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It can be a little alarming when you think you’re doing everything right when it comes to caring for your Alocasia, and then you wake up and it’s crying. Don’t be alarmed though.
It’s perfectly normal and fine for your Alocasia to have water droplets on the ends of its leaves. It’s a process called guttation and its not particularly good OR bad – it’s just a thing that they do.
A LOT of plants drip water – Monstera do it a lot – but Alocasia seem to be the plant that is most consistent with it so DON’T PANIC.
It just adds to their charm!
The only actual issue you might run into is the water damaging the surface your plant is on - they don't typically produce a high volume of water, but if you have some furniture you don't want to get dripped on, don't put an Alocasia on or near it.
What Guttation is, and why it makes Alocasia sweat/cry/pee/whatever
When I explain what guttation is, you might start to understand why Alocasia are almost ALWAYS sporting a little drip from the end of their leaf (except for today, when I wanted to take a picture of it for this article OF COURSE).
Unless, of course, you don’t assign little personalities to your plants like I do (Alocasia are mean girls).
Whilst I don’t think Alocasia are that easy to care for, they can be a great plant for beginners looking to get into house plants, because they’re cheap, easy to replace, and you can learn a lot from them (how important humidity is and how to get rid of spider mites, just to pull two from the top of my head).
One of the things you can learn about is guttation!
Guttation is the plant’s way of getting rid of excess water from the plant.
Due to the drama queen-ness of Alocasia, when you water them, they're all like 'omg, I was PARCHED' and they suck up all together too much water. And then they realise their mistake, and have to get rid of some of the water.
They can’t excrete it back out of their roots because roots are a one-way system. Leaves, on the other hand, can both absorb and excrete fluid, so excess water is sweated out.
It generally comes out at the end of the leaf, due to both gravity and the way plants distribute fluid in the cells, but some plants guttate all over the leaf.
Most of the time, Alocasia guttate from the end of their leaf, but not always:
If an Alocasia drips water, is it overwatered?
Alocasia almost always guttate the day after they’ve been watered.
Some guttate more than others, and it’s not unusual for plants to guttate for a few days after they’ve been watered. This doesn’t mean the plant has been overwatered.
However, if your Alocasia is guttating every day, it might be an idea to check that the soil is drying out a bit (I usually water when the moisture meter is at the 3 mark).
Guttation isn't a sign of overwatering, but if you're noticing more than normal, then check the roots. The 'good' news is that plants with severe root rot are unlikely to guttate, because a plant can't take in any water (never mind excess water)
Is Alocasia guttation toxic?
No. Whilst it’s not pure water so I certainly wouldn’t recommend you lick it, it’s unlikely to do you any harm should you accidentally imbibe any.
If you do accidentally have a little sippy sip of Alocasia, er, juice, leave me a comment detailing a) how it tastes, and b) how heck that happened.
The water that sweats out of Alocasia is xylem, so it’s mostly water, but also nutrients and minerals, and whatever else the plant has decided to absorb that day.
A bit like our sweat. Or tears. Or pee.
Why is my Alocasia dripping red?
If the liquid that dripping from your Alocasia is red/purple, then it can mean that there’s an issue with your plant.
In my experience, the only time that the purple underside of the alocasia has started to come off is when there are pests on my Alocasia.
It’s usually spider mites that cause the red to run, so grab a damp white paper towel and rub the underside of the leaves.
There might be a decent amount of purple on the towel but look closely for more rusty-toned streaks. That’s a sure sign of pests, so you’ll need to treat it.
Guttation is common and perfectly normal in Alocasia.
In fact, I'd say they're one of the most...guttate-y plants out there.
Normal guttation is totally healthy, but if you notice that you’re getting dripped on more than usual, then make sure that you’re not overwatering.