Were you a fan of Mickey Mouse in your childhood? Well, today we are introducing you to the Mickey Mouse Plant. Cheers to this beautiful Aroid, the Alocasia Mickey Mouse.
The large and shiny dark-green elephant-ear leaves have light-green to creamy-white irregular variegations. You will see these variegations spread all over the leaf surface, making no two leaves look similar to each other. Although a perfect outdoor dweller, this is commonly considered an indoor plant. And the good thing is that all this beauty comes in a ‘not so difficult to care’ package.
Keep reading to enjoy a summarized guide about the care and maintenance of the Mickey Mouse Alocasia Plant. And, to your surprise, all this has nothing to do with Disney!
Alocasia Mickey Mouse Classification And Parentage
Scientific Name: Xanthosoma Albo Variegata
It would not be wrong to say that this is a plant with a confusing lineage. According to the most trustable opinions, it is part of the genus Xanthosoma. However, the genus name of the same family ‘Alocasia’ is commonly used with it. This is probably due to the close resemblance of the plant with the Alocasians.
The name is derived from the Greek words. The ‘Xanthos’ stands for ‘yellow’, while ‘Soma’ is for ‘body’. This is about the stigma or yellow inner tissues of the plant.
This genus of the family Araceae constitutes a collection of flowering plants. Natively, they belong to tropical America. However, they are popularly cultivated in different regions of the world including tropical climates.
These plants have several uses including the starchy corms. These are enjoyed as a main food item in tropical regions. Also, some of them are popular for ornamental purposes like the Xanthosoma rosea.
Other Names of Alocasia Mickey Mouse
- The large bi-lobbed leaves make it popularly known as the ‘Elephant Ears Mickey Mouse.’
- Other names are Mickey Mouse Taro, Pocket Plant, and many others.
Features of Alocasia Mickey Mouse Plant
In an open outdoor environment, the plant can get about 6 feet tall with a mature spread of about 5 feet. However, the size of the indoor ones depends upon the growing conditions like the available space and sunlight. A common well-cared plant gets about 3 to 5 feet tall.
Each large bi-lobed leaves stands on long green stalks coming out of a common base. A mature Mickey Mouse leaf may get about 8 to 10 inches long with a width of around 7 inches.
Keep kids and pets at a bay from these large leaves. The reason being the majority of Aroids are toxic just like this one. Close contact with skin can cause itching and mild blisters.
Furthermore, ingestion can cause allergies and irritate your mouth, eyes, and food pipe. Also, don’t avoid contacting emergency medical assistance in case of some unpleasant incident.
The falling temperature of winters makes these plants get dormant. This is the stage where the alocasia mickey mouse plant shows poor to no growth while minimizing the nutritional and water requirements.
Xanthosoma Mickey Mouse Vs Mickey Mouse Shrub
The common name is associated with another popular plant, scientifically known as Ochna serrulata. It is a medium-sized, small-leafed shrub with reddish flowers.
The name Mickey Mouse refers to the particular reddish and black fruit. The shape of these berries somewhat resembles the face of the famous Disney Character Mickey Mouse. So, the time you buy the Alocasia Mickey Mouse, make sure you don’t confuse yourself with the shrub.
Alocasia Mickey Mouse Care
The Xanthosoma Care is pretty much similar to that of the Alocasia Care.
Light: Bright indirect light
Humidity: Likes high but tolerates low levels
Fertilizer: Mild doses in spring and summer.
Let us move further to learn about “ How to take care of an Alocasia mickey mouse Plant”?
Let us get the answer to the common question, ‘When should I water my Mickey Mouse Plant’? The basic watering strategy is to water the soil thoroughly and wait for the upper layer to get dry before watering again.
If you are a beginner and not much familiar with Xanthosoma Care, you can check with your finger or some pencil. Just insert it in the soil for 2 to 3 inches. Soil feeling dry is an indication that your plant needs water.
After the initial months, you can finally define a watering frequency. It is variable and depends upon environmental factors like temperature and humidity. An average estimate for springs and summer is watering the plant about once to thrice a week.
In winter, the water requirements become minimal due to plant dormancy. So, don’t water the plant more than once every three weeks in fall and winter.
Just like the majority of other plants, these Aroids too need to avoid over-watering. Soggy and mucky soil attracts fungus and root rot. So, don’t water unless the upper 3 inches get dry.
These peeps love plenty of indirect sunlight. A well-lit indoor corner near a window is the perfect place to place your Mickey Mouse Alocasia.
Outdoors, you need to select a place with plenty of indirect sunlight. The delicate variegated leaves have poor resistance to direct sun. So, make sure you are placing them wisely to avoid scorching out your plant.
An ideal temperature range for Aroids is about 54 to 85 F. Simply stating, a temperature where you feel comfortable in your house is the perfect spot for your Mickey Mouse plant as well.
The genus shows a poor resistance to lower temperatures. A temperature below 50 F can freeze and even kill the plant. So, people living in cooler and frosty regions should not forget to bring them indoors before fall.
Rich and well-draining soils are what they need to grow. If you are opting for a self-mixed product, use coir fiber and perlite with common soil. People looking for economical options can replace coir fiber with peat moss.
Alocasia is native to tropical lands. This shows the importance of warmth and humidity for these plants. Ideally speaking, a moisture level of 80% and above is perfect. However, they can survive well in the average moisture level of your zone.
In case you feel your zone dry, it’s time to put a little effort to provide the necessary moisture. Misting is one of the most common and easiest ways. Simply use a spray bottle and splash a few times on the alocasia mickey mouse plant. However, make sure it is placed on a well-aired spot to allow quick drying and avoid sogginess.
The other popular and effective methods include using a pebble-water tray and a room humidifier.
The large elephant-ear leaves love to gulp up some added nutrition. A good quality houseplant fertilizer once a month is ideal for spring and summer.
Just like over-watering, over-fertilization is also harmful to the plant. So, make sure you use mild concentrations. Also, stop fertilization right after the end of the summer. This is to compensate for the lack of nutritional requirements on colder days.
The old and dead leaves are nothing but a burden on the plant. So, remove them by cutting to help the plant look fresh and remain healthy.
Xanthosomas are good to go without frequent repotting. Just relax and sit back unless the plant’s base prominently looks bigger for the pot. It is best to choose a pot twice bigger than the previous one to relax again for the next few years.
Just like the majority of Aroids, these plants are hardy in USDA growing zones 10 and 11.
Alocasia Mickey Mouse Propagation
It would not be wrong to say that these hardy peeps are easy-to-propagate. The division is a popular method of propagation.
Propagation by Division:
The start of spring up to the middle of the summer is the ideal time to enhance your plant collection.
- A Mickey Mouse Alocasia Plant in its healthy and adult state needs repotting when the roots are visibly growing out from the drainage holes.
- A mature plant starts producing tiny plants attached to the mother. These are known as puppies or chicks.
- Loosen the soil around and take the plant out very gently. If you don’t need to repot the whole plant, you can simply cut the chicks without taking out the whole plant.
- Now, take a sterilized knife and cut the pups away. Furthermore, use your fingers to separate them from the parent. Make sure you are not damaging the roots.
- Replant them in your desired place with a dry growing mixture.
In the initial month, avoid heavy watering. Just use a spray bottle and splash the soil and the plant a few times. This will help the plant to get rooted properly in the new soil. Once the soil gets about 90% dry, it is time to splash again.
Secondly, new peeps should not stand in direct or very bright sun. Just a medium indirect sun is enough for the pups.
After the initial month, you can finally follow the care as mentioned in the previous section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Alocasia Mickey Mouse taro rare?
Yes, this tropical plant is pretty rare with all its beautiful variegation.
Is Alocasia Mickey Mouse an indoor plant?
Yes! Although this tall peep can get up to 6 feet outdoor indoor heights are much smaller. Moreover, their beautiful appearance makes them popular in indoor plantations.
How can you propagate a Mickey Mouse Plant?
The common division method is best to make some ready Xanthosoma plants. Seeds are also readily available in markets. However, this is a time-consuming method and needs proper care.
Is Mickey Mouse plant an Alocasia or a Caladium?
To your surprise, Mickey Mouse Xanthosoma is neither an Alocasia nor a Caladium. According to the most popular opinions, it belongs to the Xanthosoma genus, which is a sister Aroid genus of Alocasia and Caladium.
Alocasia Mickey Mouse is a beautiful plant from the genus Xanthosoma. The big elephant-shaped leaves are deep green with beautiful light to cream variegation. It can grow up to 6 feet in an outdoor environment. However, it remains shorter in indoor plantations, where it remains comparatively shorter.
Infrequent watering, high humidity, and medium to bright indirect sun are what you need to keep them happy. In last, it is important to mention that these are toxic for us and animals. So, kids and pets should not mingle with these plants. Also, contact emergency medical aid in case of ingestion or other allergic reaction.