The Perfect Soil Mix for Growing Big, Beautiful Alocasia Plants

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. Many people collect plants because of their beautiful, sometimes big, leaves. This makes them one of the most sought-after plant genera.

Alocasia, also known as elephant ear plants, are increasingly popular for their large, stunningly veined leaves. But caring for these tropical beauties starts with getting the soil right. Alocasia are heavy feeders that need a very specific soil mix to thrive. Keep reading to learn the secrets to creating the perfect potting mix for your Alocasia plant.

Why Soil Matters for Alocasia

Alocasia originate in the humid, tropical forests of Asia and Australia. They are accustomed to growing in warm, very moist conditions in nutrient-rich, well-draining soil. Recreating similar conditions is key to successfully growing Alocasia as houseplants.

The main considerations for Alocasia soil are:

  • Nutrient-rich – Alocasia are heavy feeders and need a soil high in organic matter This provides nutrients and mimics the plant’s natural conditions.

  • Moisture-retentive – The soil must hold moisture well to keep their roots consistently wet. But it can’t get waterlogged

  • Well-draining – Excess water must drain through quickly to prevent rotting the roots.

  • Aerated – Good airflow allows healthy root development.

Getting this balance right in a potting mix is essential for Alocasia to thrive indoors or on the patio Next let’s look at the ingredients to include and avoid when creating an Alocasia blend.

Must-Have Alocasia Soil Ingredients

Here are the key components to look for in Alocasia potting mix:

Organic base

Use an organic base like coco coir, worm castings or compost. This provides nutrients and moisture retention. Aim for around 30% of the total mix.


Add perlite to improve drainage and aeration. Perlite creates air pockets for better root growth. Shoot for around 20% perlite content.

Orchid bark

Orchid bark not only aerates the soil, but also helps provide the chunky texture Alocasia roots prefer. Use around 15% in your mix.

Activated charcoal

A small amount of activated charcoal cleanses the soil of impurities. Charcoal also promotes beneficial microbes. Use around 5% charcoal.

Sphagnum moss

This retains lots of moisture while allowing airflow. Sphagnum moss insulates roots and provides humidity. Add 10% to your mix.

With the right ratios of these ingredients, you can create a custom soil with excellent drainage, moisture retention and airflow. Next let’s look at what to avoid in Alocasia soil.

What Not to Use in Alocasia Potting Mix

Some common potting mix ingredients can actually harm Alocasia plants. Stay away from:

  • Straight potting soil – Too dense and moisture-retentive.

  • Peat or coir pith – Compacts over time and suffocates roots.

  • Vermiculite – Holds excessive moisture leading to rot.

  • Sand or gravel – Too heavy and provides no nutrients.

  • Too much bark or perlite – Can dry out too fast.

The best results come from blending the recommended ingredients in the ideal ratios for your specific environment. For example, more perlite and orchid bark improve drainage in humid areas, while more coco coir and moss help retain moisture in dry climates.

Premium Pre-Mixed Alocasia Soil

While you can mix up your own custom blend, pre-made Alocasia soil mixes the right components. High-quality options like Birdy’s Plants Premium Alocasia Soil Mix take the guesswork out of getting the perfect potting media. This ready-to-use soil is specially formulated with:

  • Coco coir, worm castings and compost for moisture and nutrients
  • Perlite and orchid bark for drainage and aeration
  • Horticultural charcoal to filter impurities
  • Sphagnum moss to retain humidity

With a pre-mixed soil like this, you can be confident your Alocasia has everything it needs right in the pot. No fertilizing or adjusting needed!

Potting Your Alocasia

When repotting or potting up your Alocasia, follow these tips for success:

  • Select a pot with drainage holes 1-2 inches wider than the root ball.

  • Place a layer of pebbles or charcoal in the bottom for drainage.

  • Carefully loosen and untangle thick, tuberous roots before placing in pot.

  • Surround root ball with premium soil, pressing gently to remove air pockets.

  • Leave 1 inch of space below the rim for watering.

  • Water thoroughly until it drains from the bottom.

Proper watering is also key – soak the soil completely but don’t leave standing water. And make sure to fertilize regularly according to package directions during the growing season.

Troubleshooting Common Alocasia Soil Problems

Even with the perfect potting mix, issues can crop up. Here are some common Alocasia soil problems and fixes:

Problem: Leaves yellowing or browning at tips

Cause: Nutrient deficiency

Fix: Fertilize more frequently and ensure soil has sufficient organic matter

Problem: Leaf spotting or curling

Cause: Overwatering

Fix: Use more perlite/orchid bark to improve drainage

Problem: Drooping leaves

Cause: Too dry

Fix: Add more coco coir or moss to increase moisture retention

Problem: Poor root growth

Cause: Soil too dense

Fix: Add more perlite and orchid bark to lighten texture

Adjusting the mix and adopting good watering practices will keep your Alocasia thriving for years to come.

Let Your Alocasia Reach Its Full Potential

Alocasia are tropical jungle plants that require specific soil conditions to show off their famously large leaves indoors. Mimic their natural environment by creating a custom potting mix with excellent moisture retention, nutrients, drainage and aeration. Or take the guesswork out of it with a ready-made premium soil like Birdy’s Plants Alocasia Mix.

With the right soil foundation, your Alocasia will quickly establish a vibrant root system and produce those gorgeous, iconic elephant ear leaves. So give your plants the potting media they crave, and enjoy watching your Alocasia reach their full potential.

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

Aroid Mix and regular potting mix that you can buy at garden stores are the two most common types of potting mix. Lets 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. It’s possible for alocasia plants to have both thin and thick roots. They also need more nutrients than the most common aroid plants, like Philodendron or Monstera. Aroid Mixes either have minimal organic nutrients or none at all. This means you have to test, measure, and figure out how often you need to fertilize your plant to give it the exact nutrients it would get in its natural environment. This can be hard if you are new to taking care of plants or this is your first Alocasia.

Regular potting mix recipes, like those for ProMix or Miracle-Gro, are cheap and easy to find. This is why they are one of the most popular choices among plant collectors. Both of these soil mixes are made with very little perlite and very little amount of moisture-retaining components. Perlite is an important part that helps the soil drain better and breathe better, making air pockets that help roots grow in a healthy way. If the soil doesn’t drain well, your plant will stay in wet soil, which will cause root rot and eventually death. Additionally, both ProMix and Miracle-Gro have slow-release fertilizers as the main source of nutrients. This means that the potting mix doesn’t have any organic materials in it to filter or air out the soil like an Aroid Mix or Birdys Plants Alocasia Mix would.


Light: They like bright indirect or filtered light most of the time, but I’ve noticed that Alocasia Black Velvet likes slightly shadier lighting than other types. However, direct sunlight can burn the leaves of your plants, so make sure they get the right amount of light for the best results.

Water: Alocasia is a tropical plant that requires constant watering. You may need to water your plant once or twice a week, depending on the time of year and the temperature inside. 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 Soil Mix for Indoor Plants

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