Holes in Alocasia Leaves – What To Do?

Thanks to some of the most striking foliage in the plant world, alocasia firmly has its place as one of the most popular additions to indoor plant collections, offering a unique visual appeal.

Also known as elephant’s ear, alocasia is not only popular due to its beauty but also because it’s known to be very easy to take care of.

With a proper care routine, you will hardly face any problems during its life span.

However, occasionally, there may be some reason for concern and one of the most common issues is the appearance of holes in alocasia leaves,

This can be rather frustrating, as these holes can not only ruining the visual appeal of alocasia but also indicate a more serious problem in the plant’s environment.

That’s why it’s important to learn what may be causing these holes and what to do to deal with this issue.

In this article, I will explore the causes of holes in Alocasia leaves and provide tips on how to prevent and treat this issue.

So, let’s dive in!

Why Are There Holes in Alocasia Leaves?

Alocasia leaves with holes in them.

Holes in alocasia leaves can appear for a couple of reasons and each of them requires your attention.

The most likely causes, however, are pest infestation or environmental stress. There are several pests specials that enjoy feeding on alocasia leaves.

The most likely culprits are spider mites or scale insects, or, more rarely, aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs.

As some of these pests are very small, sometimes you won’t even notice the infestation until it’s in full swing.

This is why it’s important to monitor your plant for holes in leaves.

Besides various pests, holes and other kinds of damage to the leaves may appear due to the different kinds of environmental stress the plant is going through.

This may include extreme temperatures or improper fertilizing.

The good news is that most of these issues are treatable as long as you notice them on time and take an appropriate course of action.

Pest Infestation

Alocasia is relatively prone to pest infestation, especially if it’s already stressed and not in peak conditions.

While some of these pests can do a lot of damage, they can be difficult to notice, so make a habit of inspecting your alocasia leaves, especially from the bottom side.

Dealing with some of these pests, especially spider mites and scale insects is something you can expect to become a routine part of your plant maintenance.

Spider Mites

Close up of a spider mite.

If you notice that your alocasia leaves have small holes in them, as well as spots on the surface, the most likely culprits are spider mites who enjoy feeding on this plant.

They’re typically red or light green and very hard to spot when they attack the plant.

Chances are, you’ll notice the white spots and stipples they leave behind sooner than you notice the actual insects.

In the cases of more severe infections, the leaves will not only have holes and occasional spots but may turn brown and eventually fall off.

What to Do?

If you notice that your alocasia is infested with spider mites, the first thing to do is to isolate the affected plant from the rest of your plant collection.

Then, rinse the leaves with soapy water, making care to get to both the top and bottom sides of the leaves.

After doing this, you may wipe the plant with neem oil to prevent further infestation.

If the infestation is already too severe, you’ll probably have to treat the plant with insecticide or insecticidal soap.

Once you return the plant to its original spot, look to increase the level of humidity around it.

Spider mites prefer dry conditions, so misting your alocasia regularly or placing a pebble tray nearby should keep these insects away and prevent them from coming back.

Scale Insects

White Scale Insects of the superfamily coccoidea.

Another insect species that is often responsible for holes in leaves of your alocasia is scale.

Scale insects are pretty good at planting into the environment, so you may mistake them for rust or brown-colored spots or bumps on the plant.

They feed on leaves, and can leave holes behind them, as well as stunt the growth of the leaf and turn it yellow or brown.

If the infestation goes on for a longer period, the leaves will eventually die and drop off.

What to Do?

If the infestation is still at its early stage, you can simply wash the leaves, or scrape the scale insects off their surface.

In more serious cases, you will probably have to use horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.

Environmental Stress

If the alocasia leaves have holes, but there’s no sign of pest infestation, then the most likely cause is some sort of environmental stress.

The plants can be stressed for a variety of reasons and most of them have to do with your cultivar practice.

Alocasia is particularly vulnerable to environmental irregularities while its leaves are still developing. One of the most common reasons for the holes in alocasia leaves is lack of water.

If the plant isn’t receiving enough water, you will start noticing the holes and brown spots on leaves,

To prevent further damage, adjust your watering routine and make sure the plant grows in moist soil.

However, the soil should also be well-drained, as a waterlogged environment can cause root rot and other problems.

The holes in leaves can also appear due to over-fertilizing, or if the plant is exposed to extreme temperatures for a longer period.


Noticing holes in the leaves of your alocasia is typically not a reason to panic.

However, you should still take it seriously, as these holes commonly point to some underlying issue, most frequently the pest infestation or some sort of environmental stress.

The most common pest attacking the alocasia are spider mites and scale, while the environmental reason that can cause the holes in leaves include lack of water and too much heat or cold.

Most of these issues are not too serious, and with timely action, you can revive the plant and have the leaves looking crisp and beautiful again.

However, it’s important that you regularly inspect your alocasia, so you can react on time because, if given time, these small problems can grow and cause serious damage to the plant and even cause it to die.

Melissa Johnson
Melissa Johnson

Hello, I'm Melissa, owner and author of this website. I hope my article was able to help answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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