Aroid Market

Alocasia Reginula - Black Velvet


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Did you know Alocasia 'Black Velvet'? also known as Alocasia Reginula is a mini Alocasia known for its stunning foliage. It gets its name from the dark velvety appearance of the leaves, which are offset by striking white veins. Found in the lush Asian rainforests, Alocasia 'Black Velvet' is specifically native to the jungle environment of Borneo, Indonesia
The Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ is a real dark gem of a plant.

As part of the very exclusive club of plant species with (almost) black foliage, Alocasia reginula ‘Black Velvet’ makes a striking statement wherever you put it.

Known as one of the “jewel alocasia,” this plant is destined to stay small, sweet and classy throughout its life – making this plant super accessible to terrarium lovers and indoor plant parents alike.

Overall, Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ are relatively straightforward to care indoors and in glass, but they do have some important watering nuances that you need to know in order to protect their roots and keep them healthy.

Not just the ‘Black Velvet’ name which of course sounds incredibly luxurious… but even the botanical name Alocasia reginula literally means the “little queen”.

With silvery veins piercing through black velvety leaves, it provides a powerful contrast to a typical green backdrop – making Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ an excellent focal piece for plant shelves!

Alocasia Black Velvet Care & Growth
At a Glance

Plant Type : Foliage
Lighting : Bright indirect light
Temperature :  55-86°F (12-30°C)
Watering : Infrequent, moderate moisture
Humidity : Medium – high humidity (40-70%)
Growth : 10-15 inches

Found on the jungle floors of its native countries, Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ loves to bask in the dappled sunlight that’s able to break through the canopy.

In the home, this means Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ will thrive in a bright spot with lots of indirect light.

North-facing windows are a good bet for guaranteed indirect light, but East-facing can work too as long as the morning sunlight isn’t too strong.

Near the window, the sunlight would definitely be too much, but ours is happy here just outside of the direct light. She’s doing much better there.  

Alocasia Black Velvet can get a bit leggy if she’s too far from a light source.

That being said, their dark leaf pigmentation suggests they’re able to cope with lower light levels to some extent.
So feel free to experiment a little

The thick leaves of this Alocasia hint to its moisture retaining abilities, but really it’s the rot-prone roots that dictate its watering needs.

The thick leaves of the Black Velvet Alocasia actually look more green in brighter lights.

So, there’s two components to getting your watering right:

Add water only when your substrate is dry to the touch

Whether you grow this plant in a pot, proper drainage is essential. That’s means both somewhere for the water to drain to (via a hole or drainage layer) and having an appropriate soil/substrate that the water can drain through.

When watering Alocasia Black Velvet in a pot, simply stop when water comes out the bottom!

Substrate / Soil
Using a substrate with good drainage is important to prevent this plant from developing root rot, but thankfully most tropical mixes are designed to do just that (e.g. ABG mix).

Opting for a granular mix high in orchid bark and sand will help to provide the necessary drainage and root aeration, and you can supplement with additional perlite or vermiculite as necessary.

However, I’d recommend you also reduce the sphagnum moss and coco coir content from your typical tropical mix, as you won’t need quite as much water retention with Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’.

Temperature & Humidity
As a commonly grown indoor plant, Alocasia reginula ‘Black Velvet’ will comfortably grow in most household conditions.

That being said, for a tropical species that doesn’t like an overly moist soil, it really does appreciate a higher humidity and temperature.

Really, you’ll need a humidity level of 50%+ to really keep them at their happiest, but that should be easily achieved with a pebble tray, humidifier or other.

Also, Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’ isn’t particularly cold hardy, so you’ll want to make sure they aren’t anywhere near a cold window in the Winter months.

If it’s too cold for you to sit near it, you can be sure it’s too cold for your Alocasia!

As a jewel alocasia, you can expect this species to grow at a slow rate, and stay pretty compact even when fully mature.

this plant will often allow its older leaves to die off in favour of creating new ones – so that can really slow down the whole growth process too.

They’ll occasionally bloom with a simple white flower, but it’s not much to look at.

Some natural fertilisation (e.g. earthworm castings) can help get your Alocasia off to a good start, but they’re unlikely to need any further supplementation.

They’re also quite happy being slightly root bound, so you’re probably not going to need to repot them much

Alocasia won’t grow from stem or leaf cuttings, but you’ll find they’re often a group of plants clumped together that you can divide, or they naturally form new baby plants anyway.

So, the easiest way to propagate Alocasia reginula ‘Black Velvet’ is to expose the central rhizome, identify any offsets and remove them with your hands or a clean knife if necessary.

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