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Care of an Alocasia Polly Plant

bush - alocasia image by Sergey Galushko from

An Alocasia polly plant, also known as an African mask plant, is typically grown as in indoor plant, although it can grow outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. It has large, dark leaves with white veins and usually reaches a height and width of about 2 feet. Although it needs more care than other houseplants, with a few care tips, you can enjoy your Alocasia polly plant for years.

Choose an area that receives indirect or filtered light, such as in front of a sunny south-facing window that is covered with a sheer curtain. Outdoors, choose an area that is in partial shade. Afternoon shade and morning sun, or near a tree where filtered light shines through the leaves are ideal locations.

Keep temperatures for indoor plants between 60 and 85 degrees F and set your indoor Alocasia polly plant on a tray of rocks and water. It should not sit directly in the water, but over the top of it. This will increase the humidity surrounding your plant, which it needs to thrive. You can also mist your plant with warm water once or twice a week to increase humidity.

Fertilize once a year in early spring with slow-release fertilizer. Alternatively, fertilize with a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer every two to three weeks from spring until fall. Use a high-nitrogen fertilizer, such as one labeled 12-6-6 and adhere to the dosing amounts written on the label.

Water your Alocasia polly plants so that the soil remains consistently moist. Use distilled, rain or bottled water if you have city water, which often causes spots to appear on the Alocasia polly plant leaves. If you do use city water, sit it out at room temperatures for about three days before you water your plants. This will allow the chemicals to dissipate.

Watch out for pests and disease, including spider mites and scale. If you notice any spots, discoloration or eaten leaves and you don’t know what the culprit is, take a sample of the affected leaf to your local nursery or county extension office for identification and treatment.

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