Are you searching for a rare and easy humidity, loving plant with beautiful leaves? Say Hello to this exciting Alocasia boa with large green serrated leaves growing on marbled stems. These long and shiny leaves grow on stems with a common base expanding outwards. This makes them look more or less like giant leaf bouquets.
They can get up to 3 to 5 feet tall with an equal width. These peeps will be an equally nice choice to be a container plant and to decorate your outdoor landscapes. Want to know more? Keep reading to enjoy a summarized guide about the Boa Alocasia Plant.
Alocasia Boa Classification
You would be further surprised to know that it was a former member of the Xenophya grouping. However, advanced researches and identification led the botanists to classify it as an Alocasia. Moreover, the close resemblance of this plant with the famous Alocasia Lauterbachiana was another fact to reconsider its lineage.
This is a popular group of around 97 accepted plant species. The large green leaves with shiny surfaces growing on long rhizomatous or tuberous stems are the characteristic feature.
They belong to the tropical and sub-tropical regions of Asia and Australia. This makes them a dweller of bright indirect sun and high moisture.
Features of Alocasia Boa Plant
Alocasia boa has large leaves with characteristic zig-zag edges. They grow on long stalks which join at the base to form rhizomatous structures. These strong tropical plants have well-formed rooting systems.
In open outdoor plantations, expect alocasia boa to grow up to 5 feet tall with a width in a similar range. However, the indoor peeps grow according to the available space and remain comparatively shorter.
Each mature leaf can get about 1 to 2 feet long. They have typical shiny surfaces and rippled edges.
Alocasia Boa Flowers:
Rarely though, the mature plants do bloom in the warm season. The flowers are typical Alocasia flowers, green and hooded growing on long stalks.
The genus is notorious to be toxic to us and animals. Close contact in humans can cause skin irritation and allergy. Moreover, ingestion can lead to inflammation of the mouth, eyes, and esophagus.
So, make sure you follow the safety measures like using gloves while handling the plant. Also, make sure pets and kids are not mingling with the plant. In case of emergency and ingestion, please rush to the nearest emergency doctor or vet accordingly.
Many new Alocasia growers get worried to see their plant losing its vigor in winter. In reality, there is nothing to worry about as your plant is just sleeping and not dying.
All the Alocasians are known to enjoy a resting period in winters. This is the phase with minimal growth and nutritional requirements. All you have to do is to withdraw any fertilizer and minimize the water up to once a month. Moreover, shift them indoors to avoid frost. Once you follow the correct routine, just sit back and relax. Wait for the spring to see your plant getting healthy again.
Alocasia Boa Care
These long leaves are easy-to-care plants. The common Alocasia Care is enough, making them suitable for beginners and lazy peeps.
Light: Bright indirect light.
Humidity: high humidity.
Fertilizer: Mild doses in the spring and summer.
These plants grow on the forest floors under the thick umbrellas of huge trees. So, the environment here should mimic the natural one providing all the requirements accordingly. Let us have a better understanding of how to care for the Alocasia boa in detail?
These plants stand among the medium size Alocasias needing wide space. Indoors, the minimum suitable pot should be at least 10 inches deep and around 10 to 20 inches in diameter.
Secondly, the plant should be placed somewhere suitable to avoid the strong drift. Plants placed near heating or cooling machines like heaters and air-conditioners can face foliage damage.
The basic Alocasia watering principle works well here. Just soak the soil and wait until the top layer is dry before watering again.
The watering schedule depends upon the factors like temperature, humidity, and sunlight availability. So, you need to see the drying pattern of the soil to create a watering schedule for your alocasia boa plant. An estimated pattern for average climate conditions in spring and summer is about twice to thrice a week.
On the other hand, once in every three to four weeks is enough for the cold days of fall and winter. The reason for decreased watering is the sleeping phase of the plant. This is known as dormancy which minimizes the nutritional requirements.
Over-watering is seriously harmful to the plant. Wet and mucky soil can cause root rot, fungus, and pest attacks. If gone unchecked, it can even kill the plant. Thus, don’t water the soil unless you ensure the upper 3 inches are dry.
Secondly, it is better to use lukewarm water in winter. Coldwater can freeze and stunt the roots and growth of the plant.
Bright to the medium indirect sun is what they need to stay happy. This is what they get under the canopies of trees in their natural environment. Direct sun is what they should avoid, else you will notice browning and scorching out of the foliage. Moreover, alocasia boa doesn’t withstand inadequate sun, especially for a longer duration.
Choose a suitable outdoor place with a bright shade or dappled sun. Make sure you avoid direct rays while ignoring a few hours of the mild morning sun.
On the other hand, an east or a west-facing windowsill is an ideal location for an indoor plantation. A sheer curtain or some screen is also helpful to block the direct sun, in case you don’t find a suitable spot.
The suitable temperature for all the members of this genus range between 60 to 75 F. This is simply the common temperature range of your room. So, the key rule is that if you feel comfortable in your room, your Alocasia plant will also feel good.
These people are sensitive to cold and frost. So, before the middle of the fall, make sure you move them to a warm indoor location. This is a special instruction for the growers in frosty regions.
Alocasia Boa Soil Requirement
Well-draining and chunky growing mixtures are required. This allows the right amount of water around the soil and drains the excess. Moreover, roots should get enough oxygen around them, which is a requirement for good growth.
A mixture of organic potting soil and perlite is a tried one by the growers. You can also add bits of horticulture charcoal to absorb excess salts during fertilization. This charcoal saves the plant from the harmful effects of over-fertilization. Also, it regulates the soil PH and enhances air circulation.
Another effective combination is a mixture of loam soil, rough potting sand, and peat. Perlite is a simple replacement for potting sand.
The natural habitat of these plants gives an idea about the requirement for high humidity. There must be at least 50% moisture in the air to keep the alocasia boa in good condition. Furthermore, moisture levels of 70% and above will result in healthy and supple foliage.
On dry days, the heating systems absorb the necessary moisture. This leaves the indoor plants short of necessary humidity. So, in case of dryness, you must adopt suitable measures to provide adequate moisture.
There are many methods to enhance humidity. The common ones include misting the plant and using a pebble-water tray under the pot. You can also use a room humidifier. However, make sure the moisture level does not pass the required level. As any excess moisture can make the foliage soggy.
Many people tend to place the Boa plants in humid places like bathrooms. This makes them a suitable spot for the plant while decorating your area. However, these big plants need spacious places and can not be placed in common small-sized areas.
Good quality of slow-release fertilizers in the mild dosage used thrice a year is a good fertilizing plan. These should be the warm days of spring and summer and never otherwise.
Over-fertilization can scorch out the foliage and even kill the plant in a few days. So, make sure you never use stronger concentrations. Also, it is not suitable to fertilize the sleeping plants in a state of dormancy. So, After the end of the summer, stop fertilizing.
The older and damaged leaves not only make the alocasia boa plant look unattractive but also put a burden on its health. So, it is better to remove the unhealthy leaves to get the benefits of pruning.
The well-developed rooting systems of Alocasias need good space. Plants getting root bound show slower growth and poor health. So, it is better to repot the plant every two years. Another sign of the plant needing a newer pot is the roots growing out from the drainage holes.
Spring up till the mid of the summer is the suitable time to repot. Plants disturbed in the fall or dormancy can hardly settle well again. This can not only slow the growth but can also kill the plant.
These plants are hardy outdoors in USDA growing zones 9b to 11. On the other hand, the zones for patio plantation are 4a to 11.
Alocasia Boa Propagation
These plants are tuberous growing from a central rhizome. So, they can not be propagated like the majority of indoor plants by simply using stem cuttings. However, it does not mean they are difficult to propagate.
They grow and spread by growing tiny plantlets attached to the parent plant through the base. These plantlets are known as puppies, clumps, or chicks. They are simply removed and replanted to make new Alocasias.
The ideal times to propagate are the warm and pleasant days of spring up till the middle of summer. A good idea is to get a few clumps out while repotting the plant.
- Just loosen the soil around the base of the plant and take it out very gently. Shake it mildly to get rid of the excess soil. For heavily tangled roots and clumped plants, you can soak the roots or use a garden hose to wash away the soil.
- The untangled roots will now be showing the clumps and baby plantlets. Each clump has its rooting system. This means they are ready enough to be planted and grow independently without waiting for them to be rooted.
- Just cut the connecting stem between the mother and the chick. Separate the roots of the clump and plant it in your desired spot with a quick-draining and aerated growing mixture.
- These new plantlets need a few weeks to get settled in the new place. Place them in mild indirect light and mild watering. These quick-growing plantlets will soon be seen turning into independent hardy plants.’
Alocasia boa is a medium-sized elephant-ear plant getting about 3 to 5 feet tall. The large shiny green leaves with zig-zag edges grow on long stalks which are joined at the bottom. These are easy to care for plants needing frequent watering, indirect sun, and high humidity.
This beautiful Boa plant is suitable enough for both indoor and outdoor plantations. Finally, we can not ignore the toxicity of the Alocasia. So, keep them away from kids and pets. Moreover, contact emergency medical help in case of emergency and ingestion.