Aspidistras

LIGHT REQUIREMENTS:

Aspidistras are clump-forming perennials known for their attractive paddle-shaped, dark green opulent leaves.  The leaves are borne on long stalks and are excellent for flower arranging.  These plants get their name “cast iron” from their ability to tolerate certain extreme conditions such as lack of light, low temperatures, dust accumulation and other adverse conditions.  This makes them a much-loved option for indoor greenery.  Insects usually don’t have much to do with aspidistras and they are rarely bothered by disease.

LIGHT:  Keep aspidistras away from direct sunlight, which can bleach and burn the leaves.   They don’t require much light or aeration, tolerating pretty much any light they’re given.  This makes them great beginner plants or plants for rooms with low light.

WATER:    While these plants have some drought tolerance, they do like a moderate amount of moisture in the soil, so look at watering once a week or when the top of the soil is dry.  Just remember, the lower the light, the less often a cast-iron plant needs to be watered.

 SOIL:  Cast-iron plants tolerate a wide range of soils, as long as they have good drainage. They prefer organically rich soil.  For container plants, simply use a standard quality potting mix.

FERTILISING:  Fertilise with an all-purpose fertiliser once a month from spring through summer.  Fertilising during autumn and winter is not necessary.

RE-POTTING:  This should be done every four to five years or once the plant has outgrown the pot and the roots grow over the edge of the pot.  Aspidistras don’t take well to root disturbances. When re-potting, choose a new pot that is only about 3cm to 5cm larger than its existing one. Transfer the plant from one pot to another with minimal disturbance of the roots, unless root-bound.  If this is the case, tease a few roots loose. Backfill the pot with fresh soil and replace the plant in its original position.