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Alocasia Bambino Vs Polly (Differences and Similarities)

Alocasia plants boast some of the most distinctive leaves in the plant world, which is exactly why they’ve become so beloved. Let’s dive into a comparison between the Alocasia Bambino and Alocasia Polly.

The Alocasia Bambino sports leaves that resemble arrowheads, setting it apart from the Alocasia Polly, which flaunts heart-shaped leaves. Moreover, the Polly’s leaves shine with a glossy finish and feature scalloped edges, while the Bambino’s foliage presents a matte appearance with smoother edges.

alocasia bambino vs alocasia polly

Alocasia Bambino and Alocasia Polly

Alocasia Bambino  Alocasia Polly
USDA Hardiness zone 10-11 10-11
Scientific Name Alocasia amazonica Bambino Alocasia amazonica Polly
Mature height >40cm 25-30cm
Growth rate Medium Medium
Habit Upright Upright
Light Requirement Bright, indirect Bright, indirect
Soil Type Light and well-draining Light and well-draining
Soil pH 5.0-6.5 5.0-6.0
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

Foliage

Both Alocasia Bambino and Alocasia Polly feature narrow, heart-shaped leaves. However, the Bambino’s leaf edges have a subtle waviness to them, often so slight it’s almost imperceptible. Additionally, the notch by the leaf stem on the Bambino isn’t very pronounced.

Conversely, the Alocasia Polly’s leaf edges are distinctly ribbed, sometimes appearing almost zigzag in pattern. The leaf’s cut near the stem on the Polly is notably deep, extending up to a quarter of the leaf’s length.

Color-wise, both types boast glossy leaves adorned with large white veins against a purple underside. The Alocasia Bambino’s leaves are a vibrant green, occasionally darker and matte. In contrast, the Alocasia Polly’s foliage is a deeper shade, sometimes presenting as greenish-brown or greenish-purple, depending on lighting.

Growth Habit

Both plants exhibit an upright growth pattern, a trait influenced by their tropical origins. In their natural habitats beneath the canopy of towering trees, these plants stretch upwards in search of more light.

The Alocasia Polly typically reaches a height of up to 1 foot, with stems that seem to emerge directly from the ground due to its very low growing point. On the other hand, the Alocasia Bambino boasts longer stems, stretching up to nearly a foot and a half in height, making it slightly taller. However, in terms of width, the two plants are quite comparable.

alocasia bambino vs alocasia polly

Alocasia Bambino

Soil

For both plants, the ideal soil is one that’s well-aerated and drains easily. It’s crucial for the soil to be slightly acidic, as Alocasia plants struggle in alkaline conditions.

A great soil mix for Alocasia involves blending equal parts of regular potting soil and peat, then incorporating orchid bark into the mix. Ensure all components are of high quality.

Alternatively, a pre-mixed orchid or aroid potting soil can be used. The key is to select a high-quality, sterile substrate from a trusted supplier.

Light

Both plants flourish under bright, indirect sunlight, mirroring the conditions of their native rainforest habitats.

To ensure they receive the appropriate light levels, position your Alocasia in a room with east or west exposure, keeping it about 3 feet away from a window. If the room faces south, place the plant towards the back or to the side of the window to avoid direct exposure.

It’s important to shield Alocasia from direct sunlight to prevent the leaves from developing brown burn marks.

alocasia bambino vs alocasia polly

Alocasia Bambino and Alocasia Polly

Watering

Alocasia thrives in moist soil but cannot withstand waterlogging. To check if watering is needed, touch the pot’s soil. If the top 2 to 3 inches feel dry, it’s watering time.

Water the plant thoroughly until the soil is fully saturated, ensuring the pot has drainage holes for excess water to escape into a saucer below. After watering, be sure to empty the saucer of any standing water.

In winter, cut back on watering significantly. Allow the soil to dry out halfway through before watering again during the colder months.

Temperature and Humidity

Regardless of the Alocasia variety you select, maintaining a warm environment is crucial for their well-being. Ideal temperatures range between 70-80°F (21-26°C). Exposure to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) may result in slowed growth and potential darkening of the leaves.

Alocasia plants also thrive in environments with 60-70% humidity. In conditions where the air is less humid, you might notice the leaves becoming brittle or developing cracks around the edges.

Fertilizer

In the wild, Alocasia effortlessly obtains its nutrients from its surrounding ecosystem. However, when grown indoors, its access to nutrients is confined by the pot’s dimensions, eventually leading to a nutrient deficit.

For robust growth, begin by planting your Alocasia in nutrient-rich soil, abundant in organic material.

Following this, it’s recommended to fertilize Alocasia every 1.5 to 2 months using a water-soluble, all-purpose fertilizer, or opt for a liquid fertilizer specifically designed for aroids.

alocasia bambino vs alocasia polly

Alocasia Polly

Common problems

The primary challenge in cultivating Alocasia Bambino and Alocasia Polly is managing diseases, especially fungal infections. Initial symptoms include brown spots on the leaves, which expand over time, leading to leaf yellowing.

To prevent such diseases, ensure good air circulation in the room and keep humidity levels below 90%. If your Alocasia does become infected, treat it with a copper-based fungicide and follow up with another application after some time.

Pests represent another concern. Alocasias may be vulnerable to various insects. To combat these pests, apply horticultural oil.