Xanthosoma variegata is commonly called the ‘Mickey Mouse plant’. Also known as Mickey Mouse Alocasia, but also as Xanthosoma albo marginata ‘Mickey Mouse Alocasia’, so read the label and look at the leaves.
The Mickey Mouse plant is mainly grown as an indoor plant it can reach around 1m (3 feet) in height. The leaves are a little less than .5m long (18 inches)
Originally from tropical rain forest areas of South America, it is grown for the large deep green leaves and creamy white variegation which appears near the edges of the leaves.
Fairly new to cultivation, it was once regarded as rare, however is now more readily available for sale.
The leaf shape is different to most of its relatives, they are said to look a little like Mickey Mouse Ears, its an Aroid and. An interesting one.
How to Grow Xanthosoma variegata (Mickey Mouse plant)
Xanthosoma albo marginata is fairly upright and is naturally clump forming, outdoors in a sub tropical climate it could reach 1.5m in height. Indoors, where it is usually grown it will reach less than this.
Use a deep pot as this is plant that grows largish tubers and will send out more shoots/offsets in a deep pot.
Xanthosoma is best grown in a spot with bright indirect sunlight.
Watering Xanthosoma is all about deep watering and then allowing the soil to dry little before watering again.
In the warm growing season, indoors you may need to water every 4 – 5 days. This will depend on the growing medium and the position.
This is a plant from tropical climates, so average to high humidity is best. You can mist spray, and the best time to do this is in the morning as it gives the foliage a chance to dry before cool nighttime temperatures.
Use a free draining potting mix, most specialist indoor potting mixes work well, some growers at 15% perlite if there is non in the potting mix. You find specialist aroid potting mixes which will be ideal.
A liquid indoor plant fertiliser applied as recommended will be suitable. Do not over fertilise. Seaweed products are good for root development and overall plant health. However granular slow release fertilisers such as Osmocote are perhaps easier.
This plant is toxic to cats and dog, as well as humans and other animals if ingested.
In cold winters, the plant will go dormant and loose its foliage, this is the time to stop watering and keep the tuber dry.