Alocasias are tropical plants known for their dramatic leaves, which come in many bright colors. One of the most common varieties is “black velvet,” which features broad, dark green leaves and is accented with white veins throughout. This plant’s exotic appearance makes it an ideal specimen for a garden, and it is hardy enough to survive outdoors year-round in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and up.
This plant’s aesthetic beauty makes it a popular choice for indoor plantscaping, as well. This dramatic plant can grow quite large, reaching two to four feet tall, but it is adaptable to a wide range of light conditions. It likes heat but will survive just fine in cooler climates as well, as long as it gets adequate moisture. So let’s talk about how to grow alocasia black velvet plus a few tips for troubleshooting what to do when you notice your houseplant is unhappy.
Alocasia Black Velvet Care: Overview
|Scientific Name:||Alocasia Reginula|
|Common Name:||Black Velvet Alocasia, Little Queen|
|Light:||Bright indirect light|
|Soil:||Well-aerated, loose soil|
|Temperature:||Around 70 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Water:||Keep soil moist, but not soggy|
|Fertilize:||Monthly with a balanced fertilizer specifically for houseplants|
|Repotting frequency:||Repot every year or so|
|Toxic to Cats or Dogs?||Yes|
|Where to buy||Buy on Etsy|
Alocasia Reginula Characteristics
The black velvet is one of the most beautiful plants in the alocasia family. Alocasia produces a stunning velvety dark purple, almost black leaf. The plant can grow to around 3 feet and is fully hardy in zones 9-11. Plants in the genus Alocasia are native to China and Vietnam.
Does Alocasia Reginula Like to Be Rootbound?
The alocasia black velvet likes to have things a little snug and prefers to be slightly rootbound than in a pot that’s too big.
Black Velvet Alocasia Light Requirements
The black velvet plant requires bright, indirect light to thrive. If you can provide a spot near a north or east-facing window, that would be ideal. Be careful not to place the plant in direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to scorch.
How Often Should I Water My Alocasia Reginula?
When it comes to watering, the Alocasia black velvet does best in moist soil. Allow the top couple inches of soil to dry out in between watering. During the growing season, you may need to water the plant more frequently. Be sure to use lukewarm water and avoid getting the leaves wet, as this can cause them to brown.
Alocasia Reginula Humidity Requirements
The black velvet alocasia is a tropical plant that requires high humidity to thrive. If you live in a dry climate, you will need to take special care to provide enough moisture for your plant. The best way to do this is to mist the leaves daily or set the plant on a pebble tray filled with water. You should also make sure to provide good drainage for your plant to prevent root rot.
Alocasia Reginula Soil Requirements
The little queen plant is not particular about soil type, but it does prefer well-draining soil. Be sure to use a pot with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. The plant can tolerate some drought, but it will do best if you keep the soil evenly moist.
Alocasia Black Velvet Fertilizer Requirements
Fertilize your Alocasia reginula every two weeks during the growing season with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Withhold fertilizer during the winter months when the plant is not actively growing.
When Should I Repot My Black Velvet Alocasia?
The Alocasia reginula is a beautiful houseplant that’s relatively easy to care for. They don’t need to be repotted often, but when they do, it’s important to choose a pot that’s only slightly larger than the one they’re currently in. Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix and water regularly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
Troubleshooting Common Alocasia Black Velvet Care Problems
Alocasia black velvet, while a beautiful plant, also has a very long history of pests and diseases. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to keep your Alocasia black velvet healthy.
Alocasia Black Velvet Drooping Leaves – If you’re noticing sad, drooping leaves that’s typically a sign that the water levels are off. If you’re watering it regularly, try spacing out your routine and giving it less. If you’re forgetful and don’t have a schedule, that could be a sign your plant is thirsty and needs an alocasia black velvet watering schedule setup.
Alocasia’s leaves are curling – Plant leaves curl inward to conserve energy so your plant is either thirsty or not getting enough light.
Alocasia’s leaves are turning brown – Brown leaves happen when your plant is getting too much light or if the leaves are getting too wet. If the tips are brown, then that means your plant is conserving resources and needs more water STAT.
My plant stays green and doesn’t turn dark – If you’re not seeing the lush, dark purple color you expect then it’s most likely a sign your plant isn’t getting enough nutrients. Changing colors to such a dark due while maintaining photosynthesis is tough for a plant to do since it consumes a lot of energy. Don’t worry if your plant never makes it to a shade darker than green, though. My colocasia black beauty (a similar plant) has lived in my bathroom for years and sprouted many new leaves, but just never gets enough sunlight in the room to turn it black. However, since it’s so humid in the bathroom I consider it a better compromise since the humidity is such a higher priority for a tropical plant like this.
In fact, I made an entire video about this:
How to Propagate Alocasia Black Velvet
If you’re interested in propagating your own Alocasia reginula it’s actually quite easy to do.
Simply take a division from a mature plant and pot it up in a moistened potting mix. Keep the division warm and humid until new growth appears, at which point you can move it to a spot with bright, indirect light.
Be sure to keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy, and fertilize monthly during the growing season. Before you know it, you’ll have a whole flock of black velvets!