Would you like a black plant with a dramatic appearance? You are at the right place. Alocasia Black Velvet is an exotic indoor Aroid. This is a miniature or a dwarf Jewel Alocasia. The stunning heart-shaped black leaves with prominent white or silvery veins make it a treat for the eyes. These well-grown black-beauties make good floor pots while you can make good table pots and vivariums with the smaller ones.
This black-beauty with its royal outlook is just perfect to add the necessary oomph to your surrounding. Let us learn more about this mesmerizing Alocasia reginula black velvet plant, its care, and propagation.
Alocasia Black Velvet Classification
Species: A. reginula.
Cultivar: “Black Velvet”.
Parentage and History
Its status of being a cultivar is a popular opinion. However, some people are still not clear about the parentage of this plant. Nevertheless, according to some other opinions, it is a species collected in 1860 from Borneo, East Asia.
Alocasia is a genus comprising of about 79 recorded species. These plants are native to tropical and sub-tropical regions of Asia to East-Australia. The majority of these plants are flowering perennials with broad-leafed foliage. The roots are mostly in the form of rhizomes or tubes. These are flowering perennial plants. Members of this genus and its family are cultivated and hybridized on large scales to form new plants with exciting and attractive features.
Common Names of Alocasia Black Velvet
The black-beauty is commonly known as;
- Queen Alocasia.
- The little Queen.
- Alocasia Velvet.
- Black Velvet elephant ear plant.
Alocasia Black Velvet Plant Features
Height and Structure
- The height of an average plant is around 30 to 50cm. The width or spread is around 18 to 25cm.
- The plant body is branched and rhizomatous. It grows through rhizomes which branch to form clumps.
Leaves and Flowers
- A common mature leaf is 8 to 15 cm long and around 6 cm wide.
- The underside of the black leaves has pale splashes or spots.
- The stem is pale in color and pretty thick. However, leaves are usually larger than the length of the stem.
- Do the Elephant-Ear plants bloom? Yes! The flowers are insignificant and anthurium-like. They comprise of a white sterile finger-like spadix. The spadix is further covered by pale yellow petal-like modified leaf, known as the spathe.
- If the growth conditions are favourable, the plant blooms throughout the year.
Is the Dwarf Black Queen safe for my kids and pets? No! Toxicity is a typical trait in the Alocasias. This plant contains oxalic acid which is highly harmful to humans and pets. Ingestion may lead to serious health issues. Thus, always keep your kids and pets away from mingling with the plant. In case of trouble, take the patient to health care immediately.
These are fast-growing plants.
Growth and Dormancy Season
This plant grows pretty fast in the months of spring and summer. Howbeit, in the colder days of winter, it gets dormant. Thus, if your Black-Queen Alocasia sheds its leaves in winter and doesn’t show any prominent growth, just don’t worry. It is alive and probably just ‘sleeping’. You will see your black alocasia growing and getting healthy, as soon as the winter ends.
Alocasia Black Velvet For Sale
Easy to get this royal black plant at your doorstep. It is available on Amazon. You can get the fully grown plant or a pack of seeds to try some sowing.
Why is the Small Queen Alocasia Black in Color?
People usually ask us about the secret behind this mystery. The rough and apparently velvety leaf surface absorbs all the frequencies of the light falling on them, giving them the particular black shade. Alternatively, the white veins reflect all the light getting a prominent contrast on the leaf surface. Surprisingly, inside these charcoal-like leaves, common green chlorophyll is found, just like the green plants.
Alocasia Black Velvet Care
The water requirement of the plant is medium. A simple watering strategy for summer is to water once the upper layer gets at least 90% dry. Alternatively, in winter, let the soil get completely dry between consecutive watering. An estimated frequency of watering is thrice a week for summer. While once a week will be enough for the winter months.
These plants are susceptible to rot. Always avoid over-watering the plant. Soggy soil leads to plant issues like basal or root rot.
The Alocasia Velvet plant needs bright indirect sunlight. It can do equally well with artificial light at a minimum height of 40 cm. Always avoid direct exposure to sunlight, as it may scorch out the delicate leaves.
The optimal temperature range for this plant is 55 to 80 °F. The Alocasia reginula is not much winter hardy. We recommend shifting the Small Queen to warm places before the arrival of frosty days. Furthermore, these plants are sensitive to strong winds and drifts. Thus, keep them safe from close contact with fans, ACs, heaters, and winds.
The soil should be well-drained soil with large particles. Loamy and sandy soils go well with this plant. In packed options, standard jungle mix or aroid mix also do well.
Are you looking for a plant for your bathroom or kitchen? This plant will be a good option for you.
Alocasians are native to rainforests. Thus, they usually prefer high levels of humidity. On dry days, you can try mild misting to provide adequate moisture. Moreover, you can follow other methods like a humidifier or a pebble-water tray under the pot.
Importantly, avoid keeping the foliage wet for long hours. This may lead to plant issues like fungus and leaf-rot.
The Black Queen is a food-loving plant, just like other alocasias. Use a suitable fertilizer once a month in the growing season or according to the instructions on the pack. Alternatively, the dormant season doesn’t need any fertilizer.
Cleaning and Pruning Requirement
The rough leaves need you to keep an eye on the dust. Moreover, you can prune a few leaves from lower branches to maintain the appearance.
The rhizomes don’t grow quickly. Thus, you don’t need to re-pot unless around 2 years.
The plant is hardy in USDA zones 9b to 11. Howbeit, in indoor atmosphere and terrariums, the Alocasia reginula goes well in zones 4b to 11.
Alocasia Black Velvet Propagation
The most common propagation method for rhizomatous plants is rhizome division. The ideal season for propagation is spring up to the middle of summer. In winter, when the plant is dormant, propagation is not feasible. Additionally, you can also get some seeds from the market or get them online from Amazon to try the seed propagation. However, this is a relatively slow process.
Just select a healthy mature plant for the division. Dig the soil for suitably (around 12cm). Gently take the rhizome out of the soil and split it. Now, plant the divisions in moist rich, or lightly fertilized soil. If you are planting more than one plantlet in a pot, keep a minimum distance of 50 cm between them. This will give them enough space to grow the tuber properly. Place the pot/container in a warm and damp place with plenty of indirect sunlight.
Let us get an idea about the plant growth pattern. Nevertheless, keep an eye on the newly grown plants and adjust the requirements accordingly.
- Day 1 to Day 30: Keep the plant moderately watered. Avoid over-watering or drifting away the plant will water. Keep them in warm, indirect light and humid place.
- Day 30 to Day 90: The plantlet will get settled in the new place in about 3 to 4 weeks. Moreover, you will see tiny shoots growing in around the 6th week. After about three months, a proper well-grown plant will be achieved.
- Day 90 Onwards: The plant doesn’t need much attention by now. Just follow the usual care stated above and you are good to go with the Royal black-leafed beauty.
The Alocasia black velvet is a beautiful indoor plant popular for its foliage. The intoxicatingly beautiful, arrow-shaped black leaves with attractive silvery veins grow on dwarf stems. The fast-growing Alocasia reginula gets dormant in winter. The Alocasia Black Velvet Care includes a warm and humid place with indirect light. Moreover, the soil should be well-drained and allowed to get dry between the waterings. You can propagate the plant by the division of the rhizome. Be aware and keep this highly toxic plant away from your kids and pets.