When looking for a colorful, unique plant to add to your plant collection, seek no further than the Alocasia Pink Dragon. This is a stunning ornamental plant that belongs to the Araceae family, which includes roughly 3750 species and 114 genera. With its glossy, arrow-shaped leaves and pink stems, this tropical beauty can add a pop of color to any space when given the proper care and attention. Learning about how to best care for a Pink Dragon can ensure this plant remains a healthy part of your home for many years to come.
Alocasia Pink Dragon Origin and Description
With origins in the South Pacific Islands and the Philippines, Alocasia Pink Dragon is a tropical plant that loves humidity and sunlight. Growing from its distinct pink stems are large, arrowhead-shaped leaves with a glossy, dark green surface and prominent light green veins. The undersides of the leaves are an elegant burgundy, and in the right conditions, the leaves can grow up to 20 inches large. These plants are typically not bushy; instead they usually bear one impressive leaf per stem. Luckily, this is not a cause for concern; even if all the leaves of an Alocasia Pink Dragon fall off, new leaves can still sprout because the plant sprouts from a bulb. From these small bulbs, Pink Dragons love to grow, and can reach up to 8-10 feet tall. Under the right conditions and with attentive care, these plants grow relatively quickly and can be quite durable, lasting for years as a stunning part of any home.
Identifying an Alocasia Pink Dragon
At first glance, the broad-leafed Pink Dragon plant is an easily identifiable member of the Alocasia family. It has an elongated, lobed leaf with a deep green color and defined venation, and a distinctive pink stem that leads into the burgundy underside of its leaves. Each stem, or petiole, sprouts one leaf, and the veins on the leaves are a light, silvery color. However, the Alocasia genus has over 70 species, some of which are often confused or misidentified due to frequent hybridization. While the needs and proper care of most Alocasia species are essentially the same, there are some visual differences between commonly-confused species that are important to keep in mind when shopping for the desirable Pink Dragon variety.
Alocasia Ivory Coast vs Pink Dragon
Alocasia Ivory Coast is the species that is most frequently confused with the Pink Dragon. Some key clues to properly tell these species apart are the leaf color and veins; Ivory Coast plants have a subtle silvery hue to the leaves and light green, less-defined venation than the Pink Dragon variety, which have a more metallic leaf and silvery veins. While both of these plants can have pink stems, Pink Dragon leaves have a burgundy underside that the Ivory Coast variety does not. Checking these clues when in the plant store can ensure that the Alocasia you bring home is indeed a Pink Dragon.
Alocasia Pink Dragon vs Morocco
There are truly a mind-boggling amount of Alocasia species to choose from. With so many cultivars and hybrids on the market, it is often easy to confuse Alocasia Morocco as being a separate species than the Alocasia Pink Dragon. However, they are the same species, scientifically known as Alocasia lowii. It is common to see the same plant referred to as both Alocasia Morocco and Pink Dragon in articles or plant stores – rest assured that they are two names for the same plant.
How to Care for Alocasia Pink Dragon
Because Pink Dragon comes from tropical regions, it loves humidity and moisture. Therefore, regular watering is required to keep these plants healthy. The most ideal conditions for Pink Dragon roots is constant moisture but not wetness – allowing the roots to sit in water-saturated soil will lead to root rot, so it is important to ensure the soil used for an Alocasia Pink Dragon drains well. Use a mix of soil, peat, and perlite, and keep the plant in a terracotta or clay pot to create the best conditions for healthy growth. When the top fourth of the soil is dry, give generous water until it flows out the drainage holes of the pot. Remember to not let the soil dry out completely between waterings, as Pink Dragon requires constant moisture. Because these plants are not drought tolerant, it is best to find a friend to take care of an Alocasia Pink Dragon during vacations or time away from home. Additionally, since these are moisture-loving plants, be careful not to overwater them in the winter; because the cold months are the dormant season, the plant is absorbing less water to survive and the excess moisture in the soil may lead to root rot or other adverse conditions. Watering can be the trickiest part of caring for Alocasia Pink Dragon, but once you become comfortable with your unique plant’s needs and rhythms, it will become simple.
To best mimic the natural habitat of Alocasia Pink Dragon, use a loose, well-draining soil. A porous mix of perlite, peat, and soil is ideal. This well-aerated growth medium will give a Pink Dragon a growth boost and ensure optimal root health. Fertilize these plants monthly during the spring and summer months, which is their growth season. During these warmer conditions, the plant is more active and has a higher energy expenditure, so feeding it nutrients regularly will ensure abundant growth during this period. Additionally, it’s time to move an Alocasia Pink Dragon to a larger pot when the plant has doubled in size, or alternatively, repot once per year. The new pot should be roughly 1-2 inches larger in diameter and 1-2 inches deeper than the previous pot – too little change will cause the plant to be pot-bound, and too much larger will result in shock.
Hailing from near the Equator, the Alocasia Pink Dragon is a light-loving plant. However, it’s important to avoid excessive light – too much bright, direct light will cause scorching and browning of the leaves. Typically, “direct” light refers to light which has not been filtered through a medium like glass or reflected off another surface. Bright, indirect light is recommended for Alocasia Pink Dragon; place it no more than 3 feet away from a window, ideally one that is west- or south-facing, or in a room with lots of reflected light. Crispy brown leaves may indicate that the plant is receiving too much light, and leaves dropping off the plant can signal that the Pink Dragon needs a sunnier spot. Pay attention to how your plant is reacting to the light it’s receiving, and soon you will find the perfect spot for it.
Alocasia Pink Dragon prefers warm, humid environments; between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal, and high humidity is important. Regular misting of Pink Dragon plants is recommended, as well as grouping them together with many other plants to increase humidity. Sufficient air circulation will ensure that the moisture in the air will evaporate and not cause rotting, however, avoid placing an Alocasia Pink Dragon near a draft or in an area where temperature changes occur. Sharp changes in temperature can cause the plant to wilt or drop leaves, among other adverse outcomes. A bathroom with lots of natural light would be a great environment for these stunning plants. While it may be challenging in the winters to recreate a tropical atmosphere for an Alocasia Pink Dragon, careful attention to misting, watering, and stable temperatures will keep it healthy.
While beautiful, Alocasia Pink Dragon plants can also be dangerous – they are great to look at, but keep the touching to a minimum. Moderately toxic to both pets and humans, keep Pink
Dragons out of reach to avoid illness. Improper handling or ingestion can lead to skin rashes, eye irritation, and swelling of the mouth and tongue. While not deadly, these are uncomfortable conditions that may require medical attention.
These are not pest-resistant plants, so care must be taken to ensure an Alocasia Pink Dragon is healthy and well-maintained in order to prevent diseases and pests. Common ails for these plants include leaf spots, stem and/or root rot, mealybugs, spider mites, scale, thrips, and whitefly. To prevent these and other problems, keep the plant clean and ensure that no dust or moisture builds up on or around a Pink Dragon. In case of infection, isolate the plant away from others, treat the stem and leaves with the proper solution (insecticides, bactericides, fungicides, etc), and prune the affected leaves and/or stems. It may also be helpful to change the soil and wash the pot to eliminate any pests or diseases that may be lingering behind. To prevent these pests and diseases, always inspect any plant at the store before bringing it home and keep plants clean and properly watered.
To keep an Alocasia Pink Dragon plant in optimal health, prune dead or yellowing leaves regularly, and in the spring set aside time for cosmetic pruning as well. However, because Alocasias grow from a central rhizome, propagation from these cuttings is not recommended, because they will not sprout their own roots. Instead, for these tuberal plants, the best way to propagate is by separating a “growth clump” and planting it in soil or water. To do this, first remove the plant from the pot and shake off excess soil from the roots. Identify the “clumps” of the plant, which often are easy to find due to their individual root systems. Gently separate one clump using a disinfected knife or scissors, and simply replant it in a new pot with soil. Treat this as a new plant and gift it to someone special, or keep it for yourself. Alternatively, the roots of the separated clump can be cleaned more thoroughly and the plant can be placed in a container with water. Use a clear container for visual effect, and if the water being used is unfiltered, fill the container first, then wait 24 hours before adding the plant. The roots should be submerged, but if a leaf gets stuck underwater it will drown. To maintain, top off the water as needed, and avoid bright direct sunlight as it may lead to undesirable algae growth. These two easy strategies for propagation make it simple to turn one Pink Dragon into many beautiful plants.
Alocasias are prone to a unique phenomenon known as guttation, wherein the plant appears to be sweating due to small droplets of moisture that appear on the surface of the leaves. This is no cause for alarm – in fact, guttation is a completely routine process for high-moisture plants like Alocasias. Because this genus requires lots of water, it eliminates the excess via a transpiration process when the moisture is not being used, such as at night. Pulling up excess water from the roots, Alocasia will push small droplets out from small holes in the leaves called stomata in order to maintain homeostasis. Because this is simply the plant’s way of balancing itself, seeing guttation alone is not inherently a sign of overwatering; if the “sweating” appears, there is no need to change anything in terms of plant care. However, if it occurs in tandem with other symptoms such as mushiness or yellowing leaves, it may be a signal to cut down on watering. As with all other aspects of care for Alocasia Pink Dragon, keeping an eye on the condition of the plant and how it reacts to certain environments and care will help avoid maladies and keep your plant healthy and happy.
An Alocasia Pink Dragon can easily add a tropical flair and burst of color to any garden or plant collection. Given the proper care and right environment, these plants will grow quickly and stay healthy for a very long time. The ease of propagation also means that one Pink Dragon can quickly turn into many, as gifts for friends and family or to keep as part of your own garden. With the above tips and information, you can now ensure that your Pink Dragon is happy in your home and it will return the favor with its beauty and elegance.
Where to Buy an Alocasia Pink Dragon
The Alocasia Pink Dragon is for sale on Amazon and Etsy. Click below for the prices from each store.
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