Alocasia 'Stingray', Elephant Ear Stingray
The Alocasia Stingray is such an interesting specimen, theatrical foliage curls outward, creating a spoon shaped leaf. This plant gets its name from the pointed tail that reaches out from each leaf, and curls around as if attempting to hook onto something. Zebra striped stalks are equally as impressive, this plant is sure to be a talking point in your home.
Natively grown in tropical rainforests of Asia, this plant loves hot, damp environments. In the wild, its leaves can stretch up to 1 meter in width.
As is the case with most Alocasia, The Stingray Alocasia prefers areas that are bright but do not receive intense, direct sunlight as this can scorch their somewhat sensitive leaves. They are also capable of surviving moderate light conditions but their growth rate is likely to decrease, along with the overall size of the new leaves they produce.
If these plants reside in an area with inadequate light their leaves may turn yellow and drop off, and the plants may stop growing entirely.
Occasional wiping of their leaves is recommended, as they do have a tendency to collect dust. This will allow the plan to make the most of the light in its environment. Make sure to do this very gently, however, as the ruffled, irregular form means their leaves can be prone to tearing .
Regular watering is best when it comes to the Alocasia Stingray, typically just after the top few inches of compost dry out. They typically prefer to be in damper, more humid environments, much like their tropical origins. It is, however, important to ensure they are not overwatered as this can lead to root rot. Growing these plants in pots with drainage holes will help avoid this.
Fertilizing will enable your Alocasia Stingray to grow to its fullest potential. During the growing season, from roughly March to August, best practise is the fertilize these plants roughly once per month with a half strength liquid fertilizer.
This can be stopped during the winter months as the colder, darker days will typically cause your Alocasia to go dormant, meaning it will cease to grow.
Your Alocasia Stingray prefers warmer temperatures, in the region of 18-22 degrees Celsius. Temperatures that are too cold can be a significant factor in Alocasias going dormant, as well as increasing the chances of overwatering as less moisture leaves the pot through evaporation.
It is important also to avoid high heat also. If you observe the leaves of your Alocasia Stingray curling inwards and/or beginning to dry out around the edges it is likely the temperature of the room is too high and should be adjusted.
When repotting your plant, rich organic composts mixed with a small quantity of drainage-improving amendments tend to be best.
Division is the best method of propagating Alocasia Stingray plants.
To do this remove the plant from its pot and remove all compost surrounding the root system. Using a sterile pair of secateurs, cut away the tuberous rhizomes from the mother plant. Place each of the divided rhizomes in a small pot of their own and keep warm and moist. Repot the original mother plant back in its pot.
Alocasia Macrorrhiza 'Stingray' is considered to be toxic to both humans and animals due to the presence of calcium oxalate, which can cause irritation of the mouth and throat.