The more I delved into the heritage of the Alocasia sanderiana, the more nicknames I found for this striking plant! Although, I am still rather fond of my own suggestion, The Spiderman Plant!
With dramatic foliage that appears almost metallic, this Alocasia has jet-black leaves, etched with white veins. This plant is modern, sleek and everything the haters don’t expect a houseplant to be!
In it’s native Philippines, the Alocasia sanderiana is sadly marked as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), however many shorter growing clones have made their way to European shores, and into lounges and dining rooms.
Alocasia sanderiana is also known as Kris Plant, as it mimics a Kalis (Kris) dagger, and Mask Plant, for it’s resemblance to hand-carved Filipino ceremonial masks.
The original species grows more than 2 metres high in the Philippines, however the Western houseplant selection won’t grow much larger than 60-90cm. Your houseplant is unlikely to flower, but in the wild small white florets are produced, with the female on the top, and the male on the bottom… oo-er!
The tropical look of this plant is unrivalled and the best results will be achieved when you emulate its natural habitat. Warm, shaded rooms are its preference, ideally with some humidity by means of an under-tray of pebbles.
You may notice some yellowing leaves at the base of your plants, which is perfectly normal. Just allow those leaves to fall away or pull them away gently to tidy your plant. Water well throughout the summer, in fact make sure the surface of the soil is moist at all times. From autumn to spring, cut back on the moisture.
This ‘Spiderman Plant’ is a really fun plant for the home, but do take care with pets and children, as parts of the plant are toxic. But, of course, it’s always a good idea to teach the little ones not to chew on any plants in the home.
By Mr Plant Geek
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