Alocasia lauterbachiana care – The ultimate guide

Alocasia lauterbachiana is a beautiful houseplant that originated in Southeast Asia. It has dark green leaves interspersed with striking white veins. Alocasia lauterbachiana is easily identified by its unique leaves.

This plant flowers and fruits occasionally but is mainly kept for its attractive foliage. Find out how to care for this exotic in this care guide!

Alocasia lauterbachiana, along with other houseplants, against a white background.
(Image: © dropStock –


Alocasia lauterbachiana is native to Southeast Asia. It is found in Papua (Indonesia) and Papua New Guinea. It was initially classified as Schizocasia lauterbachiana by Adolf Engler. Engler named it after one of his close friends – the German botanist Carl Adolf Georg Lauterbach. In the 1970s, Alistair Hay assigned it to the Alocasia genus.

Alocasia lauterbachiana is also known as Alocasia “Purple Sword” because of its purple leaf veins and the vibrant underside of the leaves. As an Alocasia, Alocasia lauterbachiana belongs to the arum family.

Appearance and Characteristics

This Alocasia has large, deeply veined, arrow-shaped leaves that can grow up to 24 inches long and 14 inches wide. The leaf margins are entire or slightly wavy.

While the top of the leaf is adorned with rich green, the underside of the leaf is pink to purple. That color depends on the age of the plant. The petiole is 8-20 inches long and purple at the base. In addition, it has many purple spots.

Due to its bushy growth, the Alocasia reaches a height of just 35 inches. In return, however, it grows up to 60 inches wide. You should take this into account when choosing a location.

The flower

The flowers of Alocasia lauterbachiana that form on the inflorescence consists of a spatha (bracts) and a spadix. The spadix and bracts can also take on a purple and green hue.

The fruit

The fruits of Alocasia lauterbachiana are berries that ripen in the fall and contain many tiny seeds. Fresh seeds can be used for propagation.

The optimal location for Alocasia lauterbachiana

Before I go into the exact location conditions, here are a few general things you should consider when choosing a location. Try to keep a distance from radiators when they are in use. They produce dry air, which can cause cosmetic damage to the houseplant.

Also, try not to leave your Alocasia in drafts. Depending on the time of year and temperature difference, your Lauterbachiana may go into hibernation or drop leaves.

Light conditions

In its natural habitat, Alocasia lauterbachiana grows on the forest floor. There it is shaded by the trees above it. Alocasia lauterbachiana needs a bright location indoors, but not in direct sunlight (bright indirect light). A place by an east or west window is best here.

Alocasia lauterbachiana can tolerate some shade, which will slow its growth. If placed too dark, it can become spindly – that is, it can develop long and thin shoots that reach out for the light. 


I recommend a room humidity of at least 50%. Alocasia lauterbachiana originates from a tropical environment and feels most comfortable in high humidity. Therefore, I recommend a humidity of 70 to 90%. Since the risk of mold is very high at such high humidity, I advise using a greenhouse or Greenhouse Cabinet.

Suppose the air in your home is arid. In that case, you can increase the humidity around your Alocasia lauterbachiana by grouping it with other plants or placing it on a tray of wet expanded clay. Find more tips and tricks on how to increase humidity here.


Alocasia thrives best at temperatures between 79 °F and 84 °F. But don’t worry. Even at room temperatures between 64 °F and 75 °F, growth does not slow. The leaves will turn yellow if it gets too cold for Alocasia lauterbachiana, especially on the edges. In this case, move the plant to a warmer place.


Starting in October, Alocasia should be watered less, and the location should be as bright as possible. If you want to get your Alocasia through the winter without problems, there are some things you should keep in mind:

  • Alocasia lauterbachiana is not frost-hardy and, therefore, cannot be outdoors in winter. So if you have offered it an outdoor location in the summer, it’s time to bring it indoors from temperatures of 59 °F.
  • Even though the houseplant does not like drought, you must reduce watering. Allow the top layer of soil to dry before each watering.
  • Reduce fertilizing. You can stretch the usual dose up to 6 weeks. If your Alocasia is in winter dormancy, you can stop fertilizing altogether.
  • Alocasia lauterbachiana can go into dormancy during the winter. That means growth almost reaches a standstill due to a decelerated metabolism. At the same time, Alocasia lauterbachiana may shed all leaves. You can prevent this by giving your Lauterbachiana adequate light and summer temperatures. It’s not the world’s end if your plant goes into hibernation. Next spring, it will sprout again through its rhizome.

Watering Alocasia lauterbachiana

Proper watering of your Alocasia lauterbachiana is vital to its vigor. You should generally water your plant whenever the top inch of soil feels dry. Be careful not to over-water, as this can lead to root rot.

During the winter months, you can reduce watering to once every two to four weeks. Use room-warm water for watering and pour it directly onto the soil. Let the water drain well, and pour off excess water from the saucer.

Fertilizing Alocasia lauterbachiana

Fertilizing your Alocasia lauterbachiana is essential to keep it healthy and avoid nutrient deficiencies. The best time to fertilize is in the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Depending on your chosen location, your Alocasia will continue to grow in winter. In that case, I recommend fertilizing in the winter as well.

You can use either a No products found. or granular fertilizer*, but be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully. Even though Lauterbachiana is a heavy grower, over-fertilizing can damage the roots and leaves of the plant.

When applying granular fertilizer, ensure it is evenly distributed at the base of the plant. Liquid fertilizer is added to the irrigation water.

The perfect substrate for Alocasia lauterbachiana

Alocasia is not very picky when it comes to the substrate. Although good potting soil with a bit of perlite or sand will suffice in many cases, I recommend you offer the plant something better. The fine texture of potting soil causes the substrate to retain a lot of water and wrap tightly around the roots.

Use an aroid mix instead. It is loose and, at the same time, structurally stable. That allows sufficient air to reach the roots. At the same time, this mix has adequate drainage. That is how you prevent root rot. The high proportion of organic ingredients provides sufficient nutrients. A pH value between 5.5 and 6.0 is optimal.

Besides organic substrates, I have also had outstanding experiences with mineral substrates.

Repotting Alocasia lauterbachiana

It is easy to repot a Lauterbachiana. Depending on the plant’s age and the pot’s size, you should repot it every one to three years. Since this is a fast-growing plant, it will quickly become too large for its pot.

The best time to repot is spring to early summer. I recommend using fresh substrate when repotting. Choose a pot that is about 3 inches more in diameter.

You can tell if your plant is ready for repotting by the following:

  • Roots grow out of the drainage holes
  • Roots are forming a circle around the pot
  • The plant pushes itself out of its pot

Pruning Alocasia lauterbachiana

Pruning Alocasia lauterbachiana is unnecessary and will not improve the health or growth performance of the plant. If you want to control the size of the plant, you can remove individual leaves. That will not harm the plant or help it keep its shape.

Use a sharp, clean blade to avoid damaging the plant.

Propagating Alocasia lauterbachiana

There are several ways you can propagate your Lauterbachiana. The easiest way is to propagate by cuttings or rhizomes. Besides that, you also can divide your plant.

Seeds can also be used for propagation. However, I advise against this method because it takes quite a long time, and the success is moderate. Moreover, it can be challenging to get fresh seeds.

Propagation by offshoots

The Alocasia forms small rhizomes in the root from a certain age. You can remove these tubers when repotting and make them germinate. Use a sharp knife to remove the tubers from the mother plant carefully. Place it in a pot with moist soil, perlite, or sphagnum moss and wait for it to sprout. Alocasias do not grow quickly. Therefore, it may take weeks or even months for you to sprout new leaves.

You will partly spare this germination step if the offshoot has already sprouted in the pot of the mother plant.

Propagation by division

One of the most common ways to propagate an Alocasia lauterbachiana is by division. That can be done in early spring or late summer when the plant is actively growing. Carefully take the plant out of its pot, careful not to damage the roots.

Then, divide the root ball into 2-3 smaller pieces using a sharp knife or pruning shears. Plant each section in a pot filled with moist potting soil and water well. Try to keep the substrate moist. After a few weeks, you should be able to identify young shoots by their dormant eyes.

Propagation by seed

The last method is to propagate Alocasia lauterbachiana by seeds. Seeds are usually sown in a well-draining potting soil and kept moist until they germinate. Try to maintain a temperature of about 77 °F and place the seeds in a bright location. Once the seedlings are a few centimeters tall, you can plant them in individual pots.

Diseases, pests, and care mistakes

Alocasia lauterbachiana is a hardy plant that is not very susceptible to diseases and pests. However, mealybugs and spider mites may occasionally appear. Learn how to deal with diseases and pests in this section.


Lauterbachiana is not susceptible to common diseases.


Alocasia lauterbachiana is susceptible to infestation by several pests, including aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, and whiteflies. These pests can cause damage to the leaves, stems, and roots. In severe cases, an infestation can cause the plant to die.

To prevent an infestation, it is essential to check your Alocasia lauterbachiana regularly for signs of pests. If pests are found, they should be removed immediately and treated with an appropriate insecticide.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your Alocasia lauterbachiana remains healthy and pest-free.


Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that can cause damage to your plants. These pesky critters suck the sap from leaves and stems, causing the leaves to yellow and wilt. They can also spread disease from plant to plant.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to control aphids. One way is to direct a sharp stream of water at the affected plants. That will drive the aphids away and keep them from returning.

You can also try spraying the plants with a mixture of water and dish soap, which will smother the aphids. If you have a heavy infestation, you may need to bring in natural predators like ladybugs or lacewings.

Alternatively, No products found. are also suitable. You can eliminate aphids and keep your plants healthy and happy with a little effort.


Mealybugs are tiny, wingless pests that feed on plant juices. They are often found in small groups on leaves and stems, and they can quickly weaken and kill a plant if left unchecked.

Mealybugs also produce a sweet, sticky substance called honeydew that can attract other pests and promote the growth of sooty mold.

Fortunately, there are several ways to control mealybugs. One effective method is to use predators such as ladybugs or lacewings. These beneficial insects feed on mealybugs, helping to keep their population in check. If the infestation is persistent, an No products found. may be necessary.

Scale insects

Scale insects are tiny pests that can cause significant problems for your plants. They suck the sap from leaves and stems, causing damage and stress to the plant. They are pretty inconspicuous. As a result, infestations are often discovered late.

Scale insects can also transmit diseases, so getting rid of them as soon as possible is essential. There are several ways to control scale insects. You can use a contact insecticide that kills the pests on contact.

You can also use a No products found. that the plant ingests and then kills the pests as they feed. If the infestation is severe, you may need to use both insecticides.

Care Mistakes

Often, care mistakes are the cause when your Alocasia exhibits problems. Here are the most common care mistakes and how to fix them.

Yellow leaves

When the leaves start to turn yellow, it can be a sign that the plant is not getting enough light. If the leaves turn yellow and fall off, it could be a sign of overwatering. I recommend you check the root ball for root rot in this case.

Brown leaf tips

If the leaf tips turn brown, it is usually due to low humidity. This cosmetic damage is permanent and cannot be undone. Increase humidity to prevent damage to other leaves.


I hope you enjoyed the article and that caring for an Alocasia lauterbachiana is a little more accessible now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below. We’ll be happy to help you out!

I’ll answer your questions!

Is the Alocasia lauterbachiana poisonous?

Alocasia lauterbachiana is toxic to humans and pets. It can irritate if swallowed. Therefore, keeping it out of reach of children and animals is vital. The juice of Alocasia lauterbachiana contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause burning and swelling in the mouth and throat. If you suspect your child or pet has swallowed Alocasia lauterbachiana, seek medical attention immediately.

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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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