GROW YOUR OWN HOUSEPLANT
Growing your very own Alocasias from bulbs might seem like a difficult task that only the very experienced houseplant enthusiasts are able to master. However, in reality growing an Alocasia bulb couldn’t be easier and luckily the bulbs do most of the hard work for you. This is a very popular way to propagate your Alocasias. In fact, most people are unaware of the bulbs that are lying beneath the surface just waiting to be grown! This process is very rewarding and we suggest using a see through container so you can watch the process for yourself.
To get started you’ll need:
- An Alocasia that is ready to be repotted
- A small shallow container with a lid
- Leca balls (optional)
Buy an Alocasia. We suggest Polly or Zara as propagating favourites. If you already have an Alocasia it’s time to go digging for bulbs! Carefully remove your Alocasia from its nursery pot and start searching the soil for firm round balls. (There’s a photo above for reference.)
Important note: If the balls feel soft/squishy then sadly they have already become rotten and will not grow into a new leaf. It’s best to throw those ones away!
The best place to look for Alocasia bulbs will be around the root system and might even still be attached. The number of bulbs you will find might vary but the typical mature Alocasia might have 5-10 bulbs. It’s worth noting that not all firm bulbs will root and that’s okay! The more bulbs you have the more likely your chances are for success.
Once you’ve gone through every inch of soil and of course successfully and safely put your original Alocasia back together again, it's now time to transport your bulbs into a shallow container of water.
Fill a shallow tupperware container with a small amount of water. It's very important that the bulbs are not fully submerged in the water. The water line should come up to half the height of the bulb so they have access to both oxygen and water.
Cover the container with a lid and now we wait…
Once a week (or whenever you notice the water drying up) top up the container with water and let the Alocasias breathe in some fresh air. I found leaving the lid open for one hour everyday encouraged circulation and prevented any mould from forming on the bulbs.
After 4-6 weeks you should notice your bulbs growing some long, thin white roots. I kept my bulbs in the water until the leaves started forming and then transported the bulbs into Leca.
Leca balls are a growing medium that can be used just like potting soil. It’s not uncommon for houseplant lovers to use Leca balls to grow other types of houseplants. The only downside is Leca is not full of nutrients like most types of potting mix so it’s important if you do decide to keep/transport you plants into leca that proper nutrients is given all year round to keep your plants looking and feeling their best.
Once the bulbs have been transported into Leca or potting mix then it’s time to pat yourself on the back and brag to all your friends that you created brand new life!
To tip: If you’re using Leca balls, fill your container only half full to make sure your new plant has access to the water but isn’t fully submerged as this might cause overwatering and root rot.
We hope this blog has busted the myth that making your own Alocasias from bulbs is hard work and only for the professionals. We want to hear how you’re getting on! Make sure you’re following us on instagram and tag us @pointess_plants with any progress you’re excited to share. We can’t wait to hear from you.