Are you looking for a hardy and dense looking plant to fill your large space? We are going to introduce another Alocasia, the Alocasia Regal Shield plant. It is a cultivar between Alocasia odora and Alocasia reginula, belonging to Africa. This quick-grower forms a dense bush of long stalks supporting the giant leaves looking somewhat similar like the ears of the elephant.
Leaves are large and blackish-green in color with lighter venation. Each leaf is standing on a long and erect, stalk-like stem. These hardy plants are a good choice to grow in gardens and open spaces. Moreover, they make perfect pots and containers for indoor plantation in homes, offices and hallways. Still with us? Let us know more about the care and maintenance of the Regal Shield Elephant-ear plant.
Alocasia Regal Shield Classification
Cultivar: Regal Shield
It is a genus of perennial flowering plants comprising of about 70 different species. Bold and prominent foliage with the underground rhizomatous rooting system are the main features of these plants. Members of this genus are extensively cultivated and hybridized forming a large variety of plants.
The famous Alocasia amazonica and Alocasia macrorrhizos are the proud members of the genus. Elephant Ear plants and Gray Masks are the common names used for the majority of Alocasias. This is in reference to the specific leaf shape.
Alocasia Regal Shield Parentage
This is a cultivar of two common Alocasias.
Alocasia odora X Alocasia reginula.
- Regal Shield Elephant Ear.
Features of the Alocasia Regal Shield Plant
Height and Structure
- The plant can grow around 3 to 6 feet at maturity. In outdoor plantation and open space, you may even see it getting as tall as 9 feet. However, such tall peeps are not much common.
- The plant body consists of numerous long stalk-like stems with leaves at the top. These stalks join at the base through underground rhizomatous rooting systems.
- Each mature elephant-ear leaf gets from 8 to 20 inches in size.
The plants are mainly grown for the foliage. However, they grow typical Aroid flowers in warm days. The Alocasia Regal Shield Flowers grow on long inflorescences. The white to pale yellow or light green spathe is covered by a large spadix which looks like a giant flower.
All the members of the genus carry the legacy of toxicity. These plants are known to possess no.4 level of toxicity and unsafe for both animals and humans. Ingestion and close contact leads to serious health issues like skin allergies, vomiting with ulceration of throat and oesophagus. So, make sure you keep the plants out of the reach of kids and pets.
They may show a slow growth and leaf drop in winter. This state is known as dormancy. Don’t worry about your plant as you will see it flourishing again with the upcoming spring. Just make sure you don’t over-water or fertilize the Regal Shields plant. Watering the plant once in two to three weeks is enough to keep the sleeping peeps alive.
Alocasia Regal Shield Care
These hardy peeps don’t need any extra care from you. Just place them in indirect light and water right after the soil gets dry. Let us have a deeper look into the requirements of these plants.
The basic watering strategy of Alocasia plants works here as well. Just water the plant thoroughly and let the soil dry out before next watering.
In the beginning, you need to see the routine of the plant to learn and make the watering schedule. Check the soil by dipping a finger in the upper layer of the soil.
The water requirement of the plants is generally variable and depends upon the features like weather, temperature, moisture and sunlight. In spring and summers, ideal watering frequency ranges from once to thrice. Alternatively, once in every ten to twenty days is enough to keep the dormant peep alive.
Make sure you water slowly and around the base of the plant. This helps to water the entire root ball and not only the outer roots. You can also make a few holes with the help of a blunt knife or pencil to ensure the water reaches the central roots.
Over-watering is quite harmful to the plant. Soggy soil leads to plant issues like fungus and root rot.
Medium to bright indirect light keeps the Regal Shield Plant happy. In outdoor plantation, choose a well-lit place with indirect sunlight. Alternatively, the south or north-facing window is ideal for the Alocasia Regal Shield Indoor.
This plant grows in the direction of sunlight. So, don’t forget to rotate the plant pot regularly. This will ensure uniform exposure of sunlight to all the sides of the plant body.
Direct light can scorch the elephant-ears out. Make sure to keep the plant away from the fierce sun.
The ideal temperature to keep the Alocasias happy ranges from 55 to 80 °F. These plants are heat hardy. So, they can stand the hot days without losing their vigour and freshness. In frigid zones, don’t forget to save the plants from cold and frost. Moreover, make sure you transfer them to some warm indoor spot before the temperature falls in fall and winter.
The Regal Shields need well-draining and rich soil. You can use any common quick-drying houseplant growing mixture. The ideal PH range stands between 5.5 to 7.
Sandy, rocky and mucky soils don’t go very well with the majority of Alocasia plants
These plants love to be in high humidity. The ideal moisture level in the atmosphere should be above 80%. In dry days, you can adjust the humidity by different measures. Misting is a common and easy method to provide the required moisture to the plant. You can use a spray bottle for misting the foliage mildly about twice a week. This technique is quite useful specially in the beginning in the early days of winter.
Secondly, you can consider using a room humidifier or a pebble-water tray under the pot. Moreover, grouping the plants also helps to enhance the overall moisture levels.
Use a common houseplant fertilizer once a month in spring and summer. Use a good quality product to avoid salt formation in the soil. Make sure you follow the instructions on the pack preferably using lesser than the desired dose. This keeps you on the safe side to avoid over-fertilizing.
Extra nutrition is not required in cold days. So, avoid fertilizing in fall and winter.
Look for large-sized pots with drainage holes at the base.
The plants are hardy in USDA Growth Zones 3 to 11.
Alocasia Regal Shield Propagation
The division is the best method to propagate the rhizomatous plants.
The ideal time for propagation starts from the middle of the spring until the middle of the summer. However, you may propagate by the end of summer as well.
- Select a well-grown healthy plant and loosen the soil around the base. Very gently, pull the rhizome out of the soil.
- Now, cut the 1/3rd of the rhizome with the help of a sterilized knife. Make sure there are at least 2 to 3 shoots on the new rhizome division.
- Now, plant the rhizomes at their desired place. The new plantlet should be planted in moist quick-drying soil. Place it in a warm and moist spot with indirect light.
Let us have a better understanding of the propagation process with the help of an estimated time-line.
Day 1 to Day 60: Place the setup at a warm and humid space with indirect light or dappled sun. Spray water the soil right after it gets about 90%dry. You will see the shoot development around the 5th week.
Day 60 onward: At this stage, you can simply follow the Alocasia Regal Shields Care in the previous section.
Regal Shield Plant Problems
Yellowing of Leaves
If you are observing quick yellowing of leaves on a large scale, this is not normal. The basic reason could be inadequate or over-watering. Observe the schedule and watering quantity and adjust accordingly.
Brown Spots or Brown Leaf Edges
This could be a symptom of dry soil or low humidity for your Regal Shield Plant. You need to observe the watering requirements and moisture level of the surroundings. Make sure the plant stands in around 80% moisture. Different measures to enhance the humidity include plant grouping, misting, pebble-water tray and introducing a room humidifier.
Drooping of Leaves
Here too, inadequate water supply and low humidity are the possible culprits.
The Alocasia Regal Shield is a popular cultivar native to the African region. The plant is a quick-grower and usually grows between 3 to 6 feet. The elephant-ear shaped, big, blackish-green leaves with lighter venation stand on long, stalk-like stems. Each stem carries a leaf and numerous stems join at the base on an underground rhizome. These hardy peeps like to grow in large spaces. You can grow them outdoors in gardens. Moreover, they make good containers and pots for indoor plantation.
The hardy peep needs indirect light, high humidity and water right after the soil gets dry. Although rarely, the plant does bloom in the warm season. The Alocasia Regale Flowers are white to light white typical Aroid flowers with long inflorescence. Just like the siblings, this Alocasia also shows a toxic nature. Thus, make sure you keep the kids and pets away from your Regal Shield Elephant-Ears plant.