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African Mask Plant

Discover the stunning African Mask Plant (Alocasia Polly), its care, and benefits for enhancing office spaces with its striking, air-purifying foliage

African Mask Plant Overview

Scientific name:

Alocasia amazonica



Water requirements:


Light requirements:

Indirect Sun


Air Purifying, Low Maintenance

Table of Contents

Introduction to the African Mask Plant

The African Mask Plant, also known as Alocasia Polly or Alocasia Amazonica, is a stunning addition to any office space. With its striking patterned foliage and giant leaves that can grow up to 30cm in length, this plant is sure to make a bold statement in your workspace. While the African Mask may be a slow grower, its unique qualities make it an ideal choice for those looking to bring a touch of the exotic to their office environment.

Native to tropical and subtropical regions from Asia to Eastern Australia, the African Mask belongs to the Alocasia family, which boasts over 79 unique species. The plant’s common name, “African Mask,” is derived from the beautiful, bold markings on its leaves, which resemble the intricate designs found on traditional African masks. These masks are deeply rooted in African history and symbolise the spirits of people, animals, or natural elements like rivers.

Detailed Description of the African Mask Plant


The African Mask is a captivating and unique houseplant that is sure to make a statement in any office space. Native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, this plant boasts large, deep green leaves with striking white veins and scalloped edges, creating a visually stunning contrast that immediately draws the eye.

The leaves of the African Mask Plant are truly a sight to behold. They are often described as being shaped like an arrowhead or a heart, with pronounced veins that create an almost ribbed texture on the surface. The deep, rich green colour of the leaves is complemented by the crisp white veins, which appear to be hand-painted onto the surface. This striking colour contrast is one of the main reasons why the African Mask Plant is so popular among plant enthusiasts and interior designers alike.

Growth Cycle

In addition to its stunning appearance, the African Mask is also known for its unique growth cycle. During the fall months, this plant enters a naturally occurring dormant period, during which it may shed some of its leaves and appear to be dying. However, this is a completely normal part of the plant’s life cycle, and it will typically bounce back with new growth in the spring.

One of the most distinctive features of the African Mask Plant is its growth habit. Depending on the specific variety, these plants can grow to be quite tall, with some species reaching heights of up to 6 feet. However, the popular Alocasia Polly variety typically reaches a more manageable size of around 2 feet tall and wide, making it an ideal choice for office environments where space may be limited.

When incorporating an African Mask into your office space, it’s important to consider its size and growth habits. These plants can make a stunning focal point when placed in a corner or on a shelf, but they may require occasional pruning to keep them from overtaking their designated space. Additionally, the large leaves of the African Mask Plant are excellent at purifying the air, making it a practical and attractive addition to any office environment.

Optimal Care Guide for the African Mask Plant

Caring for your African Mask Plant doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By understanding its basic needs and preferences, you can create the perfect environment for this exotic beauty to thrive in your office space. Let’s dive into the essential aspects of African Mask Plant care, including light requirements, watering schedule, temperature and humidity, and soil and potting tips.

Light Requirements

The African Mask Plant, hailing from tropical regions, is accustomed to bright, filtered light in its natural habitat. When growing this plant in your office, it’s crucial to provide it with the right amount of light to ensure its growth and well-being. Aim for a spot that receives bright, indirect light, such as near a window with a sheer curtain or a few feet away from a sunny window. Avoid placing your African Mask Plant in direct sunlight, as this can scorch its delicate leaves and cause irreversible damage.

Keep in mind that the African Mask Plant’s leaves will naturally grow towards the light source, so rotate your plant occasionally to encourage even growth. If you notice your plant’s leaves becoming smaller or the growth slowing down significantly, it may be a sign that it’s not receiving enough light. In such cases, consider moving your plant to a brighter location or supplementing with artificial grow lights.

Watering Schedule

Proper watering is key to maintaining a healthy and vibrant African Mask. This plant prefers consistently moist soil but doesn’t tolerate standing water or soggy conditions. To strike the right balance, water your plant thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Allow the excess water to drain through the pot’s drainage holes and discard any water that collects in the saucer beneath.

Avoid letting your African Mask Plant sit in water, as this can lead to root rot and other fungal issues. Additionally, be mindful of your office’s temperature and humidity levels, as these factors can influence how quickly the soil dries out. During the winter months or in air-conditioned offices, you may need to water your plant less frequently to prevent overwatering.

Temperature and Humidity

As a tropical plant, the African Mask thrives in warm and humid environments. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 15°C to 29°C. If your office temperature falls below 15°C, your plant may experience stunted growth or even damage to its foliage. Similarly, extreme heat can cause the leaves to wilt and become crispy.

Humidity is another crucial factor in the African Mask Plant’s overall health. These plants prefer high humidity levels, typically around 50% to 60%. If your office’s humidity is lower than this range, you can increase moisture around your plant by placing it on a pebble tray filled with water, grouping it with other plants, or using a humidifier nearby. Regularly misting your plant’s leaves can also help maintain the desired humidity levels.

Soil and Potting Tips

Choosing the right soil mix and pot for your African Mask Plant is essential for its growth and development. This plant prefers a well-draining, nutrient-rich soil mix that can retain some moisture without becoming waterlogged. A good potting mix for African Mask Plants typically consists of equal parts peat moss, perlite, and potting soil. You can also add some compost or slow-release fertiliser to provide extra nutrients.

When selecting a pot for your African Mask Plant, ensure it has adequate drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom. The pot size should be slightly larger than the plant’s root ball, allowing room for growth. As your plant matures, you may need to repot it every year or two to accommodate its expanding root system. When repotting, choose a pot that is one size larger and refresh the soil mix to provide optimal growing conditions.

Benefits of the African Mask Plant in the Office

If you’re looking to breathe new life into your office space, the African Mask Plant (Alocasia Polly) might just be the perfect addition. This stunning plant not only adds a touch of exotic beauty to your work environment but also offers numerous benefits that can enhance your overall well-being and productivity.

Air Purification

One of the most significant advantages of having an African Mask in your office is its ability to purify the air. In today’s modern workplaces, air quality is often compromised by various pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from office furniture, carpets, and electronic devices. The Alocasia Polly helps combat these harmful toxins by absorbing them through its leaves and roots, effectively filtering the air and creating a healthier breathing environment for you and your colleagues.

Moreover, the presence of the African Mask Plant can contribute to a more visually appealing and inviting office space. Its large, beautifully patterned leaves add a touch of green to your surroundings, instantly uplifting the mood and creating a more relaxed atmosphere. Studies have shown that incorporating plants into the workplace can reduce stress levels, improve concentration, and boost overall job satisfaction.

Low Maintenance

It’s worth noting that while the African Mask is relatively low-maintenance, it does require specific care to thrive in an office setting. Ensuring that it receives the appropriate amount of light, water, and humidity is crucial for its health and longevity. However, with proper care and attention, this plant can be a long-lasting and rewarding addition to your workspace.

Common Issues with the African Mask Plant

While the African Mask Plant is a stunning addition to any office space, it’s not without its share of potential problems. Like any living organism, this plant can face challenges that may impact its health and appearance. By understanding these common issues and how to address them, you can ensure your African Mask Plant remains a vibrant and thriving presence in your workspace. 

Common Pests

One of the most prevalent concerns with the African Mask Plant is its susceptibility to common houseplant pests. These unwanted visitors, such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects, can wreak havoc on your plant’s foliage. Regularly inspecting your African Mask Plant for signs of infestation is crucial. If you notice any pests, promptly treat the plant with insecticidal soap to prevent the problem from escalating.

Overwatering: A Silent Killer

Another issue that can plague the African Mask Plant is overwatering. While this plant appreciates consistent moisture, it’s essential not to go overboard. Overwatering can lead to a host of fungal problems, which manifest as brown, black, or yellow spots on the leaves. If you notice any of these discolorations, it’s important to take action immediately. Remove the affected leaves to prevent the spread of the fungal issue and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Prevention is Key

To avoid these common problems, it’s crucial to provide your African Mask Plant with the proper care it needs. This includes:

  • Maintaining appropriate humidity levels
  • Ensuring adequate drainage in the pot
  • Avoiding overwatering by checking soil moisture before watering
  • Providing suitable light conditions
  • Regularly cleaning the leaves to prevent pest infestations

By following these preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of your African Mask Plant falling victim to common issues. Remember, a little bit of proactive care goes a long way in ensuring the long-term health and beauty of your office companion.

Fun Facts and Trivia about the African Mask Plant

Did you know that the African Mask Plant, also known as Alocasia, is not actually from Africa? Despite its name, this fascinating plant is native to the tropical rainforests of South-East Asia, particularly in Borneo. With its striking foliage and unique characteristics, the African Mask Plant has captured the hearts of plant enthusiasts worldwide.

One interesting fact about the African Mask Plant is that it belongs to the Arum family, which includes over 79 known species. These plants have been cultivated around the equator for many years, primarily as a food source. Today, they are popular houseplants, admired for their distinctive appearance and air-purifying qualities.

The name “African Mask” is believed to stem from the plant’s resemblance to traditional African masks. These masks hold deep cultural significance, representing the values and beliefs of various African tribes. They are often carved from wood and adorned with natural materials, much like the African Mask Plant’s leaves, which feature intricate patterns and textures.

In its natural habitat, the African Mask Plant can grow up to an impressive height of four metres. However, when grown as a houseplant, it typically reaches a more manageable size of 60-90 cm. This makes it an ideal addition to your office space, as it can fit comfortably in various settings while still making a bold statement.

Discover the stunning African Mask Plant (Alocasia Polly), its care, and benefits for enhancing office spaces with its striking, air-purifying foliage


We’ve explored the fascinating world of the African Mask Plant, also known as Alocasia Polly. This unique and striking plant has captured the hearts of many plant enthusiasts with its distinctive foliage and captivating presence.

Consider incorporating this stunning plant into your office space and experience the numerous benefits it has to offer. Whether you’re looking to enhance the aesthetics of your workspace, improve air quality, or simply add a touch of greenery, the African Mask Plant is an excellent choice.

So, what are you waiting for? Embrace the beauty and charm of the African Mask Plant and transform your office into a greener, more vibrant environment. With its striking foliage and easy care requirements, this plant is sure to become a beloved addition to your workspace. Start your journey with the African Mask Plant today and enjoy the many rewards it brings!

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