Alocasia Lauterbachiana is a ravishing houseplant with beautiful sword-shaped foliage that grows from sturdy stems. The plant originates from the tropical rainforests of South East Asia. 

It also goes by the names Elephant Ear and Purple Sword. The name Elephant Ear comes about because of its wavy edges. It derives the name Purple Sword from its purple-colored flowers.

Most gardeners find it a useful ornamental indoors— it needs a lot of care to continue growing.

Trouble starts brewing when the plant leaves droop. There could be several reasons for this, but luckily, you can control and prevent the problem. 

Why Is My Alocasia Drooping?

alocasia-lauterbachiana 

Several factors will cause your Alocasia leaves to droop. Let’s get down to each of these factors in more detail below. 

1. Overwatering

Too much water is a common reason for drooping leaves. Excess water leads to clogged pores in the soil, restricting air circulation.

Your ornamental plant staying wet for long also leads to root rot. Consequently, your plant will not be able to absorb water and nutrients, which causes the leaves to droop.

Excess watering also leads to the build-up of salts in the soil, which is toxic for the plant. You’ll also spot other symptoms, such as brown spots, watery blisters, and a rotting smell. 

2. Underwatering 

overwatering

Your Alocasia leaves will wilt and droop if they don’t get enough water. Typically, plants that don’t receive sufficient water struggle to grow, and neither can they sustain turgor pressure in their leaves. 

Turgor pressure is the pressure within the cells of a plant that helps it maintain its shape and rigidity. It’s dependent on the water content of the plant.

Other common signs of an underwatered Alocasia include:

  • Dry soil after a few days of watering
  • Brown and crispy leaf tips and edges 
  • Plant showing signs of being rootbound

Insufficient water also makes your plant stressed and predisposed to diseases. 

3. Poor Drainage

Poor drainage is another factor closely related to overwatering. It causes your soil not to dry properly, therefore, becoming waterlogged. This creates anaerobic conditions resulting in the roots being unable to take in oxygen.

The roots suffocate and fail to take in water and nutrients, ultimately leading to the drooping of your Alocasia Lauterbachania. 

4. Low Humidity 

Naturally, Alocasia grows in high-humidity areas— it can be quite an uphill task setting up a similar environment in the home. You want to ensure your house humidity never drops below 40% for the best results with Alocasia indoors.

Low humidity causes the leaves to lose moisture, thus wilting and drooping.

Transpiration, a process through which plants lose water through their leaves, increases in low-humidity environments. It results in rapid water loss— more than what the plant can absorb from the roots. 

Other common symptoms of low humidity in Alocasia include leaf curling and brown leaf tips and edges. 

5. Incorrect Fertilizer Use

fertilizing-alocasia

Alocasia is a heavy feeder that grows well when given the right amount of high-grade fertilizer. 

However, you could be overfeeding it or feeding it the wrong fertilizer. Symptoms resulting from incorrect fertilizer use lead to wilting, drooping, and burns.

6. Exposure To Cold Temperatures

Alocasia is native to tropical regions and needs similar temperatures to sustain its growth. Exposing the plant to cold temperatures makes its leaves wilt and droop. 

Cold temperatures cause the water content of Alocasia plant cells to decrease, consequently decreasing turgor pressure. Cold temperatures also make the plant susceptible to pests and diseases. 

7. Pest And Disease Infestation 

Alocasias are pest-prone and get infested with aphids, thrips, spider mites, and mealy bugs. These pests suck the sap out of the leaves and stems of your plants, causing them to droop. 

A common disease found in the plant is Rhizome Root Rot which can also cause dropping.

8. Dormancy 

Another common factor for Elephant Ears (Alcosia) drooping is the dormancy period. Dormancy usually happens after a period of active growth.

While it is part of a natural growth cycle, you can unknowingly trigger it in your Alocasia by predisposing your plant to factors that promote dormancy indoors.

The common culprits are low light and temperatures. Dormancy can cause partial or entire Alocasia foliage to sag. 

9. Transplanting Shock

repotting-alocasia

Alocasia leaves can droop during repotting. This happens as a result of transplanting shock.

As with any other plant, transplanting shock is expected due to root disturbance as the plants move from one pot to another. Alocasia leaves wilt, sag, and turn yellow.

Your plant is particularly susceptible during blooming. To prevent this, maintain similar conditions in the new environment and repot during dormancy.

Solutions

This section discusses several solutions to prevent the plant leaves from drooping. 

1. Ensure Proper Watering 

As stated above, Alocasia leaves droop because of overwatering or underwatering. It’s essential to provide the plant with the right amount of water.

Ideally, the best watering schedule is once per week. Some tips include: 

  • Check the topsoil with bare fingers and only water when two inches of the topsoil is dry. 
  • Check the drainage holes for any blockage and fix them. 
  • Mix potting soil with perlite to increase the air available to Alocasia roots. 

Overall, you should increase the watering frequency during hot summers and scale back during winters.

Additionally, water your Alocasia with regular water instead of cold water, as it may cause harm to the fragile root system of the plant. 

2. Optimal Humidity

Alocasia lauterbachiana thrives best in high humidity. You can maintain humidity in your house by:

  • Using a humidifier.
  • Grouping your Alocasia with other houseplants to increase moisture levels around the plant. 
  • Placing your plant on a tray filled with moist pebbles. 
  • Misting your plant regularly.

Increased humidity will prevent your plant from wilting or drooping. 

3. Avoid Exposing To Cold Temperatures

Alocasia is a tropical plant, and exposing it to cold temperatures will cause its leaves to droop. The ideal temperature to sustain its healthy growth is 18 to 23 degrees Celsius. 

If you’re growing the plant outdoors, protect it from winter and cold winds by moving it indoors. Alocasias are susceptible to windy conditions; thus, you want to keep them away from air vents and drafty doors. 

Avoid cold temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius, which promote stunted growth and dormancy. 

4. Potting and Repotting

Changing your Alocasia’s potting soil after a while is necessary, especially if other care measures aren’t helping the drooping leaves. 

Repot your plant with fresh and well-draining soil. We also advise dividing the plant’s roots yearly to encourage new growth.

Another factor to be mindful of during repotting is transplanting shock. 

Tips To Prevent Transplanting Shock

  • Stick to the same potting mix before repotting unless a change is necessary.
  • Water your Alocasia adequately before transplanting.
  • Avoid transplanting the plant just after blooming since it’s still weak at this stage. 
  • Avoid damaging the roots when repotting. 
  • Always remove the top growth if the roots get damaged to avoid stressing the plant.

5. Proper Fertilization 

Another tip to avoid drooping leaves is to feed your Alcosia plant with a balanced liquid fertilizer every season. You should make the application during spring and summer. 

Despite being a heavy feeder, overfeeding or feeding your Alcosia with the wrong fertilizer will cause its leaves to droop. 

6. Control Pests

When it comes to pest infestations, controlling them during the early stages serves your plant the best. Some helpful tips include: 

  • Regular scouting on the leaf undersides.
  • Pruning off the affected foliage.
  • Spraying with a mix of neem oil and water.
  • Regularly misting the foliage.

Conclusion

If you’ve been worried about growing Alocasias in your garden because of their drooping leaves, you can put those worries to rest. 

The key measures to tackle this problem include providing optimal humidity, maintaining the correct temperatures, and ensuring proper watering and sufficient drainage. 

With these measures, you can ensure your plant remains healthy and beautiful. 

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