How to Look After Alocasia Polly / Alocasia x Amazonica (African Mask Plant) - A Care Guide

Updated: Mar 8

Here's some tips on how to care for an Alocasia Polly, so that you can get the best out of this characterful tropical house plant.

An Alocasia Polly / Alocasia x Amazonica being held up at the Garden Geeks store. | Garden Geeks UK
An Alocasia Polly / Alocasia x Amazonica at the Garden Geeks store.

The African Mask Plant


The Alocasia Polly, also known as Alocasia x Amzonica is commonly called an African Mask Plant due to its iconic, curvy leaf shapes that finish in a point.


Native to South East Asia (not the Amazon as its name might suggest), this plant is an evergreen perennial. Its quirky leaf shape also reminds us of the masks that the Kokiri wear in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda game series.


Light


Enjoys bright light but not the harshness of direct sun. Ideal situation would be a bright room, but away from windows.


Soil


Likes well draining soil, not too compacted - with plenty of room for its delicate roots to get air. Adding bark or perlite t your soil mix will help improve drainage and aeration.


Watering


A sensitive soul, the Alocasia is not drought resistant and needs humidity, yet too much watering could cause its roots to rot.

While Alocasia Polly like moisture, they store water in their thick stems, so you'll only want to water your African Mask Plant when the soil is dry. Try to avoid using very cold water, rainwater is preferable too.


We find it's best to pick the plant up and get used to the weight difference between when it's just been watered and when it's dry. With a bit of practise you'll be able to tell.


Humidity


Likes it humid so mist regularly.


Temperature


Will thrive in temperatures ranging from 18–25°C. Avoid cold draughts.


Toxicity


Toxic to pets and humans - keep away from pets to avoid them being sick from eating the foliage and don't be tempted to munch on it yourself!


Growth


Typically, your Alocasia x Amazonica can reach a maximum height of 0.7m and about the same in width.


You can feed your Alocasia x Amazonica with liquid fertiliser every 4 waters in spring and summer, and every 6 in autumn and winter. In winter when the air can be drier due to heating, introduce a humidity tray or mist a little more frequently.

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