There’s something undeniably regal about Alocasia ‘Regal Shield.’ With its large leaves shaped like medieval shields, it could earn a spot in any royal palace. Bringing this king of houseplants into your home will undoubtedly upgrade your living space.
It’s no surprise that this elephant ear hybrid features a beautiful origin story (its creator described the attempt as a ‘Hail Mary’ because of how different its parents were) that matches its majestic appearance.
Keep reading and discover the secrets to Alocasia Regal Shield care, from its preferred lighting conditions to how often you should sing it a lullaby (okay, maybe singing is optional, but you get the idea). You can think of this as your personal guide to becoming your Regal Shield’s loyal servant, ensuring its reign in your home is long and prosperous.
Let the coronation begin!
Alocasia Regal Shield Plant Care Guide
History, habitat, and characteristics
Alocasia Regal Shield is a hybrid houseplant that’s quickly becoming a fan favorite. With stunning leaves of deep green on top and dark purplish-green on bottom, it’s no wonder this plant is capturing hearts. If you’re ready to add a touch of royalty to your indoor garden, here’s what you need to know about this regal gem.
Alocasia Regal Shield, or elephant ear, as it’s affectionately called, is a fairly recent addition to the houseplant world. First cultivated in 2007, it gained its royal status through a cross between Alocasia odora and Alocasia reginula.
With plant parents that originated in the jungles of Asia, the Regal Shield is a true globetrotter. Its large, shimmering leaves are like nature’s own masterpiece, adorned with prominent veining that makes it a real showstopper.
Alocasia Regal Shield is also a bit of a smarty-pants. Its clever leaves and stems store water, acting like a reservoir during drier times. Talk about a royal survival strategy!
Despite being more compact than other Alocasias, the Regal Shield still commands attention with its bold, dramatic foliage. Given the right conditions and a bit of attention, you’ll find these elephant ear plants will reign supreme in your indoor space too.
Alocasia Regal Shield appreciates bright, indirect sunlight, and is usually pretty at-home near an east-facing window or glass door. Keep it out of direct or full sun — this can cause the plant’s leaves to crisp and lose their beautiful hue.
To make sure it receives equal light all around and doesn’t stretch toward the window, give your plant a little spin every now and then. If your Alocasia Regal Shield isn’t getting enough light, it may show signs of slow, leggy growth and leaves that turn toward any bright light they can find (they’re smart like that!).
Our lighting tips:
- Place your Alocasia Regal Shield close to an east-facing window or glass door for the ideal dose of bright, indirect sunlight.
- Steer clear of direct sun, which can damage leaves. A sheer curtain can help filter light from bright windows.
- Rotate your plant occasionally to make sure it gets even lighting and avoids stretching toward the nearest light source.
- Keep an eye out for signs of too little light (leggy growth or reaching leaves) or too much light (browned, crispy leaves) and adjust your plant’s position as needed.
Let the top inch or two of soil dry out before you water Alocasia Regal Shield. Don’t hesitate to tweak the watering frequency based on your specific environment and the plant’s needs — a moisture meter can come in handy for this.
If your Regal Shield Alocasia isn’t getting enough water, you might see drooping leaves, curled leaves, or drooping stems. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to increase the watering amount or frequency.
On the other hand, giving your Alocasia Regal Shield care too much water can cause a whole range of issues. You may notice yellowing leaves all over the plant, mushy stems, and soil that never seems to dry out.
Worse still, overwatering can lead to issues such as brown leaf tips, small brown or black spots on the leaves, or an infestation of the dreaded fungus gnat. If you notice any of these signs of overwatering, allow any soggy soil to dry out before you water again.
Temperature and humidity
Regal Shield elephant ear plants prefer indoor temperatures between 65-80°F. They’re quite sensitive to cold temperatures and drafts, so it’s crucial to keep them away from windows, vents, and doors that might let in cold air.
When temperatures drop during winter months, always make sure to cover your plant and keep it warm when transporting it, even for short periods. If you notice any damage or wilting in the leaves or stems, it could be from exposure to extremely low or high temperatures.
Alocasia plants love humidity. Aim for a humidity level between 40%-60% for optimal growth. Using a humidifier nearby can help maintain the required high humidity levels for your Alocasia Regal Shield. If the humidity is too low, the tips of the leaves might turn brown, indicating that your plant needs more moisture in the air.
Our temperature and humidity care tips:
- Keep your Regal Shield elephant ear in temperature ranges between 65-80°F, away from drafty windows, vents, and doors.
- Aim for an average air humidity of 40%-60%.
- To increase humidity: Use a humidifier to maintain adequate humidity levels. Filling a drip tray with water and pebbles can also increase the humidity around your plant while keeping the roots free of excess moisture.
Soil and planting
Alocasia Regal Shield plants thrive in well-draining, consistently moist soil that does not dry out too quickly. Poor soil can lead to a variety of problems for your Alocasia Regal Shield.
Signs of inadequate soil conditions may include stunted growth or bacterial leaf spot. Using the wrong potting mix can cause issues such as poor drainage, which can lead to diseased leaves or overly dry soil.
Choose a loamy, nutrient-rich fresh potting soil for best results. If you’re concerned about drainage, you can always add perlite. Never pot Regal Shield Alocasia in a pot without drainage holes.
To feed your Alocasia Regal Shield, add half a teaspoon of liquid fertilizer every other time you water. Be cautious not to over-fertilize — this can harm your plant.
Signs of excessive fertilizer use include brown leaf tips and stunted growth. If you suspect over-fertilization, you can remedy the situation by flushing the soil with water to remove excess fertilizer, cutting back on future fertilizer applications, or repotting the plant with fresh soil.
Always remember to follow the recommended fertilizer dosage and frequency to maintain a healthy and thriving Regal Shield.
Propagating your favorite houseplant is not only fun, but it also gives you a sense of accomplishment and saves you from having to buy more Alocasia Regal Shield plants. Your partner will love that last point!
Let’s dive into Alocasia Regal Shield propagation through corm division with these easy steps.
- Gather your gear: You’ll need a sharp, sterilized knife or garden shears, at least one small pot with drainage holes, and fresh potting soil.
- Free the mother plant: Time to remove your Alocasia Regal Shield from its current pot. Be gentle, and try to avoid any squished roots or corms. Loosen the soil around the edges with your fingers, then ease the plant out while keeping the entire root ball intact.
- Split ’em up: Take a good look at the root system and spot those chubby corms — they’re the thick, bulb-like structures close to the base. Now, carefully divide one or more corms from the parent plant with your sterilized knife or shears. Just make sure each piece you separate has at least one healthy root and a few leaves attached.
- Plant those new plants: Fill up your new pot(s) with fresh potting mix, and pop in the divided corms. Make sure the roots are snugly covered with soil and the leaves are chilling above the surface. Gently press the soil around the base of the new plant(s) for extra support.
- Keep ’em happy: Place your newly potted elephant ears in a spot with bright, indirect light, and maintain high humidity levels. Water them regularly with filtered water, ensuring the soil stays moist but not sopping wet. Be patient — it might take a few weeks to see new growth, but when it happens, it’s so worth it!
If you notice problems with your Alocasia Regal Shield, don’t worry. There are many common issues that plague houseplants. Luckily, most are easy to remedy.
Here are some issues that houseplant enthusiasts often come across when growing elephant ear plants.
Brown leaf tips
This could be due to low humidity or not quite enough watering — you know, like a friendly reminder from your plant buddy that it needs a little extra help.
First things first, make sure your Alocasia is getting enough water — but not too much! Keep the soil consistently moist, but not sopping wet. Aim for the consistency of a sponge that’s been wrung out.
You can turn things around by increasing the humidity around your elephant ear plant . . . maybe use a humidifier, place a tray of water nearby, or even give the leaves a gentle misting every now and then. Soon enough, you’ll see your Alocasia Regal Shield bounce back with healthy, happy leaves!
This might be a sign of a few different things: overwatering, not enough nutrients, or maybe even too much direct sunlight.
To fix the problem, make sure to let the top few inches of soil dry out between waterings and check that the pot has proper drainage.
If you suspect nutrients are the issue, try giving your elephant ear plant some care with a balanced houseplant fertilizer, following the product instructions. Alocasia plants usually don’t require too much fertilizer, so start slow and diluted and increase over time as your plant grows.
And as for standing in the sun, it’s time to find a new spot where your plant can enjoy bright, indirect light without getting sunburned.
This could be a sign that your elephant ear plant is being overwatered, but also that it needs a bit more space to grow.
Carefully take your elephant ear plant out of its current home and give those roots a good look. If you can see roots on the sides or bottom of the soil, it’s time for a new pot. Choose a pot that is a couple of inches wider and taller and repot with fresh soil. Be careful not to go too big. This can lead to more soil moisture than your plant can handle.
After moving your plant to its new home, give it a good drink and keep an eye on its progress. In just a few weeks, you should see your plant come back to life, looking healthier and more vibrant than ever!
Pests and diseases
Spider mites feed on your plant’s sap, causing discolored leaves, and eventually, the leaves fall off. To spot them, check for tiny webs and little moving dots — that’s mites having a feast on your plant!
To tackle spider mites, mix equal parts water and lemon juice in a spray bottle, and give your Alocasia a good misting, making sure you get both sides of the leaves and stems. Use a damp cloth to gently wipe down the leaves, removing the mites and their webs. In extreme cases, you might have to resort to a miticide (just follow the product directions).
To prevent future spider mite invasions, regularly inspect your Alocasia Regal Shield and give it a good wipe down with the water and lemon juice mix. Keeping your plant’s environment clean and well ventilated will also keep mites at bay.
Root rot happens when the roots are stuck in wet soil for too long. The result? You guessed it, rotting roots, starving plants . . . and a sad, yellowing Alocasia. You might even catch a whiff of something foul from the soil and see black or brown slimy roots when you investigate further.
First, carefully take your Alocasia Regal Shield out of its pot, and with sterilized scissors, snip away any rotten roots. Next, repot your plant in fresh, well-draining soil (a mix with perlite, pumice, or LECA is perfect for drainage).
Now, the key to avoiding root rot in the future is all about proper watering and soil. Make sure your Alocasia Regal Shield is potted in well-draining soil and its container has enough drainage holes. And remember, don’t overwater! Wait for the top few inches of soil to dry out before giving it more water. Stick to these guidelines to avoid future root rot.
That’s it for our Alocasia Regal Shield care guide! By following these instructions diligently, you can invite the vibrant purplish hues of this hybrid gem into your houseplant collection.
Our Alocasia Regal Shield care summary:
- This tropical beauty thrives in bright, indirect light, so keep it near an east-facing window for optimal growth. Be sure to avoid direct sunlight because this can damage the leaves.
- Water your plant when the top inch or two of soil feels dry. Don’t forget the importance of well-draining soil and proper drainage in your pot.
- Keep the room temperature between 65-80°F and aim for humidity of 40%-60%. Consider using a humidifier or a pebble tray filled with water to ensure the right humidity levels.
- Fertilize your Alocasia Regal Shield with a balanced liquid fertilizer at half the recommended dose during the growing season.
- Propagate this gorgeous houseplant by corm division, giving you even more royal treasures to enjoy.
We hope this guide helps you in your quest to grow and care for your Alocasia Regal Shield. If you found it helpful, please share it with your fellow plant enthusiasts, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions that we didn’t cover in this article.
Take care, and happy growing!
How tall do Alocasia Regal Shields get?
In ideal conditions, these gorgeous plants can reach between 3 and 6 feet in height. However, your Alocasia’s growth and height will depend on proper light exposure, watering, and fertilizing.
Can Alocasia Regal Shield take full sun?
Not really, no. When it comes to sunlight, Alocasia Regal Shields can be a bit finicky. While they adore a good dose of brightness, they’re not big fans of direct, full sunlight. In fact, direct sun can scorch their fabulous, ornate leaves, leaving them with unsightly burns and damaged foliage.
Should you mist Alocasia Regal Shield?
It can be helpful to mist your Regal Shield, but not for the sake of raising humidity. We’ve tested it ourselves. Unless you’re willing to sit there next to the plant and be constantly misting, it doesn’t do much other than get your leaves wet.
Misting can, however, help deter spider mites, which thrive in drier conditions. Just be careful not to overdo it! Although Alocasia Regal Shield enjoys a shower, excessive moisture in the soil can lead to fungal issues and bacterial growth.