There is a new hybrid in town, Alocasia Tiny Dancer. The dancing petioles make this plant stand out in your garden. Alocasia plants are admired for their stunning foliage. This Alocasia plant is distinguished for its upward-facing, cup-like leaves.
This is a small plant, unlike regular Alocasia plants. But it is gaining popularity because of the unique foliage. The leaf shape of Tiny Dancer resembles Alocasia Cucullata.
According to the International Aroid Society, this plant is awarded as the most unusual aroid. This plant originated from the United States, and it was first introduced in 2013. It was hybridized by LariAnn Garner.
It is a manageable plant because of the small size. This plant care guide thoroughly explains all requirements for this unique, new cultivar of the Alocasia genus.
Alocasia Tiny Dancer Care
This variety of Alocasia needs moderate care to thrive. You should use a well-draining potting mixture that contains peat moss, orchid bark, charcoal, perlite, and potting soil. Add water when the top 2-3″ of the soil surface are thoroughly dry. The indoor temperature should be between 65 to75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 – 23.8 degrees Celsius).
Make sure you do not use a highly porous mixture; otherwise, you will have trouble with water retention. This plant requires a moist but not waterlogged or soggy potting mixture.
You can create a homemade mixture using the following ingredients:
- Peat moss (20%)
- Potting soil (50%)
- Orchid bark and charcoal (20%)
- Perlite or shredded sphagnum moss (10%)
Do not allow the soil to get very dry; otherwise, it becomes compact and difficult to rehydrate.
If you would like to keep it outdoors, the most suitable USDA hardiness zone is 10-11. This plant will perform well if you plant it in March. You should take the pH test and make sure the soil pH is between 5.6 – 7.
This Alocasia enjoys plenty of moisture in the soil; therefore, never let the soil dry out completely. Overwatering is also detrimental for this plant, so be moderate in terms of watering.
A good balance for this plant is to water is often but in little quantity. Water your plant thoroughly after planting. But then allow the 2-3 inches below the topsoil surface to reach dryness.
The leaves can help you fix your watering schedule; therefore, pay attention to the leaf’s appearance. Yellow leaves mean overwatering, whereas brown tips mean under-watering.
This tropical plant can tolerate a range of lighting settings. In my opinion, partial sunlight is the best lighting condition for Alocasia Tiny Dancer. You can keep it in up to 80% shade.
According to other gardening experts, Alocasia Tiny Dancer prefers bright filtered sunlight but can also withstand low light. Most growers misinterpret ‘bright indirect light.’ It simply means you should place your plant next to bright light but use sheer curtains if the sun is falling directly.
Indoors an eastern or western light exposure is acceptable. If you want to grow it in a small corner of your office, you should use the help of fluorescent lights.
One light condition should always be avoided; direct sunlight because it will eventually scorch the gorgeous leaves.
The acceptable temperature range for this plant is between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 – 23.8 degrees Celsius).
However, your plant will be happier if you maintain the indoor temperature of your home close to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).
In cold weather, the minimum indoor temperature should not be lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius). This tropical plant will enter dormancy if it experiences a prolonged cold temperature.
One thing to always remember about this plant is that it loves humid environments. The average indoor air moisture levels should be 50% or higher for this tropical plant. Follow the guidelines given below:
- You have to place it away from the radiator and air conditioner.
- Mist the leaves regularly for better humidity around your plant.
- Use the help of a humidity pebble tray or humidifier for convenience.
Every houseplant needs a little extra help from your side in the form of fertilizers. You should start fertilizing the Alocasia Tiny Dancer in early spring and stop it in late August.
This plant requires fertilizer only during the growing phase. A diluted balanced fertilizer should be applied every two weeks. I have been feeding it with a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer that is diluted at half strength.
Alocasia Tiny Dancer should be repotted only if it becomes root-bound. Ideally, spring is the best season for repotting. You should refresh the potting soil while repotting.
The new pot should be one size bigger, use an organic soil mix but make sure the new pot has drainage holes.
Another reason for repotting is if your plant has outgrown its container.
Pruning is an essential part of plant care for houseplants. Alocasia Tiny Dancer should be pruned for the following reasons:
- To remove damaged and dead foliage for healthy growth.
- To encourage more leaves.
- To remove leaves or stems infected with fungal diseases or pests.
To protect your plant from bacteria, use sterilized cutters or shears. Do not wound the healthy parts of the plant while pruning. To protect yourself from allergies, wear protective gloves. Wash your hands with soap after handling the plant.
You can easily multiply your houseplants with propagation. The best method to propagate an Alocasia Tiny Dancer is through division.
Perform the propagation in early spring before the plant starts growing actively. This Alocasia cultivar has fleshy roots that grow from the rhizome.
- The root system consists of several clumps, and this Alocasia plant will also produce offsets. These offsets can be separated from the mother plant and planted in separate containers.
- Start by removing your plant from the pot. Gently shake and get rid of the soil around the rhizome.
- You can soak the root ball in water to dissolve the clumps of soil. Alternatively, use a water hose to remove excess soil.
- Use a disinfected pair of scissors to untangle the roots. Inspect carefully and remove all the damaged parts from the root system.
- Each rhizome clump has a separate root system, so it can be planted in its own container. After dividing the clumps, the next part is to decide if you want to do water or soil propagation.
- Water propagation is a decorative way to grow and multiply your houseplants. Mostly stem cuttings are grown in water, but the rhizome clumps can also be propagated in water.
- Choose a glass jar/container based on the size of the rhizome.
- Never use chlorinated water for propagation. Fill the jar with tap water and leave it for 1 day for chlorine dissipation. You can also add a mild dose of liquid fertilizer to the water to facilitate growth.
- Submerge the roots in water and place the jar in bright filtered sunlight. Direct sunlight is not good for water propagation because it facilitates algae growth.
- You can place the same clumps in a soil medium. Create a free-draining mixture using coco coir, perlite, and good quality potting soil.
- Water your Alocasia Tiny Dancer after planting and leave it under bright filtered light.
- Your newly propagated plant will take few weeks to adjust to the new location and produce new leaves.
- Continue the usual Alocasia Tiny Dancer plant care and wait for it to reward you with new leaves.
This cultivar is a non-blooming variety. Even if it blooms (mostly in spring only), the white flowers are not attractive.
This plant is a hybrid of Alocasia Brisbanensis (female parent) and Alocasia Odora (male parent). It has playful, wavy, but delicate petioles in lime green color, and each petiole has a folded green leaf at the end.
The leaves are shaped like a teardrop, and the leaf surface is glossy. This stemless variety has an upright growth habit.
This dwarf plant is great for container and landscape gardening.
The one growing in my indoor garden has reached a height of 14 inches (35.5cm) within few months, so I presume it is a fast grower. It can spread 11-18 inches (27 – 45.7cm).
This plant will eventually have a bushy look because the petioles grow at different times from different locations. Once it reaches maturity, it produces more leaves than any of the parent plant.
Parents Plants of Alocasia Tiny Dancer
Alocasia Brisbanensis – otherwise known as the Cunjevoi Lily. It is often grown as a feature plant in a tropical garden. It originates from Australia. The thick leaves on this plant are vibrant green with a glossy finish. It normally reaches a height of 5 ft. (1.5 m). In summer, it produces green-cream colored flowers that are perfumed.
Alocasia Odora – this plant is native to Asia and has other names like Night Scented Lily. It produces paddle-shaped leaves that point upwards. It also blooms in spring and summer. The flowers are pale peach in color. They have a very strong fragrance at night. This variety can grow 4-8 ft. (1.2 -2.4 m) high.
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Common Problems for Alocasia Tiny Dancer
Alocasia Tiny Dancer has a striking appearance, but it is vulnerable to certain pests and diseases. Some common problems are discussed in detail below.
If the leaves of your Alocasia Tiny Dancer have black or brown spots on the surface, your plant is infected, and the rhizome is rotting. These spots on the leaves also have a yellow rim around them. This disease can be prevented by
- Maintaining proper watering practices. This plant does not like over or under-watering.
- Watering your plant in the morning so that the foliage can dry during the day.
- Ensuring airflow around and near the Alocasia Tiny Dancer.
Mealybugs are tiny, waxy bugs resting or crawling on the undersides of the Alocasia Tiny Dancer leaves. You can also find them outside the pot or stems. Infected Alocasia plant will have white cotton mass.
They will damage your Alocasia Tiny Dancer by feeding on plant juices and causing yellow leaves or stunting. A heavy infection can prove deadly for your Alocasia plant.
Isolate the infected plant and spray with a mixture of warm water and soap every week. This will keep the pests away.
You can also use neem oil or ultra-fine insecticide oil for advanced infections. These two products will kill both the adults and the eggs of mealybugs.
Spider mites are tiny spiders that can damage foliar plants like Alocasia Tiny Dancer. You will find them on the lower leaf surface of your Alocasia Tiny Dancer.
They spin webs to protect themselves; hence the white webs are the first sign of a spider mite infection. You should also inspect the leaf joints of your plant because they can also hide there.
Another symptom of spider mites is yellow or bleached leaves of Alocasia Tiny Dancer.
For small infections, spider mites can be controlled with natural, non-toxic methods. The first step is to prune all the infected leaves. Then spray your infected Alocasia Tinny Dancer with soapy water. You can also use a sponge dipped in the dishwashing liquid solution.
To prevent spider mites on your Alocasia Tiny Dancer, thoroughly inspect your plant and maintain high humidity.
If you start noticing any black growth on the leaves of the Alocasia Tiny Dancer, you should be alarmed. This indicates the presence of sooty mold and some pest infection.
Once the sap-sucking pests are done feeding on your Alocasia Tiny Dancer leaves, they secrete honeydew, which is responsible for sooty mold growth. This mold is a fungus, but thankfully it does not threaten the life of your Alocasia plant.
You should start treating this fungus by eliminating all the pests that could be feeding on your plant. Neem oil or insecticidal soaps are safe for houseplants and can eliminate pests like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.
After removing the pests from your Alocasia, you should also remove the sooty mold. Wipe the infected foliage with a wet cloth to do this.
Tips for Growing Alocasia Tiny Dancer
- Always choose a planter that has at least one drainage hole.
- This plant cannot handle cold temperatures; the growth will suffer if the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius).
- If grown outside, Alocasia Happy Dancer should be shaded from the summer sun in the afternoon. But it certainly enjoys one or two hours of morning sunlight.
- Your soil mix should have plenty of peat because this variety prefers peat moss.
- You should never over pot the Alocasia Tiny Dancer. Planting it in a snug pot is a good idea.
- This tropical plant needs both warm temperature and humidity for good health.
- Feed your plant after planting or receiving it to help it transition to the new location. You can use any all-purpose foliar fertilizer to feed the Alocasia Tiny Dancer.
- This tender perennial is not frost hardy.
- Your plant will need more water in growing months. But avoid giving extra water to the young Alocasia Tiny Dancer because it can rot the rhizome.
- Although any fertilizer is suitable, slow-release fertilizer is the best choice for this plant.
Frequently Asked Questions about Alocasia Tiny Dancer
What is the average height of the Alocasia Tiny Dancer as an indoor plant?
This Alocasia variety can easily get 12-14 inches high as an indoor plant.
I have trouble maintaining high humidity for this plant; what is the best indoor location for it?
You should place it in your bathroom because they are the most humid area of any household.
My Alocasia Tiny Dancer is not producing new leaves, and old ones are yellowing; why is that?
Your plant is not getting adequate sunlight. You should also monitor the moisture content in the soil. Because the soil might be drying very fast if you are using an extremely porous mixture.
Are the leaves toxic to humans and pets?
Similar to other Alocasia varieties, this plant is also toxic if ingested by a pet or human. I would advise you to keep it at a high location, preferably on a bookshelf or a table.
Why does my Alocasia Tiny Dancer have brown spots on the leaves?
Check your plant for overwatering. Brown leaf spots and other damages to leaf tissue occur when the soil remains moist and stale for too long. Low sunlight is another reason for leaf spots.
How can I avoid fungal diseases on my Alocasia Tiny Dancer?
Do not let your plant remain soggy if you want to avoid fungal diseases, stem rot, or rhizome rot.
What should I do if my Alocasia Tiny Dancer enters dormancy?
If your plant enters dormancy, shift it to a warmer area and withdraw watering until it starts growing again. You should also stop fertilizing because the plant is not growing; no extra nutrients are needed.
How many hours of sunlight during summer are best for Alocasia Tiny Dancer?
Four hours of indirect bright sun is best for this plant. But the foliage of this plant is very sensitive to sun damage, so never place in sunlight for a very long period, especially the direct sun.
This plant is becoming popular among plant collectors because of the artistic look. This plant can add life to any dull space with its dancing leaves. It is a terrific plant for terrariums. Simple plant care and an unusual appearance can make this plant a favorite of any gardener.
This plant is not only new but also rare to find. For a happy Dancer Plant, give it partial sunlight and a moist potting mixture. Keep it indoors in a windowsill or outdoors on the patio; it can surely grab the attention of anyone.
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.