The impressive Alocasia micholitziana ‘frydek’ is a highly unique species of plant in an already diverse, quirky genus of tropical plants! The Alocasia frydek (a much easier name to pronounce than its full scientific name!) is an absolutely elegant plant thanks to its velvety (yes, it feels like velvet) deep, forest green leaves. It is distinctive. It is eye-catching.
Like all Alocasia, the Alocasia frydek can be a bit finicky however that is where I come in. Keep reading to become a master of Alocasia frydek care and propagation so you can fill your space with unique beauty!
Table of contents
The Alocasia frydek is one of many cultivars produced by the Alocasia micholitziana that is native to the Philippines.
An Alocasia frydek’s most distinguishing feature is its fuzzy, plush, velvet leaves that give off a soft sheen in the sunlight. The shape of the leaves is very similar to that of many other Alocasia species; you will be able to identify this plant as an Alocasia thanks to its elongated spade-shaped foliage that sit atop long, arching stems. In stark contrast to the deep green, white veins pop against the darker background.
When learning to care for an Alocasia frydek, it is important to understand its natural habitat. Providing your plant with a consistent environment will keep it happy and healthy. All of this will be covered below in my Alocasia frydek care guide.
- Common Name: Green Velvet Alocasia, Alocasia frydek
- Scientific Name: Alocasia micholitziana ‘Frydek’
- Mature Size: 2-3 feet tall with an equally sized spread
- Sunlight: bright, indirect light
- Water: when top 2 inches of soil are dry
- Soil: well-draining, loose
- Temperature: 65°-86°F
- Propagation: division and corms
- Hardiness Zone: 9-11
- Toxicity: toxic to humans and pets
Growth Pattern and Habits
Most stores, whether brick and mortar or online, sell small, pint-sized Alocasia frydek specimens. They are usually in small pots with two to three leaves and just a few inches tall. This is great because it is more affordable and allows you to witness its growth!
Because you will likely purchase a small Alocasia frydek, patience is key. Once mature, an Alocasia frydek’s size can reach upwards of three feet but it can take anywhere from five to ten years to grow this tall. Despite the Alocasia frydek’s slow maturation, it will readily produce numerous new leaves every year.
An Alocasia frydek doesn’t need to be repotted more frequently than every two to three years. The rule of thumb is to repot once you see roots growing out the container’s drainage hole. Choose a new pot that is only one size up from the current pot
Like all Alocasias, Alocasia frydek plants produce new growth from a central bulb. Long, slender petioles (the leafstalk) arch upwards and sport a slight droop from the heavy leaves that face upwards and away from the plant. New petioles grow from the innermost part of the base of the plant.
As new petioles and leaves emerge, the older growth will begin to yellow and die off. The oldest growth is on the outside of the bundle of petioles at the base of the plant and will be the closest to the ground. If you see yellowing leaves, don’t panic. Take a look and note which leaves are yellowing and if new growth is apparent. If so, this is part of the natural growth cycle. Use sharp, sterile shears to cut away the old growth as close to the base as possible.
Like I described above, the Alocasia frydek’s foliage is beyond stunning. Its flowers, however, are quite understated and quite unlikely when grown indoors. If you live in a climate suitable for growing your Alocasia frydek outdoors and spot an unassuming spandex, consider removing it from the plant to allow the leaves more energy.
I have made the mistake of placing one of my Alocasias in much too direct sunlight in the past so I knew to avoid this when I brought home my Alocasia frydek. The Alocasia frydek prefers consistent, bright but indirect light that is most easily achieved by placing the plant in an east- or north-facing window (east- or south-facing if you live in the southern hemisphere).
Pro Tip – To avoid an overly bent Alocasia frydek, rotate your plant a quarter turn each time you water to assure symmetrical growth.
Alocasia micholitziana is a naturally occurring plant that grows in the damp forests of the northernmost island in the Philippines. Since the Alocasia frydek is a cultivar of the A. micholitziana, it too thrives in this environment. But I want to clarify that damp does not equal soggy!!
I have found that the best time to water your Alocasia frydek is when the top two inches of soil are dry to the touch. This indicates that the soil underneath is still slightly damp but not oversaturated and that it is time to give your plant a drink.
Another way to determine if your Alocasia frydek needs to be watered is by looking at the foliage. The leaves and petioles will appear slightly limp and droop downwards. Adding water will refresh your plant and return it to its healthy state. If this doesn’t happen or you notice discoloration, you may have other issues at play.
When watering my Alocasia frydek, I thoroughly soak the soil until I see ample amounts of water running out of the bottom drainage hole. Allow all excess water to drain from the container before returning your Alocasia frydek to its proper home near the window.
The best soil for an Alocasia frydek is one that is loose and well draining. I like to combine a couple different mediums, all of which are easily found at gardening stores. Mix one part potting soil with one part perlite to one part orchid bark.
Pro Tip – Add a generous portion of worm castings to mix into your Alocasia frydek’s soil. This is a great natural fertilizer and won’t burn your Alocasia frydek like commercial fertilizers.
While good soil is key, a good pot is just as important. The two complement each other. Always pot an Alocasia frydek in a container with drainage holes. Your Alocasia frydek will be extra happy if the container is also made of clay or terracotta. This allows for the adequate exchange of moisture and air to promote healthy root growth.
If you cannot find a container with drainage holes that you like, plant the Alocasia frydek in a plastic pot with numerous drainage holes and place this in the desired container.
Temperature and Humidity
The Alocasia frydek plant wants consistency and does best when temperatures are kept within the range of 65°F to 85°F. Indoor temperatures fit perfectly within this range so you don’t have to worry about cranking up the heat to keep your Alocasia frydek happy.
Alocasia frydek also likes humidity and while household humidity is usually just fine, it doesn’t hurt to add a little extra. This can be done in a couple of different ways:
- Group humid-loving plants close together, such as other Alocasia species. Check out our care guide discussing the Alocasia jacklyn. (https://www.sproutedinsoil.com/alocasia-jacklyn-care/)
- Add a pebble tray
- Place a small humidifier near your tropical plants (but don’t allow the foliage to become wet)
- Put your Alocasia frydek in a terrarium or greenhouse
I very conservatively fertilize my Alocasia frydek once in the beginning of spring and once in the beginning of summer. Otherwise I rely on worm castings that I add to the soil mixture to naturally provide extra nutrients needed for growth. I have found that this really prevents fertilizer burn which can damage your plant.
When I do use commercial fertilizer I choose a balanced fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. I personally have used Jack’s Classic All-Purpose fertilizer. It is water soluble and easy to dilute. I mix half of a teaspoon of fertilizer into a gallon of water and mix well.
Alocasia frydek propagation can be carried out using corms or by division. Let’s explore both ways!
Propagation by Corms
Corms are actually modified underground stems that store nutrients and can sprout new plants! They are small and bulbous and are found underneath the soil within the plant’s root system. Let’s break down how to propagate an Alocasia frydek using corms, step by step!
- In order to retrieve corms to use for Alocasia frydek propagation, you will have to gently remove the mother plant from its container. Break away the soil to better visualize the root system. Corms can be found scattered throughout the roots.
- Using sharp, sterile shears remove the corms from the root system. It is best if you can keep some roots attached to the corm. If you can’t, don’t worry!
- In a shallow, wide container place a layer of sphagnum moss. Mist until slightly moist.
- Place the corms cut side down (this is whatever part of the corm was cut to detach it from the mother plant) and nestle each into its squishy moss bed.
- Cover the container with plastic wrap and add a few holes for air circulation.
- Keep in a warm area that receives bright indirect light. Maintain moisture levels by misting as needed to keep the sphagnum moss slightly damp.
- It takes anywhere between two to three months to see new roots and growth appear.
- Once roots are approximately three inches in length, the new plant is robust enough to be transplanted into its own container.
Propagation by Division
Division technically doesn’t fulfill the definition of propagation as you are not creating a new plant from another plant source. Division is just separating baby offshoots from the mother plant. The whole point of division is to separate one main plant into two or more plants that can survive on their own.
It’s time to divide your Alocasia frydek when you see new growth appear around the mother plant!
- Remove your Alocasia frydek from its container and gently shake off excess soil.
- After identifying the offsets (new baby plants!) use sterile, sharp shears to separate each offset from one another and the mother plant.
- Transplant each offset into its own, new container with fresh soil.
- Do not water your plant until about a week or two after transplanting. This will help prevent your new plant from experiencing transplant.
- At this point, care for your Alocasia frydek as you would a mature plant.
While no plant is resistant to pests, Alocasia frydek fairs better than other household plants. Despite this, it is still a good idea to inspect your Alocasia frydek every time you water. Keep a close eye out for spider mites.
Spider mites are miniscule arachnids that like to dine on the juices inside a plant’s cells. They are usually brown or red in color. The tell tale sign of a mite infestation is the presence of fine webbing throughout a plant’s foliage. If the spider mites have had some time to feast, you will also notice visible damage to your plant.
Before you do anything else, separate the infected plant from all others to prevent spread. To get rid of a spider mite infestation, remove all webs. I then like to wipe down the plant with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball to remove and/or kill the remaining spider mites. Then apply neem oil weekly until the infestation is gone.
To prevent spider mites or other curious pests, treat your plant monthly with neem oil. Be diligent in removing any old leaves and stems before they begin to rot. Keep your Alocasia frydek in bright indirect light and water correctly (definitely avoid over-watering and air on the side of too little!).
Root rot is a condition affecting, you guessed it, the roots of a plant. If left untreated, root rot can cause injury or death to the entire plant so it’s crucial to catch this condition early. Root rot can be caused by overwatering, poor soil, and/or poor drainage. Symptoms of root rot include pale/yellowing leaves, wilting, mushy foliage, slowed or no growth.
If your Alocasia frydek shows signs of root rot, stop watering! Cut away any damaged foliage. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Evaluate the composition of the soil or consider transferring to a new pot if the current container does not have a drainage hole.
If you suspect anything more than minor damage, remove the plant from its pot. Cut away all damaged roots and foliage. Next, rinse the remaining healthy roots in cool water and allow to dry. Repot your Alocasia frydek in fresh soil. Always test the soil before watering!
Brown Leaf Tips
An Alocasia frydek with brown leaf tips could be suffering from sun damage or too little humidity. Try to adjust one factor at a time to pinpoint your problem.
Yes, the Alocasia frydek is toxic to humans and pets. This is due to the oxalate crystals which are found in all parts of the plant. Exposure to the oxalate crystals can cause tissue irritation or GI issues. If severe symptoms are noted, contact the appropriate medical help immediately.
Alocasia frydek is a great plant to add to your collection due to its unique, velvety leaves. Be sure to provide top notch Alocasia frydek care using the information above to keep yours thriving!