Learn about Alocasia Dragon Scale care! This gorgeous jewel Alocasia has a neat texture to the leaves and stays small, perfect for a desk or shelf. Learn about its quirks and how to keep it happy.
All about the Alocasia Dragon Scale
I’ve written about the Alocasia Silver Dragon…but what about its predecessor the Alocasia Green Dragon? AKA the Alocasia Dragon Scale. I got the silver first, but when I saw the green dragon, I knew I had to have it. It is breathtaking.
The full name of this plant is Alocasia Baginda Dragon Scale, and the leaves have a highly textured, metallic look just like the silver dragon. Instead of silver, however, the dragon scale is more of a metallic jade green with deep green veining.
Is Alocasia Dragon Scale rare?
I actually had a harder time finding an Alocasia Dragon Scale than I did finding an Alocasia Silver Dragon! And the Silver Dragon is a newer plant! But, like I’ve written about in the past, the Silver Dragon is being grown more prolifically.
That means that there might be a lower supply of Dragon Scale. And what happens when there is a low supply and even a little bit of demand? The plant is harder to find 🙂
If you can’t find an Alocasia Dragon Scale at a local nursery, check online. There are a lot of reputable nurseries out there that will ship to you. I actually bought mine online off Etsy (affiliate link). Read the reviews for the shops before ordering and you’ll be good!
How do you take care of Alocasia Green Dragon?
Alocasia Dragon Scale care is not particularly easy or difficult. Its care needs are about par for the course when it comes to Alocasia plants and elephant ears in general (the common name for Alocasia and related plant types).
As far as lighting requirements go, like other Alocasia plants, the Alocasia Dragon Scale enjoys bright, indirect light. Some other elephant ear plants do fine with direct sunlight outdoors, but this one does not.
Near a sunny window is great. If you want to move this plant outdoors, make sure it stays in the shade. Under a covered patio, shade cloth, or gazebo would be great.
If you notice that your Alocasia Dragon Scale is leaning to one side, it’s likely it needs to be turned a bit. If there is a light source on only one side (like a window), the plant can begin to “reach” for the light. Rotating the plant can help with this.
Water & soil needs
Water and soil needs for the Alocasia Dragon Scale are fairly straightforward as well. They need a bit less water than larger Alocasia varieties, which means they can withstand a bit of neglect.
Water when the top several inches of soil are dry. When I water my tropicals, I try to water deeply and thoroughly—including a good foliage rinse. This can be done in a sink, shower, or bathtub—or outdoors if it’s nice enough.
Watering “deeply” means to soak the soil until water begins to drain from the drainage holes in the pot. Let the excess water drain completely, and then don’t water the plant again until you can stick your fingers into the soil and feel that the top several inches are dry.
Speaking of soil—choose something well-draining and well-aerated. Chunky is good. You can use any indoor or houseplant potting soil, but I recommend throwing in some extra perlite, coco coir, or bark to help break things up.
This will facilitate drainage and allow some air to get to the roots while also ensuring the plant gets all of the water it needs. See my houseplant soil 101 post for more about the different soil amendments you can use and what each one helps with!
Alocasia Dragon Scale: Temperature & humidity needs
Maintaining an appropriate temperature will probably not be difficult. The Alocasia Dragon Scale and other jewel Alocasias like it do well in a variety of household temperatures. Don’t let the plant get consistently below 50 degrees, though—it will not be happy.
Warmer is better. That means that this is not a cold- or frost-hardy plant, and you can’t keep it outdoors if you live somewhere with four seasons. It will live happily outdoors in the spring and summer, though. (Just make sure it is shaded from direct sun!)
Humidity is the most difficult part of Alocasia care in general, at least in my experience. Alocasia Dragon Scale will do its best in very high humidity levels and might show signs of distress in even normal humidity levels.
You can achieve this by putting the plant next to a humidifier or enclosing it in a weather-stripped glass cabinet. (See my Ikea greenhouse cabinet for inspiration, though I don’t have mine weather-stripped.)
I would not recommend relying on misting or a pebble tray alone to keep humidity levels high enough for Alocasia plants in most homes unless you live in a really humid area!
Size, growth, & repotting
Green Dragon stays relatively small, at least compared to other Alocasia varieties. It can get up to 6 feet growing outdoors in ideal conditions. Inside, it will likely stay much smaller, maybe topping out around 2 or 3 feet, I’d guess.
This Alocasia variety isn’t particularly fast growing, but you can encourage healthy new growth by giving the plant the occasional dose of fertilizer. In the past I have used worm castings as fertilizer, but this year I am using Liqui-Dirt.
I like Liqui-Dirt because it’s highly concentrated, lasts a while, and you don’t need to worry about over-fertilizing and burning your plants. And I have burned plants before by over-fertilizing, so if you are using chemical fertilizer, make sure to heavily dilute it.
I recommend repotting your Alocasia Dragon Scale when it begins shooting its roots out of the pot’s drainage holes. This means it needs some more space to grow!
Size the pot up about an inch and repot with fresh soil. Water thoroughly after repotting, and try to limit repotting during the fall and winter if you can.
Can you propagate Alocasia Green Dragon?
You can grow more Alocasia plants by splitting the babies/offsets off of the mother plant. To do this, take the plant out of the pot and loosen the roots.
Find where the offsets start and break off from there. Make sure you take as much of the offset’s roots as you can. Plant in its own smaller pot using fresh, well-draining soil. That’s it!
You can’t propagate Alocasia Dragon Scale using stem or leaf cuttings. It must be done by dividing a plant or harvesting corms from the plant (under the soil line) and growing a new plant from those.