The large glossy leaves with ruby red undersides and a mature size of around 1.5m make Hardy Elephant Ear a stunning statement plant.
This hybrid of Alocasia odora and Alocasia gageana is unusually cold tolerant for an Elephant Ear (Alocasia), only losing its leaves for winter at temperatures below 8ºC, making it a great plant for colder rooms or conservatories where other tropicals may struggle with night-time temperatures during British winters.
Alocasia wentii is from South-East Asia, sometimes stated to be an artificial hybrid of Alocasia odora and Alocasia gageana.
Below 8 degrees Celsius the plant will go into dormancy, losing its leaves and dying back to a tuber to overwinter, ready to burst forth the next spring. This rarely happens when grown indoors. The plant can reach up to 1-1.5 meters high.
Its large leaves of 30-40cm are delicately thin with glossy dark green faces and ruby red undersides.
The accepted botanical name is Alocasia wentii, but is also often referred to as Alocasia wentii. It's commonly known as Hardy Elephant Ear, Giant Taro and Hardy Alocasia.
Images pictured in this section are for illustration only. Please see the product photo above for an accurate representation of the size of plant you will receive.
The most important aspect to the health of any house plant is finding a spot which meets it’s basic needs for light, temperature and water.
Perfecting the environment and ensuring long-term care needs are met will take your plant from surviving to thriving.
Read through these care instructions for Alocasia wentii (aka Alocasia wentii), and remember if you need help, we’re an email away.
As a houseplant, Hardy Elephant Ear usually only maintains 3-5 mature leaves at a time unless they're in ideal conditions. Trim off older leaves at the base as they die back.
Feed with a half-strength standard houseplant fertiliser once a month during the growing season.
In the peak of summer ensure that your Hardy Elephant Ear isn't getting too many hours of direct sun to avoid damage to the thin leaves. British sun isn't usually strong enough to cause any problems for most of the year.
The plant will do best in a bright spot with filtered or reflected sunlight. It will tolerate some shade but - as with all plants - ensure it's getting some natural light.
Jungle soils are very low in salts due to the constant rain, so if possible, recreate this by watering with room temperature filtered water. The minerals and salts in tap water can build up in the compost and lead to brown crispy leaf margins.
It's better to water Alocasia well but infrequently. Water thoroughly and then allow the soil to dry out a little to get oxygen to the roots. The compost these are planted into is very free-draining, so you're only likely to overwater if the pot is standing in water, or if you water every day.
To keep the leaves looking their best keep humidity in the room above 60% if you're able, or provide local humidity by grouping plants together and misting regularly.
Low humidity won't cause too much harm to the health of the plant, but it will often cause the foliage to develop brown, crispy margins and spots.
Unlike most Elephant Ears (Alocasias), the Hardy Elephant Ear will tolerate quite low temperatures before it sheds its leaves, and will even overwinter as a tuber when planted outside in areas of the UK which don't get heavy frosts. It will lose it's leaves when temperatures are consistently below 8-10ºC. To keep the plant looking its best over winter, keep temperatures above 12ºC.
This is a pretty easy plant to care for! Keeping it looking its absolute best may be a bit more work, but unless you overwater or forget to water for a couple of weeks you're very unlikely to kill it. Elephant Ears give plenty of warning with droopy leaves when they're really thirsty.
Like other plants in the Araceaea family, Alocasia contain oxalate crystals which irritate the tissues of the mouth and GI tract in mammals, but due to the large leaf size most pets aren't interested in nibbling them.