Alocasia Silver Dragon Guide: All About The Uncommon Mystical Plant
Alocasia Silver Dragon is an extraordinary plant that is considered more difficult to find (and therefore rare) as an indoor plant. With remarkable silvery, textured leaves, this plant is named for the foliage that resembles dragon scales. As a member of the Aroid family, this special plant is beloved for its peculiarity and is part of the “Jewel Alocasia'' series of plants. The Alocasia Silver Dragon is a phenomenal houseplant that’s gaining popularity with collectors and plant lovers alike— and with good reason, just look at it!
Scientific Name: Alocasia baginda ‘Silver Dragon’
Origin: Variant; plant parent native to Borneo, Indonesia
With majestic, silver coated, scale-like leaves, the Alocasia Silver Dragon is a sight to behold. True to its name, the Alocasia Silver Dragon looks like it was plucked right from the mythical creature itself. And the epithet, baginda, translates to ‘King’ or ‘Majesty’ denoting a royal-like significance of this plant.
New leaves emerge relatively small and smooth, featuring a jade-green hue. As the leaf matures, it grows significantly larger, developing a shield-like shape with grooves and donning a silvery-sage color. The Silver Dragon stays fairly compact with the plant reaching about 2 feet tall and wide. The leaves themselves can reach up to about 8 inches long by 6 inches wide— which relative to the plant's small stature, is quite large! When this plant is in its utmost condition, it can bloom an inflorescence (though this is rare indoors).
Buy Online: Alocasia Silver Dragon— 6 Inch
Preferring medium to bright levels of light, Alocasia Silver Dragon will require indirect light, out of reach of the sun’s direct rays. Direct sunlight can (quite quickly) burn the leaves of this more sensitive houseplant. More specifically, a west or east facing window will usually provide the correct amount of sunlight.
As far as temperature goes, make sure to keep the room consistently warm around this plant. Typically any temperature that is comfortable to you indoors will be fine for the plant too (between 65 and 80 degrees). In addition, keep the Alocasia Silver Dragon away from drafty areas or heat sources (like windows, vents, fans, radiators) as this can irritate and stress the plant.
Alocasia Silver Dragon will benefit from staying slightly damp throughout the soil. We recommend watering only once the top layer of soil has started to dry out. There’s a fine line though between saturated and damp, so it’s imperative to make sure that the plant isn’t overly wet as this will cause root issues (and potential death). Too little moisture means that the plant will start to display signs of dryness like brown, crispy leaf tips.
When it comes to humidity, Alocasia Silver Dragon will need higher levels (around 50-80%). Most homes tend to hover around 30% natural humidity level, so depending on your unique indoor environment, you may need to supplement with extra moisture in the air. This can be achieved through placing a humidifier near the plant, or providing the plant with a pebble tray filled halfway with water (always make sure there’s no water touching the roots or bottom of the soil). Some people prefer lightly misting the leaves, but if you go this route, you will likely need to mist daily to make a difference. In addition, overly misting the leaves of your Alocaisa Silver Dragon may cause other issues. Due to the leaf anatomy, sometimes water and moisture can accumulate in the grooves and sit on the leaves. When this happens for an extended period, water issues ensue and can lead to eventual leaf loss.
Repotting is important when it’s done at the right time! Alocasia Silver Dragon will appreciate being repotted once it’s outgrown its current pot. You’ll look for signs like roots growing out of the bottom holes of the pot or water that drains straight through the plant when watering. Typically these plants require repotting about once every 1-2 years. Since this plant can be sensitive to changes (and growth wanes during winter) always make sure the plant is healthy and happy before repotting specifically during spring/summer.
When repotting, remember that you’ll need a loose and well-draining potting mix. As for the pot, only go up a size that’s about 2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot. This helps support healthy and prosperous growth for the plant as too large of a pot and too much room can actually hinder the plant. Repotting is important to allow the roots to continually grow, and fresh soil rejuvenates the plant!
Fertilizing your Alocasia Silver Dragon is important during the growing season (spring through summer). Alocasia baginda are found in the jungles of Indonesia basking in limestone and calcium-rich soils. So these plants are going to be most successful with substrates containing these nutrients.
Again make sure the plant is in a healthy state before feeding with supplements. We recommend using a premium, nutrient-rich fertilizer and diluting it to only about half the amount that the bag/box suggests. As far as timing, always follow what the specific fertilizer states as the best method (but as a general rule, we recommend fertilizing once a month during growing season).
When the weather starts getting cool in the fall, ease the plant off of the fertilizer and eventually stop completely.
During fall and winter, Alocasia Silver Dragon will require less and less. That’s less water (typically half the normal amount & frequency) and zero fertilizer. In addition, during colder months, it is normal for Alocasia to go semi-dormant and drop leaves (in some cases ALL of them). If this happens, don’t panic! Continue with your normal winter care routine, and wait until spring when new growth will likely emerge. New growth can either come back in the same form as the original plant, or it can emerge from corms. Corms are bulb-like formations that were at one point attached to the main plant but form new baby versions of your Alocasia. You may notice them as new shoots sprouting randomly in the soil or they can also be found when repotting your plant since they begin below soil.
Not only during winter, but Alocasia are known for occasionally dropping a leaf here and there. Typically when new, large growth comes in, a smaller, lower, and/or older leaf will yellow and die in order to support continued growth of the plant. Also, due to the structure of the plant and root system, the Alocasia Silver Dragon can really only support so many leaves at one time.
Most notably, spider mites tend to be the biggest nuisance of the Alocasia genus of plants. Always check regularly for pests, and eradicate as soon as possible.
Toxicity: Considered toxic if ingested by humans, cats, and dogs.