The Kris Plant is a very unique houseplant. I also use other Elephant Ears (it’s other common name) in the summer annual pots.
The Kris Plant is a native of the Philippine Islands. The name comes from a type of dagger from the region, called a Kris or Keris, which has a wavy blade, just like the leaf.
Alocasia will adjust its size according to the amount of sun it receives. The more sun it receives the smaller it will be, the less sun it receives the larger it will become. Why? Because it doesn’t need large leaves if it receives lots of sun and could dry out, larger leaves in the shade help gather more sun. In some cultivars the difference can be staggering.
Alocasia require a soil of equal parts peat moss and loam with some sand and crushed charcoal added. Warm, humid, shady conditions are required throughout the growing season along with an abundance of water when growing. If the leaves fade in fall, less water is required, and when they have died back, the soil is moistened once in a while. So far, mine has not died back.
Care should be taken when planting rhizomes, the top of rhizomes should be planted above the soil line or the leaves could decay at the base. A slow release 12 month balanced fertilizer applied in the spring will provide nutrients throughout the growing season.
If you’re lucky enough to see it bloom, Alocasia produces spathae, much like a Jack-in-the-pulpit.
© – Ilex Farrell