A newly developed hybrid, the Alocasia tiny dancer looks like something straight out of a Dr. Suess book. Characterized by curved stems and pointy, cup-shaped leaves, the Tiny Dancer is unique compared to other plants in the genus and was named the “most unusual aroid” by the International Aroid Society in 2013. It's a great choice if you're looking for a small, compact plant to add to your collection. This Alocasia reaches just 14 to 20 inches tall at maturity. Pet owners should be aware that it is considered toxic to both dogs and cats.
|Botanical Name||Alocasia 'Tiny Dancer'|
|Common Name||Alocasia tiny dancer|
|Plant Type||Perennial, corm|
|Mature Size||14-20 in. tall, 11-18 in. wide|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-draining|
|Soil pH||Acidic, neutral|
|Bloom TIme||Spring, summer|
|Flower Color||Green, white|
|Hardiness Zones||10-11, USA|
|Toxicity||Toxic to pets|
Alocasia Tiny Dancer Care
Caring for the Alocasia tiny dancer is similar to many other Alocasias, This tropical plant appreciates consistent moisture, warm temperatures, and lots of light. In ideal conditions it grows quickly - pushing out new growth every couple of weeks. As old growth dies off removing it will keep the plant looking clean, but otherwise pruning is not required. An absence of flowering is not cause for concern. Alocasia tiny dancer does not flower readily when grown indoors.
Although the Alocasia tiny dancer enjoys lots of light, it does not tolerate harsh, direct sunlight which can burn the foliage. It prefers the filtered or indirect light of its natural environment. You can try filtering the direct light with a sheer curtain or window film to protect the delicate leaves.
Soil should be rich and well-draining, but still retain some moisture. You can buy a specialty soil mix marketed for aroids or create your own at home with a combination of equal parts potting soil, coco coir, orchid bark, and perlite. This mix provides adequate drainage, nutrients, and moisture retention.
Water regularly so to keep the soil consistently moist. This plant won't tolerate soggy soil, so you need to find a balance between consistent watering and overwatering. Use a pot with drainage holes so that excess water can drain during each watering. In the summer, you may need to water this plant once or twice a week, while in the winter you can reduce watering significantly.
Temperature and Humidity
Providing warm, humid conditions is one of the most important parts of growing the Alocasia tiny dancer successfully indoors. Temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit make this a plant well-suited for indoor growing. It can also be grown outdoors but should be brought inside when temperatures begin to cool. it usually requires some additional humidity when grown indoors as it does best in at least 50% humidity. Try placing a small humidifier nearby or placing the plant on a pebble tray filled with water. This small Alocasia is also a great choice for terrariums or small greenhouses. It will also thrive in a naturally humid room such as the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room..
Alocasias tend to be heavy feeders and the Alocasia tiny dancer is no exception. During the spring and summer regular fertilization will support its speedy growth. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength once every two to three weeks for best results. Stop fertilizing your plant entirely during the fall and winter months.
Propagating Alocasia Tiny Dancer
This tuberous plant is most easily propagated by dividing and growing its corms. While Alocasias can also be grown from seed it is a much longer process. Growing Alocasia corms is a relatively straightforward process that can be accomplished in just a few steps.
- Remove corms from the soil of a mature Alocasia plant. Corms can be in various stages of growth when they are removed - from small bulbs without any foliage or roots to small plants that have begun to establish. If the corms already have some leaves and roots, you can skip the first few steps in this list.
- Peel the brown outer “husk” away from the forms which will help them to grow faster.
- Place the corms in a container with moist sphagnum moss with the pointy side down and cover the container with a clear plastic bag to create a humid greenhouse-like environment.
- Put the container in a location that receives bright, indirect light.
- Keep the moss evenly moist at all times. After a few weeks you should notice some growth- either in the form of roots or small sprouts from the top of the corm. Once the roots are 2 to 3 inches long it can be transferred to soil.
- Prepare a container with a well-draining soil mixture and move the established corm to the soil. Water it well and place it back in its original bright location. Keep the soil evenly moist.
Potting and Repotting Alocasia Tiny Dancer
This Alocasia does not require regular repotting and should only be transplanted once it has outgrown its previous container—usually every two years or so. Roots growing from the drainage holes or the sides of the pot bulging are both signs the plant has outgrown its pot and is ready to be repotted. Spring is the best time to repot. Before you begin, choose a pot 2 to 3 inches larger than its previous container. Moving your plant into a pot that is too large can result in accidental overwatering.
Remove your plant from its old pot and gently shake off as much of the old soil as possible taking care not to damage roots. Add some rich, well-draining soil mix to the new pot and then add the plant, watering well after planting. Return the freshly potted plant to its original location to minimize the chance of shock and keep the soil evenly moist. Wait a couple of weeks to fertilize your plant after repotting.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases
Keep an eye out for common houseplant pests like mealybugs, spider mites, fungus gnats, and thrips. If you notice signs of pests isolate the plant immediately and treat it with an insecticide. As with most Alocasias, the tiny dancer is also susceptible toroot rot if its growing conditions are too wet. Watch for yellowing leaves, dying leaves, and mushy stems which indicate root rot is present.
Common Problems With Alocasia Tiny Dancer
Alocasia tiny dancer can be picky about its growing environment. Keep an eye out for these common problems, which indicate something in your plant's care routine needs to be adjusted.
Brown leaves are usually caused by a lack of moisture and humidity. Keep the soil evenly moist place the plant away from drafty windows and vents that can dry out the air around the plant. Try giving it some extra humidity by adding a small humidifier nearby or moving it into a more humid room like a bathroom.
Yellow leaves can be tricky to diagnose as there are a few possible causes. The most common is underwatering, although yellow leaves can also be a symptom of root rot which usually develops due to overwatering. If you notice that the oldest leaves on your plant (usually around the outside) are starting to yellow and fall off, this can be a natural part of the plant’s growing cycle. If you notice that your plant is suddenly suffering from lots of yellow leaves or the new growth is turning yellow this may be an indication that one of the former two scenarios is taking place. Evaluate your plant’s growing conditions to determine whether underwatering or overwatering may be taking place.
If your plant suddenly loses all of its leaves one of two things may be going on. If this occurs during the fall or winter months, it is most likely your plant has entered dormancy which is normal. Simply cut back on watering until you see new growth again in the spring. If your plant loses all of its leaves during the spring or summer months it’s usually because something is wrong in its care routine. This may be due to overwatering (accompanied by root rot), or under watering (accompanied by dry, compact soil).
Does Alocasia tiny dancer go dormant?
Like all Alocasias, the Alocasia tiny dancer can go partly or entirely dormant in the fall and winter months. It is normal for growth to slow down during these colder months, but sometimes an Alocasia may suddenly lose all of its leaves as cold weather approaches. Don’t panic - as long as the plant’s corm is still firm and healthy its not dead. Stop watering your plant until the early spring months and then start watering lightly. As the temperatures begin to warm you should notice new leaves growing back!
Is the Alocasia tiny dancer rare?
This Alocasia is considered uncommon and currently, it is most popular among plant collectors and Alocasia enthusiasts. If you want to get your hands on one, try checking in with specialty plant shops or collectors as you may have a hard time finding it at your greenhouse or nursery.
How big does the Alocasia tiny dancer get?
Compared to other species of Alocasia the tiny dancer is small. It usually tops out at around 20 inches tall and 18 inches wide at full maturity.
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Alocasia.” Aspca.org. N.p., n.d. Web.