Out of all of the different kinds of Alocasias, the Alocasia stingray (Alocasia macrorrhiza ‘Stingray’) is one of the most unique. With patterned stems that faintly resemble the Alocasia zebrina and large leaves that take after its namesake from the sea, this tropical aroid will undoubtedly be the most eye-catching plant in the room. This stunning plant is native to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and is popular as a houseplant, although it can be difficult to find in some areas. For those with furry friends at home, you should be aware that as with all plants in the Alocasia genus, the Alocasia stingray is considered toxic to pets.
|Botanical Name||Alocasia macrorrhiza ‘Stingray’|
|Common Name||Alocasia stingray|
|Plant Type||Perennial, corm|
|Mature Size||3-4 ft. tall (indoors), 3-4 ft. wide (indoors); 15 ft. tall (outdoors), 8 ft. wide (outdoors)|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-draining|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer|
|Flower Color||Green, white|
|Hardiness Zones||9-11, USA|
|Toxicity||Toxic to pets|
Alocasia Stingray Care
Caring for the Alocasia stingray is similar to most of its relatives in the Alocasia genus. It appreciates warm, humid conditions and dappled sunlight. For those who tend to underwater their plants, this houseplant likely isn’t the best choice as it requires consistent moisture in order to thrive. As with all Alocasias, it is common for the Alocasia stingray to go dormant and lose all of its leaves in the fall and winter so don’t panic if this happens to your plant - you haven’t killed it! As long as the corm is still firm and healthy your plant will come back to life in the spring when temperatures warm and the daylight hours lengthen again.
This Alocasia does best with several hours of bright, indirect light every day. Avoid direct sunlight which will burn the stingray’s leaves, although short periods of less intense morning or evening sunlight is okay. You can filter harsh direct sunlight using a sheer curtain or window film if necessary.
While the Alocasia stingray prefers consistently moist conditions it still requires soil that is well-draining. A soil mix that wicks excess water away while still retaining some moisture is ideal. Try making your own at home using one part perlite, one part potting soil, and one part coco peat for a potting mix that is rich, airy, and well-draining.
The Alocasia stingray does not like to dry out and should be watered regularly. That being said, the soil should be moist not soaking. Allow the top inch of soil to dry slightly between waterings and ensure that your plant has adequate drainage (i.e. well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes) to prevent waterlogged soil.
Temperature and Humidity
These Alocasias are native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and accordingly they do best in warm, humid conditions. For the most part, typical household temperature and humidity levels are fine, although if your home is on the drier side you may want to provide your plant with a humidifier to prevent the leaves from developing dry spots. As long as your household temperature stays above 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) this tropical houseplant will be happy.
Alocasias are high feeders and the Alocasia stingray is no exception. For optimal growth, feed your plant twice a month during the spring and summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer designed for houseplants. In the fall and winter you can stop fertilizing entirely as the plant enters dormancy and is no longer actively growing.
Propagating Alocasia Stingray
Alocasia stingray can be propagated by division and by growing their corms. Healthy and mature Alocasia plants readily grow corms in and around their roots. If left alone, these corms sometimes develop into new Alocasia plants within the existing plant’s pot at which point the plant can be divided, or you can remove the corms from your plant’s soil and grow them separately. While propagating Alocasia is not as foolproof and straightforward as propagating other houseplants such as pothos or vining philodendron, it is fun and rewarding nonetheless.
To propagate by division, follow these steps.
- Remove your plant from its pot and begin loosening the soil around the offshoots that you would like to separate.
- Breaking as few roots as possible, gently separate the offshoots and their corms and root systems from the mother plant and set them aside.
- Prepare a small pot for each offshoot with a well-draining potting mix and plant the small plants in the soil, patting it down firmly around their corm and roots.
- Water the newly separated plants well and place them in a location that receives bright, indirect light. Return the mother plant to its original pot and top up the soil.
- Keep the soil evenly moist.
To propagate Alocasia stingray by growing its corms, follow these steps.
- Remove your plant from its pot and lay it down sideways so you can dig around in the soil.
- Using your fingers, begin feeling around the soil and the plant’s roots for corms. The corms will be small and round, usually brown or light green in color. They may be attached to the plant’s root system or separated. If they are attached, you can break off the root at the base of the corm to separate it.
- Once you have removed the corms from the plant’s soil, peel off the brown outer husk to reveal the green inner corm.
- Prepare a container with a small amount of fresh water and add the corms to the water. You don’t want the corms to be completely submerged, but they should be about ⅔ covered with water.
- Cover the top of the container with clear plastic wrap to create a humid, greenhouse-like environment.
- Place the container in a location that receives bright indirect light and refresh the water every few days to ensure the corms don’t dry out. After a few weeks, you should begin to notice some growth (either in the form of roots or new foliage). Be patient as this may take a while! Once you see roots or foliage growing, ensure that the corm is positioned right-side up with the roots submerged in water and the foliage above the water.
- Once the roots are at least 2 to 3 inches long you can move the plant from water to soil. Prepare a small pot with a well-draining potting mix and plant the rooted corms in the soil. Water the freshly potted plants well.
- Return the potted corms to a location that receives bright, indirect light and keep the soil evenly moist.
Potting and Repotting Alocasia Stingray
Alocasias like being slightly root bound so don’t worry about repotting your stingray too often. Once every 1 to 2 years depending on its growth is usually more than enough. However, if you notice that your plant is getting a bit crowded or you see roots growing out of the pot's drainage holes it may be time to move it to a larger pot.
Before you repot your plant there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, ensure that you wait until the spring or summer to repot. This is when the plant is actively growing and repotting is less likely to shock it. Second, choose a pot that is only 2 to 4 inches larger than the previous potting container. Moving your plant into a pot that is too large too quickly may result in accidental overwatering since there will be so much excess soil.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases
Like most houseplants, the Alocasia stingray can be bothered by a few common pests and diseases. Keep an eye out for signs of spider mites, fungus gnats, thrips, and mealybugs which can take up residence on an otherwise healthy Alocasia. Also be mindful of root rot, which can result from overly wet soil conditions.
Common Problems With Alocasia Stingray
Alocasias can be finicky and the stingray is no exception. If its growing conditions aren’t just right, you may notice one or more of the following common problems.
Yellow leaves on an Alocasia mean that your plant is either overwatered or underwatered. If your plant is overwatered, it is likely that the plant does not have enough drainage - either in the soil or in the pot itself. Ensure that your plant’s soil is amended with plenty of perlite to improve drainage and always plant your Alocasia stingray in a pot with a drainage hole. If your plant is underwatered, that means that the soil is drying out between waterings. Alocasia stingrays enjoy consistently moist soil and will suffer if they sit in dry soil.
While a loss of leaves can be a result of a number of different factors, usually it means that your plant is either not receiving enough light, or is suffering from a lack of humidity. Make sure that you are providing your plant with several hours of bright, indirect light, and avoid placing it in overly dry locations in your home - such as next to an air vent or drafty window.
If your Alocasia stingray is developing brown spots on its leaves, it is most likely a result of a lack of moisture/humidity. Ensure that you are keeping the soil evenly moist and providing it with enough humidity. Try placing a humidifier nearby or moving the plant to a naturally humid room in your home such as a bathroom or laundry room.
How big do Alocasia stingray get?
Alocasia stingray are large Alocasias that can grow up to 15 feet tall in their native environment! Don’t worry though - they usually top out at around 3 feet tall when grown indoors.
Can Alocasia stingray grow in water?
In general, Alocasias grow well in water for short periods of time. In fact, moving your plant to water can be a great way to revive an Alocasia that is struggling in soil. However, it is usually best to move your plant back into soil eventually as water cannot provide it with the nutrients that it requires long-term.
Should I mist my Alocasia stingray?
Misting houseplants is sometimes recommended as a way to increase humidity around the plant. However, misting the plant doesn’t actually help to increase humidity in the long term, and many plants don’t benefit from their leaves being consistently wet. Placing a small humidifier near your Alocasia stingray or growing it in a naturally humid room in your home are better ways to provide it with the humidity it craves.
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Alocasia.” Aspca.org. N.p., n.d. Web.