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Plant Know-How: Alocasia 'Regal Shields'

Lilac colored planter with a large Aloscasia Regal Shields inside, against a white brick wall. The plants leaves are a dark, almost-purply green, with bright lime green colored veins.

With stunning dark purple and deep green leaves that can grow to massive proportions, it seems Alocasia 'Regal Shields' has a cultivar name equal to its impressiveness. In a genus as full of striking species as Alocasia, it can be hard to stand out, but the deep color, velvety texture, and enormous size of the leaves of 'Regal Shields' are up for the challenge! Like other Alocasias, 'Regal Shields' can be a little tricky to care for, largely due to their need for humidity. This can sometimes be hard to provide, especially if you're in Southern California like we are, but growing your Alocasia 'Regal Shields' near a humidifier or in a bright bathroom will help to keep your plant happy! Adding humidity is certainly a big key to growing Alocasias, but we've got all the rest of our best tips below so you can see yours thrive.

Close up of the back of an Alocasia 'Regal Shields' leaf against a white brick wall. Leaf is dark purple in color with bright lime green veins.

HOW TO CARE FOR ALOCASIA 'REGAL SHIELDS':

Light requirements for Alocasia 'Regal Shields': Very bright filtered light (aka bright indirect) is necessary for Alocasias- especially species with very large leaves like 'Regal Shields'. Indoors, place this plant within 2-3 feet of a window that gets bright filtered light most of the day (south or a west exposure with something to filter afternoon direct sun is best). Outdoors, place in partial to full shade. Avoid direct sun as it may be too intense for the leaves. 

Watering tips for Alocasia 'Regal Shields': Similar to other Alocasia, 'Regal Shields' will do best if you water when the top 1/4 of the soil is dry.  Alocasias are not a plant that should ever go completely dry- if the soil goes too dry, too often, the root system may become too stressed to bounce back and the plant can go dormant or die altogether.  If you need some help knowing when to water your plant a moisture meter is a helpful tool that can take out some of the guesswork!

The Best Soil for Alocasia 'Regal Shields': Humidity loving tropicals like Alocasia 'Regal Shields' grow best in a soil chunky enough for oxygen to get to the roots, but with some content that can hold moisture a little longer. Our Thirsty Tropicals Potting Mix is perfect for plants like Alocasias.

Is Alocasia 'Regal Shields' pet-safe? Alocasia are not pet-safe and can be toxic when consumed by pets. If you're looking for pet-safe plants, be sure to check out the Pet Safe category of the Plant Care Atlas

How to style an Alocasia 'Regal Shields': When choosing a spot for your 'Regal Shields', beyond ensuring there's enough light, you'll also want to keep in mind that this plant can grow to be quite large and spread out. An area with both vertical and horizontal space will be helpful. Plants like 'Regal Shields', with large leaves, but more structural shape, often look nice in taller planters, or displayed on a plant stand. This also gives room to place shorter, bushier plants on the floor nearby for lush effect. 

Did you know? Alocasias grow from corms, which are a thickened root structure similar to a bulb or tuber. Because of this, the best ways to propagate an Alocasia is either through division of the root ball (separating multiple plants, each with their own corm, from each other), or through growing a new plant from a corm. Plants that grow from corms may also go dormant- especially in colder/darker months, or when the plant has been overly stressed- so if your Alocasia ever loses all it's leaves don't throw it out right away. Move your plant somewhere cool and dry and after a few weeks to a few months you may begin to see new shoots appear! Once that happens, return it to good light, and begin watering again and you'll eventually have a full plant again. 

Looking for an Alocasia 'Regal Shields' for your own home jungle? Due to the large size of these plants, we generally only have them available in our Eagle Rock shop.