Table of Contents
- What is a Corm?
- How To Get Corms
- How to Grow Corms
- How Long For A Corm To Sprout?
- When To Pot Them Up?
- Benefits to Growing Alocasia From Corms
There are a lot of rumors out there that allocation can only be propagated via division or through seeds and hand pollination. This is actually not true. There is another method. You can propagate your Alocasia through Corms.
What is a Corm?
Corms are starch-filled root balls at the base of the plant. Found throughout the root system and most easily seen at the very base of the plant. They are usually covered by soil but as a pot becomes full you may start to see them pop up occasionally. When this happens you will see a little bit of green sticking out of the soil from a corm. You can take these corms off.
Carefully remove them, repot them, and grow a whole new Alocasia from each one of these little corns. Some Alocasia corms may rot but when giving them the proper conditions they can actually root and grow whole new plants
How To Get Corms
In order to propagate an Alocasia through corms you can either obtain the corm through the plants that you already have or order it online.
To get a corm from the plant you unpot the plant, go through the roots, and remove the corms carefully. You will carefully break them off or snip them off. This is depending on how resistant the corm is to be removed. Usually, they just pop off very easily. Especially if they are healthy ones.
Another method of obtaining these corms is to actually order them online. There are rare Alocasia that is hard to find, traded corms or maybe you do not want to just buy a whole plant. For whatever reason, you want to grow an Alocasia straight from the bulb. That is perfectly fine as well and you can order them online very easily. They should be shipped in some type of damp material for you. Usually, they will come in some type of clear plastic or they will come wrapped in a paper towel. Sometimes fully rooted and sometimes not depending on what you paid for. You can definitely check the specific listing or communicate with the seller to figure out exactly what you are getting.
How to Grow Corms
After you get your Alocasia corms you are going to have to provide specific conditions in order to get this plant to root and sprout. All of the little building blocks of the plant’s life are contained in this one little tiny ball but it does need specific conditions in order to grow.
They are going to need quite a bit of light make sure that you are putting them under a grow light or in a window so you can get that warmth encouraging them to reach up to the light. They will also need high humidity and slight dampness in order to soften the exterior and to begin the rooting process.
A warning though that if there is not enough aeration the corm will rot. So you have to find that fine balance in between so and check it regularly do not just place it somewhere and completely forget about it. You do want to be opening it up and checking it every few days.
For corm storage, you can use some type of jar with sphagnum moss. You can use some type of perlite or propagation Box. It is a very effective method.
Learn how to make propagation boxes here(link to that article).
So you can use one of those. You can also do something as simple as just a Ziploc bag with a damp paper towel. Be sure that you are opening whatever container you are keeping them in and keeping this humidity going. Open it every couple of days just to verify and check and you can remove any rotting. The plant can still root from the corm. All of the building blocks are in the corms themselves so you can remove any deadness, debris, and rotting materials that will prevent the plant from being able to fully mature.
How Long For A Corm To Sprout?
It should take 1 to 2 months (depending on the specific type of Alocasia) to see the corm actually producing leaves and have roots. Sometimes you will have roots first and sometimes you will see a leaf pop out first. It just depends on the specific type of plant and the conditions it is in. Sometimes this can even just depend on the corm itself. Just like children plants are a little finicky and every single one is a little different. They never do exactly what they’re supposed to do and that is part of why plants are so much fun.
When To Pot Them Up?
After the Alocasia has either one full-sized leaf or up to 2 leaves you can start fertilizing it. You can also move it to its own little pot if you want. Make sure that you are keeping the aeration, the moisture, and the high humidity though.
Alocasia is heavy feeders, so they will need fertilizer on a regular basis. Especially, once they have 2 leaves. They will have to use up a lot of nutrients in order to get a third and fourth leaf to push out. If your Alocasia is not getting enough nutrients it will start to drop the leaves and they will just drop down to one leaf.
They start a cycle to stay alive. They will put out one leaf and they will off the other one. Then they put out another single leaf and they will off the other. Never have more than one new and one dying leaf. That is a sign that it needs more nutrients. Do not try to make any environmental changes before fertilization.
If you notice this cycle happening there is either rot or a fertilization issue. You need to take action either way but potting up and changing conditions is not the thing to do. Make sure your plant is healthy first.
You can leave your Alocasia in their propagation box or their original container as long as they will fit. Generally, it is all right to pot up when the roots can fit in a three-inch pot. Any sooner than that and you can risk root rot or damaging the roots to the point of being unable to sustain the plant. Once they can fit in a three-inch pot comfortably then definitely go ahead and pot them up.
Alocasia does not mind being tight in a pot and it can encourage growth. It can also encourage it to create more corms so then you can go ahead and produce more plants from this little plant that you have. One plant can produce up to 10 to 20 corms depending on their size and maturity. Some can produce even more of that in the wild or if they are mature in very large pots. It is very fascinating.
Benefits to Growing Alocasia From Corms
There are several benefits to growing Alocasia from corms in your natural environment. The Alocasia is going to be more adapted to your natural environment, car habits, and watering habits in general. So when you are taking care of them they will be less likely to have pests and diseases due to a difference in care. They are also less likely to drop leaves and be resistant to change.
When you bring a brand new Alocasia home from perfect greenhouse conditions they will struggle. They will lose leaves. They will get finicky. Especially if your watering habits do not match the watering habits that they had in the greenhouse.
Alocasia is very sensitive to change. So, when you have one that is grown directly in your own environment they are less likely to be shocked and are more likely to thrive in your natural environment for you. It is definitely worth that.
Growing from corms, you can get very big Alocasia pretty easily. Just keep up the feeding. Definitely keep up the good light and humidity regardless of where you end up putting your beautiful Alocasia. Hopefully, this made it a little less intimidating and encouraged you to have some fun giving it a try.