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Alocasia Regal Shield - Elephant Ear

The Alocasia Regal Shield is a gorgeous houseplant that we've found thrives growing in water. The dark green leaves with a purple ish backside are incredibly beautiful. This tropical plant is a prized possession for most plants enthusiasts. The stunning Alocasia regal shield normally tends to be for more advanced plant parents, however, we've found growing it water to be super simple. As long as the temperature and lighting conditions are not too extreme, these plants thrive. A fun fact is the leaves of the Alocasia in the tropics serve as an umbrella, blocking the rain for other plants and animals. Their leaves can grow as large as five feet across.

Alocasia Regal Shield Plant oVerview


Native to Southeast Asia

plant family


Other common names

Alocasia Elephant Ear Regal Shield, Regal Shield, Elephant Ear Alocasia, Alocasia Regal Shield, Alocasia Regal, Alocasia Regal Shields, Regal Shields Alocasia, Elephant ear regal shields, elephant ear plant and alocasia regal shield plants.

other varieties

Some popular types of Alocasia's are: Amazonica Poly, Zebrina,reginula ‘Black Velvet’, Dragon Scale, macrorrhiza ‘Stingray’, baginda ‘Silver Dragon’, alocasia regal shield, macrorrhizos ‘Giant Taro’, cuprea ‘Red Secret’, cucullata ‘Hooded Dwarf”, Longiloba, lauterbachiana ‘Purple Sword’, elephant ear plants, Micholitziana, alocasia regal shield, Frydek, alocasia adora and Melo.


Toxic to pets and humans if consumed.

growing your Alocasia Regal Shield in water

replacing water

For healthy alocasia regal shield plants, we recommend that you add water to the glass every 1-2 weeks (or if you see that water levels have lowered) to replenish the water that evaporated or absorbed from the plants. Then, replace the water every 2-4 weeks to avoid root rot.

Most tap water works great but distilled or filtered waters are recommended if available. 


We recommend adding 1-2 of liquid nutrients to your philodendron's water every month. To further encourage and support leaf growth and helps prevent root rot, we recommend adding an additional drop of nutrients if you see a new leaf forming. 


The elephant ear plant love bright indirect light, or bright shade! They prefer areas in the home like a brightly light corner or across a window that receives a lot of sunlight.


For regal shields, the ideal temperature range is 65-78 degrees Fahrenheit. Indoor temperatures are great, a general rule of thumb for many tropical houseplants is that if you are comfortable, then they will be comfortable too!


Elephant ears prefer moderate to high humidity, but can do well in most home settings regardless of humidity level. We recommend that you spritz them (along with your other plants) with water every now and again to give it a bit of humidity. 

Leaf care & pruning

  • Cleaning the leaves of these beautiful plants will promote better light absorption for photosynthesis, simply use a damp towel or cloth and wipe them down
  • Yellowing or brown leaves can be removed at the base of the plant, immediately above the node using a sharp, sterile knife. It is recommended to leave 1 to 2 leaves though a single node will often shoot off new leaves on its own.

Propagating elephant ear plants

Elephant ears easily propagate in water through most of the year. To do so, take a cutting from the mother plant with one or more leaves and a node or two. Submerge the node in a cup with filtered water and find a bright, warm space with indirect light for the plant. The root system generally form in 2 to 3 weeks.

When propagating regal shield plants in water, we've had success with the division method and submerging a node in distilled water. The division method is just gently remove soil of a young plant to break up the mother plant (original regal shield plant in dirt) or root ball into two or more smaller parts, you can take off the soil of the entire root ball. Some roots are more acclimated to growing in fresh potting soilwith drainage holes than water. If you're propagating using the division method, we recommend cutting off the dirt roots off or removing all the dirt off the roots of your alocasia regal shield.). It's totally optional if you decide to leave the roots on your Regal Shield.

Then you have our favorite propagation method, which is submerging a node in water. You want to first find a great stem on the mother plant and cut right below a node.. A proper cutting would have about 2-4 leaves still attached. With the proper care and attention, you should see new growth in about 4-8 weeks! 

Alocasia REgal shield Care & Common issue

Leaf burn

Identification: Aloasia regal shield has brown holes in the leaves, browning tips that are crispy to the touch

Cause: Overexposure to direct sunlight, bad tap water

How to treat:Simply move your alocasia regal shield away from any direct sunlight or places with too much sunlight. Try placing your alocasia in a nearby area with less light exposure or somewhere where it won't have any contact with the sun. You can remove any brown tips if you like, but it's not necessary to your plant's recovery. Upgrading your water to distilled water or reverse osmosis and sticking to a watering schedule is ideal.

Loss of Color variegation in your Elephant Ear plant

Identification: color patterns in the leaves are fading, leaves becoming a solid green color

Cause: It could be due to root rot, or lack of nutrients, or your regal shield receiving direct or full sun. Bright indirect light is great, not direct bright light.

How to treat: Move your alocasia regal shield to an area where it would be exposed to more bright indirect light and wait for the leaves to recover their color. For newer leaves, they will gain their markings as they age.

Plant's Leaves Begins to Curl or Droop on your regal shield

Identification: leaves are curling at the ends or dropping, leaves also may turn yellow or brown 

Cause: There are multiple causes for this issue. One, the air in your environment is too dry. Two, your regal shield is not receiving enough oxygen from the water. And three, your plant is experiencing extremely cold temperatures or too warm temperatures. Rotting roots can always be a cause as well.

How to treat: To fix this issue, move your alocasia regal shield away from any AC vents, heaters, or open windows. Also, mist regularly with a spray bottle if your environment is usually very dry. If the cause is a lack of oxygen, simply replace the water for the plant and then continue on a 2 week to monthly water replacement schedule.


Regal Shield Pests? Even in fresh potting soil?

One of the best parts of growing regal shield plants in water, is you don't have to deal with pests, such as spider mites, no one likes dealing with a spider mite infestation that many see in early spring. This issue is much more common in potting soil, especially in soggy soil during growing season. If growing in potting soil, make sure you have drainage holes in your pots to drain moisture and keep away spider mites. As the Alocasia regal shield matures, growing in potting soil these issues can be common, especially with moist soil. Neem oil works well well to prevent them, but our recommendation is just to grow in water, or display on a pebble tray and  repot your elephant ear plants in another growing medium like lecca.