Alocasia Dragon Scale
- Alocasia Dragon Scale,
- Alocasia Baginda,
- Elephant Ear
Native to the tropical forests of Borneo in Southeast Asia, the Dragon Scale gets its name from its incredible leaves. Darker in shade than the silvery-green of a Silver Dragon, the leaves of Dragon Scales have hardened tops and are darker green in the center, lightening towards the ends of the leaves, which creates an almost metallic effect. The undersides of their leaves are pale and cream-colored with maroon veins. Often more challenging to find for sale than other Baginda species, Dragon Scale is also considered more user-friendly than other varieties of Alocasia.
The Dragon Scale prefers medium to bright levels of light. A west or east-facing window where the Dragon Scale’s leaves are safely shielded from direct sunlight would be best. With leaves more sensitive than some other house plants, the Dragon Scale should not be exposed to direct sunlight. If your plant leaves outside, just make sure you find a shady place for it to rest.
The Dragon Scale will benefit from slightly damp soil round the clock. We’d suggest only watering once weekly or when the top layer of soil (2-3 inches) has started to dry out. Be careful not to overly saturate your Dragon Scale, as overwatering can result in root issues (or potential death). Too little moisture in its soil and you could start to see brown, crispy leaf tips. Lightly misting the leaves daily can also be helpful in keeping your Dragon Scale looking its best. Just be sure to wipe excess water off your plants leaves to prevent leaf drop.
The warmer the better for the Dragon Scale. The Dragon Scale prefers temperatures between 60⁰F and 80⁰F. It’s not a cold-tolerant plant, so you’ll want to prevent it from being in spaces where the temperature consistently dips below 50⁰F. As a tropical plant, it loves humidity, which you can supplement at home by placing your plant near a humidifier, including a pebble tray filled with water underneath your plant (not touching the roots or bottom of the soil), or potting your plant in a planter with a reservoir. This love of moisture also makes a terrarium an ideal space for your Dragon Scale.
Fertilizing your Dragon Scale is most important during spring and summer. Soil in Borneo’s forests, where the Dragon Scale hails from, are rich with limestone and calcium, so any fertilizer containing substrates of these nutrients would be best to help your Dragon Scale thrive. Use a premium, nutrient-rich fertilizer and dilute it about half the amount suggested by the bag or box no more than once a month during growing season. When the weather starts to cool, ease your Dragon Scale off the fertilizer and eventually stop completely.
During fall and winter, the Dragon Scale requires less water and no fertilizer as it enters a semi-dormant state.
It’s not unusual for Dragon Scales to drop leaves (sometimes ALL of them) during the winter months and throughout other parts of the year, as their unique structure and root system only allows them to support so many leaves at one time.
While they don’t mind sharing close quarters with other plants, Dragon Scales are not pet or kid friendly, as they are highly toxic if ingested.
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