Alocasia zebrina(tigrina superba)

Discussion in 'Araceae' started by Aabb, Feb 6, 2020.

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  1. Aabb

    Aabb New Member

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    Hi, I recently bought an Alocasia zebrina(tigrina superba) and initially placed it under direct light. I noticed that the tips of the leaves started to become brown so I moved it under bright indirect light. After a few days it started to look very healthy again and than a leave became yellow and the corresponding branch is not rigid anymore. What should I do?
     

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  2. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    I wonder, from where you took bright indirect light in Stockholm this time of year?
    This plant is a tropical plant, you just can't give too much sun for it in the middle of a Swedish winter.
    The initial browning of leaf tips was possibly caused by the stress from moving, as plants often get stressed when conditions change in large extent, like when bringing the plant home from the seller.
     
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  3. Aabb

    Aabb New Member

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    I have 2 60w full spectrum light bulps. It is what I meant by bright direct light. What would you say about the dropping leave?
     
  4. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    As the yellowing leaf is one of the oldest and smallest, I would not be worried about it too much.
    Just keep in mind, that plants don't like moving, so better let them adapt in their permanent position, rather than relocating them often.
    If the light conditions are OK, then I'd suspected watering. Even though tropical plants may not have regular winter dormancy, they still need usually less water, when they have less sun.

    Keep in mind also, that alocasia prefers high air humidity and usually central heating in northern latitudes causes room air to become too dry.
     
  5. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    BTW, light could still be the main issue there, because luminocity drops rapidly when the distance is increasing. So the lowest leaves could get magnitudes less light than the upper leaves, when artificial lights are used. A lower leaf, that is 4 times farther from the light source than an upper leaf, gets at least 16 times less light (even if upper leaves don't cast a shadow on it).
     
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  6. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    Most people don't have a light meter to evaluate light conditions of their indoor plant. But many have a DSLR camera. If you set your DSLR camera to the Aperture priority mode (A), set the ISO fixed at 200 ISO and take a shot outdoors towards the clear sky (or towards any directly sun lit surface, NB! NOT directly towards the sun) at noon and then for comparision take a shot indoors towards your plant (without adjusting the settings), then comparing the shutter speeds could give you approximate estimation about how much the brigthness differs. Keep in mind, that faster shutter speeds are displayed in fractions of second, slower could be full seconds. The difference between luminocity outdoors and indoors could be thousands of times.
    Human eye is very adaptive to light conditions, it can easily be deceptive when evaluating light conditions. It is hard to get indoor luminocity comparable to the bright direct tropical sunlight even close to the window, especially in northern latitudes in winter.
     
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  7. Aabb

    Aabb New Member

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    Thank you so much for the tips. I just bought a light, ph and moisture sensor. I will check the conditions of my plant as soon as it arrives.
     
  8. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Alocasia zebrina likes moisture, but like most plants (with the exception of bog plants) will not tolerate waterlogged soil, what happens often when the container doesn't have drainage holes.
    It looks to me like your container may be lined inside with plastic preventing the excess water from draining. If it is the case you should move your plant to a container with drainage holes as soon as possible. You should water your plant every three days, preferably from the bottom, by filling the saucer under the pot with water and allowing the soil to pull as much water as needed by capillary action. The unused water should be discarded after an hour or so.
    Alocasia zebrina also needs bright light, but not direct sunlight, and warm and humid environment to be happy.
    If the above conditions are fulfilled I would not worry much about the yellowing leaves, especially at this time of year. Sometimes even the whole plant may go dormant (but not dead) in winter.
     
  9. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    I sure agree about it needing much more light. Two 60w bulbs is a very low amount of light for a plant. It does look like the yellowing leaf is perhaps the oldest leaf, so that is a normal progression when moving from a greenhouse with higher light & humidity, perfect temps and watering, to a very imperfect dry house with low light. It just can't support that many leaves in your conditions. Probably this will happen to several more leaves at least. I do have to disagree about no direct sunlight. In a Stockholm winter, that plant will appreciate a half day of direct sun if it's right up in an east or west window. It's very different there from the tropical sun

    I also sure agree with Sundrop's concern over your possible lack of drainage in that pot. Gotta have drainage in the pot. You also need soil that is somewhat free draining. What kind of soil is that? Watering from the top is better for keeping consistent levels of fertilizer, which you should start doing lightly when the plant starts growing again with more light. It's also better to water from the top if your water is higher in dissolved solids or minerals.

    Watering frequency will be vital to get dialed in well for this plant, and it will vary greatly based on factors like how much light you give it, humidity in your house, how healthy and established your root system is, etc. These factors can double or triple the watering time. Watering every 3 days will unfortunately kill an Alocasia zebrina overpotted in a plastic-lined pot with low or medium light in a soil mix like this. I estimate more like weekly, or even longer in that soil, depending on how well you improve it's condition and how fast the new leaves are coming out.
     

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