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Alocasia Lauterbachiana Care – Purple Sword Guide for Beginners

The adorning Alocasia Lauterbachiana is an easy-to-care-for house plant. To help them look and feel their best, you need to ensure your plant’s temperature and humidity requirements are met and that they are placed in bright indirect sunlight.

Also known as Purple Sword or Elephant Ear, this tropical plant has long, spear-shaped, dark greenish-purple leaves with scalloped edges and reddish hues that are incredibly beautiful.

With their large leaves and interesting coloration, these evergreen plants are a unique Alocasia variety. Moreover, each leaf can grow as long as two feet, making them a must-have for any household for its beauty, shape, and size.

In this guide, we’ll cover all that there is to know about Alocasia Lauterbachiana plant care, some common problems plant parents may face, and the best solutions forward.

What is an Alocasia Lauterbachiana?

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Care

Alocasia Lauterbanchiana belongs to the Araceæ family, similar to the Monstera Deliciosa and the Philodendron Birkin from the Philodendron varieties. Other popular Alocasia families are Alocasia Cuprea and Alocasia Zebrina.

The evergreen, upright perennials are native to the tropical areas in Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and New Guinea.

Alocasia Lauterbanchiana’s are commonly known as Elephant Ears because of the beautiful, wavy edges of their leaves. Another familiar name for the plant is ‘Purple Sword’ because of the purple-colored veins in the center and undersides of the leaves.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Common Names

This type of Alocasia plant provides an easy illusion of an artificial perennial due to its sleek, waxy leaves, dual shades, and burgundy mottling on its stems. To get familiar with our beloved Alocasia Lauterbachiana, take a look at some of the popular names for the plant that you might come across. 

Allocasia Lauterbachiana names:

  • Purple sword
  • Silver Sword
  • Baroque Sword
  • Elephant Ear Lauterbachiana

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Indoor Care Guide

Alocasia’s thrive best in well-draining loose, loamy soil and should only be watered once the soil is dry. They also prefer humid temperatures, so an occasional misting every now and then will leave you with a happy plant. 

Let’s take a deeper look into their light, temperature, water requirements, and more to help our plants look and feel their best. Specifically speaking, let’s answer the question: ‘How do you care for Alocasia Lauterbachiana?’

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Light Requirements

Lauterbanchiana plants thrive best in bright, indirect light. The ideal location for your Alocasia is in the brightest place of your house. Long hours in direct sunlight can burn the plant’s delicate leaves, while too little sun can hinder its growth.

How Much Sun Does An Alocasia Need

Alocasia’s need sun, but not direct sun. The more sunlight the plant receives can make the leaves become brighter compared to those with a limited amount of sunlight.

A position with plenty of bright indirect light would be ideal, although a few hours of direct sun can also be beneficial to your plant.

Signs Your Alocasia Needs More Light

If it’s placed in a location that may lack sufficient light, you will find out fairly quickly. Brownish, yelling spots will start appearing on their beautiful leaves. Though the plant is not dying, it’s just stressed, and it will be fine once it receives more light.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Fertilizer Requirements

These elephant ear looking plants are heavy feeders and especially enjoy liquid fertilizers during their growing season. You can fertilize every four drinks of water or every two weeks with a well-balanced liquid fertilizer, during the spring and summer. Reduce fertilizing to every six weeks in the colder months.

Note: Avoid RTU (Ready to Use) products without providing your plant with water beforehand, as this could put your beloved Alocasia at risk of chemical root burn.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Soil Requirements

Just like other Alocasias, Lauterbachiana’s like to grow in a well-draining, loose growing medium. Mixtures of loamy or sandy substrate are their favorite.

These plants love soil-based aroid potting mixes with a slow-release organic fertilizer that is rich in nutrients and retains moisture. Moreover, you’ll only need to water them as soon as the topsoil is dry to touch.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Temperature

Alocasia Lauterbachiana’s grow best in relatively warm, cozy conditions. And are perfectly happy with average household temperatures ranging between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

One thing plant owners need to keep in mind here, is that these plants cannot tolerate the cold. For one, they do not like draughty areas or sitting near air conditioners.

Once the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it will begin to stress. Its leaves will begin to drop, and its growth will slow down significantly. So, be sure to put them in a warm place, especially during wintertime. 

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Humidity Requirements

Alocasia Lauterbachiana plants enjoy relatively humid conditions of around 70%, which is rather high for many households. You may need to increase the humidity of your plant’s room or area to accommodate its living requirements.

Should I Mist My Alocasia?

Alocasia Lautrbachiana’s hail from the tropics and would appreciate any extra humidity they can get. You can use a spray bottle to mist the plant regularly but be sure to not leave their foliage wet for long hours.

There are also plenty of other ways to create humidity for your plant, namely:

When To Prune Your Purple Sword Alocasia

Purple sword Alocasia’s require regular maintenance, and there are a number of reasons why you may need to prune your beloved plant.

One reason may be that your beautiful plant’s leaves are turning yellow at the bottom but don’t fret; this is completely natural. You can give them a little grooming by cutting off their yellowing or dying leaves; this can also help improve the plant’s growth rate.

Another reason to prune your plant could be to stop the spread of a disease or fungal infection on your plant’s leaves.

While pruning, you should ensure you’re using clean, sharp pruning shears to reduce the chances of any bacterial or fungal diseases.

How Often Should I Water My Alocasia?

Elephant Ear Lauterbanchiana plants like to be watered frequently; they prefer to be kept moist but not left to soak.

A good rule of thumb is to allow the top third of the soil to dry out between watering’s during their active growth period. During the winter, Lauterbachiana Alocasias go through a dormancy period and will require less frequent watering’s.

When you’re watering your Alocasia Elephant Ear, ensure the soil is well-drained of any excess water (a pot with drainage holes is essential here).

Take a look at some common symptoms that may occur if you’ve over or underwatered your Alocasia Lauterbachiana.

Over-watering symptoms

  • Wilting (root rot)
  • Brown spots on the leaves
  • Rapidly yellowing lower leaves
  • A rotten stem

Note: Plants located in a darker area are more susceptible to developing root rot as the soil may not dry out sufficiently between waterings.

Underwatering symptoms

  • Wilting
  • Little to no growth
  • Greying leaves

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Propagation

Like other Alocasias, the Lauterbachiana plants grow from underground rhizomes. So, these plants work best with the basal offset division. You can easily split the rhizomes up to propagate the plant. The best time to do this is during the spring and summertime.

A larger, mature plant will produce offshoots that can be separated once the parent plant has a sufficient root system.

To successfully propagate your Purple Sword plant, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select a mature plant and loosen the soil around it.
  2. Then, gently take it out of its pot and shake off any excess soil to expose the roots.
  3. Next, with a sterile knife or blade, cut about 1/3rd of the parent rhizome.
  4. Place the new baby plants into their own pot with a moist, well-draining substrate and add a slow-release fertilizer at the stem’s base
  5. Once your Alocasia is settled in its new home, water your new plant and ensure that the soil has good drainage.
  6. Lastly, repot the Alocasia mother plant and water her thoroughly too.

Note: During the propagation process, you should wear protective gloves and sterilize your utensils to prevent the spread of any diseases.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Flower

As this species of Alocasia is part of the Araceæ family, the plant’s inflorescence isn’t too ornate.

Alocasia Lautrbachiana, surprisingly, can flower throughout the year and may produce an aroid type of bloom with purple-colored flowers with a typical Anthurium-like structure. The finger-like spadix pops out of the clasping spathe.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Problems 

Even though we take excellent care of our much-beloved Alocasia Purple Sword, there are some problems that the plant may face. In order to provide your plant with as much support as possible, so that it can look and feel its best, take a look at some of these common problems and solutions.

Root Rot

Alocasia’s are prone to root rot, and one of the leading causes of it is overwatering. This often occurs when the plant sits in wet soil for a long time, and the roots struggle to breathe.

When root rot develops, you’ll come to notice dark black spottings on the surface of the leaves and yellow rings around these spots. The roots also begin to turn black and mushy.

If your plant has root rot, it’s in dire need of proper air circulation around it, and you need to lessen the watering. You should also:

  • Remove your Purple Sword from its soggy soil and rinse the roots underwater.
  • Use clean, sterile scissors or shears to clip away any affected roots.
  • You could dip the remaining unaffected roots in a fungicide solution or a root rot supplement.

Insect Invasions

Pets like mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites are another common problem amongst Alocasia Lauterbachiana plants.

In the case of an insect infestation, you can use neam oil or alcohol spray to protect your plants and safeguard them from potential mites and pests. A soap solution such as castile soap is another way to get rid of pest attacks.

Tip: If you recognize your plant has been invaded, you should isolate your plant as you certainly don’t want these pests to spread over your other precious plant babies.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Dropping Leaves

Leaves dropping are a common problem with Lauterbachiana plants. The tricky part of dropping leaves is that the cause could be one of several reasons: including drought, overwatering, too much direct sunlight, or low temperatures or humidity. 

Alocasias are tropical plants and therefore require sufficient moisture to stay alive. If it’s not getting enough water, one of the signs is for the leaves to begin to curl under or drop.

The best approach is to determine the cause of your plant’s leaves dropping and assess its living conditions. Review your plant’s watering schedule and make sure its light and humidity requirements are being met.

Alocasia Lauterbachiana Yellow Leaves

Yellowing leaves look stunning on autumn trees…but not on our beloved house plants. There are several reasons that can cause your Lauterbachiana to have yellow leaves.

Causes of Alocasia Lauterbachiana yellow leaves:

  • Aging leaves
  • Overwatering
  • Underwatering
  • Water quality issues
  • Lighting
  • Nutrient issues
  • PH issues
  • Temperature extremes
  • Pests & diseases
  • Humidity

Overwatering is one of the main culprits of Alocasia yellow leaves and, over time, can cause root or stem rot. If overwatering is the problem and is caught early, the leaves (that are partially yellow) may turn green again.

If it’s too far gone and it seems the yellowing leaves could harbor decay pathogens or pests, it’s best to snip them off.

Brown Spots on the Leaves

Brown spots on the edges of your plant’s leaves can be an indication of several factors, such as your plant is suffering from sunburn. You can avoid this problem by simply placing them away from direct sunlight.

Other potential problems for browning spots on the leaf include being exposed to cooler temperatures or if the humidity in your plant’s environment is not humid enough. Your plant could also have a fungal disease or a pest infestation could have developed.

Alocasia Leaves Curling

One of the main causes of curling leaves in your Laterbanchiana is the lack of plant care. If you notice your plant’s leaves curling, it could be telling you one of several things, namely:

  • It’s not getting enough light
  • It’s being over or underwatered
  • There’s a pest infestation
  • It lacks humidity
  • You’re over-fertilizing 

Curling leaves on Alocasia are not unusual and there are always ways to help get your plant back in tip-top condition.

Are Purple Sword Alocasias Toxic?

Alocasia Lauterbachiana plants are highly poisonous plants. Their leaves contain oxalate crystals. When ingested, they release these crystals. This can cause swelling and irritation of the mouth and GI tract as well as severe difficulty breathing. These plants should be kept out of kids’ and pets’ reach.

A Footnote on Alocasia Purple Sword Plant Care

Alocasia Lauterbanchiana’s are strikingly beautiful houseplants with large leaves and sturdy stems. They hold ornamental value in our households for their uniquely shaped, colored leaves and easy-to-care-for requirements.

Now that we’ve uncovered what there is to know and do for Alocasia Lauterbanchiana’s care, would you get one? Or if you already have one, do you have any further suggestions? I’d love to know.

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