Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.
Alocasia baginda ‘Silver Dragon’ is a highly coveted Alocasia which is prized for its gorgeous foliage. The plant gets its name from dragon-like scale patterns on the leaves. The silver and green foliage, along with the dark green veins, is truly gorgeous! Keep reading to learn some very important, practical tips to care for Silver Dragon.
NATIVE HABITAT AND GROWTH HABIT
Alocasia baginda ‘Silver Dragon’ is a cultivar of the species, Alocasia banginda.
Alocasia baginda is native to Borneo, growing in an equitorial lowland humid forest. I love knowing where plants come from because it gives us clues into the growing conditions that they need to thrive.
If this isn’t gorgeous, what is?
The newer leaves will start off a lighter green, and then mature into the characteristic silver and green foliage that is typical of Silver Dragon.
Alocasia ‘Silver Dragon’ is one of the “Jewel Alocasias”. This just means that it is a smaller growing Alocasia (some species can get quite large!).
Indoors, this plant will typically get up to about 1 foot tall or so.
ALOCASIA SILVER DRAGON CARE
Inside the home, aim to place your plant (at a bare minimum) right in front of a north facing window. This window will not get any direct sun (and if you are in the southern hemisphere, the equivalent would be a southern facing window).
A better location would be in front of an eastern facing window, which receives gentler morning sun. A western facing window will also do. Wherever you locate your plant, just avoid harsh mid-day sun.
Contrary to popular belief, Alocasias can take direct sun indoors. This is because the intensity of light indoors is much weaker than it is outdoors. All plants can benefit from at least a little direct sun indoors.
In the wintertime, especially if you live in an area with short, dark days, you can safely give your plant a few hours of direct sun indoors.
Water your Alocasia Silver Dragon when the top inch or so of the potting mix feels completely dry. Don’t let your potting mix go completely dry, or the plant will start to go dormant.
If you have allowed this to happen, the plant will come back once you start watering regularly again. This is a natural behavior for Alocasias which typically have a wet and dry season in nature.
I’ve been using Dyna-Gro Grow (link to Amazon) on all my Alocasias for years now. It is an absolutely wonderful fertilizer and I simply use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water just about every time I water.
I love Dyna-Gro Grow because it contains all the macro and micro nutrients that plants need for good growth. It is also urea-free so there is little risk of fertilizer burn.
If you find that your Silver Dragon has stopped growing in the winter, stop fertilizing and resume when the plant is starting to grow again in late winter or early spring.
The temperature range where this plant grows in nature ranges from about 73°F (23°C) to 90°F (32°C). Temperatures will rarely go below 68°F (20°C).
This means that this plant is definitely a warm grower, so aim to keep it at least at 68°F or warmer. Avoid cold drafts at all costs! This plant likes to grow in pretty evenly warm conditions.
Keep away from cool or hot air coming from vents, and away from any cold drafts from doors opening and closing.
Humidity in its native environment, in the lowland forests where it grows, typically ranges from 80-90% relative humidity.
This means that you should increase the humidity for your plant if you can. This is easily accomplished in a greenhouse setting, but indoors, you’ll want to use a good humidifier.
It may not be desirable to increase the humidity up to 80-90% in your home, but I would recommend aiming for 60% or so if you can.
6. POTTING MIX
Many people use the standard potting mix of equal parts all-purpose potting mix, perlite, and orchid bark. This can certainly work well.
Note that mixes that are this “chunky” will dry out pretty quickly, so be aware that you’ll need to water more frequently than plants grown in a plain all-purpose mix.
When I repot my Alocasias now, I’ve been transferring them to specialized potting mix blends from Oh Happy Plants.
Their Pray For Us blend is specially designed for plants that hate to dry out completely, but that also don’t want to drown, which is what Alocasias like.
You can use code OHIOTROPICS for 10% off your order.
The Oh Happy Plants potting mixes are amazing, use sustainable ingredients, and actually have nutrients in them for healthy plant growth. Check out the Pray For Us blend for your Alocasia Silver Dragon. Your plant will be happier for it!
The only practical way to propagate Alocasia ‘Silver Dragon’ is by division. Like any Alocasia plant, Silver Dragon propagates itself by growing new corms.
You’ll see new, baby plants start to pop up from the plant’s base.
If you want to take the plant out of its pot to separate the baby plants, don’t separate them when they’re very small. Wait until they’re about it’s at least half the size of the mother plant.
If you separate the small plants when they’re too small, it may stunt their growth.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is Alocasia Silver Dragon toxic?
Yes, like many aroids, this plant is toxic and should be kept away from small children and pets.
Where can you purchase Alocasia melo?
Proven Winners produces this plant. Although you can’t purchase directly from them, you can find a local retailer near you on the Proven Winners website.
Why is my Silver Dragon turning yellow?
The most common reason is that your potting mix probably went to dry. Go ahead and feel your potting mix to confirm, and give your plant a good watering. Your Silver Dragon should bounce back with proper watering.
Yellow leaves can be caused by a variety of things, however, including soil that went too dry, soil that stayed too wet, and other reasons.
Why is Alocasia Silver Dragon so expensive?
It’s all due to supply and demand. It is becoming more commonly available so prices have been coming down.
Alocasia Dragon Scale vs Silver Dragon?
Both ‘Dragon Scale’ and ‘Silver Dragon’ are cultivars of Alocasia baginda. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is that Silver Dragon has silver markings on the leaves, while Dragon Scale has mottled green foliage.
Check out my blog post on many other Alocasia varieties out there. There are so many gorgeous ones to add to your collection!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on Alocasia Silver Dragon. Do you have a Silver Dragon? Comment below. I’d love to hear!
Sunday 23rd of April 2023
I have a Silver Dragon. I live in Zone 9. For some reason, I rarely get more than 2 to 3 leaves. Then one will droop and eventually get soggy and fall. A new one will come, but how do I get more than 3 leaves? I don't have a lot of light. I use a lot of grow lights and artificial lights for all my plants. I even put her outside in the shade but still getting a lot of indirect light and being in South Louisiana. Humidity is our life. Lol. Would a miracle grow spike maybe help? Or should I water her with miracle grow concentrate water every week? I really want her to flourish, but I am clearly doing something wrong.
Monday 24th of April 2023
Hi Diane! I understand your frustration! These can be tricky to grow. Tell me about your watering? Do you let it dry out a lot by any chance?
Thursday 16th of March 2023
I just picked an Alocasia Silver Dragon that I might not be able to save. Many of the leaves towards the bottom are crisp and dead. The ends of the remaining (4) leaves are crisp on ends, but otherwise okay. It is a pretty small plant about 7” tall in a 6” pot, and was marked down to $5 at a big box store. I’ve always wanted one, so I thought “why not”! Do you think with this limited info it can survive?
Friday 17th of March 2023
Hi Rebecca. Yes absolutely! If it still has some leaves, you can continue to nurture it. Eventually, it will grow more leaves and they should look better under good care. Keep providing consistent care, have some patience, and I think you will be OK :-)