How to Care for Alocasia Sanderiana Nobilis


Alocasia sanderiana 'Nobilis,' commonly called the kris plant, is a tropical rhizome native to the Philippines. Its exotic, eye-catching foliage thrives in warm, humid climates and lower light levels. Unlike its relative, the elephant ear, this variety has highly indented leaf margins that supposedly discourage herbivores. The plant grows 18 to 24 inches tall, and its arrow-shaped leaves have prominent veins. The Alocasia's sap can irritate skin and is poisonous if ingested.

Step 1

Plant Alocasia saneriana 'Nobilis' in USDA zones 10 or 11. Any climate colder than these zones will be too cold for the plant, which is easily damaged by frost. Alocasia prefers bright, indirect sunlight or partial shade.

Step 2

Place your plant in soil that is equal parts peat moss and loam, with some sand and crushed charcoal added. Alocasia needs well-draining, organically enriched soil. The plant's rhizomes must be placed above the soil line so the leaves do not decay at the base.

Step 3

Water throughout the summer, keeping the soil moist but not soggy at all times. If the air is particularly dry, mist the plant every two or three days. Slowly reduce your watering in the fall. Water only every two or three weeks in the winter when the foliage has died to the ground.

Step 4

Fertilize monthly with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer if your Alocasia is in a container. Use a slow-release fertilizer every three months if it is in the ground. Alocasias are heavy feeders.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Loam
  • Sand
  • Crushed charcoal
  • All-purpose liquid or slow-release fertilizer


  • The Garden Geeks: Alocasia sanderiana 'Nobilis'
  • Aroids III: Alocasias and Colacasia
  • Plant of the Week: Kris Plant
  • University of Florida Extension: Accent Plants
Keywords: Alocasia sanderiana 'Nobilis', elephant ears, growing tropical plants

About this Author

Aileen Clarkson has been an award-winning editor and reporter for more than 20 years, earning three awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. She has worked for several newspapers, including "The Washington Post" and "The Charlotte Observer." Clarkson earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Florida.