Alocasia Bambino Vs Polly (Ways to Tell the Differences)


The Alocasia class of plants commonly referred to as elephant-ear plants, is a diverse and beautiful option for indoor plants. Many varieties are available to choose from, two of the most common being Alocasia Bambino and Alocasia Polly.

While they do share many similar traits and characteristics, they are also distinctly unique and offer their own elegant flair to any indoor setting. Experts have long praised these plants for their durability and adaptability and here are some handy tips to help you get the most out of your Bambino or Polly plants!

Alocasia Bambino Vs Polly at a Glance

Choosing the right plant for any indoor space is critical because putting a plant in the wrong environment can spell disaster. Deciding whether the Bambino or Polly is best for your home or office can be challenging without carefully comparing the specific requirements of each plant.

Here is a handy chart to help simplify things:

 Alocasia Bambino Polly
USDA Hardiness zone10 to 11 outdoors 8 to 11 indoors10 to 11 outdoors 8 to 11 indoors
Scientific NameAlocasia amazonica BambinoAlocasia amazonica Polly
Mature heightTaller than 40cm25-30cm average
Growth rateAverage with a dormant periodAverage with a dormant period
HabitClumping and uprightClumping and upright
Light RequirementMedium-light to shade outdoorsMedium-light to shade outdoors
Soil TypeLight and well-drainingLight and well-draining
Soil pH5.0-6.55.0-6.0
Watering FrequencySoaked with drying out periodsSoaked with drying out periods
PestsScale, mealybug, gnats, and aphidsScale, mealybug, gnats, and aphids
DiseasesLeaf spot and root rotLeaf spot and root rot

Key Differences Between Alocasia Bambino and Alocasia Polly

Differences Between Alocasia Bambino and Alocasia Polly

Dealing with the Alocasia Bambino Vs Polly debate can be tricky. However, carefully considering the individual requirements each plant needs to thrive in the indoor environment of your home or office can help ensure you make the right choice.

Here is everything you need to keep in mind when comparing these two beautiful and amazing species of Alocasia.

Leaves Shape and Look

Leaves of both the Bambino and Polly take on a glossy gleam. They’re beautiful, elegant, and very striking. Polly has a much more scalloped and edged look to eh leaves and a deeper heart shape look to the leaves, compared to the more arrowhead shape of the Bambino variety.

Leaves Color:

The Bambino features green leaves with a dark purple underside. Polly has similar coloration tones that are often softer and not as vibrant. Both varieties feature bright and stunning white veins on the surface of the leaves.

Flower:

None- the flower is rare and inconspicuous on both plants as they are grown predominantly for their striking foliage.

Growth Rate:

Alocasia can be a little slow to get established but both Bambino and Polly can at times be fast-growing in optimal conditions. Regular checks o the root system and repotting can help avoid issues with plants becoming rootbound.

Light: 

These plants both thrive best with well-light indoor areas but need shade outdoors as direct light damages leave. Locating them in well-lit areas or using special grow lights can ensure they get enough light without burning the foliage.

Temperature: 

Both of these plants need to be kept warm to encourage healthy growth and reduces issues with pests and diseases. Drafty cool areas of the home or office should be avoided so be mindful of air conditioning vents and fans and the general airflow in the room.

Humidity: 

Bambino and Polly both require a humid and moist environment in order to thrive. There are several easy ways to accomplish this in the home or office setting.

A tray of water under the pot can add moisture to the immediate area for the plants to use. Or locating the plants in a bathroom, kitchen, or high-moisture area can also help meet humidity needs.

Fertilizer Application: 

Apply a slow-release fertilizer every month or so during the active growing season. Both plant types can handle an occasional low dose of liquid fast-acting fertilizer at the start of the growing season but should not be inundated with fertilizer as it can lead to spindly stems and thinner leaves.

General Care Tips: 

Both Bambino and Polly variations need minimal care once they are established, but there are some simple things that you can do to keep them looking their best.

Trim back dead leaves to encourage new flushes of growth. Remember dormant periods are common and do not necessarily mean the plant is dead.

Reduce watering and avoid fertilizing for a few months until new growth appears again. Watch for pests and diseases and remove damaged or infected leaves as soon as possible. 

If slower spikes do appear it is best to remove them so the plants put growing energy towards the leaves for full and beautiful plants.

Toxicity: 

These plants are harmful to animals and people if eaten. The leaves and stems also secrete a sticky substance that can be a major skin and eye irritant. Keep out of reach of children and animals to avoid accidental poisoning.

Origin: 

The alocasia species as a whole has its origins traced back to Southeast Asia. The Bambino and Polly variants are specially developed sub-variants and are based on natural species found in the wild. these were bred and genetically developed to highlight the stunning features they are known for today.

Where to Find:

It usually is easy to find both of these variations, as well as many others, at local garden centers and online with specialty nurseries and greenhouses.

Closing Thoughts on Alocasia Bambino Vs Polly

With a long history of use indoors, it is easy to see why the Alocasia remains a popular choice for home and office spaces today. Many beautiful varieties exist today thanks to years of breeding and genetic selection.

However, two of the most common variants still remain the Alocasia Bambino and Alocasia Polly. While there are similar traits and characteristics that are shared between the two and while their care is essentially the same, they are also distinct and can bring a unique look and feel to indoor spaces.

Arifur Rahman

I'm the owner of gardenforindoor.com. After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I'm serving as a civil service officer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh. I started Garden For Indoor to make your indoor gardening journey easy and enjoyable.

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