Alocasia Plumbae or Flying Squid is a fun plant with spooky and unusual leaves. It’s also considered to be one of the more rare plants to care for in the Alocasia family; that is why it is important to do your research before you get one.
To care for an Alocasia Flying Squid, only water it when you notice its soil is dry. They prefer indirect bright light, so avoid exposure to direct sunlight. This plant thrives in temperatures above 60°F (15.5°C) and high humidity levels.
Although the guidelines above may be enough to grow and care for your Alocasia Flying Squid, keep reading as we will cover everything you need to know to be the best plant parent for your new leafy friend. But before getting started, let’s clarify a bit more about the main characteristics of this species.
(To go over the most frequently asked questions around Alocasias, go to our FAQ Alocasia Plant page here)
Alocasia Plumbae Flying Squid Basics
The Alocasia Plumbae is a fun and unusual Elephant Ear that only grows up to 1 foot tall. It has tiny leaves at the end of each green and burgundy petiole that are shaped like squid tentacles, hence its name. This plant is considered a collector’s item due to its unique look, so it wouldn’t be strange to see it’s sold out in most online plant stores. Its price can range from $10 to $20.
The Alocasia Plumbae has a limited life span (about 5 years), but you don’t need to worry since it won’t take much work out of you, and by following our guide, you’ll know everything about its care. So let’s get started with the good stuff.
As with any other tropical house, the caring tasks to grow an Alocasia Flying Squid can be broken down into the following:
- Temperature and Humidity
- Soil, Repotting and Fertilizing
- Pest Prevention
When it comes to watering, your Alocasia Flying Squid needs light watering about once a week. If potted in a 5″ container, you should use about 0.8 cups of water. However, don’t forget that this may vary depending on the temperature; if it drops, then you should be aware of reducing the amount.
Avoid overwatering at all costs since Alocasia Plumbae doesn’t like to be waterlogged. Alocasias can store excess water in their petiole, so there is no need to worry about the soil staying constantly moist (but not soggy). If you live in a hot area, you will probably need to increase the watering frequency since they tend to dry out faster than normal.
As mentioned before, this plant prefers exposure to indirect bright light. Although Alocasia Flying Squid is not a very demanding plant, you should consider placing it near the window that receives bright light all day long if you’re growing it indoors.
The only caveat here is that you should avoid direct sunlight exposure since Alocasias are classified as light-sensitive. This means that they are prone to sunburn, which can put your plant in danger and cause leaf loss.
In short, the Alocasia Flying Squid is considered to be an indoor plant throughout its life, so if you place it on the porch, you will need to provide it with some overhead sun protection.
Temperature and Humidity
Alocasia Flying Squid likes warm room temperatures of 60-75°F during the day and 55-60°F at night. These plants are very resilient and can handle many types of temperatures, but if you live in an area where it’s cold, this doesn’t mean Alocasia Plumbae won’t suffer from frosts. If that’ is the case, you will need to place Alocasia Flying Squid on a porch or near a window that gets pretty warm during the day.
Alocasia Plumbae will appreciate humidity levels around 50 to 70%, so if you’re growing inside, then keep it away from heating vents or radiators that are constantly blowing hot air.
Also, a good tip to increase humidity around your plant is to place it on a pebble tray filled with water. Other gardeners prefer to mist around the leaves a few times per week, but be careful about the amount of water you’re putting in since they don’t like soggy soil.
Soil, Repotting and Fertilizing
When it comes to soil recommendations, you should keep your Alocasia Flying Squid in a loose and fast-draining potting mix, so the soil doesn’t get waterlogged.
For better drainage, a good potting mix should include coco coir with an organic base like perlite or vermiculite. Adding in some extra help with these materials will make sure you’ve got everything your leafy friend needs.
If you’ve noticed your plant is getting out of shape, it might be time to repot. You can do this once a year or whenever the pot feels too tight for its roots. Fresh potting soil has all the nutrients your plant needs, so as long as it’s refreshed yearly, you shouldn’t need to use fertilizer.
As with any other Alocasia plant, the Flying Squid is prone to mealybug and scale. These bugs use cottony saliva to protect themselves from insecticide products, so it might be a bit difficult to get rid of them. In case your plant is infected, we suggest misting your plant with soapy water or neem oil.
However, the Alocasia Flying Squid is quite resistant to these bugs and you might not experience any problems even if you don’t use any pest management solution.
After reading this article, you should now know everything there is to know about growing and caring for an Alocasia Flying Squid. We hope that your new knowledge will lead to the growth of a beautiful, healthy plant!
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