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One look at this plant and there’s no guessing where it gets its name from. Long narrow, shiny green leaves have a sword-like appearance and are accented on their underside by coppery hue with tones of purple. The leaves on this Alocasia are much longer and narrower than other Alocasia varieties, growing upright with a scalloped leaf margin, but the large size and prominent midrib and veins make it apparent this plant is an Alocasia.
At most, mature plants will hit 4 feet in height and 3 to 4 feet across in width. Not surprisingly, the leaves grow up to 24 inches long. The unique feature about the Purple Sword though is they stay a mere 2 inches wide compared to other varieties that have leaves almost as wide as they are long.
Caring For Your Alocasia
Most Alocasia plants have the following, similar care instructions since they are closely related. It’s always recommended though, to double-check how to care for a new plant when you bring it home to make sure you give it the best conditions.
Place your plant in a location where it can receive bright, indirect lightthroughout the day. The foliage will burn or scorch if put in direct light.
Don’t let air temperatures drop below 60℉ and keep plants away from cold drafts coming in through leaky windows or out of air conditioning vents.
Keep soil moist but not soggy; allow the top 1-2” of the potting soil to dry out before watering thoroughly. During the cooler, winter months scale back watering when plants are dormant to prevent root rot.
Maintain high humidity levels by grouping your plants, using a pebble tray, or trying one of these methods to increase humidity.
Check plants frequently for insect pests, especially spider mites as they like the large leaves on Alocasia plants. If spider mites, or other pests are found, treat the plant immediately to remove the insects and prevent extensive damage.
Feed your Alocasia with a suitable fertilizer. Read more about fertilizing houseplants here. This type of plant is considered a heavy feeder, needing more nutrients than others, because of their quick growth and large leaves.
Rotate pots every time you water to keep your plant from growing lopsided.
Repot your Alocasiaevery couple of years, moving it to a slightly larger pot. Moving it to a pot that is too large makes it so there is a lot of potting soil without roots that will stay too wet (since there isn’t any water uptake into the plant).
Leaves and stems contain oxalic acid, a compound that is toxic to pets and children. Keep your plants out of reach to avoid ingestion of plant parts and detrimental effects.