Plant Guide: How to Care and Grow for All Types of Alocasia Cuprea Plants

Alocasia cuprea plants are one of the rarest species in the Araceae family. They have unique foliages that make them coveted among plant collectors.

To grow them, you must maintain the soil’s moisture and give it over six hours of sunlight. If you keep it in a warm place and transplant it once a year, your houseplant will turn into a stunning centerpiece.

Here’s our complete Alocasia cuprea plant growth guide!

What Are Alocasia Cuprea Plants?

Red Secrets, or Alocasia cuprea, are herbaceous perennials from tropical Asia. They belong to the Araceae family and make great indoor plants, giving homes a tropical feel.

Alocasia cuprea are showy and grow well in large containers as decorative specimens. The plant’s leaves are semi-succulent, textured, and lanceolate.

You can identify them by their deep green foliage, plastic-like rigidity, and metallic sheen. The color of its ribs and veins is darker, and the leaf’s underside is a rich purple.

Alocasia cuprea are large plants. Their stems are 2 ft or 60 cm long, with each leaf blade having a length of 1 ft or 30 cm. However, it can grow bigger if you don’t confine it in a container.

Quick Summary of Alocasia Cuprea

Here’s a summary of the Alocasia cuprea plant.

  • Scientific Name: Alocasia cuprea
  • Common Names: Red Secret, Elephant Ears, Mirror Plant
  • Light: Moderate to bright light
  • Watering: Every 1 to 2 weeks
  • Temperature: 20 to 25°C
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zones 8B through 11
  • Soil pH: 6 to 8
  • Soil Type: Well-draining loam soil
  • Repotting: Once a year
  • Pruning: Not necessary; only cut damaged leaves
  • Size: 12 to 36 inches (30 to 91 cm) long
  • Bloom Time: Late spring to early summer
  • Propagation: Root division

How to Care for Alocasia Cuprea Plants

Alocasia cuprea plants are low maintenance and can grow aggressively in the right conditions. Here are a few tips on caring for them.

  1. Provide Sunlight

Getting the right lighting is essential for Alocasia cuprea plants. They need at least six hours of full direct sunlight a day. After this, they require partial shade for two to six hours more.

If you’re growing Alocasia cuprea plants indoors, it’s best to keep them beside an east-facing window. This way, they can get plenty of morning sun.

Moreover, you may supplement them with artificial lighting if your house lacks sunlight.

Do note that too much sunlight can make the color of this plant’s leaves fade. Some growers purposefully limit light to darken the leaves on Alocasia cuprea plants.

  1. Mix Soil

Alocasia cuprea plants can grow in clay and sand-type ground. Still, the best soil for Alocasia cuprea plants is a well-draining loam soil rich in humus.

Humus is a dark organic matter that develops in soil when leaves and animals decay. You can recreate this by incorporating nitrogen-rich compost into your loam soil.

In addition, you should improve the drainage and aeration of the soil by mixing perlite. Always ensure the pot has proper holes to prevent compacting.

Finally, remember to check for the soil pH. These plants prefer a neutral pH, between 6 to 8.

  1. Add Water

Alocasia cuprea plants are thirsty plants. They originally grew in the forests of Malaysia and India, where they received constant rain.

You should never allow the soil on your Alocasia cuprea plant to dry out. Always check the soil for moisture and water as needed.

In general, smaller plants with shallow roots will need more regular watering. Water young plants once a week and older plants once every two weeks.

Of course, it’s vital to have drainage holes in your pot. If the roots of this plant get submerged in water, it can lead to root rot.

  1. Control Temperature

The ideal temperature for Alocasia cuprea plants is 20 to 25°C or 68 to 77 °F. It thrives in spring to summer, but you must prepare them for winter.

During the cold months, it’s important to bring this plant indoors. You can keep it in a greenhouse or a growing box if necessary.

  1. Provide Fertilizer

Alocasia cuprea are heavy feeders. On top of providing them with humus-rich soil, you must also fertilize them often.

You can feed a mature Alocasia cuprea with an all-purpose fertilizer once every two weeks. Do it at the same time as watering so you don’t forget.

How to Grow Alocasia Cuprea Plants

Growing Alocasia cuprea plants through seeds is difficult and time-consuming. Still, it’s possible with a bit of patience.

Start by creating an ideal environment for seed germination. Build a germination box with high humidity and adequate lighting.

Next, remove pulp bits from the seeds to prevent rotting. Alocasia plants are toxic, so you must be careful and use gloves during this step.

Sow the seeds directly into a moist potting mix. Keep the soil moist, but avoid oversaturating it. It can take up to eight weeks for the seeds to grow.

Transplant your Alocasia after the third leaf sprouts.

How to Re-pot Alocasia Cuprea Plants

Alocasia cuprea are fast-growing plants. Seedlings need repotting once a year, while bigger specimens need transplanting once every two years.

Transfer Alocasia plants every spring or summer to a new pot. Choose a pot that’s one to two inches bigger, and avoid pots that are too large.

Having the right-sized pot allows the plant to absorb water properly!

How to Care for Alocasia Cuprea Plants in All Seasons

The growing season for Alocasia cuprea plants is from spring to summer. This is when they need watering and fertilization every other week.

You should prepare Alocasia plants for cold weather through overwintering.

Remember to bring Alocasia cuprea plants indoors before the first fall frost. Place the plant beside a sunny window away from cold drafts.

Reduce the watering frequency, and only water them in a warm room. You may return the plant to the garden come spring.


How Do You Propagate Alocasia Cuprea Plants?

The fastest way to propagate plants like Alocasia cuprea is through root division.

To do it, prepare your Alocasia by watering the plant a day before you plan to cut it.

Select a stem from a mature Alocasia plant at least 7 in or 17 cm long. Cut a healthy-looking part with established roots. Use sterilized scissors and avoid damaging the roots in this step.

Finally, plant the cutting in an appropriate pot and place it beside an east-facing window. Keep the soil moist and re-pot it once it develops roots. This will take at least one month.

You should only propagate Alocasia plants during spring and summer for a higher success rate.

What Family Do Alocasia Cuprea Plants Belong To?

Alocasia cuprea are perennial, herbaceous, plants in the Araceae or Arum family. The Araceae types consist of 140 genera and 4,000 species.

Some of the well-known plants in this family are calla lilies, monsteras, taros, and pothos. You can find Araceae types worldwide, but they’re more common in the topics.

How Long Do Alocasia Cuprea Plants Live For?

It takes Alocasia cuprea plants up to two years to fully mature. After this, they can live for decades under the right conditions.

Your Alocasia will periodically shed old leaves to make way for new leaves. You can trim dying foliage to focus nutrients on the new growth.

What Are Common Pest and Diseases for Alocasia Cuprea Plants?

Because of their oxalate content, Alocasia plants rarely have pests and diseases aside from spider mites. Spider mites are tiny arachnids that produce tiny white dots on plants.

These mites can cause infested leaves to turn yellowish. The foliage growth becomes stunted, and leaves may fall off.

Moreover, Alocasia cuprea plants are weak against cold drafts. If you expose your Alocasia to cold air, its leaves will turn yellow, and the plant may die. Because of this, you should be wary of placing it beside doors and open windows.

Finally, always maintain good soil drainage. Oversaturated soil can cause root rot in Alocasia cuprea plants.

How Can You Tell if Your Alocasia Cuprea Plant Isn’t Growing?

If your Alocasia cuprea starts drooping and forming brown spots, it’s a sign that it lacks water. Additionally, long stems and small leaves indicate that the plant isn’t receiving enough sunlight.

You can help your Alocasia to grow by ensuring its soil never dries out. Move it closer to a window with sunlight, or use artificial lighting.

Note that it’s normal for Alocasia plants to become dormant during winter. It should revive when the warmer months arrive.

Are Alocasia Cuprea Plants Poisonous?

Yes. Alocasia cuprea plants are highly poisonous to humans, dogs, cats, and even horses!

The Alocasia plant’s roots, leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits all contain calcium oxalate crystals. Ingesting it leads to irritation in the mouth and throat, difficulty breathing, nausea, and vomiting. It can cause delirium and death in some cases.

Be careful when handling Alocasia cuprea. Accidentally rubbing on your eyes can cause injury, and getting it on your skin may result in dermatitis.

How Can You Help Alocasia Cuprea Plants Grow?

If the leaves on your houseplant are drooping, it’s a sign that it needs water immediately. You can address this problem by maintaining the right moisture in the soil.

Always keep your plant in bright sunlight, and avoid cold drafts. With the proper care, your Alocasia cuprea will keep growing for years!