Aspidistra Elatior - Cast Iron Plant

Common Name(s):

Aspidistra Elatior, Cast Iron Plant

Family:

Asparagaceae

Genus:

Aspidistra

Origin(S):

Taiwan, Japan, China

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The Cast Iron is another vintage gem within the world of indoor plants, gaining popularity in the Victorian and Edwardian eras where it was commonly displayed in hallways and drawing rooms alongside other finery. The Aspidistra acquired its common name, the Cast Iron Plant, due to its resilience and longevity, capable of surviving the dark, draughty rooms heated by coal fires of bygone days.


A perfect indoor plant for beginners or interior designers looking to add life to a room without much additional responsibility. In many cases these slow growing indoor plants become family heirlooms, passing from one generation to the next, continuing to grow as a pure and organic memory of those no longer with us.

Care Guide

Light:

Aspidstra elatior's agreeable and unfussy light requirements make it an exemplary option for trickier spots within your home. The Cast Iron plant will happily reside in darker hallways and shadier corners, bringing the outdoors in, even in those hard-to-fill spaces.

Avoiding intense direct sunlight is recommended. These stunning plants reside on the forrest floor in Taiwan, Japan and China, meaning they are adapted to grow in areas with filtered or dappled sunlight as it passes through the forest canopy overhead.

Water:

While regular watering is best, these indoor plants will happily survive drought conditions for a number of weeks, making it an ideal addition for newcomers to indoor plant ownership, those with a love of travel, or as a plant in office or business spaces. The general rule is to water these plants when the top one third to half of the compost dries out.

To avoid overwatering ensure you check the compost before watering to ensure the compost is not soggy. Common signs of overwatering in Aspidistras is stems beginning to collapse at the base and yellowing leaves. If you observe these signs check for soggy compost particularly towards the bottom of your plant's pot.

Fertilizing:

Regular fertilizing during the growing season is best, using a half strength fertilizer every 1-2 months. Ensure you water your Cast Iron plant prior to adding fertilizer to avoid root burn. Cease fertilizing in the autumn and winter months.

Temperature:

Aspidistras can survive in both draughty or hot rooms, making them excellent candidates for hallways or sitting rooms with open fires. It is best to keep them in spaces that stay between 15-22 degrees celsius, however, as temperatures that begin to drop below or exceed these can stunt growth or cause leaves to deteriorate.

Soil:

These indoor plants with thrive best in nutrient-rich but free draining composts. Organic composts mixed with drainage-improving amendments such as perlite and small amounts of sand will be best. Ensure they are in a pot with a drainage hole to avoid water accumulation as this can lead to overwatering.

Propagation:

Division is the best method of propagating Cast Iron plants.

This is best done at the beginning of the growing season by removing the plant from its pot and separating the plant into clumbs of 3-4 stems by hand. The roots are quite robust making these plants relatively easy to divide even without tools.

Toxicity:

The Aspidistra elatior is considered to be non-toxic, making it suitable for households with children and pets. Shop our Child & Pet-Friendly Collection here.


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