Alocasia Odora | Elephant Ear Plant Care Tips

Alocasia Odora is a breathtaking beauty and an evergreen perennial that can bring a tremendous look to your gardens and indoors. It is known for its impressive large lush green arrow-shaped leaves and sturdy stem. The distinctive feature of this striking beauty is its leaves pointing skyward, adding a pop of green and vertical shape to your space. This exotic plant has earned various nicknames, such as Asian Taro because of its deep ties to the Asian tropical region belonging to the Taro family. The beautiful Odora is also named Elephant ear because of its paddle-shaped and colossal leaves. Orora’s cream inflorescences, reminiscent of Calla Lilly blooms, are fragrant, particularly at night; thus, it got the nickname “Night-Scented Lily.” It’s a perfect plant for those who want to add a tropical or jungle accent to their homes.

Alocasia Odora | Elephant Ear Plant

Allied Species: Alocasia Sarian, Alocasia Pink Dragon, Alocasia LauterbachianaAlocasia Silver Dragon, Alocasia Stingray, Alocasia Regal Shields, Alocasia Maharani, Alocasia Jacklyn , Alocasia Cuprea, Alocasia Black Velvet , Alocasia Macrorrhiza Variegata, Alocasia Cucullata

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Habitat & Ecology

This striking beauty belongs to the tropical regions of India, Japan, Borneo, and other Eastern and Southeastern parts of Asia. which means it needs specific conditions to grow and flourish.

Botanical Name: Alocasia Odora
Family Name: Araceae
Common names: Asian Taro, Alocasia Odora, Night-Scented Lily, Giant Upright Elephant Ears
OriginIndia, Japan and Borneo
Plant Size4–8 ft. (120cm-240cm) and 3 ft. wide
Temperature60F-86F
Humidity70% and above
Light NeedSun or part shade
Soil TypeWell-draining and moist
Planting TimeSpring / Summer
Flower InflorescenceCream Spathe and Spadix
PropagationSeed, Basal Offset Division

How tall do Alocasia Odora get?

Like all other houseplants, the size of Alocasia Odora varies according to the growing conditions. In the optimal environment, the plant can grow up to 8 to 15 feet tall and 8 to 15 feet wide outdoors, while indoors, its size is manageable, and the plant can reach 4 feet in height and similar width. The vivid green and lustrous leaves can reach 2 feet in length and 1 foot in width.

The size of the plant may be intimidating to many plant parents; therefore, choose a substantial space for this Elephant Ear to grow to its full potential such as living rooms, patio, sheltered garden, greenhouses.


How do you take care of Alocasia Odora?


The Alocasia Odora or Asian Taro is an easy to care for house plant which reward you with lush green gigantic foliage with good care and proper attention. It craves bright indirect light, well-draining and moist soil, high humidity (at least 70% and above), and a temperature range from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Fertilizing during the active growth season helps the plant to grow huge foliage. Its giant leaves and sturdy roots can flourish and tolerate various conditions.

The lush green leaves of Alocasia Odora bring life to your home; additionally, this beautiful decorative plant can also boost your mood. As this beauty is native to tropical regions, it needs a definite growing environment.

How do you take care of Alocasia Odora?

This article will cover each aspect of Alocasia odora care and look into the common problems and their solutions. Let’s start with the care guide of this lovely decorative plant.

Initial Care at Home

Once you have decided to bring this luxurious beauty home, you should first quarantine your Odora from other plants at home. The reason for isolation is to see whether your new plant has any pests or diseases, and it shouldn’t upset or infect other plants in your collection.

The best practice is to shower your plant to remove dust or any pests. Also, remember not to repot the plant immediately; give it time to adjust to the new environment. If you repot the plant instantly, it will go into stress which can affect its growth.

night-scented lily or asian taro care
watering requirements

Watering

Alocasias are water-loving plants, so the scented lily is, but remember that watering is a critical aspect of Alocasia’s care, and you need to be careful with watering frequency. Alocasia Odora likes moist soil, but it shouldn’t be too soggy because if the plant is exposed to overly wet soil, it can cause fungal infections and other diseases such as root rot. On the other hand, Odora isn’t a fan of dry conditions, although it can tolerate a few days of low water but the leaves will suffer wilting in dry conditions for an extended period.

Additionally, as a plant parent, you should be very vigilant with the water frequency in winter, as when the temperature drops, the plant becomes dormant, and its watering needs reduce. Similarly, it needs more water in warmer months. The best way to check your Alocasia’s watering needs is to inspect the top 2 to 3 inches of soil; if the soil feels dry, water your plant. I use a moisture meter or sensor to be sure before watering my plants.

Please use distilled lukewarm water for Asian Taro as their roots are quite sensitive to sudden temperature variations. If using tap water, please keep it for 24 hours to let Chlorides and Fluorides evaporate as they will gradually build up the salts in the soil. Rain water is best for this plant; if you live in a place with a lot of rain, preferably use it to water the Elephant Ear.

Avoid underwatering or overwatering, as the plant won’t stand any inconsistent watering. You can adjust the watering frequency of the plant depending on the season and different situations. 

sunlight requirement

Sunlight Requirement

Being native to tropical regions, Alocasia Odora prefers bright, indirect sunlight. For the plant’s optimal growth, place it in a spot where it can receive sufficient indirect sunlight throughout the day, especially some direct morning light.

The Elephant Ear plant thrives in bright light but can’t tolerate direct sunlight, especially the afternoon light. If it’s exposed to intense direct light for a long time, its leaves start to scorch. Consequently, low light also isn’t good for the Odora’s growth; when a plant doesn’t receive adequate light or is placed in dimmer areas, it starts to drop leaves and may go to dormancy.

light need of alocasia odora

Therefore, it’s crucial to place a plant indoors at a location where it can get ample light; the east-facing window is the ideal location for lovely Odora. It can be exposed to direct morning or evening sunlight for a couple of hours daily. On the other hand, if you place Odora in the west or south-facing window, your plant needs protection from intense sunlight, especially during afternoons. Its gigantic leaves are susceptible to scorching under intense direct sunlight. In that case, use curtains on your windows to filter light.

If you grow the scented Lilly outdoors, ensure to choose a sheltered spot in your garden or where your plant doesn’t receive intense afternoon sunlight as they might get singed or bleached.

Although Alocasia Odora can tolerate low light but will not thrive in low-light circumstances. Its enormous leaves may turn yellow in low light conditions. Additionally, theplant will suffer from stunted growth and raise the possibility of root rot as the plant won’t be able to photosynthesize appropriately and consume all the water.

If you don’t have bright spots, you can install grow lights to provide required light for Odora to thrive. The light requirement of E;lephant Ear plant is between 10,000 to 20,000 lux.

humidity and temperature

Humidity and Temperature

Humidity plays a vital role in Odora’s growth; the scented Lilly appreciates high humidity levels; thus, you need to provide a high humid environment for your beloved plant. The ideal humidity level is 70% and above for Odora, but if you live in an arid climate, you should increase the humidity by trying the below options.

grouping alocasia odora with other plants to elevate humidity
  • Use a good humidifier.
  • Try misting your plant regularly
  • Set a pebble tray near odora
  • Group the plants to increase humidity

Being a tropical plant, Alocasia odora prefers warm temperatures. The ideal temperature range for the plant is 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Never place the plant below 60F as low temperature may kill your plant.

Protect your scented Lilly from cold, whether planted indoors or outdoors. Also, the plant is intolerant to severe winds; therefore, place it at a warmer location where it is safe in winter. Avoid keeping it near windows, doors, and air conditioners.

soil requirement

Soil Requirements:

Like all Alocasias, Asian Taro prefers moist soil that is not wet or soggy, the best soil for the plant is the one that is well-draining, aerated, and retains enough moisture.

Alocasia Odora doesn’t want to sit in water logged soil; therefore plant Odora in porous and chunky soil. You can make an organic rich potting medium for your Taro at home by mixing the following components.

A combination of the above components will make a well aerated and permeable soil. This potting medium also helps the plant to breathe by allowing the oxygen to travel into the plant’s body. Also, the mix helps filter out the soil impurities and maintains the PH level (5.5 to 6.5).

Besides that, you can also choose various potting mixes available in the market such as:

Repotting

Repotting Asian Taro

Like all other Alocasias, the Odora also doesn’t like to be repotted quite often. It likes small containers and doesn’t like to be transplanted. But it’s recommended to report in bigger pots every year to help the plant to thrive and maintain its size.

repotting alocasia odora

The significant sign of repotting is when the roots of the Scented Lilly start coming out of drainage holes or your plant needs more frequent watering. Also, the ideal season for transplanting the plant in spring, as the plant can easily adjust and create growth in a new container. Repotting in spring also helps the plant to recover from trauma quickly.

Select one sized bigger pot and use a fresh potting mix with effective and efficient nutrients to boost its growth.

  • Pro tip: It’s a good idea to water your plant 24 to 48 hours ahead to minimize the transplant shock. Watering also helps soften the soil, making it easier to remove the plant from its current container.

Guide for Repotting

  • Choose a pot one size bigger than the current pot.
  • Carefully uproot the plant from its current pot.
  • Shake off the old soil as it may lack nutrients.
  • Inspect the roots and trim off any damaged roots. 
  • Fill one-quarter of the new pot with fresh potting mix.
  • Place your Alocasia root ball in the new pot and cover the roots with a fresh potting mix. 
  • Gently tap the soil to remove any air pockets.
  • Finally, water the plant and put it in a warm, humid place to acclimate.
Propagation

Propagation of Alocasia Odora

The best time to propagate your plant is in spring. There are various methods to propagate your Asian Taro, here are a few;

Propagation through Corms

propagation of alocasia odora through corms

Alocasia Odora develop Corms in their roots that can be planted in separate pots to produce new Alocasia plants. You can dig around the potting soil of your Alocasia Odora and inspect the roots to find the corms. Gently detached the corms from the roots. Later plant these corms in LECA, perlite , sphagnum moss or potting mix to root.

  • Tip: You will be most successful in finding the corms during repotting. 

Offset Division

Basal offshoots (aka suckers or rhizomes) division is most common and easy propagation method of Asian Taro. Alocasia Odora produce offsets an they grow that can be divided from the mother plant once they established enough root systems.

propagating alocasia odora by offset division
  • Gently uproot the plant from its older pot and brush off any excess soil from its roots.
  • Carefully divide the basal offset from the mother plant by pushing the offset downwards until you hear a snap. You can use a clean knife to cut the tuber of an offset from the mother plant.
  • Gently separate the roots and leaves of offset from the mother plant. 
  • Take two containers and fill them with fresh potting mixture.
  • Plant the offset and mother plant in separate containers, and let them grow as independent plants.

Seed Propagation

As Alocasia Odora produces inflorescences occasionally that can be pollinated to produce seeds. However, this is less successful and time taking propagation method.

  • The plant produces red berries after successful pollination that contain the seeds.
  • You can remove the seeds once berries ripen. Once they are removed, spread on paper to clean them off.
  • If you want, you can soak the seeds in water overnight.
  • For seed propagation please ensure the temperature should be above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Now take a container with a suitable potting medium and plant the seeds. Mist the soil and keep the container in ventilated and bright space.
  • You may have to wait for a few weeks until the seedlings appear.

Stem cutting

Alocasia Odora can be propagated through its stump cutting. The plant should have a long trunk or stem with multiple growth points. You don’t necessarily need to remove the plant from the pot for stem cutting; you can just behead the plant.

propagating alocasia odora by stem cutting
  • Choose a point on the main stem (not the petioles) where you want to cut your plant.
  • Take a sharp knife or cutter and make a clean cut to behead the plant. You can further cut the stump into several pieces ensuring to include the growth points in each part.
  • Please leave at least a quarter part of the stem of the mother plant. Within few months, the mother plant will grow new foliage and offsets.
  • You can apply antifungal powder to freshly cut stem wounds to avoid rotting.
  • You can root the stems in water container. Within a couple of week the sliced stem parts will root and shoot new leaves.
  • You can then transfer them into well draining potting mix in separate pots.
  • Keep the baby plants in warm humid place to grow into independent plants.

Fertilizer

Alocasia Odora needs adequate nutrients for its fast and healthy growth, and what would be a better source of nutrients than a good fertilizer? Therefore, always equip yourself with a balanced liquid fertilizer special in the growing season. You can use a general-purpose fertilizer or a regular houseplant one. However, ensure to dilute to half-strength when applying.

Your plant needs to be fertilized more frequently in its growing season, that is, summer and spring. In this particular season, the plant is in dire need of nutrients as it grows new leaves. While in winter and fall, the plant growth slows down, and so does the fertilization frequency.

However, do not over-fertilize the beautiful Odora because it can damage it badly, as no or less nourishment is far better than overfeeding. In addition, over-fertilizing may cause salt accumulation in the soil, which is deadly for plant development.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to water the soil before fertilizing it because if you apply fertilizer to the dry soil, because of strong chemicals, the concentration will be too high for the plant, which will result in root burn and yellow leaves.

maintenance and cleaning

Maintenance and Pruning

Alocasia Odora can grow to quite a big size, whether in a container ( Can reach up to 4 feet in height) or in the ground ( Can grow up to 10 to 15 feet). But you don’t have to trim it frequently as it doesn’t get out of shape and doesn’t need high maintenance.

maintenance and pruning of night sceneted lily

The only pruning this plant needs is the removal of dead and old leaves. Confiscate yellow, brown, discolored, and spotty leaves to encourage its growth.

While pruning, always use sterile tools. You can use pruning shears and large pairs of scissors but make sure they are sharp enough as blunt instruments will increase the shock experienced by the Alocasia Macrorrhiza.

Moreover, wiping the leaves of Odora with a wet cloth prevents dust from clogging the pores, and the plant can photosynthesize properly.

toxicity

Toxicity

Like its other family members, the Alocasia Odora contains calcium oxalate crystals that are toxic to humans and pets. Therefore, keep it away from pets and children. In addition, consumption can cause swelling, irritation of the mouth, and other digestive issues. In case of ingestion, immediately consult a doctor.

common problems

Pests, diseases & common problems

Pests

Despite its giant size, Alocasia odora is a delicate plant, thus susceptible to many pests’ attacks. Common pests that can attack this lovely plant are spider mites and mealy bugs. The best way to protect it from infestation is to keep it happy.

Spider mites

These are tiny eight-legged creatures that mostly outbreak indoor plants. The primary cause of pest infestation is the dry environment, as the mites thrive in such conditions.

The common signs of spider mites are webbing on the plant and foliage turning splotchy yellow. After noticing these signs, immediately isolate your plant from other plants and give it a good water shower. It will help remove mites but ensure you drain the excess water thoroughly. The application of neem oil is another effective method to treat spider mites.

Mealy bugs

It is another infestation that your lovely plant may encounter. Mealybugs are severe and can kill your plant if not treated immediately. When your foliage has tiny white spots or looks covered in snow, it’s mostly likely attacked by mealy bugs.

To treat this issue, isolate the plant and then take cotton balls, dip them in alcohol and gently wipe the foliage with it. You can also spray your plant with a homemade mixture by adding one cup of rubbing alcohol, and a few drops of dishwashing liquid into one liter of water. Stir all these ingredients thoroughly and spray the plant with this solution. Please ensure to spray undersides the leaves and if you suspect any mealy bugs in soil , spray the soil as well.

Common Problems

The common problem that Alocasia Macrorrhiza encounters is related to watering. If the plant receives less water, it will show the symptoms of stunted growth, yellowing of leaves, and browning of leaf edges. This problem occurs more in potted Alocasias.

On the other hand, overwatering is a considerable issue that can make your plant sick. If the giant Taro remains in the water for a long, it can develop root rot. In this condition, the pathogens flourish, and the base of the plant turns to rot and collapse. In addition, the leaves turn yellow because of nutrient deficiency. If you don’t treat root rot, your plant may die.

Diseases

As Alocasia Odora loves moisture and high humidity, making it is prone to various fungal diseases and root rot. Unfortunately, these are serious issues and can be detrimental to your plant if not treated promptly.

Root rot

It is a serious disease that can cause plant death if left untreated. The common and key cause of root rot is overwatering. The major symptoms are the yellowing of leaves and mushy roots. If you notice yellow leaves on the plant, inspect it for root rot. Then, remove the plant from the pot and check if the roots are mushy.

Snip the affected areas and plant the Odora in a new container with fresh potting mix to treat the issue. To prevent the plant from root rot and other fungal diseases, don’t let it sit in water for a prolonged period. Instead, use well-draining soil and a pot with draining holes.

Common Problems

The Odora is also vulnerable to several issues. Some common problems that this plant may bump into are;

Overwatering

It is the most common and dangerous issue of Alocasia odora and may kill it. To avoid overwatering, always check the soil before watering it and adjust the watering frequency according to seasons, as in winter, the plant needs less water.

Dropping leaves

Sudden temperature and environmental changes can cause stress for the plant, and it starts to drop leaves. In such a case, look for the triggers and adjust accordingly.

Foliage Burning

Direct and intense sunlight can cause leaves browning of Alocasia Odora. A few hours of less intense morning sunlight is okay for the plant; however, if the plant stays for a long time in intense direct light, it can scorch the leaves. If you spot brown leaves, consider moving them to a less intense light location where it receives proper bright and indirect light.

faq

Common Quries

Is Alocasia Odora an elephant ear?

The Alocasia Odora is commonly known as upright elephant ears because of its large paddle-shaped leaves. It is an exotic plant that is perfect for any area in your home, including the living room, patio, and even bedrooms.

How tall does Alocasia Odora get?

Alocasia Odora is a big plant, and it can grow up to 4–8 ft. (120cm-240cm) and 3 ft. wide indoors and in containers; when it’s planted outside in the ground, it can reach up to 10 to 15 feet height.

Can Alocasia Odora grow indoors?

Alocasia Odora is a vibrant, beautiful, and sweetly scented plant that can be a great addition to indoors. It’s low maintenance, and all it needs is bright indirect light, warm temperature, and high humidity. So provide it with all these and see its wonders.

How do you make Alocasia grow more leaves?

If you want your Alocasia Odora grows more leaves, put it in a place where it receives plenty of bright and indirect light. The indirect light will encourage its growth, but other factors also contribute to leaf growth, such as watering, temperature, etc.

How fast does Alocasia Odora grow?

The plant can grow quickly if provided with a healthy and suitable environment. It can reach up to 2 to 8 feet in height with proper care within 2 to 3 months.

Are Elephant ears plants toxic to touch?

The Alocasia Odora is poisonous to touch as it contains calcium oxalate crystals. Upon touching the plant, it can cause itching and irritation. Therefore use gloves when handling the Night-Scented lily.

Final Words

Alocasia Odora is an exotic and easy-to-care plant. It’s perfect for decorative purposes that lighten up any space, and its sweet scent at night can be a great mood booster.

It’s a giant Alocasia but needs low maintenance, which makes it a perfect houseplant. It can thrive well in the proper growth conditions and environment.

This exclusive plant is a must-have for all plant lovers.

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