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Plant Life: Alocasia polly

Plant Life: Alocasia polly

| Rosie Jeffares-Levitt

Deeply lobed, elongated leaves look airy and elevated - stylized heart shapes resting on tall, smooth stems.

As city dwellers, we love a plant that doesn’t need full sun, and still has great style. Plants in the Alocasia family fall into this category. Of the many varieties available, Alocasia polly is the tried and true winner!

First popularized as a houseplant in the 50’s, A. polly definitely has a mid-century vibe. Bring to mind this gorgeous plant, with skeletal markings on deep green foliage. Then picture it potted in a heavy ceramic vessel, sitting on top of a TV console - when there was such a thing! Now imagine it updated in your own light-filled dwelling, looking stellar in a nice sleek pot.

With Alocasia, it’s all about the leaves! There are many species, with foliage ranging in colour from light green to almost black. Deeply lobed, elongated leaves look airy and stylized on top of tall, smooth stems. These stems can be plain, but can also have tiger stripes, as remarkable as the foliage.

Alocasia are native to tropical forests of Asia growing in damp, dappled light. These beauties like to have warm, moist conditions in the home as well. They'd love the extra humidity a kitchen or bathroom can offer. Light conditions must be bright and indirect, and temperature must be consistently warm.

Alocasia plants grow from bulbs. Fret not if they lose leaves! The stored energy in their bulbs allows them to sprout new ones. Expect leaves to die back, then replace themselves. I like to cut off damaged or dying leaves, knowing that a new one will soon be on it's way.

• Rosie, owner Quince Flowers

Tags: Plant Life

Botanical Blog

Written By: Rosie Jeffares-Levitt

A collection of blog posts written by one of Toronto's top florists. With two on-going blog series, the first about flowers called Behind The Bloom & the second about plants called Plant Life.