Alocasia Polly Dying (6 Common Reasons & What You Can Do)

The alocasia polly plant stands out in a crowd. It’s easily recognizable with its vibrant veins and deep green leaf color. It’s an ornamental plant that’s prized for its unusual-looking leaves. 

It can be temperamental. It’s a tropical plant and has specific needs for optimal growth and health. However, you can have success with alocasia polly with the right knowledge. 

Alocasia Polly Basics

The alocasia polly is a tropical plant. It’s native to Eastern Australia and parts of Asia. It has a tropical exotic look and feel, which is why it’s so prized. 

However, this also means it isn’t the easiest plant to grow. It can be difficult to create the right conditions in your home. It’s also quick to let you know that something is wrong. It will show the signs of stress quickly if its needs aren’t met. If not corrected, the plant will die. 

6 Reasons For Alocasia Polly Dying

Here’s 6 reasons for alocasia polly dying, as well as solutions for each to keep your plant healthy.

1. New Environment 

If you’ve recently brought your alocasia home, this may be the problem. Since the plant is so sensitive, a change in its environment can cause them to show all sorts of issues. 

These problems include stunted or slow growth, yellowing or wilted leaves, and leaf droop. 

If this is the problem, all you need to do is provide the plant with the correct growing conditions. It will soon adjust to your home, and begin to thrive. 

2. Over or Underwatering

Over or underwatering has been the death of many plants, including the alocasia polly. 


Overwatering is a much more common issue than underwatering with most plants, including the alocasia. If you consistently overwater the plant, it can cause a few problems.

The first, and most immediate, is that the plant can’t breathe properly due to the water. This also prevents it from getting enough nutrients from the soil. 

Over time, overwatering can lead to root rot. Root rot is caused by bacteria in the soil. These bacteria thrive in moist or wet conditions. The bacteria will cause the roots to become brown and mushy.

The damaged roots can’t function properly. This can cause your Alocasia to die if it’s not treated quickly. 


Alocasia is a tropical plant. It prefers moist conditions. It can get by being dry for a  short period of time. However, a prolonged dry spell is detrimental to the plant. 

Just like over watering, under watering can kill your beautiful alocasia polly. 

Symptoms of Over or Underwatering 

If your plant isn’t doing well, determining if it’s a water issue is your first priority. If the soil is waterlogged, it’s overwatered. If it’s bone dry, it’s likely overwatered. 

Both over and underwatering the plant will cause yellow leaves. Over time, the leaves may turn brown. Plant growth will slow, 

How Do You Know If It’s Time To Water The Plant? 

Stick your finger into the soil. If the top 2 inches of the soil are dry, your alocasia needs watering immediately. If the top 1-2 inches are dry, be sure to water the plant soon. 

Another method is to water the plant. Pick up the pot and feel how heavy it is. Now, wait two weeks without watering. Pick up the plant again. It should be much lighter now.

When your plant feels this light, you know it’s definitely time to water. If it’s on the heavier side, your alocasia has plenty of water for the moment.

If you want to be precise, you can use a scale. However, your own judgement will work fine as well. 

3. Lack of Nutrition

A lack of nutrition is a potential problem for alocasia. They don’t require heavy-duty fertilization. However, they do require basic nutrients to thrive. 

If your alocasia has slow growth, pale leaves, or small leaves, it probably needs fertilizer. 

How To Fertilize Alocasia

You will need to fertilize the alocasia in the spring and summer months. You can fertilize once a month, or once every two weeks. Just use a balanced fertilizer designed for container plants. 

Juvenile plants typically require less fertilizer than mature plants, so fertilize juveniles once a month, or dilute the fertilizer to half strength. 

An indoor alocasia won’t go completely dormant in the winter, but you can expect its growth to slow. This is why they don’t need fertilizer during the colder months.  

4. Low Temperature

As the alocasia polly is a tropical and subtropical plant, it doesn’t do well with cool temperatures. It prefers temps between 65-77 degrees. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees, the polly might not survive. 

A single leaf alocasia polly plant in a pot

It’s particularly tough on the plant if the temperatures go below freezing. 

Signs of Low Temperature

If your alocasia polly becomes too cold, the leaves will wilt or droop because the cells are dying. The leaves of the plant may develop discoloration or change color completely. 

Eventually, the leaves can become black and mushy. At this time, the plant is in its death throes. 

Remedying Low Temperature

Unless you live in a tropical or subtropical zone, your alocasia should be grown inside. This should avoid temperature causing your plant to die. 

If it begins showing signs of cold shock, or stunted growth when the temperatures drop outside, move it to a warmer area of your home. Consider placing it near a window that gets sun, or a heating vent. 

However, placing it too close to a vent may cause the plant to dry out. 

5. Improper Lighting 

When it comes to lighting, the alocasia polly has specific needs. It is a tropical plant, so you may expect it to crave lots of direct sunlight. 

However, this isn’t the case. In its natural habitat, it grows underneath the forest canopy. This creates indirect sunlight, because the trees block direct sun. 

So, the polly needs indirect light to thrive. Direct sunlight will cause it to burn, and not enough light will slow photosynthesis, which your plant needs to survive. 

Signs of Too Much or Too Little Light

The main sign of too much light will appear in the alocasia’s beautiful leaves. The leaves will begin to burn, which causes them to turn yellow or brown. The veins will remain green. 

The damage will appear on the leaves most exposed to the light, usually on the margins or tips of the top leaves. 

Too little light causes its own set of problems. The alocasia growth will slow or even stop. The leaves will become yellow and droop. Instead of their beautiful deep green, the leaves will turn dull. 

This occurs because the plant needs sun for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the main means of nutrition and energy for plants, so they will not function well without proper photosynthesis. 

Getting Sunlight Right 

There are a few ways to provide your alocasia with the right light. You can place it a few feet away from a window. You can also place it in a curtained window, to prevent it from getting direct sunlight. 

If it’s not getting enough light, or you can’t find a way to diffuse the light streaming through your window, you can use a grow light. 

Be sure to rotate your plant 90 degrees once a week. Like many plants, the alocasia will grow towards the light. Rotating your plant will keep it’s growth even. 

6. Pests 

Pests can also affect your alocasia polly. These include mealybugs, scale bugs, and aphids. 

Mealybugs feed on the roots, stems, and leaves of the alocasia polly.  They typically cause browning spots on leaves, as well as several other symptoms

Aphids, scale bugs, and similar insects can also attack the alocasia. These pests also damage the leaves. They may develop discoloration, holes, or become misshapen. The veins and margins may turn yellow or brown. 

Ridding Your Alocasia Of Pests 

To get rid of pests on your alocasia, start with a good cleaning. Your plant needs a shower! Place it into the tub or shower. Turn the water on, and use it to rinse the leaves. 

This will physically remove the pests, which can then go down the drain. 

Next, you’ll need to use a horticultural oil or an insecticidal soap. Neem oil can also be effective. Apply once a week until all pests are gone. 

Summing It Up

The alocasia polly is a beautiful plant that can improve the atmosphere of your home. It does require careful care. However, once you learn your plant’s needs, it’s not that difficult to keep the alocasia happy. 

Be sure to give it the right amount of water and sunlight. Keep pests from damaging your plant, and keep the temperature between 65 and 77 degrees. If you follow these steps, your alocasia will thrive. 

If you’ve recently brought your alocasia home, it is going through an adjustment period. Once it becomes accustomed to the conditions in your home, it will begin to thrive. 

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About Me

Hi, I'm Joe! I'm the head of SEO and content management at Bloom and Bumble. I'm a huge plant lover and over the years my home has become more like an indoor rainforest. It has taken a lot of trial and error to keep my plants healthy and so I'm here to share my knowledge to the rest of the world.

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