to protect your Alocasia Calidora plant from direct drafts of wind from heaters, air conditioners, windows, fans, etc.
As is expected from any tropical and subtropical species, the Alocasia Calidora plant enjoys high humidity. However, if you place your plant in a very humid environment for an extended period, it may fall prey to fungal diseases and pests.
The perfect humidity level for the Alocasia Calidora plant ranges from 60% to 80%. While this level is suitable for many Alocasia plants, it can be reasonably uncomfortable for an average household’s inhabitants. Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can establish the Calidora plant’s desired moisture levels.
A good organic way is to put the Calidora plant’s vase on a pebble tray filled with water. The water in the tray will evaporate and moisten the Elephant Ears plant’s surroundings. However, please keep in mind that the plant does not directly touch the water.
If you prefer using gadgets, you can purchase an indoor humidifier and add all the needed moisture in the air for your Alocasia Calidora plant.
For excellent growth, all plants require good-quality feed. Similarly, the Alocasia Calidora loves being fed with balanced organic fertilizers made particularly for its type.
There are several types of fertilizers available; however, the Alocasia Calidora plant thrives when fed with a slow-release fertilizer. I recommend feeding your Alocasia Calidora during all seasons except for the winter and late fall seasons; during this time, the plant is mostly dormant.
A rough feeding routine for the Alocasia Calidora plant, when using quick-release fertilizer, is two to three times a week during summer and spring.
In the case of a slow-release fertilizer, I suggest adding a sizeable amount about twice a month for the greatest results. Some feeds may have different timings; therefore, I strongly advise you to read the product package instructions.
My trick is to use a high-quality, balanced fertilizer containing significant amounts of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium. Please refrain from starving and over-feeding your Alocasia Calidora plant, as both can have severe consequences.
As discussed earlier, the Alocasia Calidora plant is fairly manageable and mostly trouble-free. Therefore, it does not need frequent repotting and, surprisingly, grows better when slightly root-bound.
I recommend you repot your gorgeous Alocasia Calidora in well-draining and well-aerated soil approximately once a year. The finest time for repotting the Calidora plant is the spring season when it has just started actively growing again.
However, if the Alocasia Calidora plant seems to have outgrown its current pot or has caught a fungal infection, you may need to change the potting mix or the entire container.
The Alocasia Calidora plants can be pruned easily with some pruning shears. Some reasons to prune it include massive size, uneven leaves, or fungal infections.
One compelling reason is the distorted or abnormal appearance of the Calidora plant’s leaves due to fungal infections and diseases. Instead of risking other parts, it is better to cut the affected leaves.
The Alocasia Calidora plant can drop a fair amount of leaves when unwell, especially during a pest or fungal attack. If you see any abnormally colored leaves, I recommend removing them as soon as possible. For precautionary measures, you can wipe the Calidora plant’s leaves with neem oil or water.
The occasional water spraying or oil cleaning can prevent dust and bacteria from settling on the Calidora plant’s foliage and vines.
Moreover, you may want to cut a few vines off your Alocasia Calidora plant to control its massive size. During pruning, always use clean pruning shears and carefully cut the unwanted or diseased leaves without damaging healthy foliage.
Ideally, propagate your Alocasia Calidora plant during the mid-spring or summer season. Please avoid propagating it in the winter season.
You can propagate the lovely Alocasia Calidora by the Rhizome method. Please ensure that all your gardening tools are clean and disinfected. Similarly, the blades should be sharp.
You will need an ideal potting soil, a sharp blade, and a bucket of water.
- Prepare a potting mix with the right potting soil, such as peat moss, and add some water to it.
- Next, remove a healthy Calidora plant vine from its pot and dust off the excess soil on its roots. You can use a gardening hose to remove the soil.
- When you see the Calidora plant’s roots, look for multiple clumps. Carefully split a few of the clumps with a clean knife or blade.
- A great benefit of some Alocasia plants is that the clumpy types have their root systems. Therefore, you do not have to put in extra effort for root development; they usually grow on their own.
- In a pot, put one of the cut clumps and rightly set its roots within the pot.
- Add some water into the Calidora plant’s In the case of chlorinated water, fill a bucket with it and leave it for about a day before adding it into the mix.
- Next, firm this mixture with your fingers. Ensure there is no excess water in the new Alocasia Calidora plant’s container.
- Put this container in a bright spot that receives ample filtered sunlight.
- Lastly, add some more water, if required, and wait till the Calidora plant grows.
- You can add some liquid fertilizer to promote growth.
It may take 6 to 8 weeks for the Alocasia Calidora plant to mature.
There are no blooms reported for this plant when grown indoors.
The Alocasia Calidora plant is mainly cultivated and grown for its beautiful arrow-shaped ribbed leaves that can grow up to 6-feet (72 inches) and spread 3-feet (36 inches) wide.
The Alocasia Calidora plant is a perennial and can reach a whopping height of 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3m) and spread to the same dimensions of 6 to 10 feet. The plant has lush, green showy leaves that are 6-feet (1.8m) in length and 3-feet (0.9m) in width.
The plant has a moderate growth rate and develops actively during the summer and spring seasons in USDA zones 10, 11, and 9.
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Common Problems for Alocasia Calidora
The Alocasia Calidora plant, though has a commendable appearance, can be fairly toxic to humans and animals. It has oxalate crystals that can cause facial swelling and irritation of the mouth and the gastrointestinal tract.
In extreme cases, it can also restrict the airway passage and lead to considerable breathing difficulty; this can be fatal for humans as well as animals.
Make sure to keep the Calidora plant away from children and pets.
Pests and Diseases
Alternatively, you can use neem oil to get rid of the mealybugs. This will also eliminate their eggs, if any, inhabiting the plant.
A common disease for the Alocasia Calidora plant is Xanthomonas. It often appears as black or dark brown spots on the upper and/or lower sides of Alocasia Calidora leaves with a yellow-colored rim around the spots.
Xanthomas can be avoided in Calidora by watering the plant only when considered necessary or when the top inches are slightly dry.
Likewise, do not drench the Alocasia Calidora plant’s roots in water, as this can also increase the probability of a fungal or bacterial attack.
The Alocasia Calidora plant may naturally lose some of its old or floppy leaves. This is mostly normal because the plant can only hold a certain number of leaves at any one time. Additionally, it can be a way for the Calidora plant to manage and distribute nutrition to its new foliage.
However, if your Alocasia Calidora plant is dropping an abnormal amount of leaves from quite a few locations, it may be diseased. Please reconsider its watering schedule and see if you are over or under-watering the plant. Alternatively, you can change its location to a brighter spot with partial sunlight.
Tips for Growing Alocasia Calidora
- Place the Calidora plant in bright filtered sunlight.
- Refrain from under-watering and overwatering the plant.
- Pot in well-draining soils with good aeration.
- Check the Calidora plant’s soil to assess when to water it.
- Please avoid placing it in harsh, undeviating sunlight.
- Use clean and disinfected tools on the plant only.
- Do not frequently repot the Calidora plant.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alocasia Calidora
Are Alocasia Calidora plants toxic?
The Alocasia Calidora plant’s stem and leaves usually contain a significant amount of oxalic acid, which can cause swelling and skin irritation. Therefore, it is better to keep children and pets away from the plant or strictly instruct them not to taste or ingest it.
Can I eat an Alocasia Calidora plant?
The Alocasia Calidora plant contains oxalic crystals, which are toxic. However, when cooked sufficiently, some types can be eaten as the heat breaks down the harmful substances. To prevent any possible mishaps, ask your local plant dealer before buying the Calidora plant.
Why are my Alocasia Calidora plant’s leaves turning yellow?
The Alocasia Calidora plant may develop yellow leaves due to under-watering or overwatering. Please water the plant only when its top inches are slightly dry. Moreover, keep the soil moist, not soaked or completely dried up.
Why are there spots on my Alocasia Calidora plant’s leaves?
You may be over-fertilizing your Alocasia Calidora plant, which leads to salt accumulation. Similarly, excessive usage of chlorinated water can also cause leaf-spotting. Feed the Calidora plant only when necessary, and apply chlorine-free water.
The Alocasia Calidora is a gorgeous green beauty, with massive ribbed leaves that can brighten up the dullest corners. It requires little care, such as filtered sunlight, water thrice a week and well-draining soils, and immense love.
Some Alocasia Calidora plant types are edible; however, most ornamental forms are toxic. Therefore, appreciate this tall green beauty from afar and keep your children and furry friends away from it.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.