Alocasia Tiny Dancer – brown spots

Plant Parent

I have a tiny dancer Alocasia plant with small brown spots on one leaf. Another has recently yellowed all the way down the stem and I’ve since removed that one. Any thoughts on the spots? Wondering if I should remove the leaf in case if is a fungus and might spread.

Darryl

Could you please show me the overall space where this plant lives? How long have you had this plant? What is your thought process on watering and how exactly do you water?

Plant Parent

I’ve had this plant for about 8 months. We generally try to water this plant after the soil has become slightly dry, though perhaps even a little less often now that it’s winter. The air is quite dry in our house and I’m looking into humidifiers for our plants, could that be the culprit for these brown spots? For this plant and others, I spray regularly around the plant to mimic some humidity and have also considered placing a water dish underneath but not touching the soil for moisture as well.

Darryl

Thanks for showing me where you put the plant. That spot up there would be considered VERY LOW light. The way to achieve “bright indirect light” is this: you must put the plant where it will have the widest possible view of the sky and if the sun will shine directly on it for longer than 2-3 hours, then block it with a white sheer curtain.

The critical problem with the term “bright indirect light” or “shade” is people interpret this to mean they only need to avoid seeing the sun. But the sun is not alone in a black sky. The other areas of the sky provide precious light to plants.

Your plant has been sitting up there starving for light for the past few months. When this happens, water usage *BY THE PLANT* is at minimal levels – evaporation also causes soil to become dry but that doesn’t mean the plant is working. When soil just passively evaporates, the lower parts of the soil remain moist and stale, which encourages the formation of fungal leaf spots or other leaf tissue damage. Traditional plant care would say the spots are signs of “overwatering” but then you would think that you weren’t watering correctly. Because I can see where you’ve placed the plant, I can tell you that the plant simply isn’t getting enough light for watering to work correctly.

The spots won’t go away but if you put the plant where it will grow (i.e. achieving “bright indirect light” as stated above), then new leaves can grow.

The #1 cause of death for houseplants…

misinterpretation of “bright indirect light”

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

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