A beautiful houseplant noted for its thick ribbed green leaves, the Alocasia cuprea is an easy-to-care-for houseplant that will make a fantastic addition to your indoor garden collection. The back of the leaves of the Alocasia cuprea are purple to red and in total can grow up to 15 inches (0.35 cm) tall. It is also known as the mirror plant because of its leaves, which can appear shiny almost like they have been rubbed with oil. When taken care of correctly this plant will grow offsets which can easily be used for propagation. Here's a full care guide on the Alocasia cuprea, including how often to water the plant, which soil to use, where to plant it, and how to propagate it.
CC featured picture by Clivid.
- Light: Bright indirect sunlight
- Water: Only water when the top 2 inches of the soil is dry
- Soil: Well-draining Peat or coco/peat mix
- Size: The plant grows up to 24" (0,6 m) tall
- Size: The plant's leaves grow up to 14" (0.35 m)
- Zone: 11 (minimum 40°F | 4.5°C)
- Cold hardy: Not cold hardy
- Propagation: Division and offsets
- Toxicity: Toxic to humans and pets
General Care for Alocasia cuprea (Mirror Plant)
The Alocasia cuprea is native to the tropical rainforests of Borneo, it is a great houseplant that is easy to take care of and likes warm temperatures and high humidity.
The mirror plant likes to be watered regularly but make sure you use a well-draining soil mix so that the soil won't stay wet. It's best to only water when the top 1-2 inches of the soil are dry. To make sure the soil is dry, put your finger in the soil and if the soil still feels dry, you can water the plant.
Where to Plant
The Alocasia cuprea is not cold hardy, so if you live in a zone that gets colder than 40°F (4.5°C), it's best to place this plant in a container that can be brought indoors.
Plant in an area that gets a lot of bright light, but avoid direct sunlight. A couple of hours of direct morning sun won't hurt the plant, but too much direct sunlight will turn the leaves yellow.
The mirror plant also likes warm temperatures so you can use a heat matt to promote root growth (this is, however, not necessary). Keep the plant away from cold winds or drafts.
If you like this Alocasia, check out the Calathea ornata 'Beauty Star'!
How to Propagate Alocasia cuprea (Mirror Plant)
The easiest way to propagate the Alocasia cuprea is by root division. Sometimes the plant grows little offsets which can also be propagated.
To grow the mirror plant from division, split the rhizome using a sharp knife. Be sure that there are plenty of roots on the part that you divided. Next, use a well-draining soil mix and plant the divided plant in a pot with drainage holes.
Now care for the plant like you used to and enjoy your propagated mirror plant.
The Alocasia cuprea can also be propagated by offsets, which grow throughout the whole year and are actually baby versions of the plant. Offsets can grow with many at once and grow in the soil.
To propagate the mirror plant through offsets, you only have to cut the roots that are connected to the mother plant. The best way to do this is by using a sharp knife or a pair of pruning shears. Now you want to gently pull the baby away from the mother plant and you can repot the baby plant into a smaller pot. Because these baby Alocasia cupreas already have a root system of their own, they will quickly start growing!
Tip: Don't start chopping away offsets (babies) as soon as they pop up. Wait till they're at least 1" (2.5 cm) before removing them from the mother plant. The bigger the baby, the more success you will have growing a new mirror plant!