Alocasia 'Metalhead'

Overall Plant
Common Name: elephant's ear 
Type: Bulb
Family: Araceae
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers not showy
Bloom Description: Flowers not showy
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Wet Soil


Best in part shade or filtered sun in moist, organically rich soils. Plant in locations protected from strong winds after last frost date. Rhizomes/tuberous roots may be started indoors in pots or containers. After last frost date, pots may be sunk to the rim in the garden and containers may be set out on the patio. Water and fertilize regularly. Before first fall frost, pots may be dug up and pots/containers should be brought inside where they can overwintered in a humid, cool (around 60-65°F) location. Reduce watering in winter. Return to the garden in spring. Rhizomatous varieties are best left in pots year-round. Tuberous varieties may be planted directly in the garden in late spring. After first fall frost, dig and lift tubers, shake off loose soil, dry and store in cool, dry location for winter. May be grown as a houseplant.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Alocasia is a genus of around 80 species of tuberous, herbaceous perennials native to the tropics and subtropics of Asia and Australia. Closely related to Colocasia (taro). Plants are cultivated as ornamentals and are prized for their showy foliage. The leaves are heart to arrowhead-shaped (12-36" long), each held singly atop long and sturdy succulent stems. The inflorescences are of the typical aroid type with a spike-like spadix surrounded by a leaf-like spathe. Can produce growth to 6' tall or more in a single growing season. Leaves often have distinctive veining, markings and/or coloration.

Genus name comes from the Greek words a meaning without and Colocasia the name of a closely allied genus, from which it was separated.

The common name elephant's ear refers to the size and shape of the leaves of some species.

'Metalhead' is a hybrid Alocasia cultivar that features large, glossy, heart-shaped foliage with an iridescent sheen. Mature plants have an upright growth habit and will reach up to 4' tall with a 3' spread. The leaves emerge dark purple and mature to green.


Watch for spider mites.


Accent plant for shady areas. Can be grown as a houseplant.