What is Alocasia Polly?
The Alocasia Polly, also popularly known as the African mask plant, Alocasia Bambino, or elephant ears, is a tropical plant popular among homeowners and flower stores for its unique foliage. The plant has eye-catching, odd-shaped leaves with very conspicuous nerves. The shape of the leaves is in between love hearts and arrowhead shapes or that of elephant ears. The leaf texture is yet another fascinating thing about the plant. Usually, the leaves appear slimy, thick, waxy, or glossy. Against the colorful veins, the glossy texture looks stunning, especially in bright light.
Alocasia Polly is believed to be a hybrid of Alocasia Sanderiana and Alocasia watsoniana. The plant is native to the Philippines and thrives in high humidity and warm places with bright but not direct sunlight.
Intro to Alocasia Polly and how to take care of it
Alocasia Polly is a stunning and unique plant that requires a little bit more effort than most houseplants. Usually, the plant is valued for its foliage, but it can also bloom into bright yellow flowers. It’s rare but not impossible. With optimum growth conditions and food, the plant can bloom throughout the year.
The plant thrives during summer and spring when it produces most of its leaves and increases in size. Alocasia Polly can grow upto 4 feet tall, and its leaves can be 20 inches long.
As mentioned earlier, the plant is native to the tropics and can thrive without too much water. For this reason, the plant is drought resistant and can go for weeks without watering. Its stalks are thick to store water that the plant can use without drawing water from the soil. When taking care of your house plant, be sure to keep the soil wet or moist but not soggy. The plant is sensitive to excessive watering. Overwatering your African mask plant causes its leaves to turn yellow, droop, and eventually die off.
It would be best if you had a pot that is large enough to accommodate the plant. It grows rapidly, and you would need to repot it into a bigger one later.
The African mask plant requires porous soil to thrive. Your planting medium should be well-draining, adequately aerated, and moist but not soggy. The best way to achieve this is by mixing humus with coarse soil or sand.
Types of Alocasia Polly you can find in Hong Kong
The Alocasia Polly plants are common and have many species and sub-species. They are easy to hybridize, which has resulted in more than 70 hybrids with different leaf shapes, colors, and sizes. The most common types in Hong Kong include;
- Alocasia Amazonica: Grows upto 2 feet tall and wide. The leaves resemble those of the Amazon lily but more like its jewel version.
- Alocasia Macrorrhizos: The Polly plant is enormous and grows upto 8 feet wide and 15 feet tall.