Some plants would cost you an arm and a leg to own just because they’re rare. Others are costly because they’re both rare and exceptionally stunning.
The Alocasia azlanii belongs to the latter category. Its beauty is so exquisite, you can spend hours staring at it.
Why are Alocasia azlanii so expensive? The Alocasia Azlanii is a rare species that grows in Malaysia and has people clamoring over it from all over the world. It’s hard to find a seller either online or in-person offering this charming and rare beauty. Both the high demand and supply shortage caused Alocasia Azlanii’s price to hit new records.
As one can imagine, there’s more to the story than just supply and demand laws.
In fact, even if you get your hands on a bulb of this ravishing plant, chances of successfully starting a new plant are slim. That’s right, it’s not that easy to grow after all.
6 Reasons Why Alocasia Azlanii Are So Expensive
Whether you call it the Red Mambo or you prefer the scientific name Alocasia azlanii, there’s no denying the high cost of this rare Alocasia plant.
However, unlike other plants where only scarcity makes them too expensive for the average grower, a few factors come together to make the Alocasia azlanii quite unaffordable.
1. Plant Is Very Rare
The first reason is of course the rarity of the plant.
While most plants, no matter how rare, tend to grow in large areas, if not a whole content, the Alocasia azlanii grows only in Malaysia, and not even in the whole of the country, rather, on Borneo island alone.
This gives you an idea of how rare this beautiful plant really is.
Even websites and specialty nurseries that focus mainly on rare plants find the Red Mambo hard to come by.
This explains why on the rare occasion that a plant is put on sale on Etsy or any other website, it gets sold within minutes for exorbitant prices.
2. Difficult To Grow
There’s a reason the Alocasia azlanii only grows in one place on earth.
From a botanical point of view, the plant doesn’t adapt easily to any growing conditions that are even slightly different from its natural habitat.
In other words, if you’re new to exotic houseplants or have limited experience, you would have trouble keeping this rare species growing successfully at home or in a greenhouse.
Even experienced growers and propagators can struggle with this beauty.
3. Hard To Propagate
If growing the Alocasia azlanii proves to be not everyone’s cup of tea, you can imagine how difficult starting the plant from a bulb can turn out to be.
Even though the mature plant develops bulbs around the base, those bulbs don’t establish well in just about any soil. For all its beauty, the Red Mambo is also as finicky as they come.
4. Highly Sought After
We already talked about the exceptional beauty of the Alocasia azlanii. Even the foliage is unique and highly ornamental.
This makes it not just one of the rarest plants but also one of the most popular. When it comes to tropical and exotic plants, the Red Mambo is at the top of the list of any collector.
This popularity drives the prices even higher by the day.
5. Private Collectors Are Willing To Pay High Prices
Now we come to the private collectors with their deep pockets and insatiable desire to acquire the rarest of plants.
As if the plant wasn’t rare enough and its price already beyond the reach of many people, private collectors compete with each other, which only makes the prices go up.
If sellers know that people are willing to spend huge amounts of money for a plant, why would they consider dropping the prices?
6. High Demand, Limited Supply
Demand is a decisive force for any commodity in the market.
Since there’s high demand for the rare Alocasia azlanii and mother nature can’t keep up, the few plants that enter the market get snatched rather quickly.
If you want to get your hands on this beauty, you’ll need to be patient and act fast.
Where To Find Alocasia Azlanii
We already stated that Alocasia azlanii only grows in Malaysia, so if you want to find this rare species, you could visit a nursery in that Asian country. Aside from that, you can try placing an order with online sellers.
Here are a few to check:
You could ask your local nursery; they might point you in the right direction where a specialist grower has a plant or two to offer.
However, be prepared to spot the dreaded “out of stock” label, and keep your wallet ready since even a small plant could cost you a pretty penny.
Alocasia Azlanii Care
To make sure that your Alocasia azlanii grows successfully in your home or greenhouse, you need to mimic the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible.
Here’s the lowdown of how to take care of your Red Mambo.
Soil and Fertilization
Avoid using regular soil from the garden since it will most likely be unsuitable for the plant. Instead, opt for a high-quality general-purpose potting mix.
(I recommend this brand – a light, airy blend containing bat guano, worm castings, and fish meal.)
Make sure the soil drains quickly as the roots of the plant are quite sensitive to waterlogged soil.
The plant is a heavy feeder, so use a balanced fertilizer (I get excellent results with this all-natural one) during the growing season.
Dilute the fertilizer and use it at quarter potency. Apply it once a week throughout the summer (or according to package directions).
Lighting and Temperature
As a tropical plant that grows on the floor of forests, Alocasia azlanii prefers filtered sunlight. Pull a lace curtain across the window to provide dappled light and avoid burning the leaves.
As for the temperature, you should maintain a steady temperature between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Watering and Humidity
Alocasia azlanii has a high tolerance for drought but cannot tolerate wet soil. Water it once a week and allow the top 3 inches of the soil to dry out before the next watering.
Also monitor the humidity levels in the room and make sure they don’t go below 60%. Use a humidifier if necessary. (I like this ultra-quiet model, and so do my plants!)
Why Is Variegated Alocasia So Expensive?
Variegated Alocasia is even a rarer variety of Alocasia. The highly ornamental leaves make it a popular species that has collectors hunting for a deal at any price.
Do Alocasia Azlanii Flower?
Although the Alocasia azlanii plants do flower, their blooms are not as eye-catching as the stunning foliage. The flowers are either white or green with a cream spadix in the middle.
It’s not easy to get your hands on the beautiful Alocasia azlanii. This is not just because of its rarity but also because of its ridiculously high price.
High demand and short supply keep pushing the price of this Asian plant to extreme limits.