Potted Alocasia plant
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Alocasia nebula is an exotic species that is sought-after as a houseplant due to its otherworldly large and beautiful leaves.

Alocasia Nebula in clay pot on wooden table

This is despite the fact that this plant will need a lot of your time and attention to survive and thrive indoors. Learn all our expert tips and tricks to make this plant happy and healthy by reading this all-encompassing guide.

What Is Alocasia Nebula?

Alocasia nebula, or Nebula imperialis, is a rare plant species that is also known as the Elephant ear plant due to its large-sized, thick and veiny leaves. It is quite a demanding plant that needs proper attention to grow successfully.

Alocasia Nebula Care

Look after this plant by providing it with bright indirect light and keeping Alocasia nebula soil semi-moist at all times. Water it at least three times each week. It is preferable to use distilled or reverse osmosis water. Maintain humidity above 60 percent and temperatures between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here are some more details on how to care for Alocasia nebula.

– Water Requirements 

Watering the Alocasia plant is very tricky. This plant likes its soil to be in a constant semi-moist state. What this means is that it needs to be watered often but not with a lot of water.

Learn the water requirements of this plant in detail below.

How To Water the Alocasia Nebula

Give a moderate amount of water to this plant. Keep watering the plant until water starts to pour out of the drainage hole. Allow it to drain out of the drainage hole into a pan, then drain this pan as well.

Wait for some time until the surface of the soil becomes dry to the touch. Now water again using only a moderate amount this time as well. 

Using too much water will turn the soil soggy and runny, which is not recommended at all.

How Often To Water Your Alocasia Plant

During summers, water your Alocasia plant at least thrice a week. During winters, reduce the frequency of watering to only once per week.

– Light Requirements 

The Alocasia plant needs indirect or partial bright light to grow well. Never make the mistake of putting them under direct sunlight. Alocasia nebula leaves are extremely sensitive to the sun and prone to developing sunburns.

Growing Alocasia Indoors Under Natural Light

Keep this plant in the most brightly-lit room of your house, but keep it away from being put too near the windows where direct light might fall on it. The eastern and western-facing windows work the best. They let in only the mild early morning and the early evening sunlight, respectively, which is tolerable for this plant.

Remember that the more you move your plant away from the window, the light intensity falls proportionally. Avoid the southern-facing windows at all costs as the light coming through them is the harshest and most intense.

Growing Alocasia Under Artificial Light

You can also grow Alocasia indoors under artificial grow lights. We always recommend using LED lights for plants as they are very environmentally friendly and efficient.

– Soil Requirements 

The soil for your Alocasia plant needs to be well-draining and provide good air circulation. It should have an equal ratio of regular potting mix, peat and perlite.

Peat adds the required levels of organic matter and nutrients to your soil. Perlite is responsible for improving drainage and allowing space for the roots to grow. You can also add a couple of pebbles in the lowermost part of the pot to further improve drainage.

– Temperature Requirements

Alocasia needs 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit temperature at all times. This plant normally undergoes dormancy during wintertime when the temperatures drop.

Even minor exposure to cold like air-conditioning will make it drop its leaves and undergo dormancy. Your plant will appear as if it is dying but its tubers will be alive and it will revive once you restore the warm conditions.

Always keep Alocasia nebula plants indoors in a warm room. A bathroom or kitchen is often the best spot for these plants.

– Humidity Requirements

Your Alocasia needs more than 60 percent humidity indoors to grow and thrive properly. We suggest you buy a hygrometer to keep an accurate check on the humidity levels around this plant.

Here is how you can increase the humidity levels at home:

  • Huddle several plants close together, but do take care that air circulation isn’t compromised.
  • Keep a humidity tray with water and pebbles under your pot. The water will evaporate and improve humidity, whereas the pebbles are there so that the pot rests on them and not on the water.
  • Invest in a humidifier! This is your best shot as a humidifier will maintain the right levels of humidity at all times without you having to put in any effort at all.

– Fertilizing Requirements

For the Alocasia plant, buy a liquid fertilizer and dilute it to one-fourth of its original strength. Water the plant first before fertilizing each time. This habit will protect your plant from developing fertilizer burns.

Fertilize every second week during the warmer months of the growth period. This plant undergoes a dormancy period during winter. Stop fertilizing then as there really is no need for it. 

– Pruning

Prune off all the dead, yellow and decaying leaves from your Alocasia nebula plant to make sure it looks neat and healthy. This also helps the plant conserve its much-needed energy.

 

Propagation

You can propagate this plant at home either by using stem cuttings or by taking offset divisions. The best time to carry out propagation is during the warmer months of the year. This means early spring or summertime.

Find out the details here.

– How To Propagate Stem Cuttings

Propagate Alocasia nebula stem cutting and place it in water until new roots emerge, then place it in the appropriate soil.

Take a Suitable Stem Cutting

Cut a part of the stem that is at least 3 to 4 inches long and has at least one leaf and one leaf node. Always use sterile scissors or shears in order to prevent the unwanted spread of infections.

Place in Water

Fill a clear container with clean water and place your stem cutting in it. In a couple of days, tiny roots will begin to grow. Change this water at least once a week to keep the cuttings healthy.

Add Soil and Transfer to a Pot

When your Alocasia nebula size becomes a couple of inches long, then you can directly transplant it into the soil. You can also add spoonfuls of soil to the container each day until the water is completely replaced by the soil.

Once your plant has adjusted to living in the dark environment of the soil, then you can transfer it to a pot. This practice greatly decreases the risk of the plant developing transplant shock.

– How To Propagate Through Divisions

Propagate Alocasia nebula variegated plant by repotting it. Divide its underground roots and pot them in individual pots.

Choose a Suitable Offset

This plant grows in clumps that are connected to each other by the roots. You can get an offset from the base of the plant but a better practice is to obtain them during repotting when you take the whole plant out of its soil.

Wash the soil gently off the roots in order to observe them properly. Remove a suitable cluster with its root system and one or two leaves.

Prepare a New Pot

Bring out a new pot and fill it with the appropriate soil. Moisten and dampen the soil by adding water to it. Make a suitably-sized hole in the center of the pot for placing the divisions in.

Plant the Divisions

Be very gentle when burying the divisions in the soil. Don’t pack the soil too tightly around them at first, and water one more time after planting.

– Proper Timing

You should propagate and repot Alocasia nebula in spring or summer. This gives its roots a lot of time to adjust to their new environment before the harsher winter months.

Problems 

The sensitive Alocasia plant is toxic upon both ingestion and touch. It is also prone to root rot, leaf spot disease, and mealybugs infestations.

Read about all these in detail in the upcoming sections.

– Toxicity

All parts of this plant are toxic upon ingestion and touch. In fact, all alocasia nebula hybrids are toxic. Eating it can cause gastrointestinal symptoms ranging from moderate to severe, including cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Keep this plant away from the reach of pets and children.

Touching it might also produce severe skin allergies or rashes to develop on your hands and arms. Always wear gloves and full-sleeved clothes when handling this plant to protect yourself.

– Root Rot

Root rot is a fungal disease that occurs as a result of overwatering, lack of air circulation or poor drainage of water or the pot. Brown, rotten spots will appear on the leaves, roots and stems of the affected plant.

Find out how to treat root rot by yourself here:

  • In order to treat root rot, you will need to take the whole plant out of its previous pot first. Take care not to damage the already fragile roots while you’re at it.
  • Wash the roots very gently to remove all the dirt and soil attached to it. Inspect to see how damaged they are.
  • Next, take sharp gardening shears and cut off all the rotten parts of the plant. 
  • Take a new pot and fill it with fresh soil. Repot the plant in it and spray with an antifungal agent every day for at least two weeks.
  • Discard the old soil of the infected plant. Don’t plant anything else in it or throw it out casually. Also, disinfect and clean the shears after use.

– Bacterial Leaf Spot Disease

This plant will succumb to this disease if its soil is left too wet and soggy for rather long periods of time. Wet, brown spots will appear on your Alocasia leaves, and these spots will be surrounded by a yellow halo. Rapid exfoliation of the leaves will soon follow.

Find out how to get rid of leaf spots here:

  • Unfortunately, you cannot save a plant once it has become infected with leaf spot disease.
  • In fact, the quicker you get rid of such a plant, the better. It cannot even be used for compost, so it’s better to just burn it.

– Mealybugs

These are the bugs most likely to attack and destroy your nebula plants. They are very small, white-colored insects that look like cotton balls. Large colonies of mealybugs are often found hiding under sheaths of stem and leaf nodes.

Mealybugs are sucking pests that feed on the nutritious juice within your plant. They cause yellowing, wilting and then eventual exfoliation of the affected plants’ leaves.

This is how you can get rid of mealybugs:

  • Wash and scrub the plant with soap and water to physically remove the insects from your plant.
  • Apply neem oil on their colonies using a cotton roll or Q-tips. 
  • You can also use alcohol instead of neem oil and it will work the same.
  • Another great DIY trick is to mix 20 percent milk with 80 percent water and wash your plant with it. It will get rid of the insects without harming the plant itself.
  • As a last resort, you can also try spraying the plant with strong insecticidal sprays.

– Sunburn

Yes, direct exposure to sunlight will cause your precious Alocasia plant to develop sun scorching. The large exotic Alocasia leaves will turn brown and crispy. They might even start falling off. 

This plant is not very tolerant of direct light and even short-term exposure can produce significant damage. Remove from direct sunlight and prune the leaves that are most severely affected. Hopefully, the plant will recover and new leaves will sprout again.

Potted Alocasia plant

Conclusion 

That was a lot of information for the Alocasia nebula plant. Let’s recap the whole guide one more time:

  • The Alocasia plant needs semi-moist soil. Water it moderately thrice a week in summer and only once per week in winter. Never place this plant under direct sunlight. Instead, choose a room that is brightly lit with indirect light for them.
  • You can propagate this plant either by stem cuttings or by dividing offsets as both methods work equally well. Overwatering and poor drainage will predispose this plant to develop diseases like root rot and bacterial leaf spot. Mealybugs are the most common pests to attack your plant, so try treating them using DIY methods before resorting to insecticide sprays.
  • Alocasia plant grows ideally in a temperature range of around 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity above 60 percent.
  • Fertilize this plant using liquid fertilizer at one-fourth of its strength once a week during summer only.

The noble Alocasia is a unique-looking plant with large leaves that will fill your house with greenery, but only if you take adequate time out of your schedule to look after them properly.