Published: May 20, 2022
Dragon scale plant: How to care for this type of plants?
In the universe of plants there is a lot of variety, for all tastes and all colors, however, when it comes to looking for exotic plants and with a touch of mysticism without a doubt a Dragon scale plant stands out among the rest, since it is considered one of the favorites by those who are dedicated to gardening and lovers of indoor cultivation.
The Dragon scale plant is distinguished mainly by its exotic green leaves, in which you can see thin lines that represent the ribbing or the distribution of the nerves that make up the vascular tissue of the leaf. It is of Asian origin, of the genus Alocasia and of the araceae family, belongs to the group of plants called tropical perennial that as its name indicates, grows mostly in the tropical jungle.
It is a plant that needs little maintenance and will still remain radiant, although it is necessary to take care of certain elements for its optimal development, in general it will be very simple to grow and maintain its care.
That is why, in this article we propose to develop in depth some elements necessary for the care of the cultivation of the Dragon scale plant, we will review the necessary conditions for your crop to develop in the best way, as well as the possible complications that you may have when growing it, and the strategies you should use to solve them.
Necessary conditions for the correct growth of Dragon scale plant
Like any plantation, the Dragon scale plant requires minimum conditions to be able to carry out the photosynthesis process and its growth or flowering in a normal way. These conditions are composed of both human actions (irrigation, planting, care of pests and fungi) and those acquired through the environment (light, water, type of soil, among others), which is why the personalized care of each of these elements will determine the success of our plantation.
While there are some environmental factors that are difficult to control, it is important to have knowledge about the correct way to take advantage of them, to avoid any type of inconvenience that can negatively affect our crop. To achieve this, we have selected the most important elements on which we must take meticulous care so that the Dragon scale plant can have a correct development.
Below we will further develop each of them.
Irrigation method and humidity level
In the cultivation of Dragon scale plant the control of the amount of water we provide to the plantation is fundamental. Remember that this is a plant of tropical origin, which already indicates that it is not very resistant to drought, however like any other plant the excess irrigation could also affect it negatively.
That is why we must find a balance. It is recommended to calculate the irrigation according to the season in which we are. In summer the ideal is to water it 2 to 3 times a week, while in winter it is recommended to reduce the watering to 1 time per week.
Another technique to identify if our plant needs irrigation, is to check on the soil surface of our crop, if between 2 – 3 inches notice drought means that the crop needs water.
With regard to humidity, it is advisable to keep it at 80%, which would explain the environment of its natural habitat (tropics). However, in an indoor plantation it is difficult to reach that level of humidity, which is why it is recommended to use humidifiers that allow reaching at least 40% (a figure with which some indoor growers have reported success in terms of this type of crop).
In general, for the cultivation of Dragon scale plant we must necessarily make use of light (natural or artificial) to ensure that the development process is carried out without any inconvenience. Now, the really important thing is to know how to make use of lighting.
The main thing is to know that our plant will need bright light, but this must be used indirectly, since the exposure of direct sunlight (or artificial) would cause burns to the leaves and subsequently could completely damage the plant.
To achieve healthy and optimal lighting we have several options. The first is the use of filtered sunlight, for this you must use some type of transparent curtain or other material that prevents the sun's rays from colliding directly with the plant. In indoor crops positioning it near a window will be a good option, while outside it is necessary to choose a place where it can be protected by some shade.
Another option would be artificial lighting. With its use it is possible to collaborate in the process of growth of the plant. Especially with LED lights, taking into account that the Dragon scale plant should not receive bright light directly, LED lamps help to graduate the amount of light that the plant receives avoiding risks of burns due to excessive sun exposure.
Either option can be effective as long as we are careful and avoid extremes.
Soil type and recommended temperatures
The secret to achieving perfect irrigation is to properly prepare the soil of our crop. In the planting of Dragon scale plant is not different, so that its growth and development process is carried out successfully, it is recommended that the consistency of our soil is thick, which will help it to drain oxygen in a better way and so the roots of the plant can take advantage of all its benefits.
Among the most recommended materials to prepare a good mixture for the soil of the crop are: the mixture of orchids, perlite and coconut fiber.
On the other hand, temperature will also be a determining factor for the optimal development of the plant. In general, the recommended temperature range varies between 16 and 27 degrees Celsius.
It is very important to avoid both heat currents and cold currents, in the latter there is a risk that our crop suffers from dormancy (a process similar to hibernation) where the plant will stop growing, lose its leaves and will remain as an underground stem.
Forms of fertilization and pruning
One of the great advantages of growing the Dragon scale plant is precisely that they do not need a great routine of fertilizers to maintain a good development. Organic fertilizers can be an excellent option, in the market there is a wide variety of them, even some formulated specifically for their species.
Placing an amount according to the size of your plant every six weeks (counted from spring to early autumn) will be enough to maintain the necessary nutrients that the crop requires.
As for pruning, also the routines are quite simple, the only thing necessary to maintain it will be to make sure to eliminate those dead leaves, as well as the dry and lifeless stems. For this it is recommended to use tools (sterilized) suitable and above all free of any bacteria or dirt.
When to transplant and how to spread?
Before starting with a transplantation process we must know that the Dragon scale plant is quite delicate and is not very comfortable during that procedure, the greatest of the risks we face is the possibility that our plant dies and that is why it is recommended to do it only as a last option.
The most recommended season for transplanting the Dragon scale plant is spring. The moment you notice that your plant has reviewed its container or it presents some damage (either physical or by infection) you must proceed to perform the transplant.
Regarding the propagation process, it is considered that the most recommended period to carry it out is in conjunction with that of transplanting, however, you can carry it out individually in spring and early summer, the important thing is to monitor your crop making the necessary adjustments.
Alocasias propagate through the division of plants at the growth stage. Here is a small guide with the most important points for a successful spread:
- With great care you must remove the plant from the container, shaking slowly to remove excess soil and be able to more easily visualize the roots and expose their structure.
- Identify and cut a plant division (from a mother plant), for this you must untangle and separate those that you want to reproduce making sure that they have roots.
- After cutting the division you want to propagate, proceed to plant them in a soil similar to the original, you can place it in a warm space where you can take care of the amount of light it receives. It is recommended to maintain careful watering avoiding excess water.
What to do in case of?
We all know that cultivation is a process that takes time and dedication. On the way unforeseen events can occur and it is necessary to be prepared to know how to act in the appropriate way before each of them, that is why we set out to explain some of the most common inconveniences that arise during the cultivation of the Dragon scale plant.
Yellow Leaves or Brown Tips
We should know that when we notice yellow leaves on our Dragon scale plant, we find a direct sign of excess watering. To solve it we must adjust the amount of water we put in the plant, it is important to verify that the first inches of the soil are dry before proceeding to the next watering.
Yellow leaves are also related to excess light or the appearance of some pests, check the amount of light your plant receives and place it in a shaded space.
On the other hand, the brown tips in the plant are related to low humidity, to solve it be sure to measure the humidity levels of the space where the crop is located, remember that the ideal is that it is above 60%.
The main reason for the loss of leaves in the Dragon scale plant is acclimatization, after the move from the nursery to the home (or the simple change of space), it can create relocation stress on the plant, and it will not be uncommon to see it lose some leaves. The important thing is to give it a period of time in which it can stabilize, without fertilizers that disturb this process.
The plant begins to die after transplanting
As we discussed earlier, the Dragon scale plant is quite delicate and sensitive to any type of change, that intensifies with the transplantation process and can deteriorate a little or enter a stage of limited growth.
To prevent this from happening we must take measures prior to transplantation, avoid choosing very large containers as it increases the chances that we will do excessive watering, the soil will retain more water and will take much longer to dry, be sure to place only the necessary amount.
Appearance of Pests
Among the most common are spider mite, aphids, scale and mealybugs, once established they are difficult to remove, however it is recommended to use a spray with a mixture of warm water and soap.
Final considerations on dragon scale plant
The Dragon scale plant are an excellent option to give an exotic touch to your outdoor garden or the interior of your home, its easy maintenance makes it adapt to several places, such as the bathroom or kitchen, with little care will continue to look a radiant green during all seasons of the year.
These are durable plants. With the optimal conditions they can live and stay in excellent condition during periods, they can grow up to 1 m high and extend up to 50 cm wide, although each growth process is different and varies according to the conditions of each one.
Finally, it is important to note that the Dragon scale plant has a toxicity level of 4 points, this means that it is dangerous for humans and animals, so it is important to be careful when treating it.