The Alocasia Black Velvet is a plant that has beautiful, velvet-looking black leaves and an interesting shape.
A complete step by step guide to Alocasia black velvet care for beginners
Its elegant appearance adds a touch of magic to any home, but because of its unusual color, it works particularly well for plant parents who are looking to add warmth to the room.
Growing only 30 – 40 cm, this plant baby doesn’t require much space – it’s the perfect addition to a lonely desk, apartment living room, or a snuggly bedroom.
While they’re beautifully unique, there are many factors that determine how healthy your Alocasia reginula black velvet plant will be. If you’re new to owning one yourself or if you’re looking for tips on how to care for the Alocasia black velvet plant, then this guide will help.
Alocasia Black Velvet Indoor Care Tips
Those of you living in warmer climates will be happy to know that these plants can be kept inside.
While they do crave the heat of summer, they also need to be protected from direct sunlight – keeping them outdoors in a shaded area is ideal only if it’s warm.
If you plan on purchasing one of these beauties to keep indoors, discover the tips and tricks for creating a thriving environment for your plant below.
Alocasia Black Velvet Light Requirements
Native to the Southeast Asian jungle floors, the Alocasia varieties developed survival tactics for the low amounts of light they received. The striking black leaves play a role in gathering light that creeps through the canopy of trees.
Placing your black Alocasia in the sun isn’t going to do anyone any favors. As tempting as leaving these plants on the windowsill is, they’ll shy away from direct sunlight.
Moderate, indirect light is the way to their heart. While bright light is a requirement, they can handle higher levels of gloom than their sibling Alocasias.
Signs Your Alocasia Black Velvet Needs More Light?
These velvet plants have evolved to be light searchers. You’ll notice that your plant isn’t getting enough light when it starts to droop. Its once gloriously shaped leaves will soon start to look misshapen. If this is the case, try and get your plant closer to a window without leaving it in the direct sunlight.
Alocasia Black Velvet Temperature Requirements
The velvet elephant ear plant prefers temperatures of 59-80ºF (15-27ºC), similar to that of the jungle.
In summer, it particularly loves days when temperatures reach 80ºF (26ºC) – but remember not to place them in the direct light.
Winters can be a challenging time for your little plant. Homes that feature indoor heating mean that your plant won’t have too hard of a time adjusting to the cooler temperatures.
It becomes a concern when temperatures fall below 55ºF (13ºC). If this is the case, keep your plant away from drafts or open windows.
Alocasia Black Velvet Humidity
Along with keeping your plant moderately warm, you’ll need to keep an eye on humidity levels – it’s a key factor for Alocasias.
Humidity levels below 50-40% put your plant at risk of foliage damage. The ideal range is between 60-75%.
How Often Do You Water Alocasia Black Velvet?
These babies are prone to root rot, so keeping a strict watering schedule is a must for keeping them happy. You’ll also want to mimic their natural environment – this means watering them regularly, but only lightly.
Aim at keeping the soil slightly moist (definitely not wet) and avoid letting it dry out completely.
A simple rule is to let the first 2 inches become slightly dry before watering next. You can use your finger to test the soil every couple of days to get into the proper watering routine.
Cleaning Alocasia Black Velvet
Because your Alocasia Alocasia reginula black loves to be misted, you can use this as the perfect opportunity to give the leaves a gentle wipe.
When the leaves gather too much dust, it prevents them from “breathing”. A soft cloth is all you need to keep their velvety appearance looking dazzling.
Alocasia Black Velvet Soil Requirement
Soil plays an essential part in keeping up the health of this exotic plant intact. You’ll need soil that will accommodate the moisture levels that the plant needs and one that drains well.
Take the time to make combined soils to give your plant the best environment for its roots. This’ll involve combining coarse, free-draining potting soil with something like orchid bark.
This provides the perfect consistency for draining while allowing the soil to hold water.
How to Care For Alocasia Black Velvet in Winter?
Knowing that these plants come from the jungle, you can understand why they might be a little iffy about frigid winters.
During the colder months, you can give your black velvet Alocasia a little bit of extra TLC to keep them in good spirits.
Humidity in Winter
Winter is when you’ll need to be paying the most attention to your home’s humidity levels. If you use a radiator to keep warm, it’ll be important to note that these heat warming devices suck up the air’s water levels.
Help your plant out by placing them in the bathroom. Shower time means that the bathroom is filled with humidity.
You can also invest in a humidifier as a quick and easy way to keep humidity levels in check.
Does Your Alocasia Black Velvet Need Sunlight in Winter?
The black velvet elephant ear remains dormant in winter, but it’ll still need to receive as much light as possible.
Like mentioned earlier, you can situate your plant where there is the brightest light, without it being directly on its leaves.
Alocasia Black Velvet Growth Cycle
The Alocasia plant will grow happily and healthy in well-looked after situations. You won’t need to be tending to the plant constantly, and yet with small and simple acts, you’re providing a wonderful environment for your plant to thrive.
You’ll notice a steady increase in growth during the warmer months, but that’s not to say that there will be much growth.
They tend to take their time when they grow, remaining compact even once they’ve reached maturity.
If you feel as though you’d like to encourage your plant’s growth, take note of your lighting. Your Alocasia will languish or be spindly if there is too much dim or artificial light.
Alocasia Black Velvet Re-Potting Requirement
An Alocasia likes to sit nice and snuggly in its pot. They would rather grow in a smaller pot than sit all alone in a pot that’s way too big for them.
A pot that’s too big will also stunt your plant’s growth. When the pot is too big, it’ll also hold more water than the plant’s relatively simple root system can handle.
If necessary, you’d only need to repot your Alocasia every year or two. You’ll know if your plant needs to be repotted if the roots are poking through the drainage. It’s best to repot in spring and only increase the pot one size every year or two.
Even if you don’t need to repot your plant, it’ll still be a good idea to gently remove it from the pot and inspect its roots and soil.
Alocasia Black Velvet Flower
If you’re looking to add a burst of color to your house, don’t expect to find vibrance from the Alocasia black velvet.
Its luxurious black leaves are the prized possession, and it’s unlikely you’ll be enjoying a blossom.
On the occasion that your house plant decides to flower, you can expect to find a single pale-yellow blossom.
It’s not much to look at and many plant parents will remove the flower at an early stage, as it detracts nutrients from the plant resulting in less spectacular black leaves.
Alocasia Black Velvet Pruning
Your Alocasia Reginula will grow its new and healthy leaves from the center of the plant. Therefore, it’s only necessary to prune the outer leaves.
All you need to do is trim off the dead outer leaves with some garden scissors and you’re good to go! If they’re really dead, you can even remove the leaf with your hands.
Alocasia Black Velvet Fertilizer
During the growing season, it’s essential that you give your baby fertilizer to ensure that they’re receiving all of the necessary nutrients.
It’s a food-hungry plant so you’ll notice the difference straight away if you don’t provide the plant with a balanced fertilizer. During the dormant winter season, the plant won’t need any.
A couple of handfuls of worm castings will be a wonderful treat for your Alocasia as it supports a strong microbial population.
Dry vs. Overwatered Alocasia Black Velvet
Naturally, the warmer months require you to increase watering to stop your plant from drying out. If you’ve noticed your plant looking a little sad and droopy, give the soil a feel and see if it’s dried out.
When you water a dry Alocasia, give it a good douse of water and then let it drain properly. This’ll ensure that the nutrients at the top can be carried through to the bottom of the plant.
To prevent a drowning Alocasia, give the soil some time to breathe after a big water. Signs of an overwatered plant are wilting leaves and a soggy base. In extreme cases, water will start pooling in the soil. This is a big no-no for any Alocasia as it leads to root rot.
Alocasia Black Velvet Common Problems
All plants have their own issues, and it’s not something you should fear when investing in a new plant baby.
The Alocasia is no different; you just need to be aware of some of the common problems and know how to handle them. And the good news is, problems can be fixed fuss-free when identified early.
Following this velvet plant care guide goes a long way in keeping them happy and problem-free.
Alocasia Black Velvet Root Rot
The infamous root rot, the leading killer of our beloved household plants. An indication of root rot is yellowing and wilting leaves.
The easiest way to dodge this culprit is to avoid excessively wet living conditions for your plant. Along with an effective watering schedule, adequate drainage is essential. They need enough oxygen around their roots and soggy soil prevents this.
Overpotting also leaves your plant vulnerable to root rot. So, remember to keep your plant snug in their pot and only repot when necessary.
Insect invasions aren’t something you need to spend too much time worrying about. They aren’t prone to pest infestations, but that’s not to say that they are immune.
Mealybugs can make a comfortable home on the Alocasia leaves – they enjoy warmth and moisture.
They can cause stress to your plant as they steal all of the important nutrients from breaching the leaf and spreading infection.
If you notice an early infestation, you can use warm water with a little bit of liquid soap to softly clean off the leaves. If this doesn’t work, you may need to use a light pesticide.
Alocasia Black Velvet Dropping Leaves
Drooping or dropping leaves of an Alocasia should never be ignored. And guess who the usual culprit is? Yet again, overwatering can be the lead cause in a sad little house plant.
But the tricky thing with dropping leaves is that it could also be a sign of a number of things. Underwatering, stress, low humidity, and low light can also cause leaves to flop.
The methodological approach to determining what the exact cause is is to assess all conditions and take the necessary steps mentioned in this post to neutralize the conditions.
Alocasia Black Velvet Leaves Turning Yellow
Yellow leaves are a common occurrence with all indoor plants. The tricky thing is knowing exactly what causes the yellowing.
Yellowing can affect the whole plant, some parts of the plant, or just the tips. Below are the common causes of yellow leaves:
- Overwatering or insufficient drainage
- A pot that is too big
- Low humidity
- Low lighting
- Temperature extremes
- Fertilizer issues
Alocasia Black Velvet Brown Spots
Now that we know that Alocasias enjoy humid environments, an Alocasia struggling with humidity levels will develop crispy brown edges on their luscious black leaves.
Fertilizer burn and underwatering can cause the tips of the plant to turn brown. You’ll need to watch out for your plant developing brown spots on its leaves. Brown spots are also associated with fungal diseases and pests.
Alocasia Black Velvet Spider Mites
The nasty spider mites are the most common pests with black velvets. The good thing is that these tough plants are better than most at fending off the mites.
Spider mites would rather live-in dark, dry places, so keeping the humidity levels up is ideal for avoiding mites, and it also keeps your plant feeling clean and happy.
A weekly shower is an effective way to combat these pests and keep the humidity levels cranked up.
Alocasia Black Velvet Propagation
You can propagate your Alocasia black velvet by seed, division of the rhizome roots, or by separating offsets.
- Seed: Growing the seed is possible, but you’ll need to be patient and they might not always be successful. To do so, you can remove the seed from the berry, soak it overnight and then plant it right away.
- Separating offers: The easiest propagation method is to remove an offset that is growing from the rhizome. You can gently remove it and plant it in a small pot with the soil from the parent plant.
- Division of rhizomes: Alternatively, you can let the rhizomes run wild, and trim them right before the summer starts. Divide the rhizomes into pots with soil collected from the parent plant. This is a wonderful way to accumulate a number of black Alocasias to scatter around the house.
Best Fertilizer For Alocasia Black Velvet
Buying a balanced fertilizer is the easiest way to ensure that your plant baby is getting enough energy from the soil.
If you opt to use an all-purpose fertilizer, take note of your plant’s size. These small plants don’t require as much as bigger ones; you can then half or quarter the dosage as necessary.
Best Pots For Alocasia Black Velvet
When it comes to finding a home for your plant, think simple. You don’t need to go all out, all you need is a pot plant with a sufficient drainage system.
A terracotta pot is another option – but you’ll need to be watering the plant a lot more often. The porous nature of the clay allows air and water to move through the walls which is a highly effective method to prevent root rot.
Best Alocasia Black Velvet Basket
You won’t plant your Alocasia directly in a basket. Rather you can use rustic woven baskets to add a touch of boho-chic to your home when you place your already potted plant in it.
The best part about them is that once your plant outgrows them, they can be repurposed as a laundry bin or picnic basket.
Best Soil For Alocasia Black Velvet
The Alocasia prefers slightly acidic soil – ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 pH. The soil should be coarse and allow sufficient drainage. It’s recommended that you test your Alocasia PH levels with an at-home testing kit.
Best Potting Mix For Alocasia Black Velvet
If you want to keep this house plant thriving, keep them in a potting mix that dries out completely before watering.
Picture the Alocasia growing in the jungle; you’d expect to find it nestled in moist soil with foliage and tree roughage. Here are some great additions to add to your plant’s soil:
- Sphagnum Moss
- Coco Coir
- Wood Chips
- Coarse Sand
Alocasia Black Velvet Best Products
Along with providing a comfortable living space in your home for your Alocasia, these are some additional products that’ll keep them flourishing for many years.
- A portable humidifier: Given that it’s portable, you can keep your plant hydrated no matter where in the room you choose to place it.
- Worm castings organic fertilizer: Your Alocasia won’t even know it’s not in the jungle with this nutrient-rich earthworm fertilizer.
- Kensizer soil tester: A 3-in-1 kit that tests the light, humidity, and pH levels in soil, which makes looking after indoor plants a walk in the park.
Alocasia Black Velvet Frequently Asked Questions
Of course, a new plant parent is going to have tons of questions if they’re interested in these velvety babies.
On top of this in-depth guide, here is some additional Alocasia plant information that may pop into your mind.
Is Alocasia Black Velvet Safe for Cats?
The Alocasia black velvet contains insoluble oxalate crystals. While the outside of the plant won’t cause cats any problems, chewing and biting releases the crystals which leads to irritation in a cat’s mouth and gastrointestinal system.
There are many common house plants that are toxic to cats, like certain species of the adorable bonsai.
However, take precautions in homing your plant away from your cat’s reach and you’ll be good to go!
Is Alocasia Black Velvet Rare?
The Alocasia black velvet is considered a rare houseplant – making it all the more special to become an addition to your home.
Depending on your country of residence, you can perform a quick online search to access if there are any sold in your area. And a visit to the local nursery also proves to be helpful and therapeutic.
Is Alocasia Black Velvet An Indoor Plant?
They prefer the humidity and warmth that being indoors brings. This also means that they’re less prone to sunburn, pest infestations, and too much rain.
While they thrive in Southeast Asian jungles, they’re not equipped to live outdoors in many countries.
How Do You Clean Black Velvet Leaves From Alocasia?
The Alocasia’s velvet leaves may seem intimidating to clean, but a simple wipe down with a damp cloth is all it takes to clean the leaves.
For a deep clean, rise the entire plant with non-toxic soapy water, including the stems. Give it a soft wipe and allow it to dry off.
Are Alocasia Black Velvets Poisonous?
This plant is toxic to humans and animals when ingested. Ingestion stimulates the release of the insoluble oxalate crystals that cause deep irritation.
But touching these beauties is completely safe, as long as you avoid putting them in your mouth.
How Big Does Black Velvet Alocasia Get?
The Alocasia black velvet is a relatively small houseplant, reaching no more than 30-40 cm. This makes it’s an ideal companion for small apartments, workspaces, and bedside tables.
Alocasia Black Velvet Care
Like the whole Alocasia family, the black velvet requires a special care regime. But it’s totally worth it when you consider how these babies look in our homes.
With black velvet leaves and white veins shining through, its exotic and elegant look is captivating.
Owning any houseplant is going to cost you some effort, so why not add the black velvet to your collection – it’s something totally unique and adorable to mix up your green color scheme.