I am sure we’ve all had that moment when we visit the greenhouse and stumble on a beautiful plant. The thrill in the chase is true in plant collecting as it is in any hobby, so finding a “rare” or “hard to find” plant is always exciting. This week I stopped into my local shop to buy some terracotta. As per usual, I walked around to see if there was anything new. Low and behold, sitting on the Alocasia table among the usual suspects was this intriguing Aroid with bright pink stems.
The sticker on the plastic pot read “Alocasia” with no clue on species or cultivar, but I thought maybe this could be an Alocasia “Pink Dragon”. All google images pointed to yes, however, I have been burned before. I decided to go for it and took the mystery plant to the information desk for a little more insight. The sweet gals behind the counter gave me a care sheet for Alocasia sanderiana, or commonly known as ‘African Mask’, ‘Elephant Ear’ or ‘Polly’. I pushed further by saying “I have a ‘Polly’, but this seems different'”. To which they replied, “It’s an African Mask, the care is all the same”. I still wasn’t convinced, so I bought it.
Alocasia ‘Pink Dragon’ vs. Alocasia ‘Polly’
Per the care sheet I was given, the Alocasia ‘Polly’ is described as a plant with “erect stems bearing enormous arrow shaped leaves with scalloped edges and colored veins”. I would certainly agree! But the ‘Pink Dragon’, also having colored veins and erect stems, has pink petioles and rounded leaves. Just like my new plant.
After searching around online, I found many listings for ‘Pink Dragon’, mostly sold abroad, making me think this plant is not readily available in the U.S. So either I have been fooled or I just got really lucky. Time to consult an expert.
I reached out to Linda from @thehults on Instagram where she regularly posts about her Alocasia collection and shares her tips and tricks. Per Linda, I have found myself an Alocasia ‘Pink Dragon’. I just hope I can keep it healthy.
Linda’s Alocasia Care Tips:
- Good Drainage
- Allow to dry up a bit in between waterings
- They love humidity
- Shower off the leaves once a month to fight off spider mites
- Medium light
- Guttation is when the plant leaves “sweat”