Our mother’s planet is blessed with immense varieties of life in all forms. Plants and animals of all kinds are found in different layers of the earth. Nature has created different plants for each habitat. One such beautiful gift from nature is the Alocasia sarian plant, native to the rain forests of Southern Asia.
Alocasia sarian is tropical perennial plant with unique, big, green, glossy, heart-shaped leaves with prominent white veins passing through the leaf. The leaves are supported upright by thin, cylindrical, and tall stems.
The leaves of the smaller plants look somewhat arrow-shaped with pointed tips. The size of the plant and leaves varies widely and depends upon the environment and care available to the plant.
The height of the plant in an indoor environment usually remains around 3 to 4 feet and the leaves are usually 1 foot in length. In the outdoor environment and optimum conditions, the mature leaves of the plant may attain a size as big as 5 feet in length and 4 feet in width, while the plant as a whole may grow from 5 to10 feet in height. The Sarian plant is beautiful enough to give a decorative outlook to any corner of your house or the center of your garden.
Family of Alocasia Sarian Plant
Alocasia sarian is a huge hybrid of two Alocasians; Alocasia zebrina and Alocasia micholitziana. It was named after an agricultural journalist in the Philippines, Zac B. Sarian.
They are rhizomatous plants and belong to the family Araceae (the Calla family). The Alocasia genus has more than 70 different species that are extensively cultivated and hybridized into dozens of varieties.
Some bigger hybrids are even adaptive to full bright sun exposure. Popular varieties are the Alocasia amazonica(The Amazon lily) and the huge Alocasia macrorrhizos which can get up to 15 feet tall.
Common Names of Alocasia Sarian Plant
- Due to the big leaves of a specific shape, the plant is commonly known as ‘the elephant ears’.
However, this name is used for some other plant species as well.
- They are also called ‘the African masks’ due to their somewhat triangular shape resembling the famous typical masks of African culture.
Features of Alocasia Sarian Plant
The Alocasia Sarian possesses huge and pointed leaves which resemble the ears of an elephant. The pointedness of leaves makes them look taller and more open. These leaves are heavily ribbed and triangulated with their long, thick, and smooth-textured stem. The white venation on the surface of bright green leaves further enhances their beauty.
The height of a mature Sarian Alocasia is around 5-10 feet and it can spread around a width of 2-6 feet. This peculiar size makes it easily noticeable within the room.
However, the size of the plant may vary significantly depending upon the location where it is placed. In an indoor environment, it can reach a maximum height of 3-4 feet. Whereas in the case of an outdoor environment, its size can reach 12 feet just like a giant.
Like other philodendrons, the Philodendron Serpen also belongs to the evergreen community. It maintains its brightness and greenness throughout the year if it is provided with adequate growing conditions.
The Sarian plant has unscented flowers resembling the Calla lily. It flowers with typical spathe and spadix and it never blooms.
These plants do not like variations in temperature as they are not temperature tolerant. In the case of the winter season, they cannot tolerate temperatures below 55-degree Fahrenheit. Therefore, during this season you must shift them to a warm place as in the other case their growth will be affected seriously.
All Alocasias go into dormancy during the winter season. Therefore, you need not to worry in case of no growth during the winter season as they conserve their energies and resources during this season.
You must also adopt a cautious attitude while watering them as overwatering or overfeeding during this period can be harmful to them.
These plants are not comfortable in dry environments as they are not drought resistant.
They are fond of humid environments. Maintaining adequate humidity levels can enable you to maintain the freshness and brightness of its leaves. You can maintain humidity by misting the plant.
The most prominent pest that can attack these plants is spider mites. The mites cause grey discoloration and the presence of these pests can be identified through spider-like webs either under the leaves or stems. The use of neem oil, herbal sprays, and chemical pesticides can address this problem.
In the presence of adequate growing conditions, the Alocasia Sarian possesses a fast growth rate. The season and environmental conditions play a determining role in its growth rate.
These plants are unfortunately toxic to both pets and children. They can cause swelling of the mouth, throat, and ulceration in case of accidental ingestion. Therefore, both pets and children should be kept away from them.
These perennials plants are very durable. They can live for decades if given suitable growing conditions.
It is not a low- maintenance plant. The plant has a particular lifestyle; therefore, you have to take care of its needs and preferences to relish its full beauty.
Care of Alocasia Sarian Plant
The Sarian plant can dwell in both indoor and outdoor environments.
The Alocasia sarian and its other family members are water-loving plants. You can water thrice a week or more in the summer and spring season when the plant is growing rapidly. It is required to keep the soil moist but make sure that the upper two inches of the soil are dry before you water the plant again. Soggy soil is to be avoided as it will lead to different problems including root rot.
In winter, the plant does not need much water. Just keep the soil moist by watering once in a while. Overwatering at this stage may harm the plant.
The Alocasia sarian prefers moist and well-drained soil. Rocky and sandy soils don’t prove to be a healthy grounding space for the plant.
Recommended soil mixture for growing a new plant is soil and perlite in equal ratio.
The Sarian Alocasia plant thrives well in humid environments. You can mist the leaves and use a watered pebble tray under the pot for providing good humidity levels in the growing season.
The Alocasia sarian plant needs full to partial sun. If described in percentage, they need 80 to 90% filtered sunlight.
In the case of indoor potted plants, always make sure to rotate the plant regularly. This will ensure that all the sides of the plant get equal exposure to sunlight and help the plant grow in good symmetry.
The sarian Alocasia dwells great in the temperature range between 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Frosting temperatures are better to be avoided. Potted Sarians placed outdoors should be transferred indoors in warm temperature areas to avoid freezing in the cold especially in Northern zones.
Be careful to save the plant from drifting near a window or around heaters, air conditioners, or direct fans.
The plant dwells great by adding a ‘slow-release fertilizer’ thrice a year. Water-based fertilizers are also good options for the ‘heavy feeders’. In the growing season, you can even use a mild organic fertilizer twice a month to feed the hungry babies.
If the plant is newly planted, it needs at least 6 inches of basic fertilizer sprinkled on the soil around the base of the plant. It is advised to avoid low-grade fertilizers as the cheap salts used in the fertilizers may damage the roots of the plant. Fertilizers used in higher quantities and frequency many burn your Sarian plant.
The members of the Alocasia family prefer to be root bound, so they grow pretty well even in smaller pots. They do equally well in large pots as well. It is recommended that the base of the pot needs to be drilled with a few holes to enable water drainage in the soil.
The leaves of the plant are exposed and need to be cleaned to perform photosynthesis for food production. Always make sure to keep the leaves clean by misting and wiping the dust away from the leaf surface.
In the growth zone 9b to 11 they can dwell well outdoors. For the potted plant, the suitable growth zone is 4b to 11 where they need to be turned indoors before the winters turn fierce.
Season of Growth in Sarian Plant
The growing season in these plants is summer and spring.
Season of Dormancy in Sarian Plant
Alocasia sarian plant, just like its other family members turns dormant in winter. So don’t get worried if you see lesser or no growth in your Sarian Alocasia plant on the cold days. It is simply ‘sleeping’ the winter away. They get dormant to reduce the consumption of resources. Just keep it warm, moist, lighted, and wait for the spring season to see it flourishing once again.
Growth frequency of Sarian Plant
In the growing seasons, the Alocasia sarian plants are fast growers, producing new and stronger leaves every week.
Cultivation of Alocasia Sarian Plant
The Sarian plant is commonly cultivated by the division of rhizomes.
The cultivation is best to be done in the growing season of spring and the early summer. The division is not recommended in and around dormancy.
- The roots of the plant are formed by rhizome. To divide the plant, take out the mother plant from the soil using a shovel. Now divide the rhizome and plant back the mother plant. Now put the smaller part of the rhizome in moist soil and sprinkle some fertilizer around the base.
- Make sure to keep the upper side of the rhizome upright above the soil line otherwise the new plant will not establish its roots.
- Keep the plant at a suitable temperature and mild indirect sun exposure in a room with plenty of fresh air. Make sure to provide water when required.
- If you are repotting a plant obtained from the greenhouse, make sure to keep it in low sun exposure in the initial days. The greenhouses keep these plants in areas covered with green sheets so it’s better to keep the plant in low sun exposure (preferably indoor) in the initial days until it gets used to the new environment.
- The Sarian plants do not like frequent repotting, so make sure not to disturb the mother plant again for at least a year.
Problems of Alocasia Sarian Plant
Like other plants, this plant can also get some problems in growth and structure. Common problems are highlighted below:
Spider mites tend to attack the plant if it is already weak due to poor health. This causes patches of gray discoloration on the plant.
These can be controlled by pesticide or herbal sprays commonly available in markets. These mites can also be controlled by wiping the plant leaves manually using some water or herbal spray made up of oil and Neem leaves.
Always make sure to wear gloves and do other protective measures to maintain hygiene and avoid any health issues.
Yellowing or Falling Out of Leaves
The common possible reason for the yellowing of leaves is an unsuitable watering routine. It may be either over or under watered.
Notice your watering schedule and rectify it.
Browning of Leaves
If you observe that the leaves are turning brown this is an indication that one or more basic plant requirements are not being provided suitably.
- It could be exposed to excessive sunlight causing the burning of the leaves.
- The watering schedule is not appropriate.
- The temperature is below the bearable range for the plant.
You can only find out the real reason by observing the environment and your watering routine. Change the place and adjust the schedule accordingly.
The Alocasia sarian plant is a popular member of the Arums(Araceae) family. It can dwell well both indoors and outdoors, however you need to transfer it to warm indoor regions before the winter arrives. Provided with proper care, the elephant ear plant with its big and attractive leaves can be a preferable choice to enhance the beauty of your home and garden.