Alocasia Tiny Dancer: Full Instructions for Plant Care

Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ is aptly named. Its graceful stems and dainty teardrop-shaped, upward-facing leaves resemble an elegant ballerina with her arms outstretched.

They are part of the Araceae family, whose natural habitat is in sub-tropical Asia and the rain forests of eastern Australia.

The Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ is a hybrid and won an award for the most unusual aroid at the 2009 International Aroid Society show and sale.  

How do you care for Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’? The potting soil should drain well and be peat based. Position the plant in a shaded area that receives partial sunlight. The temperature should be kept within 65-75 (18-24℃). Fertilize every two weeks in the growing season using a diluted balanced fertilizer. 

Caring for Alocasia Tiny Dancer: Basic Guidelines

The preceding table summarizes the various points we’ll discuss in order to ensure that your Alocasia Tiny Dancer receives the proper balance of nutrition and care throughout its life.

Do you wish to master all aspects of Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ care?

The following comprehensive guide will arm you with the necessary knowledge to maintain a healthy and thriving plant.

The helpful hints and frequently asked questions sections are filled with easy ways to care for your  Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’. 

Complete Care Guide for Alocasia Tiny Dancer

This warmth-loving hybrid enjoys indoor areas as it mimics its parents’ (Alocasia brisbanensis and Alocasia odora) subtropical origins.

Plant lovers are fascinated by its long, tender, fleshy stems crowned with small, curling, tear-drop-shaped leaves. It requires a moderate amount of care to keep it happy and flourishing.

Alocasia Tiny Dancer at a Glance 

  • Scientific Name: Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’
  • Plant Type: Subtropical
  • Average Height: 18 inches (46 cm)
  • Average Width: 11-18 inches (27-45 cm) 
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Produces Flowers: No
  • Common Pests: Spider mites, mealybugs 
  • Level of Care: Moderate

What To Do When You First Get Your Alocasia Tiny Dancer

Ensure the Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ is planted in an appropriate container with sufficient drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom.

Place the plant in a warm, bright room shaded from direct sunlight. 

Ideal Soil for Alocasia Tiny Dancer

The Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ prefers slightly acidic soil with pH levels of between 5.6 to 7. Soil conditions should be moist without being too wet.

Use potting soil that drains well and is airy. Whip up a homemade potting mixture using 10% perlite, 20% peat moss, 20% charcoal chips, and 50% potting soil.

Alocasia Tiny Dancer Water Requirements

Water using filtered water or rainwater when the top 2 inches of soil are dry to the touch.

The Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ resents being overwatered and will react quite badly to soggy soil conditions. Overwatering can lead to root rot and fungal infections.

It may be helpful to use a watering spike or self-watering plant containers to help prevent overwatering. 

Alocasia Tiny Dancer Lighting Needs

Avoid direct sunlight to prevent scorching the leaves.

This plant’s parents are found growing on the shady forest floor where they receive dappled sunlight shielded by the foliage of taller trees.

The Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ enjoys bright, indirect light but can survive in very shady conditions as well.

A good tip is to use a sheer curtain or blind to shield it from direct sun. 

Ideal Temperature Range for Alocasia Tiny Dancer

This plant enjoys cozy temperatures of 65-75℉ (18-23℃) and is not frost hardy. Temperatures below 60℉ (15.5℃) can cause the plant to enter dormancy.

The optimum indoor temperature for this plant is a balmy 70℉ (21℃).

Ideal Humidity Level for Alocasia Tiny Dancer

The Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ enjoys humidity levels of 50% and more. Do not position the plant near air conditioning or central heating as this will dry it out.

Use a humidifier or water-filled pebble tray to increase the humidity levels around your plant.

Best Location for Alocasia Tiny Dancer

Humidity and lighting play an important role when caring for the Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’.

Environments that closely replicate that of their native habitat and are high in humidity are ideal. Pick a spot in the kitchen, bathroom, or greenhouse.

 Alocasia Tiny Dancer Growth Habits

Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ is smaller than most Alocasia varieties. It’s a small plant that grows well in containers and has an upright growth habit and a moderate rate of growth.

At maturity, it reaches an average height of 18 inches (46 cm) with a width of 11-18 inches (27-45 cm). 

Fertilization Type & Schedule for Alocasia Tiny Dancer 

Use a diluted balanced houseplant fertilizer and feed every other week during the growing season. A good ratio of water to fertilizer would be 5:1.

No fertilizing is required in the winter as the plant will be dormant. 

Signs of Nutrient Deficiency 

Yellowing leaves and stunted growth can be a sign of nutrient deficiency.

Check that the plant is not severely rootbound as this can prevent it from drawing necessary nutrients from the soil.

Ensure the plant is receiving enough light and water with a diluted houseplant fertilizer twice monthly. 

Pruning Alocasia Tiny Dancer 

The Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ does not require heavy pruning. However, removing dead and damaged leaves will prevent disease and promote healthy growth. 

Does Alocasia Tiny Dancer Produce Flowers?

Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ is not particularly concerned with producing flowers, preferring to produce a mass of green foliage instead.

Therefore the plant is not considered a flowering variety. However, on the rare occasion that it does flower, the flowers are small and white and not attractive.  

Is Alocasia Tiny Dancer Toxic? 

Pretty but toxic to pets and humans, the Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ contains calcium oxalates that irritate the mouth and stomach if eaten.

Symptoms of toxic shock are nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

Alocasia Tiny Dancer Propagation 

The Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ grows from a corm. Corms look like bulbs but are more flat than round. The root system develops from the base of the corm.

This corm structure makes propagation of the Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ very easy.

By dividing the plant and separating the corms, you can grow individual plants in either water or soil that have fully functioning root systems from the start.

Propagation using seeds is possible, but as the plant doesn’t often flower, this may be a rather long wait to expand your Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ nursery.

Also, because this Alocasia is a tuberous plant with stems that grow from a central rhizome, stem cuttings for propagation is not possible.  

Propagation of Alocasia Tiny Dancer By Division

This is the most straightforward form of propagation for the Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’. It’s best to propagate this plant in the spring before it starts actively growing.

You will need a clean, sterilized pair of scissors or a knife, gardening gloves, a clean jar, and some fresh water or a container of fresh soil for this method of propagation. 

1. Carefully Remove the Plant From Its Container

Using both hands, lay the plant and container on its side, and check that the soil is moist enough to remove the plant without breaking off roots and corms.

Then, carefully shake the plant free of the container and remove excess soil from the roots.

 2. Detangle the Roots and Divide the Corms Into Individual Plants

Using your fingers, gently detangle the roots taking care not to break off the corms.

The corms are fat tuber-like growths on the roots, which have their own root system, stems, and leaves.

Use disinfected scissors or a knife to separate the clump-like sections if the roots are very tangled. 

 3. Place the Individual Corms Into a Container

At this point, you can decide whether to grow the baby plants in fresh water or directly in the soil.

As the baby plants have their own root systems, they will readily adapt to either growth method. 

 4. If Using Water To Grow Tiny Dancer, Remove Soil From the Roots

Clean the excess soil off the roots, and place it into a container of fresh water. You can use distilled or tap water.

If you are using tap water, it’s best to allow it to stand for 24 hours as it contains high chlorine and chloramine levels.

Then, keep the water topped up and fertilize with a liquid fertilizer every few months.

 5. If Using Soil to Grow Tiny Dancer, Use a Good-Draining Potting Soil

Half fill a container with well-draining potting soil. Place the new plant into the container and continue filling the container with soil.

Press firmly down around the base of the stem. Water lightly. 

 6. Position the Plant in a Warm Spot With Lots of Indirect Light

Once the baby Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ has been put into its new growth medium, whether water or soil, you need to place it in a warm spot with lots of indirect light.

Place the baby plant’s container into a box to keep it extra toasty while it acclimatizes. 

 7. Be Patient 

Transplanting the Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ can cause a bit of shock to the plant. Be patient, and you should start to see new growth in approximately two weeks.

Continue to care for the baby plant by following the same care guidelines for mature Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ plants.

Repotting Alocasia Tiny Dancer

Like most dancers, the Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ keeps its waistline (root system) trim.

It prefers a close-fitting container and enjoys being slightly rootbound. However, it does require repotting to replenish the nutrients in the soil. 

When To Repot Alocasia Tiny Dancer 

Whenever you notice that the soil no longer retains moisture and dries out very quickly after watering, it’s time to repot your plant.

Visible roots, either above the soil or peeping out of the pot’s drainage holes, are another indication that repotting is overdue.

Signs That It’s Time To Repot

  • Visible roots on top of the soil
  • Roots growing out the drainage holes
  • Wilting leaves between waterings
  • Stunted growth
  • Roots have little soil left to grow in

How To Repot Alocasia Tiny Dancer 

To successfully repot your Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’, you will need the following tools: protective gloves, a new container, fresh potting mix, and water.

It’s best to wash your hands after handling the Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’, as the plant juices have skin-irritant properties. 

1. Choose a Container One Size Larger Than the One Currently in Use

The Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ prefers a smaller pot for its roots system.

2. Gently Lift the Plant From Its Pot, and Place It in Your Hand

Using your fingers, loosen the roots and the potting mix that surrounds them. Avoid damaging the roots and corms, and don’t tug excessively hard.

3. Fill the Container Halfway With Moist Potting Soil

Make a fist-sized hole in the soil and insert the root ball. Fill the container with potting soil until the roots are completely covered and the container is totally full. 

4. Lightly Water, and Keep the Soil Moist But Not Waterlogged

Lightly water and check the soil is draining well.

5. Position the Plant in a Warm Spot With Access to Bright Indirect Light

The Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ can be sensitive to transplanting, so don’t be alarmed if it seems to wilt after repotting.

Instead, continue following the usual care guidelines, and your plant will soon be back to its usual dancing self.

Alocasia Tiny Dancer: Common Problems & Solutions That Work 

Alocasia Tiny Dancer Common Pests

The Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ is rarely attacked by pests. It can, however, be bothered by common houseplant pests on occasion.

Continue reading to discover how some straightforward remedies can help you reestablish your plant’s health.

Spider Mites  

Signs of Trouble

Yellowing or pale leaves. White spidery webs are found on the foliage.

Solution 

Isolate the plant, and prune all infected and damaged leaves. Mix 1 teaspoon of dish washing soap in a liter of water.

Spray the solution on the entire plant focusing on the underside of the leaves and leaf joints where spider mites like to hide. 

Prevention 

Regularly inspect your plant for spider mites and maintain high humidity levels. You can use a humidifier or water-filled pebble tray to increase humidity levels. 

Mealybugs 

Signs of Trouble

Leaves start to wilt and lose color. White cotton residue, black sooty mold, and honeydew secretions seen on leaves. 

Solution 

Combine 1/2 a teaspoon of neem oil (this one is organic) with a small amount of natural soap (soap-nut liquid). Add the solution to a half-filled spray bottle of water.

Saturate the entire plant liberally with the solution, concentrating first on mealybug-infested areas. 

Prevention 

Prior to planting, assess new plants and cuttings for mealybug infestation.

Inspect your plants regularly for mealybug signs, and treat them promptly to prevent their population from increasing.

Alocasia Tiny Dancer Common Diseases

This plant is susceptible to diseases that are typically caused by bacteria or fungus growth. These diseases are primarily caused by insufficient watering practices.

Rhizome Rot

Signs of Trouble

Leaves develop black and brownish spots encircled with a yellow ring.

Solution 

Trim and dispose of infected foliage. Repot the plant in fresh soil that is not infected with fungus. Apply a fungicide directly to the soil every two weeks.  

Prevention 

Maintain a careful watering schedule ensuring the soil is dry to the touch to a depth of 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) between watering.

Using a watering spike (these ceramic spikes work great) or self-watering plant containers can aid in the prevention of this disease. 

Leaf Spot

Signs of Trouble

The plant appears wilted with stunted growth. Leaves develop brown spots that increase in size. Leaves eventually die and fall off. 

Solution 

Trim and dispose of infected foliage. Mix a solution using 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 gallon of water. Spray the solution onto the stems and leaves of the plant.

Prevention 

Inspect the plant regularly for signs of leaf spot, and trim diseased leaves immediately. Avoid overhead watering, and ensure there is enough air circulation between plants. 

Other Common Problems

Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ can sometimes struggle with some pretty common issues that can easily be resolved with a bit of patience.

Brown Leaf Tips  

Signs of Trouble

Tips of the leaves start to turn brown and feel papery. 

 Solution 

Increase humidity levels to prevent further leaves from turning brown with the use of a humidifier (I recommend this ultra-quiet model), pebble tray, or by grouping plants together.

Prevention 

Ensure your plant is not positioned near radiators or air conditioning units as they dry the air and reduce humidity levels.

Keep humidity levels at 50% plus to prevent unsightly brown leaf tips. 

Alocasia Tiny Dancer Common Questions

Several Alocasia Tiny Dancer leaves under the lights of a grow light.

Why Is My Tiny Dancer Alocasia Getting Spots? 

Leaf spotting could be a sign of a fungal leaf spot that can occur in warm wet conditions. Avoid overhead watering and ensure there is sufficient air circulation between plants. 

Why Is My Alocasia Tiny Dancer Turning Yellow? 

Yellow leaves are usually a sign of inadequate lighting. Place the plant in a bright room with lots of indirect light. Sheer curtains or blinds can help to filter sunlight. 

Why Is My Alocasia Plant Dying? 

Insufficient lighting, waterlogged soil leading to rhizome rot, cold temperatures, and low humidity levels are some of the reasons that could be causing the untimely death of the plant.

Disease and pests left untreated can also be contributing factors. 

How Do You Revive an Alocasia? 

To revive the Alocasia, you need to identify the reason behind its poor health. Check for rhizome rot by inspecting the roots.

Also, ensure that the plant has received an adequate amount of water and fertilizer. 

Should You Mist an Alocasia? 

Excessive misting can cause leaf diseases. A warm, humid environment is best suited for the Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’. 

Why Is My Alocasia Dripping Water? 

The leaves can start to drip water when the plant absorbs more water than what it can use.

Reduce the watering schedule and increase light exposure to encourage the plant to use water. Lowering humidity levels can also help to control this phenomenon.

What’s the Difference Between Alocasia and Colocasia?

Both plants are commonly called “elephant ear” and belong to the Araceae family.

The Alocasia has glossy heart-shaped leaves that point upward, while the Colocasia has round matte-green leaves that point downward. 

Is It Normal for Tiny Dancer Alocasia To Lose Leaves? 

It’s normal for old leaves to die and eventually fall off. However, if your plant suddenly starts losing a lot of foliage, you need to consider the possibility of a pest infestation or disease. 

Should You Cut Off Dead Alocasia Leaves?

Pruning dead foliage will promote growth and prevent the spread of fungal leaf disease. 

How Do You Keep Alocasia Tiny Dancer Upright? 

Overwatering or underwatering is a common reason for drooping Alocasia. Ensure the plant is receiving an adequate supply of water by following the watering guidelines.

Other contributing factors are lighting problems, pests, temperature, and humidity levels.

5 Key Tips for Success With Alocasia Tiny Dancer

A close-up look at a single Alocasia Tiny Dancer leaf.

  1. Plant containers should have enough drainage holes to prevent water pooling in the soil.
  2. Avoid exposing the plant to temperatures below 60℉ (15℃). 
  3. Warmth and humidity are crucial to the plant’s health and growth.
  4. Use a slow-release fertilizer twice monthly in the growing season.
  5. Spray the leaves with a warm soapy solution every few weeks to discourage pests.

Conclusion

This delicate dancer is easy to grow and maintain. By following the straightforward guidelines, you will soon agree that Alocasia ‘Tiny Dancer’ is a gorgeous addition to your home.

Graphic outlining care of Alocasia Tiny Dancer