The Alocasia Frydek Variegated is a tropical plant native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia. It is a very large and showy variety, and some consider it the most beautiful of all the Alocasias. Some people love the look of Alocasia Frydek Variegated because it brings real formal quality to any room, with lots of vertical lines. Others prefer the large green ‘heart-shaped’ leaves on Frydek instead, which are just as beautiful & expensive looking. The plant has broad dark green leaves with silver splotches on them, giving its foliage somewhat of a metallic look.
In addition to these unique markings, this plant is a fantastic propagator and a great way to add some tropical variety to your home. But as with most houseplants from our index, taking care of a Variegated Frydek isn’t the easiest feat, so keep reading this full guide on how to take care of your leafy friend.
To take care of an Alocasia Frydek Variegated, you should keep in mind the following recommendations:
- Light: Variegated Alocasia Frydeks need generous, but indirect sunlight, so aim to place it less than 1m (3ft) from any window.
- Water: Water only once the top layer of the soil is dry, with approximately 1 cup every week and a half. But instead of a watering schedule, monitor regularly.
- Soil: Variegated Frydek’s need well-draining soil to thrive. A good mix of regular soil with perlite for extra drainage should work just fine.
That’s the basics though. If you want to go deeper, please read further down.
(To go over the most frequently asked questions around Alocasias, go to our FAQ Alocasia Plant page here)
There are many different names for the Alocasia Frydek Variegated, but the correct botanical name for this plant is the Alocasia Micholitziana Frydek. Even though we refer to it as the Frydek Variegated, other plant enthusiasts go with Green Velvet Alocasia as the preferred moniker. Another common name is the A. Micholitziana, Frydek or Frydek Elephant Ear. For the remainder of this article though, we’ll continue with Alocasia Frydek Variegated.
How often should you water a Variegated Alocasia Frydek?
Variegated Alocasia Frydek’s are a tough plant to keep happy. They have thick stems and petioles, which give them some succulent properties but don’t tolerate drought at all! Their sensitive roots mean they can be easily overwatered so the trick is watering lightly for these guys – never let it get soggy or dry out too much (it might seem like less water will do just fine).
During the growing season we recommend giving your soil a bit of water to give it everything it needs to grow. However, once you do, make sure to fully drain any excess that soaks into it, as roots can’t grow well when they’re sitting in soggy ground.
Conversely, during the winter season, your Variegated Frydek will likely enter a period of dormancy where you’ll notice much slower growth. During this time, make sure that you adjust its water needs accordingly. Sip watering (or drip watering) in this case will be your best friend to avoid overwatering your plant. This means that instead of soaking your plant, simply add a very small amount of water every so often to avoid it sitting in wet soil for extended periods of time.
How do you know when you need to water your Alocasia Frydek Variegated?
Use the famous “finger technique”. Put your finger in the soil, and if the top 1-2 inches (3-6cm) of the soil feels dry, this is when you know you’ll need to water it.
Watering can be done with either tap water or distilled water, provided that the fertilizer you use is compatible with the type of water that you choose to use. If using normal tap water, it’s possible to combat its low pH level by using a liquid acidic fertilizer.
Overwatering and underwatering your Alocasia Frydek Variegated tips
In order to prevent your Frydek from suffering any of the dreaded overwatering and underwatering consequences, we recommend you follow these precautions.
A pot that is just the right size for your plant will help you avoid overwatering. It also ensures optimal drainage so no excess moisture gets into its root system and can cause rot, which could kill it at any moment.
To make sure this doesn’t happen I recommend using an appropriately sized container–one big enough to hold all of its roots but not too wide or tall where water remains on top after watering because plants need room to grow without being constantly hydrated.
A potting mix is essential for your Variegated Frydek to thrive. In this case, use one that drains well and has the right percentages, like 60% peat moss 30%, perlite 10%.
There are a few easy ways to ensure your plant gets the care it needs. Make sure you check for signs that water may be needed, such as soil moisture and weight in its container each time before watering again on an as-needed basis rather than following any schedule or cue from mother nature herself.
Humidity & Moisture for a Variegated Frydek
As with many other Alocasias, the Alocasia Frydek Variegated thrives under moist conditions and a humid environment, so daily misting is recommended for this plant. Using a humidifier is a great way to increase the humidity in your home and near your Frydek, but if you’re not interested, other experts vouch for a ceramic tray to increase the humidity as well. On top of this, we recommend misting the leaves of your Frydek once a day and this way you’ll guarantee the right humidity for your leafy friend.
The right lighting for an Alocasia Variegated Frydek
In order for your Alocasia Frydek Variegated to grow and flourish, it needs bright indirect light. This plant can be quite sensitive to light intensity, which causes it trouble when either getting too much or little exposure from the sun’s rays in order for them to photosynthesize successfully on their own without being shaded by other plants around them as well as not receiving direct sunlight at all either way.
If you want to keep your Alocasia Frydek looking fresh and vibrant, don’t let the sun beat down on it for more than an hour or so. This can result in brown edges or tips on some of its leaves depending upon how strong of light source they receive during that time period.
With this in mind, some experts go for placing this plant facing west – where it can receive plenty of natural afternoon sun through a window as well as south-facing exposure away from any nearby buildings which would otherwise cast a shadow over them throughout most parts of each day. An east-facing room may also work depending on what time period you live at because those regions have been known to produce better yields than others do with similar amounts sunshine year-round.
In the dark, Alocasia Frydek will grow very slowly. It can take a long time before new leaves grow and if they do not have enough light to dry out properly then their lower leaves may turn yellow as a result of being overwatered in low-light conditions. The Alocasia Frydek Variegated also seem more prone than other plants for certain ailments such as root rot or fungal infections because it’s hard on them when there isn’t any direct sun hitting the soil, causing them to sit in wet conditions for more than it can handle.
Best Soil for Variegated Frydeks
The best soil for a variegated Alocasia Frydek Variegated, is well-draining soil. Fortunately other than its draining capacity, there are not many other requirements, so practically almost any potting mix will do for this plant – from commercial soils found in most garden centers to dirt dug up from your backyard.
The plant needs good drainage because it does not like wet feet (wet roots) at all. If your plant is planted in a pot with no holes, make sure the pot has a layer of gravel or rocks on the bottom to assist with drainage. As with other Alocasias, the Frydek variegated is especially susceptible to root rot, reason why you need to provide very well-draining soil or be sure that you are keeping a close eye on the amount and frequency of water that you are giving it.
With this in mind, this plant will also benefit from a high organic or loose mulch layer. This will help keep the moisture in the soil, but not too much because otherwise, you’d be defeating your purpose of trying to reduce water retention in the soil by adding extra material (mulch). This is why many experts additionally vouch for peat-based soil with fast-draining as their preferred soil for their Alocasia Frydek Variegated. Additionally, perlite and sand should always make up most of whatever mix we decide on since these ingredients help improve drainage while keeping things lightweight without sacrificing too much fertility or nutrition otherwise obtained through chemical fertilizers (which may attract bugs).
If you are worried about your plant’s poor drainage, a great tip for a variegated Frydek is to consider repotting this plant. When you repot your Variegated Frydek, you’ll guarantee that you create the right environment for it to thrive, with the proper soil conditions it needs, while you’re giving it important nutrients from its brand new soil.
The right temperature for an Alocasia Frydek Variegated
Alocasia plants need a lot of sun and warm temperatures to grow well. They love the forest understorey, so they’re perfect for houses with windows facing south or southeast!
The average home in America has an indoor temperature of around 68° F (20 °C) which makes it just right as long as you have some good ventilation going on too. In case you don’t have a lot of ventilation, your best bet is to put it in a place where it gets at least some indirect sunlight from an east or west-facing window.
In contrast, the bright green leaves on Alocasia Frydek Variegated do not develop well if exposed to temperatures below 68°F (20 °), as it not only triggers a bit of dormancy and slower than average growth, but it can actually cause your plant to start dying after a while. However, the good news is that once growing conditions become more favorable it’ll recover and grow vigorously again.
Biggest Temperature Concern: Drafts
Even though now you know that your Alocasia Frydek Variegated has some quite specific temperature requirements, but do not forget the importance of wind, cold & hot drafts that might affect your leafy friend. If you’ve ever had an Alocasia that passed away because it was in the way of a cold draft, you’ll know exactly what we’re referring to.
Cold drafts cause any plant in question to drop its lower leaves very quickly (sometimes all of them in one go). If this is not corrected, it will kill your plant. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Bathing your Alocasia Frydek Variegated in a warm draft of air will cause the very same thing to happen, or at least, the same devastating effect.
This is why you need to make sure that plants, especially ones with big leaves such as the Frydek Variegated, are never near an open door or window unless you have controlled ventilation going on. If there’s a draft near your windows in wintertime or even if heating/cooling vents are too close-by during summer; lower leaves yellowing on their surface as well dying might be symptoms of an issue caused by these types of heat fluctuations (particularly extreme ones). Consider moving them to get more shelter, or at least pay attention in case you notice anything fishy going on.
Alocasia Frydek Variegated needs, on average, more fertilizer than many other houseplants. As a rule of thumb, we generally recommend applying a water-soluble, general-purpose fertilizer every 3 to 4 weeks – especially during the growing summer months. Aim to get the 20-20-20 balanced fertilizer, and then we recommend dissolving in water to get less than the recommended fertilizing strength.
Propagating Alocasia Frydek Variegated
The easiest way to propagate an Alocasia Frydek Variegated is by division of bigger plants. We recommend you do this in spring or early summer when the plant is showing signs of healthy growth.
However, do consider that most Variegated Frydeks are fragile plants and can take rather negatively if you try to propagate them at the wrong time. With this in mind, only try to propagate large and healthy plants that could withstand this process.
To propagate your Alocasia Frydek Variegated, simply follow these steps:
- Carefully remove your Alocasia from its pot. To do so, squeeze the pot to loosen the soil and plant, and then slide out.
- Remove any excess soil from its roots.
- Try to identify rhizomes growing stems from them, since these will ease your propagation process.
- Separate the rhizomes and then cut it to separate the plant with a sharp tool.
- Plant each separated segment from your Alocasia Frydek Variegated into moist potting mix and provide adequate lighting.
And that’s it! That’s how you propagate an Alocasia Frydek Variegated.
Repotting Alocasia Frydek Variegated – Identifying the right time
The Alocasia Frydek Variegated is a tough plant that does best in pots with small amounts of soil. It should not be repotted until there are signs that it has become root-bound, such as failing to grow much at all after being relocated into its next bigger pot size up from what was originally used for growth before being given an upgrade.
It’s important to check your plant regularly for signs of distress. You may see roots growing out the bottom, slowing growth despite attentive care or soil drying up rapidly after watering-any indication something might be wrong can make all the difference and be a clear indication you need to give it a new pot.
Once you go for repotting, take advantage of this moment as it can be a great chance to check the health and vitality of your plant. With this in mind, make sure that you only use pots about 1 inch larger than what was previously in use; this will give plants more room to grow. Then make sure to remove any diseased or damaged roots from their soil as you won’t have a better chance to do so.
Repotting – Alocasia Frydek Variegated Process
To repot your Variegated Frydek, make sure you follow these steps:
- Find a pot that is slightly bigger than the current pot it’s placed in. We recommend approximately 1 inch (3cm) to have enough room to grow but not too much where it will drown.
- Water the soil 1-3 days before you go through this process. The soil will be more compact (and easier to manipulate) and the plant will be healthy and strong.
- Remove the Alocasia Frydek Variegated from its pot by tilting it to a side, and pressing against the pot to loosen the soil.
- Check roots & root system, and remove those that are in poor condition.
- Fill the new pot with brand new soil as it will give your plant new nutrients.
- Gently place your Variegated Frydek in its new pot, and cover with new soil and water lightly.
The most common diseases that Alocasia Frydek Variegated are those related to watering and overwatering.
The easiest way to avoid water-related issues, such as bacterial leaf spot and root rot is by following the three steps: pot choice, soil consistency (or lack thereof) as well as watering practices. If you’re unsure what those are, jump to the soil, water, and pot sections above.
Pests of the Alocasia Frydek Variegated
These lovely plants have one main pain point: sap-sucking pests such as mealybugs, spider mites, scale, thrips, and aphids. As with many other Alocasias, these pesky pests seem to love Alocasias above other normal houseplants.
With this in mind, you only need to remember that pests are always a risk when you bring home new plants, so take precautions to avoid any hitchhiking pests. We would advise quarantining your Alocasia for one week outside of the house and making sure there is no evidence that it was infested before bringing indoors with other plant life; this will ensure they’ll never come back.
Early detection of pests is key to preventing infestation. Check the top and underside of your plant leaves for signs or evidence that something might be wrong, like tiny yellow specks indicating an aphid population concentrated on one area (you can usually see their trails by looking closely). Treating early helps easier than waiting until things get worse before taking action!
Alocasia Frydek Variegated Toxicity
Alocasia Frydek is a plant that can be moderately toxic if ingested. The tissue of this particular species contains calcium oxalate crystals, which cause localized irritation and pain in humans; however, it should not be considered harmful unless you consume more than one cup worth at once – so very unlikely.
However, if you or your loved ones are not careful, its tissue can cause irritation and pain to those who ingest it, as well as swelling in the mouth or digestive tract if eaten. With this in mind, keep your Variegated Frydek away from young children and pets!
Common Problems & FAQ’s
How do you keep Alocasia Frydek Variegated?
The “Variegated” aspect of your Alocasia Frydek Variegated is mainly its dual color on its leaves. With this in mind, there is not a lot in your control that will make these plants keep these colors. As a rule of thumb, try to keep the basic plant care requirements (Light, Soil & Water) and try to mimic the natural environment of your plant and this should generally be enough.
Why is my Alocasia Frydek Variegated Drooping?
Drooping leaves in Alocasia Frydek Variegated are a symptom of many things: generally related to stress or in other words, unhealthy care patterns. The most common are: overwatering & underwatering, which might lead to root rot; and other less common ones are temperature changes, nutrient toxicity, pests & diseases, environment change, or repotting stress.
Regardless of what the particular issue might be, the most important thing to do is to identify what the cause might be, and experiment by changing its environment until you find the root cause of it all.
Why are my Alocasia Frydek Variegated’s leaves turning yellow?
Yellow leaves in your Alocasia Frydek Variegated are often a clear-cut sign of overwatering, but can also be due to excessive sunlight. If you notice yellow leaves in the lower section of your plant, this might be related to water. If you see light & pale leaves, with an uneven distribution and brown, crispy leaves & edges, this might be related to sunlight. So be sure to first identify what the issue is, then tackle it appropriately.
Another, yet more uncommon cause for yellowing leaves is due to temperature stress (rapid changes in temperature) or nutrient toxicity (excessive fertilizer use). If you notice that there are more unhealthy leaves than new leaves, it’s a way for your plant to tell you that it’s feeling poor – so aim to change the status quo right away.