The once rare Alocasia Dragon Scale plant is becoming more and more common in plant shops across the world and has quickly become one of our favourite houseplants! As the demand for this plant has increased, getting a hold of them can still be a challenge so the best way to make more is to propagate the Alocasias you already have.
Propagating your Alocasia Dragon Scale isn’t tricky as they can be divided through their rhizomes. Don’t worry if you have never done this kind of propagation before, this post will guide you through each and every step. We even have the answers to the most commonly asked questions as well as some fixes to common issues you may discover along the way to help your Alocasia Dragon Scale propagation be a success.
Why propagate your Alocasia Dragon Scale?
There are several reasons why you might choose to propagate your Alocasia Dragon Scale. The main one is simply wanting to multiply the number of plants you have without actually having to buy any more. Who can say no to free plants?! Plant cuttings also make great gifts for friends, especially when it might be hard for them to get their hands on their own Alocasia Dragon Scale. You can also make a little bit of spare cash selling these back to plant shops and nurseries if they are looking to grow their Alocasia offering.
Another reason why many plant parents choose to propagate because they’ve noticed part of the plant is showing signs of illness or unhappiness. We are always strong believers in trying to revive your plants rather than giving up at the first brown leaf. But if your revival efforts have been in vain and your Alocasia Dragon Scale is continuing to die, propagating the healthy parts of the plant is the best way to go. Just make sure that you are propagating healthy sections as any illnesses will transfer onto the new plant.
What tools will I need to propagate my Alocasia Dragon Scale?
We always like to start off our propagation guides with the easy part; the tools and things you’ll need. It’s important to make sure you have everything on hand before making the first cut!
Healthy and mature Alocasia Dragon Scale
Fresh soil and water
Newspaper or plastic sheet
What are the different methods I can use to propagate my Alocasia Dragon Scale?
One of the reasons propagating Alocasia Dragon Scale plants is so easy is because there is only one real method of propagation. Often plant parents won’t know what the best method is and can sometimes choose the wrong one for their plant. However, the only proper way you can propagate your Alocasia Dragon Scale is through the division of the mother plant and its rhizomes. Below you’ll find a step by step guide to this method to ensure success.
How to propagate Alocasia Dragon Scale plants through division
Locate the various offshoots
When looking for a part of the plant to divide you’ll need to take your Alocasia Dragon Scale out of its pot to see the rhizomes. These are natural divisions within the plant’s root systems where the stems grow from. Be careful when lifting your plant out of its pot as you don’t want to cause any damage to the stems or leaves.
Separate the sections
Now that you have determined the natural sections of your Alocasia Dragon Scale, you can choose how many new plants you want/can create from the mother plant. Run your fingers through the soil to remove some of it from the root system. You may have to trim roots or slice the plants apart if they aren’t detangling easily.
Place in water or fresh potting mix
Pot the main mother plant back into its original pot (or downsize if you have taken a substantial amount of the overall plant away) and decide whether you want to place the offshoot in water first or straight into potting mix. This depends on the size of the cutting and the maturity of the root system.
If the offshoot has quite mature roots then it will be totally fine growing in potting mix already. However, if you feel the roots need to grow a little more then we recommend placing your new Alocasia Dragon Scale into water as a middle step.
Continue normal care
If your cutting is now in fresh potting mix then you can care for it as you would your other Alocasia Dragon Scale. If it is in water first you want to refresh that water every couple of days and repot into potting mix once the roots have matured a little.
Alocasia Dragon Scale Propagation FAQs
Here’s a few of the most common questions we find people have when looking to propagate their Alocasia Dragon Scale.
You want to propagate your Alocasia Dragon Scale at the beginning of spring for the best chance at a successful propagation. Make sure that any wintery cold weather is behind you so that your new plants are growing in warmer brighter months.
Propagating in autumn or winter will mean that your cuttings will be trying to grow in the dormant period and you won’t see much happening as the growth rate will be very slow. This increases the risk of root or leaf rot which can kill your cutting as less mature Alocasia Dragon Scale plants are more sensitive to less ideal conditions. Spring gives quite a few months of sunshine and a warm environment which encourages new roots and leaves to grow on your Alocasia. It will also allow the mother plant to recover quicker from the shock of propagation and produce new healthy growth.
Whilst it is not essential for every propagation, you may choose to use rooting gels or powders to increase the success of propagation. Rooting hormone products stimulate root growth on new cuttings, not only speeding up the process but also producing stronger roots which is great for Alocasia plants.
Rooting hormone comes in 3 types: powder, liquid or gel. When using a powder rooting hormone you dip the cutting into water and then into the powder before planting directly into fresh potting mix. The moisture helps the powder to stick to the cutting. Gel and liquid forms work in a similar way but are great when propagating in water first so it depends a little on how you are growing your new plant.
Grow lights are a great alternative to use when your new Alocasia cuttings aren’t getting enough natural sunlight. This can help to avoid problems such as slow growth (which increases the chances of rot) as well as creating a stronger root system and larger new leaves.
They are also really beneficial for all houseplants (whether they are cuttings, seeds or mature plants) over winter or in darker homes so are a great investment for every plant parent.
It’s important to clean your tools before and after contact with a plant to stop any cross-contamination between your plants. Scissors and shears can transfer pests and diseases across plants that you might not even realise are there.
There are a few rules to keep in mind when choosing the right potting mix for propagation and they apply to all houseplants, including the Alocasia Dragon Scale. Firstly, you want to always use new potting mix rather than using old mix from other plants. This is because potting mix can contain bacteria or pests that you don’t even know are there. So making sure that you’re using new potting mix can avoid cross-contamination between your plants. New cuttings and plants are especially sensitive to infections or pest infestations so you need to be extra careful here.
The other thing you need to do is choose a high-quality mix. Your new Alocasia Dragon Scale plant will need the right balance of nutrients to help with root growth so make sure you use a good mix.
Unfortunately, you aren’t able to propagate Alocasia Dragon Scales from a single leaf cutting as they need to be attached to a rhizome to actually grow into a proper plant. This is why stem cuttings won’t even work so it’s best to stick to division as the method of propagation for Alocasia Dragon Scales.
Usually, when we talk about fertiliser and propagation we tell you to stay away from it for about a year.
However, as you are dividing your Alocasia Dragon Scale and the new plant(s) should already have an established root system you should be able to fertilise about a month or two after you’ve transferred it to new potting mix. This should give your plant enough time to recover from the shock of propagation.
Common problems when propagating Alocasia Dragon Scale plants
Propagating plants, including Alocasia Dragon Scales, won’t always go smoothly and sometimes you will encounter a few issues along the way. We recommend keeping an eye on your new plant every day for a while to give you the best chance at spotting any issues early on. Below we have covered all of the most common issues you may face when propagating Alocasia Dragon Scales.
Propagating Alocasia Dragon Scales is a fairly quick method of propagation as you are simply dividing the mother plant. But don’t expect your new plant to grow new leaves straight away. It will take a few weeks for it to recover from the shock of propagation and it’ll need to get used to its new pot. It’s a little bit like humans when we move into a new place, it takes a while to adjust and fully feel at home. Give your plant some time and with the right care and environment, you should start to see some new leaves forming soon.
If you still don’t see any new growth after a month or two then check the root system to see if there are any issues with watering.
If your cutting is starting to grow new leaves but they are much smaller than the leaves on the mother plant don’t worry at all. This is completely natural and simply due to the root system being less mature than that of the larger plant. Give it time and slowly the new leaves will start to get bigger and you can trim away the smaller leaves to encourage new healthy growth.
If the leaves on your cutting are turning yellow then it may be due to too much direct sunlight which has burnt or scorched the leaves. Root rot could be another cause so inspect the roots closely. If you have recently moved your new Alocasia Dragon Scale plant from water to potting mix take it out of the pot and see if you can spot a problem with the roots.
It’s totally normal for a weird layer to form around your Alocasia Dragon Scale’s roots and its roots in water. This is totally normal and nothing to worry about. We recommend giving your cutting a quick rinse each time you change out the water to remove this layer.
We hope you have found this complete guide to Alocasia Dragon Scale propagation useful. Propagating by division is often the easiest and most successful method so you should have new mature Alocasia Dragon Scales in no time!
Check out our full Alocasia Dragon Scale care guide to find all the information on how to continue to care for your new plants.
Written by Joanna Turner