The Alocasia frydek is a stunning variety that displays velvety dark green leaves with stark white veining. It has grown in popularity throughout the years and is now commonly grown indoors as a houseplant, although it can also be grown outdoors in certain climates. As with most types of Alocasia, keeping the frydek happy can be a bit tricky, but its stunning foliage makes the challenge oh-so-worth-it. Pet owners beware, the Alocasia frydek, like all plants in its genus, is considered toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.
|Botanical Name||Alocasia micholitziana 'Frydek'|
|Common Name||Alocasia frydek, green velvet Alocasia|
|Plant Type||Herbaceous perennial|
|Mature Size||2-3 ft. tall, 2-3 ft. wide|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-drained|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer|
|Hardiness Zones||9-11, US|
|Toxicity||Toxic to cats, dogs, and horses|
Alocasia Frydek Care
As with many types of Alocasia, keeping the frydek happy indoors can be a challenge. That being said, when given the right conditions, it is possible for the frydek to thrive. One of the most important aspects of caring for this plant is ensuring that it gets enough moisture. These tropical aroids enjoy regular watering, high humidity, and will suffer in dry environments and prolonged periods of drought.
If your Alocasia frydek is healthy and happy, you may notice a green spadix emerging from the center of the plant. Flowering is somewhat uncommon when grown indoors but can occur on mature plants. Since the flowers are relatively inconspicuous compared to the frydek’s stunning foliage, many growers will cut the flower off to redirect the plant’s energy to growing more leaves rather than blooming—but this isn’t necessary.
This Alocasia does best in bright, indirect light when grown indoors and partial shade when grown outdoors. Ensure that it is not exposed to prolonged periods of direct sun as that will burn its velvety leaves. In front of a north-or east-facing window is a perfect spot.
The Alocasia frydek is an aroid that does best in an airy, rich, and moist but well-draining potting mix. Try to avoid using indoor potting soil without any additional amendments, which will compact over time and suffocate the plant’s roots. A mixture of one part potting soil, one part perlite, one part orchid bark, and one part compost or worm castings is ideal.
The soil should stay evenly moist but never waterlogged. Water thoroughly once the top 1 to 2 inches of soil is dry, allowing the excess water to drain from the bottom of the pot. The amount of water that this plant needs will vary greatly throughout the year, so ensure you are watering based on soil dryness rather than sticking to a rigid schedule which could result in over-or under-watering.
Temperature and Humidity
Alocasia frydek are native to the tropical rainforests of the Philippines where they grow in warm, humid conditions. Outside of the Philippines, the plant is usually grown indoors as a houseplant because of its temperature and humidity requirements. It does best in warm temperatures between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 30 degrees Celsius). That being said, the plant is winter-hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11 where it can be grown outdoors year-round. Typical household humidity levels are usually fine, but it will thrive with added humidity. Try placing a small humidifier nearby, or choose a naturally humid room like a bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen.
Alocasia frydek should be fertilized monthly in the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer and apply it during regular watering. Stop fertilizing this plant in the fall and winter months.
Propagating Alocasia Frydek
Like all Alocasias, the easiest way to propagate the Alocasia frydek is by division during repotting. However, Alocasias can also be propagated by growing the small corms that you may unearth during repotting, although this is a longer and more unpredictable process. Alocasias cannot be propagated by cuttings, so never try to take a stem cutting to propagate—it won’t work. Both methods of propagation should be done in the spring or early summer.
To propagate an Alocasia frydek by division, ensure that the plant has at least two bulbs that leaves are actively growing from. Follow these steps.
- Remove the plant from its pot and gently remove as much of the soil as you can from the roots.
- Separate at least one of the large bulbs from the rest of the plant by using a sharp knife to slice between the bulbs.
- Place the separated bulb in its own pot and keep the soil evenly moist.
To propagate an Alocasia frydek by growing corms, ensure that you are using corms that are either attached to the main root system of the plant, or that have their own set of small roots. Corms that are sitting freely in the soil without any type of roots are most likely already dead and won’t yield results. Follow these steps to propagate these corms.
- Gently cut the corms from the main root system if they are attached, or remove them from the soil if they have some of their own roots.
- Place the corms in a dish with shallow water, so that the top of the corm sits above the water but the bottom is submerged. Small bottle caps or shallow bowls can work well for this.
- Cover the bottle cap or dish with a glass container to create a humid, greenhouse-like environment.
- Place the corms in a location that receives medium to bright, indirect light, and wait. It can take a few months before you notice any growth. As long as the corm isn’t mushy, it is still alive and has a chance of growing.
- Once the corm has roots that are at least 2 to 3 inches long you can try transferring it to soil. Prepare an airy, well-draining potting mix and plant the baby Alocasia in the mix, watering well.
- Place it back in bright indirect light and keep the soil evenly moist. It may help to place a glass container back over the small plant to help it continue to establish.
Potting and Repotting Alocasia Frydek
The Alocasia frydek enjoys being slightly root-bound and only needs to be repotted once every two to three years. Repotting is best done in the spring or early summer when the plant is no longer dormant. Choose a new pot that is only one to two sizes bigger, and replace as much of the old potting mix as you can without damaging the plant’s roots.
When grown indoors, it is common for Alocasias to lose all of their leaves and go dormant over the winter. So don’t be alarmed if it looks like your plant has died once the weather outside starts getting colder. As long as the bulb is still firm and alive, the plant will come back in the spring. Note that you do not need to fertilize or provide the plant with very much water when it is in this dormant state. Water it only once the top half of the soil has dried out. Once a new leaf begins to emerge in the spring, you can resume a more regular watering schedule.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases
The Alocasia frydek is susceptible to a range of common pests including fungus gnats, spider mites, mealybugs, scale, and thrips. Inspect your plant regularly for signs of pests so you can catch any potential infestations early. In the event that you find pests, treat your plant immediately with neem oil or an indoor insecticidal soap, and isolate it from your other houseplants to prevent spreading.
Common Problems With Alocasia Frydek
There are a few common problems that growers may run into as they are learning about caring for an Alocasia frydek. Keep an eye out for the following.
Alocasias are sensitive to sudden changes in their environment and may exhibit droopy leaves when their growing conditions change. Changes in light, temperature, humidity, and watering can all cause the outer leaves to droop, and sometimes even die off. As long as it is still getting the minimum amount of light, water, humidity, and warmth that it needs, your plant should perk back up once it has adjusted to its new conditions.
Sometimes if a change in the Alocasia frydek’s growing environment is too sudden, it may begin losing some or all of its leaves. This is common in the fall and winter months when temperatures begin to drop and daylight hours shorten. As the plant enters dormancy, it will drop all of its leaves, only growing them back in the early spring months. While this can be quite shocking, as long as the bulb of the plant is firm and alive, your frydek will recover. If you notice your plant is losing leaves during the spring or summer, evaluate its growing conditions to determine what may be the culprit. Has there been a sudden change in its environment? Is it getting enough light, water, and humidity? Finding the cause of the issue will help to prevent further foliage loss.
Yellow leaves can be caused by a variety of things, but are usually a result of overwatering or underwatering. Ensure that the plant’s soil stays evenly moist, and keep your Alocasia frydek in a pot with drainage holes so the excess water can easily drain away from its roots.
Is Alocasia frydek rare?
Alocasia frydek are not as widely available as Alocasia amazonica or Alocasia 'Polly', but they are generally not considered rare. Many nurseries and garden centers carry Alocasia frydek as they have become increasingly popular houseplants.
Are Alocasia frydek and Green Velvet Alocasia the same plant?
Yes. Alocasia frydek and Green Velvet Alocasia are two common names for the same plant, Alocasia micholitziana ‘Frydek.’
Is Alocasia frydek easy to care for?
As with all Alocasias, the Alocasia frydek is known to be slightly temperamental due to its high moisture needs and is typically not considered an easy-to-grow plant. That being said, under the right conditions the plant can thrive when grown indoors.