Common Name: Emerald Dragon Scale
Scientific Name: Alocasia Bisma
The ever-alluring Alaceae family has yet another stunning jewel to add to the collection. These subtropical plants are native to Asia and Eastern Australia.
Since they are naturally found towards the bottom of the rainforest canopy, their large, elephant-ear-type leaves likely evolved to compete for the remainder of the filtered light that makes it to their level on the forest floor. Indoors, the Alocasia Bisma will not grow that tall, but given the right love and care, it will grow into a full-bodied, compact, and lush tabletop plant.
Let’s explore how to keep your beloved Alocasia Bisma, more commonly referred to as the Emerald Dragon Scale, healthy and happy.
The Emerald Dragon Scale loves light.
This is a given since we already know this plant is used to receiving copious amounts of filtered sunlight through the dense rainforest canopy. If you want to see your plant experience significant foliage growth, your Alocasia Bisma needs to be placed where it can receive plenty of bright, indirect light.
This plant is also remarkably adaptable. It can also tolerate low light levels but does not grow nearly as much.
However, it is important to find a comfortable balance of light with this plant since too much light will leave you with burnt leaves. If you notice that the leaves on your Alocasia Bisma look scorched, move it into a more indirect lighting situation. If you notice that your leaves are losing color, try moving them into more light.
The Alocasia Bisma would naturally be found on the bottom of the rainforest floor. This lush plant would receive all of the rich organic material that falls to the earth from the other trees on the forest floor. Therefore, we can imply that in an indoor environment, this lush plant will need to have soil with many nutrients in it.
Any commercial indoor potting mix will do, but if you feel so inclined, you can add extra organic, nutrient-rich components such as manure or compost.
Ensure that the compost or manure you are adding has been completely decomposed first to avoid giving your plant any diseases.
It is important to note that your soil should be well drained so it does not hold any stagnant water. You can make sure that your soil is well draining by adding things such as river sand or perlite from the store.
Keep the soil of your Alocasia Bisma a little bit wet to ensure comfortable conditions. The wetness of the soil should mimic the humid rainforest environment. A helpful tip is that instead of giving it a bunch of water at one time, try giving it smaller amounts more frequently.
Alocasia Bisma is from a warm, tropical environment. Therefore, we should assume that it will also love a warm environment as an indoor plant.
Your Alocasia Bisma will enjoy a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although this plant is adaptable, it is also very sensitive. Make sure to take precautions during the winter to keep this plant warm enough. If it is located near a window, move it away to a warmer place. You might even consider heating the room where it is located with a space heater.
Alocasia Bisma is naturally occurring in the dense and humid rainforest. Therefore, we can assume that the Alocasia Bisma absolutely loves humidity.
It is recommended to keep the humidity of this plant around 70%.
Since Alocasia Bisma loves humidity, you might consider putting it in a humid room such as a bathroom.
You could use a mister to keep this plant humid. When misting, ensure that you spray all around the plant, including the leaves.
Alternatively, you could keep the pot resting on a bed of stones and water in the potting tray.
Your Alocasia Bisma does not require much fertilizer if you keep the soil rich with organic material such as compost.
If the leaves of your Alocasia Bisma start to wilt in between waterings, it could signal that your plant needs nutrients in the form of fertilizer.
Only add fertilizer during the spring and summer. Do not add fertilizer during the winter when the plant will be dormant. Your plant only needs fertilizer during the growing stages.
Be cautious about adding too much fertilizer. A sign that you are adding too much fertilizer is if the leaves of your Alocasia Bisma start looking burnt.
A sign that your Alocasia Bisma is ready to be repotting is that you start to notice that there are more roots than soil in your pot. A pro tip is to check the drainage holes of your pot to see if roots are coming out of the bottom, searching for more nutrients.
Only repot your Alocasia Bisma during the warmth of the summer and spring months. Your plant will be snuggled into dormancy during the winter and not tolerate a move.
Make sure you are picking a pot slightly bigger than the previous one to allow for more root growth.
The Alocasia Bisma is toxic to cats and dogs. Also, be sure to keep it away from children. It can also cause skin irritation in humans, so you might want to wear gloves when handling this plant.
Alocasia Bisma vs. Reginae
Alocasia Bisma is often compared with Alocasia Reginae.
While both plants are members of the Araceae family and share similar characteristics, they are also very different.
Their primary similarity is in their leaf shape and size. They have leaves resembling elephant ear plants with pointed tips and rounded sides.
These plants also grow to be relatively the same size (around 30cm).
Their primary difference is in the leaf color.
Alocasia Bisma has bright green leaves with darker veins creating textured scale-like structures on the leaves. The hue of the leaves is a marvelous Emerald color. This unique leaf color and texture is probably what gives this plant the common name of Emerald Dragon Scale.
Alocasia Reginae, on the other hand, has green-gray leaves. The silverness of the leaves is hard to miss, thus making Alocasia Reginae unique from Alocasia Bisma.
Another distinct characteristic of Alocasia Reginae is that the underside of the leaf is red.
Alocasia Bisma vs. Platinum
It is often wondered if Alocasia Bisma and Alocasia Platinum are the same or distinctly different plants.
Alocasia Platinum and Alocasia Bisma are actually the same plant.
Alocasia Platinum is a trade name for Alocasia Bisma and may refer to an Alocasia Bisma with slightly more shiny leaves.
The Platinum could be a variation of the Bisma, but most expert growers agree they are actually the same plant. Do not waste your money buying the same plant with a fancier name such as “Platinum.”
Alocasia Bisma vs Nebula
The Alocasia Bisma is commonly compared to the Alocasia Nebula. Both of these plants share lush elephant ear leaves.
Since these plants reign from the same tropical region, Alocasia Bisma and Alocasia Nebula have identical soil, humidity, light, and temperature requirements. Despite these similarities, these plants have many distinct characteristics.
Alocasia Bisma does not grow as tall as an Alocasia Nebula would.
These two plants have different shaped leaves as well. The leaves of the Alocasia Bisma are longer than the leaves of the Alocasia Nebula, while the leaves of the Alocasia Bisma are more rounded.
There are also differences in color patterns. The Alocasia Nebula has a more defined contrast between the color of the vein and the color of the leaf. The Alocasia Bisma has more of a uniform light green across the leaf. It does not have the striking color change of the vein like on Alocasia Nebula.
Alocasia Bisma vs Dragon Scale
Alocasia Bisma is also commonly compared with the Alocasia Dragon Scale.
It makes sense that these two plants are often confused with one another since the common name of the Alocasia Bisma includes the words dragon scale in its actual name. The common name for the Alocasia Bisma is Emerald Dragon Scale. The key word here is emerald because the leaves of the Alocasia Bisma are significantly more emerald colored than the leaves of the Alocasia Dragon Scale. The leaf to vein color contrast is less defined in the Alocasia Bisma than on the Dragon Scale.
The Dragon Scale has extremely defined ridges that resemble scales, while the Alocasia Bisma’s blend more together.
Alocasia Bisma vs Silver Dragon
The Alocasia Bisma is also often compared with the Silver Dragon.
They share the common characteristic of having those large lush elephant ear-style leaves.
However, the Alocasia Bisma has dark green-emerald leaves, while the silver dragon has light gray-green leaves with silver or white markings. Although they have very similar leaf shapes and sizes, it becomes easier to tell these two plants apart by looking at these distinct color differences.
Where to Buy Alocasia Bisma
If you are interested in owning your own Alocasia Bisma or want to check the price, the Alocasia Bisma is available for sale from different sellers on Etsy.