Alocasia plants are known for their striking foliage and ease of care. However, one of the most rewarding aspects of owning an Alocasia is their propagation from corms. Corms are small, underground bulbs that produce new Alocasia plants.
Free Alocasia plants just by playing around in the dirt a little bit. Who doesn’t love free plants? So get ready to find out all the information you need to propagate Alocasias successfully three ways with corms.
What are Corms?
Corms are storage organs that allow plants to survive during periods of dormancy. They are typically found at the base of the plant, attached to the roots. Corms contain all the nutrients and energy that the plant needs to produce new growth.
Do All Alocasias Produce Corms?
The short answer is no. Not all Alocasias have corms. Some Alocasias are rhizomatous, meaning they produce underground stems called rhizomes that spread horizontally and can give rise to new plants. Other Alocasias are tuberous, meaning they produce underground storage organs called tubers that store food for the plant. However, most Alocasias produce corms.
Harvesting Alocasia Corms
The best time to harvest Alocasia corms is when the plant is dormant, which is usually in the fall or winter. To harvest corms, gently remove the plant from its pot and carefully dig around the roots. Corms are typically found clustered around the base of the plant.
Once you’ve found and removed the corms, allow them to dry in a warm, shady location for a few days. When dried, they can then be stored in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant them. They can be stored in paper bags, cardboard boxes, or even plastic bags. Just make sure that the bags are not airtight, as the corms need to breathe.
Propagating Alocasia Corms
There are two main methods for propagating Alocasia corms: water propagation and soil propagation. You can also try propagating the corms in sphagnum moss or perlite.
Water propagation is a simple and effective method for propagating Alocasia corms. To propagate Alocasia corms in water, follow these steps:
- Fill a shallow container with water.
- Place the corms in the water, making sure that the top of the corm is above the water line.
- Place the container in a warm, bright location.
- Change the water every few days.
Within a few weeks, you should see roots and leaves begin to emerge from the corms. Once the corms have developed several leaves, you can transplant them into pots.
Soil propagation is another effective method for propagating Alocasia corms. To propagate Alocasia corms in soil, follow these steps:
- Fill a pot with a well-draining potting mix.
- Place the corms in the potting mix, making sure that the top of the corm is just below the surface of the soil.
- Water the pot thoroughly.
- Place the pot in a warm, bright location.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Within a few weeks, you should see roots and leaves begin to emerge from the corms. Once the corms have developed several leaves, you can transplant them into larger pots.
Propagating in Sphagnum Moss
Propagating alocasias in sphagnum moss is a simple and effective way to create new plants. Sphagnum moss is a natural material that holds moisture well and provides good drainage, which is ideal for alocasias.
- Soak the sphagnum moss in water until it is fully hydrated. Wring out excess water until the moss is damp but not soggy.
- Fill the clear container with damp sphagnum moss.
- Gently place the corms on top of the moss. Make sure that the corms are not touching each other.
- Cover the container with plastic wrap to create a humid environment.
- Place the container in a warm, bright location.
Once the corms have developed roots and leaves, they can be transplanted into pots filled with potting mix.
Caring for Your Alocasia Corms
Whether you choose to propagate your Alocasia corms in water or soil, it is important to provide them with the care they need to thrive. Here are a few tips for caring for your Alocasia corms:
- Provide your corms with bright, indirect light.
- If in soil, keep moist but not soggy.
- Water your corms when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
- Fertilize your corms every few months during the growing season.
With proper care, your Alocasia corms will grow into beautiful and healthy plants.
How to Make More Corms
Alocasia plants will produce more corms throughout their lifetimes. The number of corms produced will vary depending on the species of Alocasia, the growing conditions, and the age of the plant. In general, older Alocasia plants will produce more corms than younger plants.
Encouraging Corm Production
There are a few things you can do to encourage your Alocasia plant to produce more corms:
- Provide your plant with plenty of bright, indirect light. Alocasia plants need light to photosynthesize and produce food, which is stored in the corms.
- Water your plant regularly, but allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Overwatering can damage the corms, while underwatering can stress the plant and prevent it from producing new corms.
- Fertilize your plant every few weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer. This will help your plant to grow healthy and produce more corms.
- Repot your plant every two to three years. Repotting will give your plant more room to grow and will also help to refresh the soil, which can encourage corm production.
With proper care, your Alocasia plant should produce many corms throughout its lifetime. You can use these corms to propagate new Alocasia plants, or you can share them with friends and family.
Additional Tips for Alocasia Corm Propagation
Here are a few more tips when propagating alocasias with corms:
- If you are having trouble propagating your Alocasia corms, you can try gently removing the outer shell of the corm. This will help the corm to sprout more easily.
- You can also increase your chances of success by using a rooting hormone.
- If you are not sure if a corm is viable, you can try placing it in a glass of water. If the corm sinks, it is still viable. If the corm floats, it is no longer viable.
Alocasia propagation with corms is a great way to expand your houseplant collection or to share these beautiful plants with friends and family. With a little care, you can easily propagate alocasia corms and enjoy these tropical plants for many years to come.