|The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, Term
Alocasia (name made from Colocasia). Araceae. Warmhouse foliage plants, with green, veined and mottled, large hanging leaves.
Stem thick, short or assurgent, densely marked with If.-scars: lvs. with long sheathed petioles, the blade, when young peltate, when old usually sagittate-cordate, the basal lobes commonly more or less united: spathe with the tube much shorter than the blade, ovoid or oblong, convolute, the blade oblong, usually boat-t shaped; spadix shorter than spathe. — Stove foliage plants from E. Asia, comprising about 40 species, in addition to many hybrids. Related to Caladium and Colocasia, from which separated by technical fr. characters. See Monogr. by Engler in De Candolle's Monographic Phanerogamarum, Vol. II.
The species of alocasia grown in greenhouses have foliage of great beauty and coloring and rank high amongst ornamental foliage plants. The leaves are remarkable for their coloring, markings, size and shape, some of them being of a rich metallic coloring while others are green and green-and-white with prominent veining. Alocasias are propagated by suckers or cuttings of the rhizomes, placed in small pots containing a mixture of light fibrous peat and sand in equal proportions, and plunged in a close frame or propagating-box with bottom heat. They may also be grown from seeds sown in 4-inch pots, in a light peaty soil in a temperature of 75° F. The month of March is the best time for propagating and potting. The evergreen species (as A. cuprea, A. longiloba, A. Lowii, A. Regina) thrive best in a compost of two parts fibrous peat and sphagnum moss and one part lumps of fibrous loam, to which should be added a sprinkling of silver sand and a few nodules of charcoal to keep the whole sweet. The herbaceous species (as A. macrorhiza) do best in good fibrous loam to which one-third of well-rotted cow-manure or pulverized sheep-manure has been added. Perfect drainage of the pots is absolutely necessary, and, in potting, the evergreen species should be coned up 2 or 3 inches above the rim of the pot, and finished off with a surfacing of live sphagnum moss.. The season of active growth begins about the first of March, when plants should be given a temperature of 70° at night, with a rise of 15° by day, and the atmosphere must be kept in a humid condition. They should be given a position free from drafts and direct sunlight. They require an abundance of water at the roots as the leaves develop, and are greatly benefited by an occasional watering of clear liquid sheep- or cow-manure. To secure the best development of the leaves, heavy syringing should be avoided, but frequent spraying on all fine days with an atomizer sprayer is very beneficial. Towards winter the humidity of the atmosphere and the supply of water to the roots should be reduced with the evergreen species, and gradually withheld altogether as the leaves mature, with the herbaceous species. The temperature during winter should not fall below 60°.
Referenced from, The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, By L. H. Bailey, New York, 1963, The Macmillan Company. pg(s) 254-255