The Alocasia Stingray is an exotic plant that originates in Southeast Asia. This lovely, evergreen plant is renowned for its large leaves and long upturned tale, closely resembling a stingray. As such, the plant most certainly fits its name.
This alocasia, also known as the Elephant Ear Stingray, is becoming more popular amongst plant-lovers.
This is largely due to how unusual and rare the plant is. Also, it does not require much care. Although the Alocasia Stingray is an easy plant, it is sensitive to temperature and humidity.
To ensure your baby ray grows healthy, here are some useful Alocasia care tips.
Soil for Your Alocasia Stingray Plant
The first step in caring for your Alocasia Stingray is to get the correct soil mixture. Like many alocasias, this plant grows natively in humid forests across Asia. As such, it likes those conditions to be mimicked at home.
Damp, well-drained soil mixed with organic matter is the way to go, as this best meets the characteristics of its natural habitat.
It is also important to ensure that the soil retains some moisture and nutrients without becoming wet or soggy.
Alocasia Stingray Care Tips
Alocasia plants make for lovely indoor houseplants. As previously mentioned, they do not require too much care or attention to grow. When given the right growing conditions, these beautiful stingray elephant ears are sure to flourish.
Below is an overview of some basic Alocasia plant care tips.
Alocasia Stingray Light Requirements
Alocasia Stingrays love bright but indirect light. In the Northern hemisphere, for the most optimal growing conditions, place your plant near an illuminated east or south-facing window.
Ensure that the sunlight is filtered if it’s right by the window., or place it a few feet away.
If your elephant ear is outdoors, ensure that it is sheltered from the midday sun. With that said, you can let your plant receive direct sunlight for about an hour per day, provided it is not too intense.
Some morning sunlight near an east-facing window would be best in this case.
Be careful when moving your alocasia from an area with relatively low light to someplace brighter.
This should be done in stages so that the plant can adapt. A sudden move will shock the alocasia and leave it distressed.
Alocasia Stingray Temperature Requirements
Alocasia Stingrays thrive in warm and cozy conditions, making spring and summer their favorite seasons.
They do not like cold spaces, nor do they enjoy being in draughty areas or near air conditioners. The perfect temperature range for this plant is between 18ºC (64.4ºF) and 22ºC (71.6ºF).
It is important to remember that too high or too low temperatures will not do your Alocasia any good.
If it is too hot, the leaves will curl, dry, and develop crisp edges – referred to as wrinkled leaves. On the other hand, if it is too cold, the leaves will become droopy and yellow.
Alocasia Stingray Humidity
Alocasia plants love humid spaces. There are a number of ways which you can increase the humidity levels for your plant.
The first is to place your Alocasia in a 1-inch deep pebble tray. The water that evaporates from the tray will increase the humidity for your plant.
Alternatively, you can place the Alocasia in a bathroom as the humidity levels are generally higher. Other effective methods include bringing in a humidifier or grouping it with other plants.
Regardless of how you decide to do it, your plant is sure to be happy.
Alocasia Stingray Water Requirements
During its growing season (spring and summer), it is important to water your Alocasia regularly.
During winter, however, the plant does not require as much water so it is advised that you cut down watering to a minimum. Water regularly but in small amounts.
A good rule of thumb is to only water your ray when the top surface feels dry. Just ensure that the water is room temperature.
Pour water until you see the excess coming out through the drain holes. Repeat this one to two times a week.
Keeping the soil moist is important, however, make sure that the soil does not get soggy or soaked – this can result in root rot.
Alocasia Stingray Fertilization
The Alocasia Stingray grows actively in spring through summer. During this time, when the plant is in a perfect bright and warm setting, it will grow vigorously.
To support its growth, a good-quality fertilizer is strongly recommended.
Stingray Alocasias require an all-purpose or liquid fertilizer. A well-balanced and water-soluble fertilizer is the 10-10-10 formula.
To feed your Alocasia plant, scratch back the top inch or two of soil and bury the fertilizer. Make sure you do not touch the plant’s roots when doing so.
Feed your Alocasia plant every two weeks from the beginning of spring through until the end of August. Following this, refrain from feeding your plant and resume it next spring.
Alocasia Stingray Propagation
There are a number of ways to propagate your elephant ear. The easiest and most effective way is by rhizome division. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to propagate your Alocasia Stingray.
- Gently remove the plant from its pot and rinse the roots to remove any excess soil. When doing so you will notice several offsets and clusters. Leave the roots to dry for a while.
- With a clean, sterilized knife or blade, separate the rhizomes. Wear protective gloves as Alocasia are known to be toxic and can cause skin irritation. Also avoid touching your eyes or mouth as this can lead to swelling, numbing, nausea, diarrhea, and delirium
- Place the individual offsets into their own pots with fertile soil and water well. Ensure that the soil has good drainage and keep it moist for a few weeks without overwatering.
- Repot the original plant and water thoroughly. We will detail how to repot your Alocasia Stingray in the section to follow.
It is best to propagate your Alocasia plant every spring or summer as this is when it grows most vigorously.
Repotting Alocasia Stingray
To start off, how do you know that your Alocasia plant needs to be repotted? Fortunately, the signs are pretty clear and include the following:
- There are visible roots on the surface of the soil
- The roots are growing out of the drainage hole of the pot.
- The plant wilts between waterings
- Salt crystals have developed on the soil’s surface
- Growth of the plant has slowed down
Another way is to check how much soil remains around the roots by sliding the root ball partially out of the pot. If there are more roots than soil, it is time to repot.
When repotting Alocasias, use a container that is at least 2 inches larger than its current one. A non-porous plastic pot is recommended as ceramic or unglazed clay pots tend to wick moisture away from the soil.
Ensure that there are drainage holes at the base of the pot. If you are using a previously used container, wash it out with 10% bleach solution and rinse it out thoroughly with water before using it again.
It is important to water your plant about an hour before repotting to hydrate its roots and leaves. To start, place a filter over the drainage holes of the new pot and begin filling it with soil.
This soil should cover the bottom third of the pot.
Slide the plant from its original pot and inspect its roots. Ensure that the roots are untangled. If they are too tangled to separate, cut them with a sterilized knife or blade.
Now it’s time to place your Alocasia plant into its new home. Note that the plant has to be potted at the same depth as it was in its previous container.
Moreover, the soil level should be at least 1 inch below the edge of the pot.
When placing the Alocasia into the new pot, add soil underneath the root ball until it is at the appropriate level. Keep adding soil until the root ball is completely covered. Lastly, water well.
Regarding when to repot your Alocasia Stingray, it is recommended that younger plants be repotted every six months.
Most, however, need only be repotted every few years. Most importantly, be sure to keep an eye out for the signs mentioned above.
Alocasia Stingray Pruning and Trimming
Before pruning or trimming your Alocasia plant, allow it enough time for all the symptoms of damage to show.
These plants remain evergreen in warm climates, however, sustained cold weather can cause the leaves and stems to turn yellow and droop.
Moreover, the cold conditions may cause the Alocasia’s stem to turn mushy.
If there are any signs of damage, it is time to prune your Alocasia. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to prune or trim your stingray plant:
- Use a sterilized knife or blade and wear protective gloves.
- Check for damaged leaves and stems.
- Cut through the fleshy stem at the base of any damaged or yellowed leaves.
- Gently create a U-shaped cut at the leaf petioles. This will aid new growth.
- When trimming, observe the plant for small amounts of damage or discoloration on the leaves. Trim away any blemishes, following the natural shape of the leaf.
Alocasia Stingray: Common Problems
Even if you’re taking perfect care of your Alocasia Stingray, there are still a number of problems that may arise.
Below are some common problems that your plant may experience, as well as how to fix them.
There are a number of pests that may be hindering the growth of your Alocasia Stingray. Most commonly found on these plants are spider mites and mealybugs.
Spider mites are transparent critters and can be tough to notice at first glance. Mealybugs are white in color and, if not treated in time, can cause great damage to your plant. Observe both sides of your Alocasia’s leaves, as well as its midrib to check for any foreign inhabitants.
To get rid of any pests found on your Alocasia Stingray, try out these simple steps:
- Isolate the Alocasia plant from other plants to prevent further spreading.
- With soapy water or dish soap, rinse both sides of the Alocasia’s leaves and stem.
- Use diluted neem oil to rinse the surface and spray with clean water.
- Wipe the leaves off with a clean cloth.
- After a few minutes have passed, mist the Alocasia to raise the humidity. This will further aid in eliminating spider mites as they generally love dry conditions.
Alocasia Stingray Drooping Leaves
As with many plants, there are a number of causes for drooping. For Alocasia plants, these include overwatering, underwatering, lack of light, and too hot or cold temperatures.
Overwatering is not good for your Alocasia as it leads to root rot, leaving your plant incapable of absorbing the water and nutrients which it vitally needs.
Moreover, it will cause its leaves to droop. Common symptoms of overwatering include soggy soil, yellowed leaves, a rotting smell, and brown spots.
To prevent overwatering, make sure that your plant is in a pot that has a sufficient amount of drainage holes on its base.
Additionally, be sure to check the drainage capacity of the soil. The right mix of soil can help your Alocasia a ton.
Much like overwatering, underwatering is no good for your Alocasia Stingray. The leaves of the plant often begin to turn brown and crispy.
To avoid this, be sure to water your Alocasia whenever the top of the soil feels dry. Moreover, ensure that the humidity levels are sufficient by misting between waterings.
Lack of Light
The final possible cause of droopy leaves is a lack of light. Alocasia Stingrays require bright, indirect or filtered sunlight to grow optimally.
When your plant is not receiving adequate light, it is no longer getting the energy it needs to produce its own food. This will eventually cause it to starve.
To prevent this, ensure that your Alocasia Stingray is in an area with bright, indirect sunlight. You may even use an artificial light to compensate for a lack of natural light.
Alocasia Stingray Leaves Turning Yellow
As with drooping problems, your Alocasia Stingray’s leaves may turn yellow as a result of overwatering or underwatering.
Overwatering leads to soggy soil and root rot which causes the leaves of your plant to turn yellow. Underwatering has a similar effect on the leaves.
Another cause of yellowed leaves is nutrient deficiency. When your Alocasia Stingray is not receiving the nutrients it needs, it will become chlorotic in appearance.
When trying to fix this problem, start by identifying what the exact cause is. From there, you can aim to remedy the situation and return your plant back to its evergreen self.
Fixing this will be similar to the steps mentioned above for drooping leaves.
Alocasia Stingray Brown Spots
Another common problem that your Alocasia Stingray may experience is the formation of brown spots.
Often referred to as rust, these may appear on both the underside and top side of your plant.. It is best to remedy this as quickly as possible as it can soon turn into a fungal disease.
To fix this, remove the leaves that appear to have rust. Following this, use a fungicide to prevent the problem from spreading any further. Lastly, be sure to avoid overwatering your stingray.
Alocasia Stingray Diseases
Alocasia Stingrays are prone to a number of diseases including botrytis, root rot, and leaf spot disease.
These can cause a great deal of damage to your plant so treating them is vital.
Botrytis is a disease that attacks the foliage. Symptoms include small yellow spots or streak wounds on the leaves. Mold may also form on the soil as a result of fallen debris.
Botrytis happens as a result of poor circulation, lack of light, and high humidity levels. To remedy this, follow the steps below:
- Use a sterilized knife or blade to cut off the infected area of the Alocasia.
- Remove any fallen debris that is found on the surface of the soil to stop the spread of the disease.
- Gently wash your Alocasia to remove any dust or debris.
- Spray the foliage with a fungicide.
- Isolate your plant in a sheltered location for about a week. Ensure that the space the plant is in is far from other plants, well-lit, and void of direct sunlight.
There are two main causes for root rot, namely overwatering and the presence of fungi in the soil.
Overwatering leads to the water staying too long in the soil which causes it to turn soggy. Causes of overwatering include lack of light and aeration, as well as insufficient drainage holes.
On the other hand, fungi grow and multiply in consistently damp conditions and attack the roots, causing them to rot.
If your Alocasia Stingray experiences root rot, following these simple steps:
- Gently remove the Alocasia plant from the soil and wash its roots.
- Use a sterilized knife or blade to cut away the affected parts of the roots.
- Dispose of the old, infected soil.
- Wash the Alocasia with a 5-10% diluted bleach solution.
- To eliminate the remaining fungi, dip the healthy roots in a fungicide solution.
- Repot your plant as previously discussed. Ensure that the soil is aerated and that its drainage capacity is sufficient.
- To avoid stressing the roots, do not feed the plant until it has fully recovered.
Leaf Spot Disease
Leaf Spot Disease is easy to identify as you will notice yellow, brown, or orange spots forming on the leaves. This happens as a result of poor air circulation from high temperatures and high humidity, as well as overwatering and untreated root rot.
To remedy leaf spot disease, follow these simple steps:
- Identify the leaves which have been critically affected and cut them off. Also, remove any fallen debris from the soil’s surface.
- Gently wash your plant with water.
- Apply a fungicide that contains chlorothalonil.
- Wash the Alocasia regularly and remove any dust particles so that air can easily pass through.
Alocasia Stingray Black Stem
A black, mushy stem comes about as a result of stem rot. Similar to root rot, this is caused by overwatering. If the roots are too severely damaged (they are all mushy and smelly), then the plant is probably dead. If there are still some firm, white and healthy roots present, then the Alocasia can still be saved by repotting.
Repot the Alocasia Stingray as discussed in the previously mentioned problems. The difference is that you will need to prune the brown and mushy roots with a sterilized knife or blade, leaving behind the healthy root. Also, be sure to check that the number of drainage holes, soil drainage capacity, and aeration are sufficient.
Alocasia Stingray Dying
While Alocasia Stingrays are known to skip their dormancy period, this is not always the case. Signs that your plant has gone dormant include drooping leaves and an almost-dead look. If you suspect that this is the case then do not panic, you may be able to save your Alocasia by doing any of the following:
- Check for pests and eliminate them
- Ensure they are receiving the right amount of water
- Dust your Alocasia Stingray
- Ensure and maintain optimal humidity levels
- Check that your Alocasia is receiving the right amount of light
Alocasia Stingray Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know all about Alocasia care, you’re pretty much good to go. For some additional insights, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions.
Is Alocasia Stingray Poisonous?
Alocasia plants are very poisonous as they contain insoluble oxalate crystals. If a human chews or bite into the leaves of the plant, it will result in irritation and swelling of the mouth and GI tract. It may also result in extreme swelling of the upper airway, making it hard to breathe.
Pets may experience similar symptoms among others, which will be detailed below. To be safe, ensure that your Alocasia Stingray is kept away from pets and children. Call your doctor or veterinarian should a person or plant ingest the plant’s toxins.
Alocasia & Cats: Is it Toxic?
The plant contains calcium oxalate which is known to have a number of detrimental effects on our feline friends. These include damage to the mouth, throat, and stomach, as well as swelling of the esophagus, eyes, and tongue.
When in contact with the eye, it can cause inflammation. Other common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, excessive drooling, and loss of appetite.
If your cat shows any of the symptoms mentioned, take it to the vet immediately.
Is Alocasia Stingray Poisonous to Dogs?
As with cats, the toxins contained by Alocasia Stingrays can be fatal to your dog. If ingested, it may cause the airway to swell resulting in an inability to breathe. Other common symptoms include delirium, abdominal pain, diarrhea, excessive drooling, eye pain, and difficulty swallowing.
If your dog is exposed to the plant, wash its mouth, face, and eyes with cold water. After doing so, head straight to the vet.
Final Thoughts: Is Alocasia Stingray a Good Houseplant?
The Alocasia Stingray is an exquisite and rare houseplant that only requires little-to-moderate care. Moreover, its glossy green color provides a great aesthetic and makes it a lovely addition to any room.
In addition to adding a classy and stylish vibe to whichever room it’s in, it also has a natural filtering system. More specifically, it filters the chemical gases and air pollutants that come out of your furniture.
Other benefits of this plant include subliminal effects which lead to an improved mood, happiness, peace of mind, and an overall positive space. Ultimately, having an Alocasia Stingray is sure to brighten up your home, as well as your day.
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