Alocasia leaves are some of the most unusual among plants. This feature is the reason for the great popularity of this plant.
The major difference between Alocasia Bambino and Alocasia Polly is the leaves. Alocasia Polly has leaves with a more pronounced ribbed edge, while the edge of Alocasia Bambino is smoother. Alocasia Bambino leaves are bright green whereas Alocasia Polly leaves are dark green.
|Alocasia Bambino||Alocasia Polly|
|USDA Hardiness zone||10-11||10-11|
|Scientific Name||Alocasia amazonica Bambino||Alocasia amazonica Polly|
|Light Requirement||Bright, indirect||Bright, indirect|
|Soil Type||Light and well-draining||Light and well-draining|
|Watering Frequency||Soaked with drying out periods||Soaked with drying out periods|
|Pests||Scale, mealybug, mites, and aphids||Scale, mealybug, mites, and aphids|
|Diseases||Leaf spot and root rot||Leaf spot and root rot|
Both plants have narrow, heart-shaped leaves. But Alocasia Bambino has a leaf edge with a very smooth waviness. Sometimes the undulation is barely noticeable. Also, the notch near the leaf petiole is not very deep.
Alocasia Polly on the other hand has a very ribbed edge. In some cases, it can be almost zigzag-like. Besides, the cut of a leaf near petioles is very deep and can reach a quarter of leaf length.
In terms of color, both varieties have a glossy leaf surface with huge white veins and a purple underside. The color of Alocasia Bambino is bright green, sometimes it can be slightly darker. At the same time, Alocasia Polly has darker leaves that can sometimes look like greenish-brown or greenish-purple depending on the light.
In general, the leaves of Alocasia Bambino are more similar to those of a normal plant. Whereas the leaves of Alocasia Polly are more mysterious and grotesque.
Both plants have an upright growth habit. This is due to their native habitat. In the tropics, these plants usually grow under the canopy of large trees and stretch for more light.
Alocasia Polly usually grows up to 1 foot tall. The stems grow almost out of the ground because the growing point is very low. Alocasia Bambino has longer stems that can reach almost a foot and a half. This means that Alocasia Bambino is a slightly larger plant, but only in height, the plants are almost the same in width.
The best soil for Alocasia is a loose and easily drained substrate. It is also important that the substrate is slightly acidic as Alocasia does not grow well in alkaline soil.
Mix one-half of normal potting soil with half of the peat and add orchid bark. The result is good soil for growing Alocasia. Always use only good-quality ingredients.
You can also use a ready-made orchid or aroids potting soil. The main thing is to always choose a quality sterile substrate from a reliable manufacturer.
In case you use poorly drained or clay soil, the Alocasia roots may start to rot. Root rot treatment is quite troublesome and if it is not taken care of, stem rot may occur. Stem rot will kill the plant in a large percentage of cases.
Both plants need lots of indirect but bright sunlight to thrive. This is the kind of light they get in their native rainforests.
To provide the right amount of light, place Alocasia in an east or west room 3 feet from a window. In a southern room, the plant should be in the back of the room or to the side of the window.
Avoid direct sunlight on Alocasia leaves. Otherwise, brown burns will appear on the leaves.
Also, avoid placing Alocasia in a room that is too dark. Because if there is not enough light, Alocasia will stretch out and weaken. Then its growth will slow down and it will be more susceptible to diseases. If you don’t have a place with enough natural light, install artificial lighting.
Alocasia needs moist soil to thrive but does not tolerate stagnant water. To determine if the plant needs watering, feel the soil in the pot with your fingers. If the soil is 2 to 3 inches dry, it is time to water.
Pour plenty of water to soak up all of the soil. There should be holes in the pot through which excess water will flow into the saucer. After watering, remove the water from the saucer.
Avoid overwatering the Alocasia as wet roots will soften and can easily rot. To cure root rot, you will have to transplant the plant into fresh soil and remove the rotten tissue.
For the winter, reduce watering considerably. During the winter months, allow the potting soil to dry out by half.
Temperature and humidity
Whichever variety you choose, you need to provide warm conditions for them. The best temperature for Alocasia is 70-80 80°F (21-26°C). Lowering the temperature to 50°F (10°C) can lead to stunted growth and even the darkening of the leaves.
Keep the plant away from heating and cooling appliances to prevent damage from inappropriate temperatures. Also, eliminate any cold drafts in the house.
When it comes to humidity, Alocasia needs 60-70% humidity. The air in the house is usually drier and can cause the leaves to become crispy around the edges or crack.
To avoid this, place a pebble tray near the plant. The water from the tray will evaporate and increase the humidity in the air. Or buy and install a humidifier, it is not cheap but very effective.
In nature, Alocasia does not need nutrition, or to be precise, it gets everything it needs from the environment. Under room conditions the plant is limited to the size of the pot, so sooner or later it will start to suffer from a lack of nutrients.
To make your Alocasia grow vigorously first plant it in nutritious soil with plenty of organic matter. I already told you about this above.
Next, you need to fertilize Alocasia once every 1.5-2 months with a water-soluble multi-purpose fertilizer. Or you can use liquid aroid fertilizer.
Avoid fertilizing Alocasia more than once a month otherwise the plant will become loose and brittle. Also, avoid fertilizing it in late fall and winter.
The first problem in growing Alocasia Bambino and Alocasia Polly are diseases, namely fungal diseases. The first signs of fungus are brown spots on the leaves, over time the spots increase and the leaf turns yellow.
To avoid the disease, make sure the room is well ventilated and the humidity is no higher than 90%. If Alocasia gets sick, spray it with a copper-based fungicide. Repeat the spraying after a while.
The next problem is pests. In most cases, Alocasia can be damaged by various insects. Use horticultural oil to get rid of them. Just spray Alocasia with an aqueous solution of horticultural oil and you won’t be bothered by insects anymore.