How To Care for a Alocasia Azlanii (Jewel / Red Mambo) – Full Guide


The Alocasia Azlanii is a very rare plant of the Alocasia species. What makes this plant very special is its unique leaves, which somewhat follow the typical Alocasia shape, but appear slightly wrinkled and have a glossy look. Its leaves are upright, have an oval shape, and can be up to 20 cm long. Its leaves are dark green, with a metallic sheen. One additional thing that pops to mind is the fact that it rarely grows tall, so it’s the right plant for any apartment.

How do you take care of an Alocasia Azlanii?

If you want to make sure you give your Alocasia Azlanii (Red Mambo) the right conditions for it to thrive, make sure you keep in mind its plant care fundamentals.

  • Lighting: The Red Mambo prefers bright indirect sunlight.
  • Water: Only water the Azlanii when the top 2 inches (6cm) of its soil (well-draining soil mix) appear to be dry.
  • Temperature: Being a tropical plant, the Alocasia Azlanii feels most comfortable in rather highly humid (>60%) environments with a temperature of around 65ºC to 75ºC F (18ºC to 24ºC).

However, these are only the very basic requirements to take care of an Alocasia Azlanii, if you want to dig deeper and learn more in-depth plant care details, read along!

Origin

The Alocasia Azlanii is a tropical plant from the island of Borneo, specifically in the Sarawak region. Naturally, the fact that it comes from such a remote place only adds rarity as it has only been recently cultivated outside of this region.

Similar to other Alocasias, the general rule of thumb around this plant’s care is to keep in mind its tropical background. Practically everything you need to aim to do with the care you give it, is to imitate as best you can its natural environmental conditions. With this being said, keeping in mind that the Azlanii is primarily a tropical plant is the right way to go.

General Care

The Alocasia Azlanii is a tropical plant from the island of Borneo, specifically in Sarawak region. Naturally, the fact that it comes from such a remote place only adds rarity as it has only been recently cultivated outside of this region.

(credit: www.happyhouseplants.co.uk)

Water

You can always tell when it’s time for the Alocasia Azlanii to drink some water because you’ll see its first two inches of soil looking more than a bit dry. The ideal level of water for an Alocasia Azlanii in terms of its soil is when it is damp but not completely wet. As a rule of thumb,

The main watering issue with “Red Mambo’s” is overwatering. Your main giveaway will be when the leaves’ edges start to turn brown and curl. Additionally, you’ll also begin to see fungus form on the soil. This typically occurs when there is too much water on the soil, which leads to poor drainage, and this leads to the infamous root rot. With this in mind, make sure your pot has at least an inch (2 cm) of water in order not to kill its roots from dehydration, but don’t let them sit in standing puddles either!

The main issues with the Alocasia Azlanii are related to over-watering and under-watering. If your plant is too dry, it will wilt significantly and cause some of its leaves to lose strength, next, you’ll see its leaves droop and turn yellow.

In both cases, adjust the watering levels depending on the time of year, since in winter your plant will shift towards dormancy (less water) and in summer towards growth (more water). The easiest way to combat any of these common watering issues is by giving your plant the right level of humidity and increasing its moisture level.

Humidity

The Alocasia Azlanii will not thrive in a dry climate, instead, it thrives in environments with around 60% humidity or higher. However, it’s more than capable of growing with high humidity levels and loves the relatively hot weather. Remember, it’s a plant native to Borneo, so this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. This means that if it finds itself in environments with low-humidity levels, this will likely add stress and cause its growth to slow down.

A tall-tell sign of low humidity levels are brown spots and brown leaf edges. If the air is too dry, you can increase its moisture by using an automatic mister or spray bottle filled with water to help keep those dried-out leaves hydrated. With this in mind, make sure you keep your plant well-watered by watering at least once every day or two during the summer months when temperatures are hottest – this helps prevent wilting from drying out too quickly thanks to evaporation as opposed reduce transpiration which is how plants lose water through their leaves (evaporative cooling).

Light

The Alocasia Azlanii is a fascinating plant that can tolerate just about any type of lighting. It does, however, fair best in bright indirect light, but will also grow when given early morning or late afternoon sunbeams for short periods each day. Be careful not to have too much direct sunlight because this could damage the leaves and kill them- so try to avoid this if possible.

If you consider not much light is required for this Alocasia to thrive, then it makes total sense for your Red Mambo to do very well under artificial, grow lights. If you want to give them a lift with natural daylight, place it about four feet (33 cm) from your plant for 14 hours every day and watch as they thrive.

Soil

The best soil for Alocasia Azlaniis is a heavy potting mix with high organic content that will allow it to retain moisture, but also drain well. In short: aim for well-draining potting soil that can keep a bit of water.

While the Alocasia Azlanii is tolerant of a variety of soil conditions, what would be best for your plant is just about any type of organic potting mixture that’s 60% peat moss and 40% loom. Other plant experts advocate for soil that is 2/3 perlite potting mix and 1/3 coconut husk too.

If you start to notice that the top layer of the soil of your Red Mambo does not drain or dry out quickly, this is a strong indicator that the organic content is too high and will hold onto water. If you notice your soil draining too quickly, chances are it has an imbalance of components such as peat moss and perlite. In any case, do your best to re-adjust and change the conditions to whatever suits your leafy friend best.

Fertilizer

Fertilizing your plant will help it to look and feel healthier. The “Red Mambo” only needs monthly feedings in the spring and summer as its roots require a steady stream of nutrients for growth, like any other living thing on Earth.

A balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 is perfect for Alocasia Azlanii plants. Fertilize every two weeks in the spring and summer when your plant is growing vigorously. In the fall, fertilize only once a month, and stop altogether in winter when your plant is dormant.

The best way to use fertilizer is with caution. One of the most important things to know about fertilizers for plants is that too much can be harmful. Be sure not use more than 1/2 diluted balanced fertilizer in any amount, because this could cause burning or scorching on your plant! For example: when instructions tell you mix one tablespoon with every gallon (or liter) on water then only do so half-time as directed – also don’t add it weekly but instead every two weeks at best.

Temperature

Once they become mature (three to four months), you should keep them at a minimum of 65°F (18°C) during the day and 50°F (10°C) at night. These temperatures are required if you want to encourage growth and flowering. A good rule of thumb is: if you’re comfortable in that temperature, your plant is too.

As with other tropical or other Alocasias, be careful with cold drafts, as they will damage (burn) the leaves of the plants. Additionally, these sudden changes add to unwanted stress that makes your plant more vulnerable to other ailments such as pests or diseases.

(credit: www.happyhouseplants.co.uk)

Common Pests

Alocasia plants are delicate creatures that are easily susceptible to problems such as spider mites, mealybugs, scales, and aphids which can all crop up from time to time so it’s important you monitor your plant closely when these issues occur.

The first thing you need to know is exactly what is causing harm to your plant. One way to check for pests is to hold a white sheet of paper under the leaves of your plant and shake it gently. If there are any bugs on the plant, they will fall onto the paper and you can then identify them and find the right solution to treat this pest.

A great, one-size-fits-all solution to pest control by maintaining the natural environment where your plant is most comfortable in. For this, you need to remember that Red Mambos are comfortable in a very humid environment. So, if you can increase the humidity around your plant by 50%, this will help to deter many types of pests. You can do this by placing your plant on a pebble tray that is filled with water and keeping the area around it moist. Another way to humidify the air near your Alocasia is to use a room humidifier and both will do the trick to keep those pesky creatures far away.

Another way to protect it is by recurrently cleaning its leaves to prevent any of these pests from feeling too comfortable and setting up camp in your Azlanii’s leaves. For this, some experts use washcloths and warm water every 1-2 weeks. Others use horticultural oil. This organic product will suffocate any bugs on contact and is safe to use on your Alocasia Azlanii. Be sure to test it on a small area first before applying it all over, just in case.

Propagation

Alocasia Azlanii’s aren’t the cheapest plants available out there, but thankfully there are a couple of ways in which you can easily propagate them to have more of the same. The three types of propagation are offsets, seeds, and division. However, regardless of which method you chose, make sure you aim to propagate your plant in the growing seasons (spring & summer) instead of the dormant period. You’ll not only improve your chances of success, but you’ll notice changes in a much quicker way.

Offsets

Offsets are a popular way of propagating Azlanii’s, because they simply take advantage of an already existing miniature version of your plant, which means they have pretty healthy bearings to get started. Also, it’s very easy to do. However, be very careful and avoid propagating through this method if your plant is smaller than 7.5cm (3 inches), or else your Red Mambo might not be ready.

All you need to do is simply remove the Azlanii’s offset from its primary plant, while being very careful to not damage any of its roots. In order to do this, you’ll need a pair of pruning shears, and aim to cut the roots that are directly attached to the mother plant. Then, be careful and plant it in a proportional pot to its size (generally smaller) to avoid it drowning in water.

Seeds

Finally, we have the seed propagation method for Alocasia Azlanii’s. Not only are seeds one of the most cost-effective ways to propagate these plants, but they are also perfect for when you’ve forgotten to start propagating during its growing seasons. However, as you might be aware, seed propagation is the slowest and often most frustrating way of growing any plant, so be patient with your leafy friend.

In order to propagate the Red Mambo through seeds, make sure you follow these steps:

  • Soak the seeds in distilled water for at least one night.
  • Sow the seeds into the soil into approximately 1.5cm (0.5 inches).
  • Water the seeds lightly and provide sufficient humidity for a couple of weeks.
  • After the seeds have germinated (approximately 2 months in), transplant them into a larger plant.

Division

The easiest way to propagate an Alocasia Azlanii is by the division method. This can be easily achieved by simply taking a sharp knife and cutting the rhizome (the thick stem of the plant) into two or more pieces. Make sure that each piece has at least one eye (an indentation where a new shoot will sprout from). From there, you can either replant them in soil or water them and place them in the soil, so they have all the nutrients to grow healthily.

Common Questions

Is the Alocasia Azlanii Toxic? Is it safe for pets?

Alocasia Azlanii is not safe for cats and dogs to eat. The calcium oxalate crystals in this plant can irritate the mouth, esophagus, pancreas or intestines if ingested which will cause stomachaches as well nausea-related problems after consuming it so be careful with your pet!

Is the Alocasia Azlanii Dropping Leaves?

The Alocasia Azlanii is either dropping its leaves when you under or overwater it. If the plant seems to be struggling, try watering it more often and provide light but few nutrients at once – this should help prevent further loss of water from browning tips on afflicted stalks. Keeping a tight watering schedule will help prevent this plant from drying out and losing all of their chlorophyll, which in turn makes them unable to photosynthate properly – leading not only towards dead growth but also brown tips on newly emerged leaves.

Is the Alocasia Azlanii Drooping?

While underwatering is usually the cause of drooping leaves, it can also come from other causes. For example if water isn’t provided to plants for an extended period time then their cells may lose strength and start drooping because they’re no longer supplied with enough nutrients or moisture which affects plant architecture in general as well.

Extreme weather conditions like heavy rains that overwork a plant’s roots during periods without adequate soil coverage cause trauma similar to what would happen when you hold up bath towels after putting them on different surfaces too long (i..e hard vs soft).

Water your plant often, but be careful not too much. Only water when the top 2 inches (or more) of soil are dry and try to use rain or distilled municipal tap if possible for best results.

Why are the leaves of my Alocasia Azlanii turning brown?

Brown leaves on the Alocasia Azlanii are a result of not enough moisture and/or too dry potting soil. Some plants can tolerate lower humidity levels, but these will never thrive as they need higher concentrations (60%+ humidity levels).

A simple way to solve this then is to water the plant more often and use a humidity tray/mister so it continues to have enough moisture. If you live in a place with high humidity this is also not necessary, which is why Alocasias do well in bathrooms- being given all they need from what you can offer them.

But, as a rule of thumb, simply aim to increase its humidity by either using a mister or spraying the leaves with water twice per week.

Why are the leaves of my Alocasia Azlanii turning yellow?

Alocasia Azlanii are often sensitive to their environment. If you have yellow leaves, it might be an indication that the soil has been too wet or dry for a long time and needs more frequent watering than usual in order keep them green.

As a general rule, we often recommend Azlanii owners to keep their watering schedule regular, but not fixed. This means that you should aim to check the soil before you add any water, and if you see that the top 2 inches (6cm) of the soil is dry, then you’re good to water. If you find that it’s still moist, then shift and moisturize it instead.

How do you grow Alocasia Azlanii?

To grow an Alocasia Azlanii, you just need to make sure you mimic as you can its original environment in your home. This means: well-moisturizing soil, humid environment and regular watering schedule, and bright indirect light and your Red Mambo should be good to go!

How big does a Alocasia Azlanii get?

The Alocasia Azlanii is a relatively short plant, which generally grows up to around 2 feet or (66cm) tall. Additionally, its leaves can grow up to 8 inches (20cm) long on average.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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