The alocasia Silver Dragon is one of those beautiful, tropical evergreens that magically draws your eye wherever you see it. As a hybrid variant of the alocasia baginda it looks very similar to the original but much more strikingly crystalline and silvery.
The Mystical Alocasia Silver Dragon
With its thick, heart-shaped, leathery leaves that have stunning contrasting black zones around primary veins with lower leaf surface silver, the alocasia Silver Dragon is quite the unique houseplant. In fact, there’s something ghostly about the Silver Dragon with a texture that resembles dragon scales.
Alocasia is a large group of perennial plants consisting of 79 species. All of these are flowering and belong to the tropical areas of Asia to the subtropical lands of Eastern Australia. Apart from these regions, the plant is widely cultivated around the world. The alocasia baginda Silver Dragon is actually a native species from Eastern Borneo that can be found in the calcium-rich limestone regions. If you're fond of tropical plants, then this houseplant is pretty much as tropical as it can get. It also means you have to grow your Silver Dragon in warm and humid conditions if you want it to thrive. Because of this, the Silver Dragon is often recommended as a terrarium plant.
Hybrids of the Alocasia Baginda
The Alocasia Silver Dragon is a hybrid that resulted as a variation of the Alocasia Baginda. It’s a smaller and more interesting variety than its parentage. Other variants of the alocasia baginda are the 'Green Dragon' and 'Dragon Scale', which are part of the almost 79 species this genus contains.
Established plants become beautiful specimens with leaves that can exceed 40 cm on petioles that are over 60 cm long. As plants mature they seem to seasonally produce an abundance of offshoots around the end of summer to early fall. There is also an Alocasia 'Pink Dragon' which deceivingly may seem like it’s part of the 'family of dragons', but that cultivar of Alocasia is not a baginda but a hybrid of other species.
Care Tips for Your Alocasia Silver Dragon
If you’re worried about caring for it, don’t. While it looks like a plant that would have special requirements, its care requirements are easy to fulfill once you understand them.
Alocasia Silver Dragon care requires full sun to partial shade. You can water it occasionally as the soil dries up. Just make sure that the soil remains damp and rich in nutrition. Frosty temperatures are a huge no-no for these plants. Full sun exposure would be too harsh on the silvery leaves, leaving them sun-burnt or discolored. If you’re keeping it as an indoor plant, a location close to a bright, east-facing window will offer the plant adequate light without it becoming too much.
These plants require only occasional watering. However, they are very sensitive about the quantity of water being given to them. If you over-water them, the soil will become waterlogged, the roots will suffocate, and the plant will die. If you under-water the plant, it will dehydrate to death.
Want to know how you can easily check if your plant gets enough water? Start by watering your Silver Dragon thoroughly. Then, use your finger to feel the texture of the soil before you water it again. If the top layer of soil has started to dry up, water it again. If it's still wet, just leave your plant be for a couple more days.
Good drainage is key to keeping Alocasia Silver Dragon happy. They will grow beautifully if the mix you choose is quick-draining. But the soil you grow Alocasia Silver Dragon in needs to be soft. Very gritty or rough mixtures are not recommended.
Temperature and Humidity
The thick-leafed Silver Dragon plants love warm temperatures. You can grow Alocasia Silver Dragon between 55°- 80°F (13°-27°C). However, these tropical evergreens become slow-growing under temperatures below 60°F (16°C). Just like other members of its genus, alocasia Silver Dragon care requires as much humidity as you can give it. They occur in the warmer coastal areas in the far southeast. 80% to 100% humidity levels is what they would love.
Health Benefits of the Alocasia Silver Dragon
Apart from being a beautiful addition to an indoor house-plant collection, these plants are useful for cleaning the air that you breathe. Just put them in an empty corner of the room, water them and take care of them, and they will return the favor with clean, pure, and fresh air to inhale.