Alocasia frydek (Alocasia micholitziana), also commonly known as the green velvet alocasia, is a relatively rare variety of Alocasia that has skyrocketed in popularity over the past couple of years – and it’s easy to see why! While some find alocasias difficult to care for, they can do well as houseplants if a few key needs are met.
Pet parents beware – if you have pets that like to nibble on plants, avoid the Alocasia frydek! This velvety Alocasia is toxic to cats and dogs.
Light, Water, & Soil
Alocasia frydeks require several hours of bright, indirect light to keep them happy. I have my Alocasia frydek sitting directly in front of an east-facing window and it is thriving. Avoid harsh, direct sunlight at all costs as a frydek’s velvety leaves are easily susceptible to sunburn.
Alocasias have thick stems and petioles which helps them to store water, however they are not drought tolerant. The soil should stay evenly moist at all times, but never waterlogged. Just as a frydek can’t tolerate drought, they also cannot tolerate being waterlogged or sitting in water for extended periods of time.
There are a couple of things you can do to make watering your Alocasia frydek a little bit easier. First, ensure that it is planted in a pot or container with drainage holes to allow any excess water to flow freely from the pot. Second, ensure that you have planted your Alocasia frydek in a soil mixture that is porous and well-draining.
Alocasias appreciate soil mixes that are well-draining and allow for good airflow around their roots. A chunky soil mix designed for aroids is ideal. Typically, mixing together regular potting mix, orchid bark/orchid bark mix, perlite, and peat moss/coco coir makes a great potting mixture for an Alocasia frydek.
Propagating Alocasia Frydek
Alocasia frydek is propagated by division or by bulbs. Mature Alocasia frydeks will sprout multiple stems from separate bulbs, which can be divided and repotted into separate pots. This is best done in the spring when the plant has come out of dormancy.
Similarly, while repotting your Alocasia frydek you may come across small bulbs in the soil. These bulbs can be removed and grown into new plants in a separate container. Alternatively, they can be left in the soil and eventually they will sprout on their own.
Plant the bulbs in their own containers – ensuring that the top half of the bulb is sticking out of the soil – and put them in a humid environment until they sprout. Keep the humidity around the bulbs high by using mini greenhouses or putting plastic bags around the pots. Ensure that the soil stays evenly moist, but not waterlogged.
Alocasia frydeks appreciate moist, humid environments. While they can survive in typical household humidity levels, they will thrive if they are given extra humidity (such as with a humidifier or pebble tray).
Another thing to be aware of when caring for an Alocasia frydek is that they are susceptible to a range of common houseplant pests – most notably fungus gnats, mealybugs, and spider mites. Regularly checking for pests and applying preventative treatments will help to catch any potential invasions early and prevent a full-blown infestation.