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Alocasia Flowers: 5 Common Questions Answered (with photos)

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Have you been curious to learn more about Alocasia flowers, and what it means when you see them? Technically, they would be considered an Alocasia inflorescence, and I’ll explain later in this concise, informative post. Keep reading to learn all about Alocasia flowers and see the answers to the most common questions that people typically have concerning blooming Alocasias.

alocasia-flowers

ALL ABOUT THE ALOCASIA FLOWER

1. WHAT DOES AN ALOCASIA FLOWER LOOK LIKE?

Technically, it is actually an inflorescence that you see on your Alocasia. Like all plants in the aroid (Araceae) plant family, Alocasias have a distinct inflorescence and they will all look pretty similar to each other.

In the illustrated photo below, the central, narrow structure in the middle is called the spadix, and the wider, green structure behind it is the spathe, which is technically a modified leaf. Below these two is an enlarged growth called the floral chamber.

In Alocasias, the female flowers are tiny and are hidden in the floral chamber, while the male flowers are on the upper part of the spadix. So while the majority of people call the spadix+spathe structure a flower, it is technically called an inflorescence.

The color, size and shape of the inflorescence will all vary a bit depending on the species of Alocasia, but they will all look fairly similar.

alocasia-flowers

It is important to understand the floral structure if you want to experiment with pollinating Alocasia.

2. IS IT RARE FOR ALOCASIA TO FLOWER INDOORS?

Contrary to what you may have read in many posts online, it is NOT rare that they flower indoors.

The word rare has been used very loosely when it comes to plants, and it is simply not true that they rarely flower indoors.

Although many plants ARE shy bloomers indoors, Alocasia really isn’t one of them.

I have witnessed many Alocasia plants bloom indoors, as well have received many messages from my excited readers when they have sent me photos of their Alocasia inflorescences, asking what they are.

Alocasias will bloom when they are happy, and also when they are stressed (and you should know by looking at your plant if it is stressed or not!). If your plant is blooming, it is not necessarily an indication that your plant is in tip top shape.

alocasia-flowers
An unopened Alocasia inflorescence on my Alocasia nebula

3. WHAT TO DO WHEN ALOCASIA FLOWERS?

You can do one of two things:

  1. Leave it and enjoy it (although they’re really not that interesting and we grow Alocasias for their foliage and not the flowers.
  2. Cut off the entire inflorescence.

4. SHOULD I LET MY ALOCASIA FLOWER?

I would recommend always cutting off your Alocasia inflorescences as soon as you spot them.

The reason is that your plant will expend energy sustaining that growth, and most of us would rather redirect the plant’s energy into foliage growth instead. It’s really that simple.

5. WHERE TO CUT ALOCASIA FLOWER?

Like I’m showing you in the photo below, take a pair of sharp, sterilized pruners and cut as low as you can on the inflorescence stalk.

where-to-cut-alocasia-flowers

Take a look at all the ones I cut off below all from the same plant and in different stages of development.

alocasia-flowers-inflorescence-life-cycle

At a bare minimum, to practice good hygiene, cut off the inflorescences after they are spent and don’t let them accumulate on your plant. It is best if you can cut them off as soon as you notice them though.

alocasia-red-flower
A flowering Alocasia in my greenhouse with an unusual reddish colored spathe.

RELATED RESOURCES

I have many posts on my site on how to grow various Alocasia plants, but you may want to start with my post on Alocasia types to get familiar with all the beautiful varieties out there.

alocasia-frydek-flower
My flowering Alocasia Frydek

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on Alocasia flowers. Have any of your Alocasia bloomed? Comment below. I’d love to hear!

Larry

Thursday 16th of May 2024

My Alocasias have only put out one single infloresence in 29 years, though they get huge, beautiful and healthy. From the article, I should consider that fortunate? They have the habit of pulling themselves out of the ground over time, requiring them to be planted deeper again. But since they die off over the winter, it is not much work to do.

Raffaele Di Lallo

Friday 17th of May 2024

Hi Larry! It sounds like your plants are big and healthy and you're happy with them, so that's all that matters :-)

Marie

Sunday 3rd of December 2023

Hi, I have had my alocasia pink dragon for 7 months. I moved 4 weeks ago and the humidity is not as favorable for the plant in my new place. I have been very worried about my plant becoming dormant this winter. When I saw the spathe, I was excited thinking it was happy but I am losing two bigger leaves as it grows. I will cut it as suggested, but now I am worried that the plant is stressed and that is why it bloomed.

Raffaele

Monday 4th of December 2023

Hi Marie, just keep a close eye on it. They will often bloom. If worse comes to worse, you can always put your plant outside in the shade during the warm months. They respond beautifully outdoors.

Cynthia Wickerham

Tuesday 5th of September 2023

I was very surprised to find a flower on my elephant ears. First time in 10 years of growing them. They are in a pot, so they may be crowded? I can’t bear to cut it off though.

Raffaele

Wednesday 6th of September 2023

If you haven't repotted in years, it may need a slightly bigger pot. If you enjoy the flower, leave it :-) Cut it off after it passes its prime.

Terrie Heffner

Thursday 10th of August 2023

What does the word spent mean regarding my Alocasia blooms?

Raffaele

Friday 11th of August 2023

Hi Terrie! It just means when the flower is at the end of its lifespan.

Nicole

Friday 23rd of June 2023

I have no idea what type of Alocasia I have. Originally it was unhappy and had a few yellow turned leaves so I moved it into the bathroom and it prefers the humidity. It’s grown a new leaf and now a flower. Should I cut this off to make sure my plant grows more leaves?

Raffaele

Sunday 25th of June 2023

Yes, definitely cut the flower off.