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Alocasia Regal Shield: Elephant Ear Plant Care Guide

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Are you looking for a beautiful, hardy, and full plant? The Alocasia regal shield plant is just the one for you. This species is a cultivar bred for certain desired traits seen in two other species in the genus: the Alocasia black velvet and the Alocasia odora. The Alocasia regal shield has the best of both worlds. With velvety blackish to dark green leaves in heart shapes, this hardy plant grows wide as it does tall. It is destined to stand out in your space!

Alocasia Regal Shield: Elephant Ear Plant Care Overview

The Alocasia regal shield plant has been extensively cultivated to present the desired traits it shows. Alocasia plants in the genus are native to tropical and subtropical regions, including Asia and eastern Australia.

These terrestrial plants enjoy bright indirect light and moderate watering to keep the soil nice and moist similar to their native regions. Like other members of the genus and family, the Alocasia regal shield plant displays stunning dark green to blackish leaves and grows rapidly. This species is perfect for any indoor and outdoor space.

This specific Alocasia plant is often referred to as the Elephant Ear Plant due to the shape of its leaves and also has the nickname Regal Shield. Some notable relatives in the Alocasia regal shield family include the Alocasia black velvet, Alocasia odora, and the Alocasia amazonica.

Alocasia black velvet: The black velvet Alocasia is aptly named with blackish colored leaves distinct to this species. This species is one that was used to cultivate the Alocasia regal shield.

Alocasia odora: The other plant used to cultivate the Alocasia regal shield plant is the odora. This species has strikingly large leaves and a sweet scent to boot.

Alocasia amazonica: Another notable relative in the Alocasia group is the amazonica. This plant is recognized by its wavy leaf edges and thick leathery leaves.

Botanical NameAlocasia regal shield
FamilyAraceae
GenusAlocasia
OriginCultivar: Alocasia are native to tropical Asia / Australia
SunlightBright indirect light
WateringVaries-water once the soil is dry
SoilWell-draining, rich soil
Temperature55-85 degrees Fahrenheit
PropagationRhizome division
Re-PottingOnce rootbound in the pot
Pests and DiseasesSpider mites, mealy bugs
ToxicityToxic to humans and pets
Alocasia Regal Shield: Elephant Ear Plant Care

Alocasia Regal Shield & Elephant Ear Plant Features

Alocasia regal shield plants, or elephant ear plants, are sought after for their beautiful foliage and height. This species is rapidly growing and, on average, reaches around 3-6 feet in height. It has been recorded that some outdoor-grown elephant ear plants have reached heights of 9 feet. For this reason, many use the Alocasia regal shield as an outdoor plant for their patios or deck spaces.

While the height is impressive, the leaves are the stars of the show in this species. You can distinctly notice the leaves’ vibrant dark green or blackish color, light green veins, and uncanny elephant ear shape. The leaves can grow to be about 8-20 inches in width. This species is typically sought after for the foliage, but typical Aroid flowers can also be found on the plant.

Alocasia Regal Shield: Elephant Ear Plant Care Guide

Whether using your Alocasia regal shield plant to add some jazz to your indoor or outdoor space, ensuring the environment is suitable for this plant’s success is important. These terrestrial plants are native to tropical and subtropical regions where plants prefer a specific environment. Follow the Alocasia regal shield care requirements and create a space with bright indirect light, moderate watering, well-draining, and rich soil. Don’t forget about the high humidity and warm temperatures!

Ideal Growing Place

As mentioned earlier, the Alocasia regal shield can grow indoors and outdoors when the environment is suitable. It is a fast-growing species and does most of its growth in the spring and summer months when the temperature is warmer. To account for this rapid growth, check out the watering and fertilizing guidelines.

The Alocasia regal shield has a dormancy period that falls around winter. Do not be alarmed if you see a drop in leaves or growth rate. During this time, watering can be reduced since growth is not as quick.

To ensure your growing place is ideal for your Alocasia regal shield, create an environment where you have the recommended light, watering, soil, temperature, humidity, and fertilizing.

Water

It may take some time for you to get acquainted with your plant before settling in on a routine for watering. When you first water your Alocasia regal shield, water thoroughly to wet the soil, and wait to see how long it takes for your soil to dry up again. You can test the soil’s dryness by placing two fingers in the soil and pulling them out. If the soil feels dry and is loose upon pulling them out, it is time to water again.

Once you see how long this takes, you can know how often to water your plants. Typically, Alocasia regal shield plants will use more water during their growing season in the spring and summer months and require less water during the dormancy period around winter. Be sure to check soil moisture levels so you avoid overwatering. Too much water in the soil can lead to harmful root rot. Placing the plant in a pot with good drainage holes is recommended to help drain excess water.

Sunlight

Since Alocasia plants originate from the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, they fare well with lots of sunlight. The best lighting for the Alocasia regal shield is bright indirect light. Too much direct sunlight can harm the beautiful foliage.

If you are planting this species indoors, a great way to provide the necessary bright light would be to house your plant near a north-facing or south-facing window. This species grows toward the light source, so be sure to rotate the pot often so all sides get the light they need.

Temperature

The temperature range for the Alocasia regal shield plant should be around 55-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This species is hardy and can tolerate the warmer temperatures, but watch out for cooler days if you are using this plant outdoors. Additionally, it may be best to bring your elephant ear regal shields indoors once fall and winter arrive if they are primarily an outdoor plant in your space.

Soil

The Alocasia regal shield does not do well when too much water stays in the soil near the roots, as this can cause root rot. To keep their roots and the plant happy, plant your regal shields in fresh potting soil that is well-draining and rich. The plant’s soil should not be too rocky or sandy and should have a pH range of 5.5-7. The goal is consistently moist soil, so be sure to test the moisture level often, as mentioned in the watering section above.

Related Article: Should You Go Organic With Your Garden

Humidity

Similar to the tropical conditions Alocasia plants are used to, it is important to ensure the space your plant is in has the proper high humidity levels. Alocasia regal shield plants prefer a humidity level of around 80% or higher. A humidifier machine is a great way to ensure consistent moisture levels if your plant is indoors. Another method to keep humidity high is to mist your plant with a spray bottle 1-2 times per week on the foliage.

Fertilizer

Alocasia regal shields are rapid-growing plants that need extra nutrient support during their growing months. Plant growth is faster in the spring and summer than in the cooler months. During the growing season, it is recommended to use a high-quality liquid fertilizer around once a month.

Read instructions carefully to avoid fertilizing too much, which can lead to a buildup of salt in the soil. During the cooler months of the dormancy period, fertilizing is not needed due to the slower growth rate of the plant.

Pinching/Pruning

If your Alocasia regal shield shows signs of yellowing or dead leaves, it might be time for a healthy pruning. To prune your plant, you need a few items such as a sterilized knife or shears and gardening gloves to protect your skin; once you have identified the section of the plant that needs to be removed, cut through the base of that leaf section toward the stem.

Potting and Re-potting

A good sign that your regal shields need to be repotted is when you notice roots peaking out of the drainage holes of its pot. This indicates that the roots have outgrown their home and need more space to grow.

To repot your Alocasia regal shield, find a pot wider at the base than the current pot to support the root ball and root system. Be sure that this new pot has drainage holes and is filled with fresh potting soil. On average, regal shields need to be repotted about every two years.

Growth Zone

The Alocasia regal shield plant will fare well in the USDA Plant Hardiness zones 9-11. These areas include the west coast of the United States and the southern border states. Keep the climate of these zones in mind when deciding if your Alocasia regal shields should be planted outdoors or not.

Common Pests, Toxins, Diseases & Other Problems

Common pests affecting the Alocasia regal shields include mealy bugs and spider mites. These are common bugs and insects that affect many plants. To get rid of these pests, there are a variety of plant oil sprays you can apply to the plant.

Another issue that can affect your plant is root rot which stems from overwatering your plant. Refer to the Alocasia regal shield care guide above for tips on proper watering. Lastly, Alocasia regal shields are toxic to humans and pets. This species has toxic oxalate crystals that can cause severe irritation to the mouth and skin and nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Propagation

The rhizome cutting method is the best way to propagate your Alocasia regal shields. A rhizome is a horizontal underground stem that sends roots and plant shoots from the nodes. To propagate:

  1. Loosen the soil around the plant’s root ball.
  2. On the mother plant, find a rhizome, and cut about 1/3 of it with sterilized shears or a sharp knife.
  3. Use gloves to avoid skin irritation from the oxalate crystals in this plant.

The rhizome you choose for propagation should have about 2-3 shoots to ensure new growth once replanted. After cutting the rhizome piece, place this in a new pot with new potting soil that is well-draining and rich. Once the soil is mostly dry, water it appropriately and place it in a warm and humid space to begin its growth.

Mature Timeline

Day 1-60: Your new Alocasia regal shield has been planted in fresh soil and is in a warm and humid place. Be sure the sunlight is bright and indirect in your space. During these early days, the shoots are getting ready to grow. It will take around five weeks for your shoots to develop.

Day 60+: Now that your root system has taken time to develop, you can now care for your new plant as recommended by the Alocasia regal shield care guide listed above.

Alocasia Regal Shield: Elephant Ear Plant Care Guide 1

Alocasia Regal Shield Care FAQ

Is the Alocasia Plant Toxic for Humans and Pets?

The Alocasia plant, and many others in its family, are toxic to humans and pets. This toxicity is from the oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation to the mouth and skin and cause issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Can You Grow the Elephant Ear Plant Indoor?

Many use the elephant ear plant as an indoor plant. To ensure its best growth, follow the Alocasia regal shield care recommendations for adequate lighting, watering, soil, temperature, humidity, and fertilizing levels.

When Should I Repot My Elephant Ears Plant?

When you notice the root system beginning to poke through the drainage holes of your plant, it is time to repot your Elephant ear plant. Elephant ear plants typically need to be repotted around every two years.

How Old Does Alocasia Regal Shield & Elephant Ear Plant Have to Be Before They Bloom? 

Before Alocasia regal shield plants can bloom or produce flowers, they must reach maturity. It typically takes 3-8 weeks for the plants to reach maturity and gain the ability to flower.

Are Elephant Ear Plants Rare?

The elephant ear plant is not very rare and has been cultivated by popular demand of certain plant traits. They can be found easily to purchase as well.

Can You Propagate Regal Shield Alocasia in Water?

Propagation of the Regal shield Alocasia can be accomplished in water since water contains oxygen. Avoid placing the plant and water in direct sunlight as this can lead to algae growth.

Why Are My Regal Shield Plant’s Leaves Dropping and Yellowing?

Drooping and yellowing leaves on your Regal shield Alocasia can signify improper watering, either too much or too little. Low humidity can also be a cause of the issue.

Should You Mist Alocasia Regal Shield?

Misting your Alocasia regal plant is a method used to keep humidity levels high for your plant. Misting 1-2 times per week on your plant’s leaves can also help support plant growth during its growing period.

Can Regal Shield Alocasia Take Full Sun?

Alocasia regal shield plants do not fare well in direct light. This can scorch the beautiful leaves on the plant. Bright indirect light is best for your plant. Consider placing your plant in a north-facing window or south-facing window for optimum lighting.

How Big Do Regal Shields Get?

Regal shield plants can grow to a height of 3-6 feet, while the leaves can grow to a width of 8-20 inches. Some outdoor regal shields have reached heights of 9 feet!

How Fast Do Alocasia Regal Shields Grow?

Alocasia regal shields have a rapid growth rate, growing about 1-2 feet per year indoors and around 3-5 feet outdoors.

Why Is My Regal Shield Dripping Water?

When plants begin to drip water like this, they are expelling extra water that they do not need. This process is called guttation and is normal with Alocasia plants.

The Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a hardy and beautiful plant for an indoor or outdoor space, Alocasia regal shield plants are a spectacular option. These plants are magnificent in their foliage, height, and spread. By following the Alocasia regal shield care recommendations, you will become an expert caretaker in no time!

Last Updated on August 25, 2022 by Gustaf Johansson

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