31 Indoor Alocasia Varieties (Elephant Ear Plants)

I love the wild variety and lush tropical foliage of an Alocasia. From tiny jewels to monster elephant ears, there’s a lot of space in my heart for these finicky tropicals.

These rainforest specialists love a warm, tropical garden where they thrive in the indirect sunlight found under mango trees or figs. Still, folks in cooler climes don’t need to miss out – like many rainforest species, most Alocasia varieties make for great indoor plants!

They like the same sort of conditions we do and can be a fantastic, dramatic addition to your décor. Here’s a selection of some of my favorites.

How to Care for Different Alocasia Varieties

watering potted aloasia plants in the backyard with a sprinkler

Light Conditions

Alocasias evolved to thrive in the filtered, indirect light of the rainforest under-story. Indoors, you’ll need to provide a similar bright, diffuse light away from direct sunlight.

They’ll do best in a room with a good southern aspect if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere or a northern aspect if, like me, you’re in the Southern Hemisphere. They also do well under gentle LED grow lights as well.

Watering Requirement

When it comes to watering, it is important to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Allow the top two inches of soil to dry out before watering again.

Avoid cold tap water, as temperature fluctuations in the soil can damage the roots and limit growth.

Soil and Potting

All varieties of alocasia need loamy, moist soil with good drainage. Make sure any blend you use is rich in organic matter like coco coir, peat moss, or the like.

I’ve had good results with a blend of one part orchid mix, one part coco coir, one part perlite, and one part high-quality potting mix.

You also need to plant your alocasia in a pot with good drainage. Ensure the pot has at least three good drainage holes, and never let them sit in a saucer of excess water or a flooded cache pot. They’re great candidates for self-watering pots, too.

Temperature and Humidity

Alocasias are tropical plants and need a high-humidity environment and warmer temperatures to match. Most need atmospheric humidity between at least 40% and a whopping 80%, depending on the species.

Many smaller varieties thrive under cloches or in terrariums that create a closed, humid environment, and larger ones do well paired with humidifiers or pebble trays.

Fertilizer Needs

Alocasias are heavy feeders – each gorgeous new leaf is expensive to make. I give my alocasias a half-strength dose of balanced liquid plant food once a week during the growing season.

Large size varieties like the Giant Taro can be given a full-strength dose instead. This will keep them producing lovely new leaves. 

Never fertilize in the fall or winter months. The whole alocasia genus slips into dormancy once the weather cools, producing no new growth. Many will also shed leaves, but don’t despair – they’ll return with warm temperatures in late spring or early summer.

Alocasia Toxicity

Alocasia leaves, roots, and stems contain a hazardous compound called calcium oxalate. It forms crystals within the leaves that irritate the mouth and throat when the plant is eaten.

It’s not the most toxic houseplant out there, and many indoor plants contain the same chemical, but if you have pets or children at home, choosing a less risky plant may be wiser.

Common Problems with Alocasia Varieties

poted alocasia plant leaf with soft rot disease


Alocasias are particularly susceptible to insect pests like mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. You can prevent them by providing the right conditions for your plant collection – many pests hate high humidity.

If you wind up with pests nibbling your babies, treat them immediately with insecticidal soap or neem oil. I’ve also had luck with Castille soap diluted to one or two drops per 100ml, sprayed over the leaf surface once a week as a preventative. It kills off emerging nymphs and brings out the shine of the foliage, too.


Alocasias are vulnerable to fungal infections. Here, prevention is your best approach – keep them watered appropriately and make sure their soil drains well. Stale water at the bottom of the pot is the perfect incubator for disease.

Watch out for yellowish soft spots on the leaves, as this is a sign of disease. Cut sick leaves from the plant, then dispose of them in household garbage. Finally, quarantine the plant until the infection clears.

Crispy Leaves

Crispy leaves in alocasias result from growing conditions that don’t provide enough humidity. These tropical treasures need between 40% and 80% atmospheric humidity to thrive.

If you’re in a home with a strong HVAC system, you’ll need to supplement. Most climate-controlled environments rarely exceed 20% atmospheric humidity, so grouping your tropical plants around a humidifier or pebble tray is a good way to keep those leaves green and lush.

Potted Exotic Pro Tip: What’s in a Name? Smaller alocasia species are sometimes called Jewel Alocasias. It’s not a species name but refers to small alocasias, often with unusually colored foliage or outstanding texture. Jewel alocasias grow well under cloches or in terrariums, as they rarely reach more than a foot tall.

31 Alocasia Varieties to Grow at Home

1. Alocasia zebrina (Zebra Alocasia) 

Alocasia zebrina plant in a pot indoors with white wall in background

Alocasia zebrina is a striking tropical plant from Southeast Asia. It is characterized by its beautiful glossy green leaves atop long stalks striped with black and white veins.

It’s relatively easy to care for, making it an excellent choice for beginner gardeners. Zebra alocasias are one of the shorter varieties of large-leafed alocasia, growing to a height of only 2-3 feet.

2. Alocasia amazonica (African Mask Plant)

Alocasia amazonica plant in white pot placed indoors near a window

Also known as the African mask plant, this alocasia is characterized by thick white veins running through its large, wavy-edged leaves.

It’s also sold as Alocasia x amazonica, as it’s a man-made hybrid. This plant can reach heights of up to 6 feet, so be prepared to give it plenty of space.

3. Alocasia polly (Polly)

two alocasia polly plants in clay pots with orange backgroudn

Alocasia polly is amid-sized alocasia with long, glossy green leaves emphasized by crisp white veins.

They’re relatively easy to grow and make a great first alocasia for novice growers. A well-loved Polly plant can reach heights of 3-4 feet, so make sure you have enough space for it.

4. Alocasia odora (Asian Taro)

Alocasia odora plant with big green leaves

By far one of the most stunning alocasia varieties, Alocasia odora offers an array of majestic features that make it stand out. It has a few common names, including Asian taro or night-scented lily.

Its large, light green blade-shaped leaves with a cordate base make it an eye-catching addition to any collection. This is one of the larger varieties, reaching three or four feet. It pays to make space for them!

5. Alocasia macrorrhiza (Giant Taro)

Alocasia macrorrhiza with giant leaves growing in a pot outside a house

If you have room for a truly impressive plant, consider the Alocasia macrorrhiza. More commonly known as the Giant Taro, it produces large, heart-shaped leaves that can grow up to three feet long.

It’s an impressive specimen but fairly easy to care for. It tolerates lower humidity than most alocasias, so this plant is an excellent choice if you want drama with minimum effort.

6. Alocasia reginula (Black Velvet)

Alocasia reginula plants potted in white pots

The Alocasia reginula is one of my personal favorites. Also known as the Alocasia Black Velvet, it’s a compact plant with deeply lobed leaves with a decadent velvety texture.

Their deep-green leaves are so rich they often appear black, with striking pale veins and a lush purple underside. They’re a great choice for a truly striking plant.

7. Alocasia plumbea nigra (Giant Black Alocasia)

young Alocasia plumbea nigra plant in a small black pot placed on tiles

If you love the idea of the Black Velvet but want a bigger statement, the Alocasia plumbea nigra is even more dramatic. It produces extremely dark-green leaves with reddish-purple petioles.

They’re large and heart-shaped and grow on thick, fleshy stems. It reaches up to five feet, making it a truly captivating statement plant.

8. Alocasia portei (Malaysian Monster)

alocasia portei with large green leaves growing in a pot in garden

The Alocasia portei is a stunning plant known for its large, dark green, deeply lobed leaves. They grow on long, speckled stems and, with the right care, can reach a whopping twelve feet tall, though in an indoor environment, they do tend to be a bit more manageable.

A. portei want slightly higher humidity than most alocasias, but they are otherwise relatively easy to manage and are a great feature for an airy tropical home.

9. Alocasia wentii (New Guinea Shield)

Alocasia wentii with dark green leaves in a garden

The Alocasia wentii, also known as the Hardy Elephant Ear or New Guinea Shield, is a unique variety of alocasia that is native to the highlands of New Guinea. It features beautiful, glossy dark green leaves, purple-hued undersides, and a slightly ruffled texture.

It’s a great beginner option, as it handles variations in temperature a lot better than most alocasias, and it is tough enough to manage a forgetful gardener with an absent watering can.

10. Alocasia calidora (Upright Elephant Ear)

Alocasia calidora plant with giant green leaves growing in field along with banana plant

The Alocasia calidora is popular for its impressively large, shield-shaped leaves. It’s one of the few alocasias that don’t mind a bit of direct sun, making them a good choice for sunrooms or other brightly lit areas.

When planted in containers, it can grow anywhere between 5-9 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide. This plant has many varieties, with leaves that can be green, purple, or white!

11. Alocasia micholitziana (Alocasia Frydek)

Alocasia micholitziana plant with green velvet leaves in a pot placed on floor

The Alocasia micholitziana, also known as the Frydek or the Green Velvet Alocasia, is one of the most common and well-loved indoor alocasias.

It’s known for its wavy-edged foliage that displays prominent white veins and edges. Despite the dramatic leaves, it’s a medium-sized plant, topping out at around 2 to 3 feet.

12. Alocasia nebula (Nebula)

alocasia nebula plant with large leaves in a pot placed on wooden table indoors

Alocasia nebula is a dark-leafed, dramatic plant hailing from the Indonesian island of Sarawak. Its foliage is leather and strong, with distinct ridges and speckles of deep red on rich, blue-green leaves.

This diva tops out at around three feet, though you’ll work for that – it’s slightly fussier than most and needs to be very carefully attended to, especially its humidity levels.

13. Alocasia cuprea (Red Secret)

Alocasia cuprea red secret plant leaves with grey background

A bold and brassy choice, Alocasia cuprea has striking leaves with deep, well-defined veins. Despite the name, Red Secret ranges from pale green to rich, dark bronze.

It’s one of the moderately sized alocasias and can be up to 3 feet in height but typically tops out at around half a foot.

14. Alocasia infernalis (Black Magic)

alocasia infernalis potted in a wooden box

If you love a dark and alien-looking plant, Alocasia infernalis is a treat. Also known as Black Magic or Black Panther, its metallic purplish-black foliage shimmers with a striking red sparkle in the right light.

Black Magic is a jewel alocasia that reaches a height of 15 inches and grows to about 6 inches wide. It’s the perfect size for terrariums or well-lit desktops.

15. Alocasia odora x A. reginula (Regal shields)

Alocasia odora x A. reginula plant leaves in the field outdoors

Regal Shield is a hybrid of two other alocasias, creating a compact, colorful cultivar with pleasing traits from both.

It’s smaller than the A. odorata and features the deep coloring of the A. reginula. It’s a moderately sized plant with round, velvety green leaves with crisp, well-defined veins.

16. Alocasia amazonica ‘Bambino’ (Bambino)

Alocasia amazonica bambino plant in a pot placed on wooden table with sofa set in background

Bambino by name, bambino by nature. This is a dwarf variety of the popular A. amazonica, perfect for growers with limited space.

It typically reaches no more than a foot or two in height, with long elegant leaves in deep green with broad white highlights over the veins and edges. It grows in a tight cluster.

It’s so easy care that it’s almost set-and-forget once you get its soil and environment down. 

17. Alocasia rugosa 

Alocasia rugosa plant with thick leaves in a pot placed indoors

Flaunting some of the thickest and most deeply ridged leaves in the Alocasia family, Alocasia rugosa is an eye-catching variety that can reach heights up to 2 feet. It’s sometimes sold under the name “Alocasia Melo” and is a rarer dragon scale alocasia species.

Its large, glossy leaves range from deep green to almost black, and its underside is a bright purple-red color with deep, almost embossed texturing to the leaf surface.

Although this plant is a bit more delicate than other varieties, with a bit of practice, they are deeply rewarding to grow.

18. Alocasia Sarian

alocasia sarian plants in pots on the gril for sale

The Alocasia Sarian is another hybrid, this time of A. zebrina and A. micholitziana. It sprouts striped, zebra stems topped with huge, souped-up versions of the ruffled Frydek leaves, with a rippling, textured surface. It’ll hit six feet tall when grown outdoors but is more compact when grown in a pot.

19. Alocasia maharani (Grey Dragon)

Alocasia maharani or silver dragon alocasia plant in white pot indoors

Alocasia maharani is a unique and beautiful variety of elephant’s ear plants. It is known for its distinctive grey-green, highly textured leaves that give it its common name of Grey or Silver Dragon Alocasia. 

This plant is native to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. It’s a jewel alocasia, reaching no more than a foot in height with a limited spread.

20. Alocasia zebrina ‘reticulata’

alocasia zebrina reticulata plant in the garden

For those of you after a rare treasure, the Alocasia zebrina ‘retiucata’ cultivar of the more common Zebrina has a unique leaf pattern that sets it apart.

Each delicate leaf is covered in a lace-like network of fine variegations, almost like a spiderweb. It’s an overall dainty plant, rarely topping three feet indoors.

21. Alocasia lauterbachiana (Purple Sword)

Alocasia lauterbachiana plant with white background

A truly wild-looking alocasia, the Purple Sword has soaring narrow lives with wavy edges that grow upright and radiant, like a basket of swords. Each leaf is a dark, glossy green with a bronze to purple underside.

They grow in tight formations up to four feet tall, with the long, narrow leaves tucked tightly in with each other on long, dark stems.

Despite this dramatic appearance, the Purple Sword is one of the easier alocasias to grow and has better tolerances to low humidity and cooler temperatures.

22. Alocasia cucullata (Buddha’s Hand)

Alocasia cucullata plant with green leaves in the garden

The Alocasia cucullata, or Buddha’s hand, is a plant common in Thailand, Laos, and other parts of subtropical Asia. It is believed to have powers to bring good fortune and was traditionally used to treat snakebites.

It’s a medium-sized plant, reaching around three feet or so in ideal conditions. It produces heart-shaped leaves in bright, glossy shades of green.

23. Alocasia ‘Ivory Coast’

alocasia ivory coast plant leaves with other alocasia varieties

The Alocasia Ivory Coast is a modern hybrid, bred to produce a crisp green leaf with bright white markings along the veins and edges.

Each leaf is almost perfectly heart-shaped, with deep lobes and a prominent point, perched elegantly on long pink-striped stems. It’s another medium-sized plant, averaging around three feet when grown indoors.

24. Alocasia macrorrhiza ‘Stingray’

Alocasia macrorrhiza ‘Stingray’ plant leaves

The Alocasia Stingray is a rare variety with beautiful, elongated leaves. It has thick stems and leaves that are ribbed and upward pointing, with a long, whip-like tail at the end that looks like the stingray’s “wings” and sharp tail.

Alocasia Stingray usually grows to between three to five feet. However, there is a dwarf cultivar, the “Baby Ray,” which maxes out at just three feet.

25. Alocasia odora variegata

Alocasia odora variegata plant leaves with grey background

Variegated sports of popular plants are very popular right now, and this moderately sized alocasia doesn’t disappoint.  A. odorata variegata has large, heart-shaped leaves mottled with white to pale green specks and patches.

The different patterns on each leaf are exquisite, with some leaves nearly solid green and others mottled or radiant white.

26. Alocasia longiloba

Alocasia longiloba plant with large leaves in the pots placed in backyard

One thing that makes this alocasia variety stand out is its thin and shield-shaped leaves. The tops of the leaves have a bluish-green hue with silvery-white markings.

Alocasia longiloba is a slow grower that takes its time to reach a mature height of three feet. However, it boasts large leaves spanning 2 to 3 feet long and 12 to 15 inches wide.

27. Alocasia baginda (Dragon Scale)

Alocasia baginda plant in pot indoors

The Alocasia baginda is also known as the Alocasia Dragon Scale, thanks to its heavily textured leaves. Foliage is typically pale, silvery blue secondary veins highlighted in sage or dark green.

Though it doesn’t grow too large, this plant can reach 3 feet in height and width. Its leaves are also fairly small, remaining 6 inches tall even when fully grown.

28. Alocasia sanderiana (Kris)

Alocasia sanderiana plant in black pot placed on floor outdoors

Also known as the Kris plant, the Alocasia sanderiana is a beautiful, small-leaved variety with dark green glossy leaves.

It has a unique sawtooth or scalloped leaf shape, like the Kris knife for which it is named. It’s a dwarf variety topping out at two feet in height and width, a good size for most interiors.

29. Alocasia plumbae (Flying Squid)

Alocasia plumbae (flying squid) in the plastic pot indoors

I love a weird-looking plant, and the Alocasia plumbae is the weirdest looking of the alocasias. It has long, wildly curved leaves that bear a striking resemblance to a squid’s tentacles, swirling from the ground in profusion.

This Alocasia variety is fairly small, growing up to just 12 inches tall. It’s the strangest jewel of all. Despite its unusual appearance, it wants the same conditions as most alocasias and is a great feature plant for terrariums.

30. Alocasia azlanii (Red Mambo)

 Alocasia azlanii plant in white pot placed on a wooden table inside a house

A relatively rare plant, the Alocasia azlanii is a tiny jewel alocasia with deep red, burnished leaves. It produces tiny, arrowhead-shaped leaves with a glossy surface. They stay small, too, with mature plants reaching less than a foot tall.

31. Alocasia brisbanensis

alocasia brisbanensis plant with green leaves in the garden

Last but not least is an alocasia close to my heart and close to my garden! Endemic to Eastern Australia and named for my hometown, the bright leaves of the Alocasia brisbanensis give it a charming visual appeal. It’s one of the mid-sized elephant ear plants and can handle a little sun to supplement a life spent in partial shade.

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