Green Velvet Alocasia, Alocasia Micholitziana ‘Frydek’
The Alocasia Frydek is a stunning velvet green variation of Alocasia, which is particularly rare and unique.
With its deep emerald green leaves that grow into a dark black color and over time, it has a contrast of bright white veins that makes this plant stand out from those around it.
Position Bright, indirect sunlight
Watering Water when the top 2 inches of the soil are dry
Size Maximum 20 inches tall
Climate 60°- 85°F, 65% to 70% humidity
Propagate Division or seeds
Seasonality Winter dormant
Toxicity Toxic to pets and people
Alocasia Frydek Plant care
Native to southeast Asia, (most commonly found in the Philippines) these beautiful plants are used to a tropical or subtropical climate, and their uniqueness has made plant lovers gravitate toward adding them to their collections. This surely explains why they have grown so massively in popularity over the last few years.
Affectionately known as the Elephant Ear plant the foliage of the Alocasia Frydek boasts large deep green leaves with stunning white veins. This nickname is explained by their large pointed leaves that can grow up to 18 inches long and resemble a large elephant’s ear.
They are not one of the easiest plants to take care of, however, the reward is so worth it as when these plants thrive, they really are breathtaking!
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Bright indirect light is the best environment for an Alocasia Frydek. They do not require any more direct sunlight than 2 hours per day as they can be quite sensitive to harsh light, and they will suffer if not afforded the correct lighting conditions.
Excessive amounts of direct light will cause the edges of the leaves to crisp up so ideally, keep your plant in an area of your home that has some bright light and that will cast a shadow for parts of the day. A north or east-facing window is key for this.
If you have an outdoor greenhouse this too can be an ideal environment for your plant to thrive in, as they enjoy humidity and high temperatures. Just remember, you may need to water your plant more often if placed in a significantly warmer setting.
During the winter months, I recommend moving your plant into an area with a good deal of light as they do need some bright light in order to grow.
Watering your Alocasia Frydek can be a complex process and something that can be a little tricky. There needs to be moisture in their soil at all times for them to grow and thrive during the growing periods of spring and summer.
You should try to make sure that your plant’s soil does not dry out. I aim to water my Elephant’s Ear plant every time the first few inches of the soil are dry to the touch. I tend to check over this plant every few days during the growing season just to ensure it has enough water.
A critical point of care for most tropicals is to ensure that your plant is able to drain the excess water from the bottom of the pot. You should also disregard any excess water that is sitting in the bottom of your decorative pot because if this plant is left to sit in soggy soil it can cause root rot.
Height and Spread
The size of an Alocasia Frydek can of course vary from plant to plant and is dependent upon the conditions in which it lives. Most range from one to three feet tall. At their prime, the leaves can grow up to 18cm long, and are very impressive to look at!
A healthy, thriving Alocasia needs to have a good soil mix that is nutrient-rich, well-draining, and well-aerated but at the same time able to retain a little moisture for the plant to enjoy. This might all sound like a very tall order, but it is easily achievable with a good mix of minerals such as perlite or grit, compost, and coconut coir.
There are some great ready-prepared soils that are perfect for Alocasia. I’ve been using Espoma Cactus Soil Mix lately which is a pre-made cactus and succulent potting mix. I like that it contains organic forest matter as well as minerals to help with aeration. Even so, I always add extra grit or perlite to enhance drainage further which is good for preventing the early onset of root rot.
If you want to have a go at mixing your own then my top tip is to avoid adding peat moss as this acts like a sponge, and will create more moisture than these plants require. Use coconut coir and compost and then add elements such as perlite, orchid bark, pumice, sand, or small wood chips. Two parts of these added to one part potting soil will create the best environment for a happy, thriving Alocasia.
Similar to others in the Alocasia family, these baroque beauties prefer free-draining, well-aerated soil. This will help safeguard against root and rhizome rot as the soil dries out the way it needs to, in between waterings. While at the same time, retaining water long enough for the roots to absorb it.
The Alocasia Frydek is most commonly known for its stunning foliage. They actually are indeed flowering plants, although it is unlikely to see these beautiful plants flower in the first few years of owning them, given the right conditions they will flower even when kept as indoor plants. It all boils down to achieving the right humidity and temperature to essentially mimic the conditions of their natural habitat.
In their natural habitat, the stems of the flowers are thick and rigid, and flowers are spearheaded and pale green in color.
How to fertilize alocasia frydek
I recommend using fertilizer on your Alocasia Frydek only during the spring and summer months when your plant is actively growing. It’s fair to say that this plant is quite a heavy feeder and does require more fertilizer than your average house plant so will need to be fertilized every one to two weeks throughout the warmer months.
If you are choosing to use a concentrated liquid fertilizer always remember it will need to be diluted. I recommend mixing up a larger quantity and diluting to half the strength of what the bottle recommends. This can either be used to fertilize your other plants as well or kept out of harms reach and used the next time your plant needs watering.
If you want a house plant with minimal pruning, the Alocasia Frydek is a good plant to choose because it does not need much pruning at all. Over time the bottom leaves will start to discolor and turn brown, shrivel up, and may even drop off themselves. This is nothing to worry about and is a natural process for most houseplants.
If you find that these discolored leaves do not drop off themselves, you can gently remove them yourself. This will promote new growth and help the plant refocus its energy on producing new and healthy leaves.
It’s important to know that you need to be very careful when repotting an Alocasia Frydek, they are very fragile plants and do not enjoy too much disturbance. The ideal time to repot the plant is at the beginning of the growth period for the plant so the early spring months are ideal.
You won’t need to repot this plant often, they enjoy being in a smaller pot in relation to the size of the plant.
The warning signs of the plant starting to become root-bound include roots appearing from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, soil that is drying out at a much faster rate than usual, or if you notice much slower or no new growth.
If your plant is not displaying any of these signs, then leave it where it is!
When you do repot, do so one day after you have watered it, and then take care to carefully ease it from the old pot without causing too much disturbance or damage to the roots. Brush away the old soil to give the roots an inspection, checking that they are white or creamy and firm to the touch. Any brown, black, or mushy roots will need to be removed with sanitized pruners or sharp scissors as this is an indication of root rot.
When you are ready for repotting, always use a clean pot that’s just 1-1 ½” wider in diameter than the original. Backfill the pot with fresh well-draining potting compost mixed with plenty of grit. This slight increase in pot size will help to maintain healthy root formation as the plant continues to grow.
After you have repotted be sure to avoid overwatering and allow your plant time to settle in its new environment.
How to Propagate an Alocasia Frydek
The most effective way to propagate an Alocasia Frydek is through division, and I would only recommend this when your plant is quite large in size and is very healthy.
The best time of year to divide your plant is whilst you are repotting it and whilst it is actively growing. Remove the plant from its pot and gently remove as much excess soil as possible so you have a good sight of the roots.
You’ll notice that the roots have a habit of clumping together, this will give you a good idea of where the natural separation is, and that will be the best place to divide the plant.
Place each new division into its own nursery pot with the same good mix of soil you use for your mature Alocasia Frydek. Place the new plant in a moderately bright spot and make sure to monitor the roots and growth over the first few weeks of propagation.
Common Problems with Alocasia Frydek
As you would expect with most tropical plants, Alocasia Frydek is not free from potential issues and common problems. Here are some of the most common problems that you may face when keeping this rare beauty as a house plant.
This plant will greatly benefit from environments with humidity levels of between 65 to 70%. If there is low humidity in your home you may start to see the leaves beginning to crisp or discolor. As the foliage of this plant is its main appeal you’ll want to spend some time getting the humidity levels right if you want to keep the plant in the best condition possible.
Misting the leaves is a great way to mimic humid conditions if you live in a dryer climate and you do not have an electric humidifier in your home. Alternatively, if you have other plants that enjoy humidity, it is a good idea to keep these plants together in your home, they will all benefit from the conditions they create and share.
There are many issues that can be caused by overwatering your plant, despite them needing a little moisture in their soil and humid conditions they can still be vulnerable to bacterial leaf spots or root, and crown rot. Make sure that you are watering only when the top 2 inches of soil are dry, and that the soil is well-draining.
A plant that is in too large of a pot can also lead to overwatering as the pot will be retaining too much water for too long, causing the roots to absorb this excess of water.
Unfortunately, Alocasia can be quite prone to pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Check the leave, nodes, and stems junctions of your plant regularly for any signs of an infestation. If detected, take action immediately, and quarantine the plant to prevent any spread.
Alocasia Frydek is harmful and toxic to both humans and animals if ingested. It can cause mouth and digestive irritation and swelling. If you have particularly sensitive skin it can also cause skin irritation if touched. You can always use gloves to avoid this if you find it is causing you any irritation or pain.
So if you have small children or pets at home it is best to store this plant out of reach in a safe area to avoid any issues.
Leaves or stems dying over the winter months
This is fairly common as the plant is usually dormant during the autumn and winter months. The best way to combat the loss of leaves is to water the plant a lot less often and to move the plant into a warmer and brighter area.