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”
For more on identifying the glory that is Alocasia, check out the best of Alocasia on Instagram and follow Linda @thehults
Hi i have a pink dragon,its growing really good,has a new leaf still coiled up but nice and big,green with another stem with 2 tiny leaves starting to sprout but the first leaf(out of 2 and the new stem/leaves)had a few brown spots,so i moved it to a new spot in my living room,now the leaf is going brown mixed green is this ok? Will the 1st leaf die off or is this color change ok? Or will it get greener? I water a little 1x/wk is this good. Do i need to give it fertilizer? When & what kind? Thanks i have only had this plant about a month. I’m starting plants again after 14yrs of having pets/my service dog passed after 14yrs-shih tzu. I have 5 plants ,(the pink dragon,a little tropical one in a self watering tiny pot (growing really well with lots of baby leaves), 3 spider web cacti(name ?). How often do i water my cacti,fertilizer? Thanks so much
It usually takes a while for a new plant to get used to its new surroundings. Let it get acclimated and then you can try a light fertilizer…maybe something mixed in with your water. I use Miracle Grow Houseplant Food. You can find it here with this affiliate link https://amzn.to/3MRzLrO. They also have it in a succulent/Cactus Food here https://amzn.to/3wKd7Mf
I find that sometimes when a new leaf is on the way, one might die back. Keep watering when the tops few inches are dry, give it good indirect light and you should be good. So sorry to hear about your dog. I have a couple little pups also!!
Only water your cactus when the soil is completely dry. I really only water maybe once a month and even less in winter.
So interesting! I too stumbled on a pink dragon last week and our little nursery here in my small town.
Awesome! What a great find!