Alocasia Propagation from Cuttings

I know you're probably tired of hearing about my Alocasia "California", but this time I have more than words of adoration for my favorite specimen in the garden. You see, today I'll actually show you how to grow your own Alocasias from stem cuttings! Maybe "stem cuttings" isn't the right way to describe it though. The "stems" are really more like trunks, and the "cutting" is carried out by simply snapping the trunks off by hand. Pretty easy, huh?

I didn't set out to take cuttings; it was really an accident. While cleaning the dead leaves from around the trunks, I was mortified to see that a few of the trunks had started to rot. Holes riddled the green banded stems as if a bunch of bugs decided to make an apartment out of the poor plant. I yanked on one of the stems and SNAP! It broke off easily, leaving firm white flesh where the stem broke off.

The white "meat" of the plant reminded me of coconut meat or potatoes, which would make sense considering that "ape" is a staple starch crop (toxic until properly cooked) in the tropics. Knowing that this plant is essentially full of yummy carbohydrates it should have come as no surprise when I saw earwigs pour out of the pockmarked stem, onto my hands. Yuck.

Looking around the plant and in the garden I saw where stems had rotted and collapsed from previous years, where the fallen trunks had taken root and formed new plants, often a few feet away from the original plant. It was then that I got an idea. I could just root these in the garden myself and make new plants! I removed the mushy portions of the rhizomes, rinsed them off, and put them out to air dry.

Next time I visit the garden I'll lay them on their sides in moist soil and mound up mulch along the sides. Soon they'll begin to form plantlets along the nodes!

Here's where the collapsed trunks of an alocasia macrorrhiza landed last year. They're looking better than ever!

If you want to find your own Alocasias, gardeners here in Florida can find them at Lowes and garden centers. When shopping for bulbs, make sure that there is green growth at the end of the stem, and that you see no signs of rotting. To get fresh bulbs I recommend Plant Delights nursery or other mail order suppliers. Just remember that if your plant starts to rot, don't throw it out just yet. Simply remove the mushy portion, rinse, let it dry, and replant.

Here are some more posts on Alocasia.
Alocasia "California"
Great Tropical Tubers to Overwinter!
Tropical Starch Crops .


  1. Great post, Steve! I've never thought to take cuttings - I assumed divisions. Awesome!

  2. Thanks for the info Steve! I'll have to try it.

  3. Very good post. I liked the pictures. Hopefully part 2 will be a follow-up to these fallen trunks. Did you replant everything?

  4. Thanks guys! I haven't been able to visit your blogs in a while thanks to this "family crisis" and the wedding coming up! Oh well. At least I know you'll still be there when I get back from the honeymoon and have more free time! :)

  5. Wow how easy! That is a beautiful plant! I hope that the family crisis was not too bad and that the wedding is wonderful! When will you be getting married and where are you going for your honeymoon?


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