Best Soil Mix for Alocasia - Birdy's Guide to Big Juicy Leaves


Time to read 4 min


Alocasia is a genus from the family Araceae. Native to subtropical and tropical Asia and Eastern Australia, there are over 90 accepted species of Alocasia. Commonly known as Elephant Ear, these plants are widely cultivated as ornamental plants worldwide. Their striking and sometimes large foliage have attracted many plant collectors, making them one of the most sought-after genera of plants.


🌞 Light: They usually prefer to be in bright indirect or filtered light, but I have noticed that Alocasia Black Velvet enjoy slightly shadier lighting than their counterparts. On the other hand, direct sunlight may burn your plants’ leaves, so be sure to provide them with the appropriate light for optimal results.

💧 Water: Alocasia is a tropical plant that requires constant watering. Depending on the season and indoor conditions, you are likely to be required to water your plant once to twice a week. Ensure to let the water drain thoroughly after every watering to reduce the chance of root rot.

I usually let the soil dry about 80% before rewatering.

Humidity: They thrive in high-humidity environments but can also handle mid-high humidity levels. I always keep them in a room with 55% humidity. Purchasing a humidifier or grouping your plants can increase your humidity to adequate levels.

Alocasia Black Velvet

Is it normal for Alocasia to go dormant?

Yes and no. Dormancy in Alocasia is presented through a complete loss of leaves and slowed growth. This usually happens when colder temperatures set in and the sunlight decreases significantly.

You can prevent your Alocasia from going dormant by ensuring that the room temperature is between 16C - 26C (65F - 85F), that there is adequate sunlight, humidity ranges between 35% - 55% if it's not in a greenhouse, fertilize if necessary, and that you are watering your Alocasia weekly.  

My current collection of Alocasia includes: Alocasia Black Velvet, Variegated Alocasia Frydek, Alocasia Cuprea, Alocasia Frydek, Alocasia Venusta, Alocasia Silver Dragon, and Alocasia Jacklyn. 

Alocasia Venusta
Alocasia Silver Dragon

But my previous Alocasia collection included an Alocasia Polly, Alocasia Mayan Mask, a not ID'd Alocasia, and my first Alocasia Jacklyn 

Alocasia Houseplant
Alocasia Mayan Mask

I couldn't keep more than 3 leaves on my Alocasia, and I couldn't understand what I was doing wrong.

When I started collecting, I couldn't keep more than 3 leaves on my Alocasia, and I couldn't understand what I was doing wrong. All my Alocasia had plenty of light, my humidity was at 45%, and I was fertilizing and watering them as suggested. All my plants were in ProMix Potting Mix at the time, so I could not see what I was doing wrong. 

Doing more research, I realized that the potting mix I was using was not suitable for my Alocasia

Juvenile Alocasia Frydek
Mature Alocasia Frydek


These plants do best in well-draining, high moisture retaining, and organic soil mixtures. You can create this using pumice, perlite, leca, orchid bark, coco coir, potting soil, organic material, etc. You can come up with various combinations to create a well-draining soil mix that retains a high level of moisture and is nutritious. What I have found to change my Alocasia soil game is… 


Coco coir is excellent for retaining moisture, but too much can compact the soil. Too much perlite and/or orchid bark can make the soil too chunky and won’t provide your Alocasia with enough nutrients. My secret weapon? Sphagnum moss. Just enough sphagnum moss helps your plant retain more moisture and insulate the excess humidity from watering. I have found that using coco coir, perlite, and worm castings for the base provides your Alocasia with the right amount of drainage, aeration, nutrients, and moisture retention. Then add activated horticultural charcoal to create more air pockets for root system growth and establish beneficial microbes, add orchid bark to help increase surface space, and finish off with the secret weapon - sphagnum moss.

Various soil and semi-hydro mixes can work, but I have found the best results in this potting mix recipe I shared with you.

Premium Alocasia Soil Mix

Birdy's Plant Premium Alocasia Soil Mix is a chunky, nutrient-heavy, highly aerated, well-draining, and high moisture-retaining soil mix specially created for Alocasia. 

  • Comes in a 2L or 4L resealable bag
  • Ready to use

Additionally, this soil mix is

  • Soilless
  • Peat-free
  • Compact resistant 
  • PH - balanced

What is the difference between Aroid Mix and regular potting mix?


The 2 most common potting mixes you will encounter are Aroid Mix and regular potting mix that you can buy from garden stores. Let's break these mixes down. 

Aroid Mix is often very chunky and aerated. It is usually made for plants with significantly thicker roots, making it a great generic soil mix. Alocasia plants have both thin and thick roots; they are also heavy feeders and require more nutrients than Philodendron or Monstera plants which are your most common aroid plants. Aroid Mixes either have minimal organic nutrients or none at all. This leaves you to measure, test, and calculate how frequently you need to fertilize your plant to provide it with the exact nutrients it would typically get in its natural habitat, which can often be difficult if you are a beginner plant parent or just starting out with your first Alocasia. 

Regular potting mix recipes like ProMix or Miracle-Gro are cost-effective and easily accessible, making them one of the most common go-to mixes for many plant collectors. Both of these soil mixes are made with very little perlite and very little amount of moisture-retaining components. Perlite is an essential component that helps to increase drainage and aerate the soil, creating air pockets for the development of healthy root systems. Without decent drainage, your plant will sit in wet soil, leading to root rot and, ultimately, your plant dying. Additionally, both ProMix and Miracle-Gro have slow-release fertilizers as the main source of nutrients. Meaning that the potting mix has no organic components to filter or aerate the soil mix as an Aroid Mix or Birdy's Plants Alocasia Mix would have.

How is Birdy's Plants Premium Alocasia Soil Mix better?

This potting mix was thoughtfully created using natural materials such as coco coir, worm castings, and perlite, which offer a balanced combination of drainage, nutrients, and moisture retention suitable for your Alocasia plant. To elevate the soil, orchid bark has also been incorporated into the mix to simulate the plant's natural environment and enhance its growth. Orchid bark helps to increase aeration and surface space for optimal root growth. Additionally, using activated horticultural charcoal and sphagnum moss helps to increase moisture retention significantly, which is easily attainable in their natural habitat, while also providing your plant with beneficial microbes to help filter soil impurities. 

Elevate your soil mix today with our Premium Alocasia Soil Mix

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