Alocasia Black Velvet (Alocasia reginula)

Alocasia reginula, or Alocasia Black Velvet, is a stunning tropical terrarium plant with striking dark and silvery foliage that look like velvet from afar – thus its common name.

Alocasia Black Velvet is an aroid, which means it is a part of the larger family of Araceae, which contains many popular houseplant genera like Anthurium, Dieffenbachia, and Philodendron.

It’s an ideal plant for a variety of ponds, vivariums, and garden types and requires different soil types, feeding, and light levels.

Quick Stats:

Scientific Name: Alocasia reginula

Family:  Araceae

Common Names:  Alocasia Black Velvet, African Mask Plant

Habitat:  Rustic, Woodlands

Height: 1 to 2 feet

pH Range: 5.5 to 6.5

Temperature: 68°F to 85°F

What Is Alocasia Black Velvet?

Alocasia Black Velvet is a striking foliage plant that has wide, dark green leaves with distinct silver-gray veins and midrib, giving the plant its common name.

Alocasia reginula loves moisture and humid conditions, making it ideal for terrariums, and other garden-like conditions.

It can also be grown as a houseplant without too much of a hassle. This plant enjoys medium to high humidity, and moist, well-draining soil.

Alocasia reginula "Alocasia Black Velvet" | Plant Care Guide

Alocasia Black Velvet Facts

Alocasia Black Velvet can reach heights up to two feet when grown in ideal conditions.

The leaves’ size can range from the size of playing cards to the size of a human hand.

Alocasia reginula has a low tolerance temperature range, so it is best to keep it between 68°F to 85°F most of the time.


Alocasia Black Velvet is an aroid plant with large and sturdy dark green to olive green leaves that have distinct silvery-gray veins and midribs.

The leaves are elliptically shaped, with a high center point, and can grow up to one to two feet in size.

The stems can be tough and slightly furry. Alocasia reginula will produce petite white flowers in the summer, that may attract animals.


Alocasia reginula is native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, so it is accustomed to warm and humid environments.

Alocasia Black Velvet is best suited for woodland or rustic gardens or woodland terrariums.

It’s also a great choice for humid, tropical vivariums as it is slow-growing and makes an excellent floor plant.

pH Preference

Alocasia Black Velvet appreciates slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil, with a pH range of between 5.0 to 7.0.

Vivarium Type

Alocasia Black Velvet is quite an easy-going species. With that in mind, it will not be too complicated when choosing the type of enclosure it is grown in. It is best to try and replicate the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible.

Doing so will make it easier to provide this foliage plant with its basic needs. The proper setup and theme of the enclosure will make a big difference to the overall look and health of the plant. Be sure to choose setups that are moist and high in humidity.

Here are recommended vivariums it will do well in:

  • Paludariums – Half aquatic/ half terrain-based enclosure.
  • Ripariums – Mostly aquatic-based enclosures with some terrain features present.
  • Aquariums – Fully aquatic-based enclosure with little to no dry terrain.

Vivarium Placement

Alocasia Black Velvet will look best in the background or as an accenting plant in a vivarium.

It can have a central role in the terrarium, or it can be tucked into the background of a more varied plant configuration.

It’s wise to water it from the top, especially in a vivarium, as this helps to increase humidity.


Alocasia Black Velvet prefers terrarium soil that is moist, but well-draining.

A regular substrate mix should be amended with organic material and aeration material like sphagnum moss, orchid bark, or perlite.


Alocasia Black Velvet will require medium to high indirect light to thrive. Too much direct light can cause the leaves to burn. Some morning light or late afternoon sun provides the best terrarium lighting for this plant.

Buy Alocasia Black Velvet

When buying Alocasia Black Velvet, there are a few things to keep in mind. Making sure the plant is healthy when purchased is essential for its success in a vivarium or pond. Vegetation that is already in poor conditions will have a very hard time adjusting to new environments.

Click the image below to learn more about the current price and other relative info about this plant.

Alocasia Black Velvet Care & Propagation

The most common method to propagate Alocasia Black Velvet is by division.

Carefully remove the plant from its pot and lay it on a flat surface. Using a sharp knife to divide the root system into two or more parts.

Replant the divisions in separate containers and make sure to water them sufficiently.

How To Grow

Alocasia Black Velvet is a relatively slow grower, but when given the right care it can reach heights of up to two feet.

Make sure to provide the right amount of soil, water, light, and fertilizer, and always mist it regularly.

Water Requirements

Alocasia Black Velvet enjoys a highly humid environment and will require regular misting to prevent its leaves from drying or wilting.

That said, let the top few inches of soil dry out between waterings. Apply liquid fertilizer monthly or bi-monthly during the growing season and be sure to stop during the winter.

Plants Similar To Alocasia Black Velvet

Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing setup. Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same types of environment.

Furthermore, if for some reason you find Alocasia Black Velvet hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this terrarium plant

Here are other plants you might see will do well with or in place of Alocasia reginula:

Acorus calamus "Sweet Flag" Plant Care Guide
Alternanthera ficoidea "Party Time Plant" | The Care Guide
Coleus scutellarioides "Painted Nettle" Plant Care Guide


Alocasia Black Velvet is a stunning aroid plant with wide and dark green foliage that features distinct silver-gray veins and midrib.

It’s an ideal plant for a variety of terrariums, ponds, and garden types and requires different soil types, feeding, and light levels.

Alocasia Black Velvet is a slow grower, but when given the right care it can reach heights up to two feet. Be sure to provide it with a highly humid environment, regular misting, and fertilization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Alocasia black Velvet is a relatively rare plant, especially since it is an uncommon hybrid of two species of Alocasia plants.

Alocasia reginula typically grows up to 1-2 feet in height.

Alocasia black velvet plants can be a bit more challenging to care for than other varieties of Alocasias, but with proper maintenance and care, they are not overly difficult to keep healthy. When given the correct amount of light, moisture, and fertilizer, Alocasia black velvet plants can thrive.

Yes, you can touch Alocasia black velvet, but it‘s best to use gloves when handling the plant to prevent any skin irritation.

Put your Alocasia black velvet in a spot with bright, indirect light and high humidity. Make sure the soil is welldraining, and water regularly.

Water Alocasia black velvet plants when the top 1-2 inches of the soil are dry. Check the soil weekly and water thoroughly when needed. Avoid overwatering and keep the plant‘s soil moist but not soggy.

Yes, Alocasia Black Velvet is toxic if ingested. Ingestion may cause irritation and/or burning in the mouth and throat as well as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Alocasia Black Velvet may be losing leaves due to overwatering, underwatering, or inadequate light. Improper soil drainage and not enough humidity can also cause leaf loss. Additionally, pests and disease, such as mealybugs, can cause leaves to drop.

Need More Help?

Didn't find the answers you were hoping for? Check out our troubleshooting archive for more helpful information.