Alocasia Polly, commonly known as the African mask plant is a fast-growing, rhizomatous, perennial houseplant from Araceae family and is native to tropical regions of South Asia. It is known for its glossy, long triangular-shaped leaves with silvery green to white veining and is a hybrid that grows up to 2′ tall and as wide. The name African Mask Plant is due to the similar appearance of its leaves to the triangle shape of African masks.
African Mask Plant Care Guide
Follow these guidelines to care for your African Mask plant.
- Sunlight: The African Mask plant can be kept under bright indirect sunlight but never under direct sunlight as it likes to grow under shade.
- Soil & Potting Mix: The African Mask plant loves to grow well in soils with good water-holding capacity. Hence, avoid planting them in sandy soils. Prepare potting mix by mixing 30% cocopeat + 30% organic manure + 30% garden soil + 10% perlite.
- Watering: If you want to take proper care of the African Mask plant, then you should master watering. Too much waterlogged or soggy soil will lead to root rot as well and dry soils for longer duration can also harm this plant. Therefore, keep the soil a little moist but not soggy. Water only when the upper layer of potting soil becomes dry. Moreover, you should also mist your plant with water once in two to three days during dry summer days as it enjoys moisture in the air.
- Fertilizers: It is not a heavy feeder, but for ideal plant growth, you can fertilize the African Mask plant with a handful of vermicompost or tea leaf fertilizer once every 20 to 30 days from spring to the end of the summer season. Do not fertilize this plant during winter as it goes under dormancy.
- Pruning: Keep removing dead or diseased parts of the plant timely to promote healthy growth in the plant.
- Potting & Repotting: The African Mask plant can be planted in 6 to 8-inch sized pots with drainage holes at the bottom. Moreover, the ideal season for planting this beautiful houseplant extends from spring to the end of the summer season. Avoid planting or repotting them during winters as they go under dormancy.
- Pests & Diseases: Generally, they are not much affected by pests, but in worse conditions, pests such as mealybugs, spider mites or aphids can damage your African mask plant. You can either use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol or neem oil spray to control these pests. Avoid overwatering or waterlogging to protect your plant from root rot.
How To Propagate The African Mask Plant?
You can propagate the African Mask plant by division during the spring to the summer season. Take out a healthy plant along with roots from the pot and divide the plant into two to three parts from the root zone area. Make sure to have roots in the new plant. Fill the pot with potting mix and plant the divided new plant in it. Water thoroughly after planting and keep it under shade.
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