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July 12th, 2023

Alocasia is a new favorite in Florida

by R.S. Walsh

Alocasia ‘Regal Shields’ is becoming a popular Alocasia cultivar to use in the landscape and as an indoor or patio plant. Originally from Africa, they are increasingly being grown in Florida as a new favorite. This cultivar is also known as ‘Elephant Ear’ for the shape of the leaves, which can measure from 8” to 20” each.

Leaves are large and blackish-green in color with lighter veins. Each leaf stands on a long and erect, stalk-like stem. The coloration and size of the leaves make a lovely and original statement in the landscape. Select an area with enough room as these Alocasia will grow to about 6 feet and fairly wide.

The Regal Shields Alocasia makes a striking addition indoors as a potted plant and on a patio or balcony as well. They prefer indirect sunny conditions, but the sun should not hit directly on the leaves, which would cause some leaf burn. Rotate your plant periodically as it will grow towards the light. They are a hardy plant and can take windy conditions on a balcony or patio just fine; again, no direct sun on the leaves.

Water about once a week, depending on planting conditions, whether inside or out. The soil should dry out between waterings. Fertilize sparingly in spring and summer. This is an easy plant to maintain and brings an easy elegance to any area.

This column is a joint effort by all at In The Garden, Sanibel’s retail garden center, at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Rd., Sanibel Island.

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