Alocasia Black Velvet care – Care of Alocasia reginula

There are over 70 species but only one Alocasia reginula “Black Velvet”! It is one of the few plants with almost black leaves. Until recently, it was considered a rarity, but today you can find baby plants for just a few dollars at big box stores.  

This article will teach you how to care for your Alocasia “Black Velvet”.

Alocasia Black Velvet in portrait, potted in soil in a white pot.
(Image: © Maritxu22 –

Origin of the Alocasia reginula

The Alocasia “Black Velvet” (lat. Alocasia reginula) is also known as Jewel Alocasia. It belongs to the family of arum plants (Araceae)

It has been cultivated for a long time. But its natural habitat was controversial for a long time. Only recently, a few specimens have been discovered in the north of Borneo, Indonesia.

There it grows as a lowland plant.

Aussehen und Erkennungsmerkmale

The Black Velvet captivates with its dark green, almost black leaves. Silver veins give a clear contrast. Her heart-shaped leaves have a light, practically silvery underside.

They give the impression that they are covered with velvet. However, they feel pretty rough.

Compared to other alocasias, the Juwel Alocasia remains relatively small. It grows between 12 inches and 24 inches high. It reaches a maximum width of 20 inches.

The flower

The Alocasia reginula is mainly cultivated for its leaves. Its rather inconspicuous flower is formed only very rarely in the home.

The bud initially pushes out from the base of the plant on a single shoot. When it opens, a white-to-yellowish cob appears. A light green bract encloses the cob.

The bracts are pointed at the top. Its edges are slightly wavy. Overall, the shape of the flower is reminiscent of an 8.

Since the alocasia puts a lot of energy from the leaves into the flower, many remove them early.

You can find a picture of the flower here on Reddit.

The fruit

Suppose the flower was successfully pollinated, a yellow-orange berry forms from the cob. This berry contains the seeds of the Black Velvet.

Like all parts of the plant, the fruit contains calcium oxalate crystals and should not be consumed.

The optimal location of the Black Velvet

The Alocasia Black Velvet prefers a lightly to partially shaded location. The leaves react quickly to direct sunlight with sunburn. This quickly disfigures them.

The optimal temperatures are between 72 °F and 81 °F.

Some growers believe it thrives even better at temperatures above 81 °F and has a formal growth spurt.

The humidity must be at least 40% to avoid brown leaf tips. Values between 50% and 70% are better. To increase the humidity, I advise using a humidifier. Pay special attention to mold growth in your home when humidity is high!

As soon as the outside temperatures are stable in the double digits, you can put your alocasia outside in the garden or on the terrace. Choose a sheltered location for this. To accustom the leaves to sunlight, it should be shaded at first.

After that, it can be placed brighter from day to day. However, it does not do well in direct sunlight.

Generally speaking, location changes affect the alocasia more than some other plants. That is also one of the reasons why it often makes a limp impression after purchase.

Overwintering the Juwel Alocasia

There is little to consider when overwintering the Reginula. You can keep the location in most cases. The temperature is lowered a little. Over the winter it is, in the best case, between 63 °F and 72 °F.

Due to the heaters, the air in the room is often quite dry in winter. That can lead to brown leaf tips and leaf edges. Therefore, you should ensure that the humidity does not fall below 40%.

During overwintering, the houseplant needs less water and nutrients. So watering is reduced, and fertilizing is stopped completely.

With the above measures, it is unlikely that your alocasia will go into hibernation. In some cases, however, it does occur. During hibernation, the plant retreats into the rhizome. In the process, it sheds all of its leaves.

In spring, however, it sprouts again through the rhizome. During hibernation, it needs much less moisture.

Therefore, watering should be done only when the substrate has dried.

Watering Alocasia reginula

Alocasia reginula does not need much water. However, if it is watered, it prefers to be watered thoroughly. That means watering until water collects in the saucer. This way, the water has reached the entire substrate.
After a few minutes, the water is poured away from the saucer. Since the roots are sensitive to wetness, this step is essential.

Between watering, you should give the substrate time to dry out. However, you must ensure the root ball does not dry out.


Alocasias generally do not need a lot of nutrients. Therefore, they do not need much fertilizing. After repotting, nutrients will be sufficient for six months to a year.

After that, I recommend supporting the growth in the growth phase from spring to fall with No products found.. Here, half or even a quarter of the dose is sufficient.

This is given to the plants every four to six weeks via the water. If crystals form on the soil after some time, I advise you to rinse the soil well.

Water the plant thoroughly a few times in a row and then let it drain well. The crystals should now be gone.


As a plant growing on the forest floor, the roots do best in a substrate with similar properties. Therefore, I advise a loose and airy substrate with good drainage.

A loose substrate with good drainage is best. So the roots have enough air and water does not stand too long. That prevents root rot.

Online, there are already ready-made mixtures for alocasia. If you want to mix your own substrate, here is a little recipe for you:

Alternatively, you can mix one part green plant soil with one part No products found..

I keep my Black Velvet in a self-mixed substrate for arum plants. Since the substrate change, it has been thriving much better for me!


About every two years, it is time to repot your Black Velvet. That is best done in spring from February on.

Since alocasia grows better in relatively little pots, I advise not to choose a pot that is too large, even if the houseplant will have to be repotted sooner.

When repotting itself, there is not much to consider. Just be more mindful when handling delicate roots.

Repotting is always a good time to renew the substrate and gain offshoots.


Alocasia “Black Velvet” does not need ornamental pruning. Therefore, pruning is limited to removing dead and diseased leaves. These can be easily removed with a sharp blade.

Afterward, I recommend washing the blade and your hands well. All parts of the alocasia contain calcium oxalate crystals. These irritate the skin and mucous membranes.

Propagate Alocasia Black Velvet

Like many alocasias, Alocasia Reginula is relatively easy to propagate. For this, you have three possibilities: propagation by cuttings, division, and seeds.

The easiest way is propagation by cuttings. But in the following, I will explain all three methods.

Propagation by offshoots

Propagation by offshoots often happens all by itself. During growth, offshoots are formed around the rhizome.

These can then be easily removed from the mother plant. That involves cutting the roots towards the mother plant. Users for this best a sharp and clean blade.

I also advise you to use gloves. The sap of the alocasia contains calcium oxalate crystals.

After the cuttings are separated from the mother plant, they are placed in pots with the same substrate as the mother plant. The care of offshoots and mother plants is similar.

Propagation by division

By dividing the rhizomes, you can also propagate Alocasia Black Velvet between spring and early summer. Each part must have growth or a growth node for the division to succeed.

This condition automatically limits how many parts you can divide the rhizome into. Often it can be divided into two to three parts.

After dividing, the rhizomes are placed in the same substrate used for the mother plant. Then they are put in a warm place with indirect sunlight.

They must be kept evenly moist. Slightly increased humidity will increase the chances of success.

Once growth is evident, you can water them as usual.

Propagation by seed

When propagating by seed, the freshness of the seeds is the deciding factor. Especially if they have long transport routes, they are often already too old. That significantly reduces the chances of success.

To prepare the germination optimally, you can put the seeds in hot water for one day. That allows them to soak up the water. However, they should only be in the water for up to 24 hours.

Then they are spread on potting soil and lightly covered with it. Next, the soil is moistened. It would be best if you did that regularly so the soil only dries out partially.

A soil temperature of 64 °F to 75 °F should be reached and maintained to ensure optimal germination conditions.

After up to 90 days, the seeds germinate (the first seeds germinate already after one to two weeks). As soon as seedlings are visible, the container is placed in a bright place with indirect sunlight.

Once the seedlings are between 2 and 4 inches tall, they are planted in their pots. From their care, they are now no different from a full-grown specimen.

Diseases, pests, and care mistakes


Black Velvet is rarely affected by diseases.


Most of the common pests do not have much interest in the alocasia. Only scale insects and spider mites infest it. Often during the winter months. Increased humidity can prevent infestation.

Scale insects are especially prevalent under the leaves and on the petioles. They are visible as small brown spots.

A light infestation can be remedied by hand. Wipe off the scale insects with a cloth soaked in alcohol.

If the infestation is more significant, I advise using No products found..

On the other hand, Spider mites are easily recognized by their web-like formations under the leaves and in the leaf axils. Often it is sufficient to spray the alocasia at regular intervals.

If this is not the case, you can use predatory mites* or No products found.

Care Mistakes

Often mistakes in the care are the cause if your Black Velvet is making an sickly impression. I have summarized the most common care mistakes and their solutions here! 

Brown leaf edges

If the leaf edges become brown, this is due to insufficient humidity. The humidity should be at least 40%. The easiest way to regulate it is with a humidifier.

Brown leaf tips

Brown leaf tips can have several causes. One is that the alocasia may be over-fertilized. Another reason is the lack of water. Lastly, the humidity may need to be higher.

Brown spots

Brown spots on the leaves are, in most cases, sunburn caused by direct sun. Other causes can be pests and diseases.

Yellow spots

In addition to brown spots, yellow spots may appear. Their cause can be irregular watering or too much water. In addition, it can also be a sign of root rot.

Light colored leaves

Especially young leaves are lighter in color. That is not a cause for concern; they darken with time. If older leaves become pale, it may be due to too much sun or too few nutrients.

Drooping leaves

Drooping leaves are a typical stress reaction that occurs after a change of location. The wrong location can also cause drooping foliage. Another reason is insufficient water reserves. You can solve this simply by watering regularly.

Leaf loss

In some cases, the alocasia also sheds its leaves after a change of location. It can also be an advanced water deficiency.

The alocasia may also have hibernated if the leaves are shed in winter. It will then sprout again in the spring through its rhizome.

Let me answer your questions!

Why does the Alocasia Black Velvet lose its leaves?

Leaf loss in Alocasia Black Velvet has three causes. One is the stress response after a change of location. Another cause is too little water.
If the leaves are shed in winter, it is a sign that the alocasia is hibernating. It then retreats into its rhizome over the cold season. In spring, it sprouts again from this.

Is the Alocasia Black Velvet poisonous?

Yes, all parts of the Alocasia Black Velvet are poisonous. They contain calcium oxalate crystals which irritate the skin and mucous membranes. If consumed, they can damage organs such as the kidney.

Nicht verpassen!


Letzte Aktualisierung am 2023-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API

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About the author
Richard Schmidt
Hey, my name is Richard! In my spare time, I write about the care of indoor plants on this website. Indoor plants have long fascinated me. That's why there are many plants in my little urban jungle - from the mainstream Syngonium to true rarities. Besides my passion for houseplants, I'm a real sneakerhead.

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