How To Revive An Aspidistra

  • Give it a good soak in order for it to absorb as much water as possible in the first step. The roots should be entirely submerged in the water for at least a couple of hours; however, when you’ve finished soaking them, be sure to drain off any extra water. Their leaves and stems, which are frequently dried from being in the pot for so long, will become softer as a result.
  • The second step is to vigorously shake the plant to get rid of any dirt and debris that have gathered on the leaves or soil. This will aid in getting rid of any bugs from their surface and stop mold from growing in the future.
  • Step three: Placing an aspidistra in the sun will help it recover quickly. However, you can also lay it outside during the day where they’ll get indirect sunlight or utilize artificial light indoors to help keep them flourishing. Sunlight aids in their growth and gives their leaves a wonderful dark green hue.
  • Step four: From September to June, fertilize your aspidistra with compost tea every three months. This will encourage healthy root growth and maintain their leaves glossy and green.
  • Step five: Every three weeks, give it a thorough rinsing with tepid water to get rid of any dust that may have accumulated on the soil’s or leaves’ surface. For this phase, the dirt should be left in its original location to serve as a natural fertilizer.
  • Sixth step: After a thorough rinsing, gently sprinkle the plant’s soil, roots, and leaves with the water still in the bucket to help supply them with the vital nutrients they require. Additionally, this will avoid any overwatering that can result in root rot or other possible health issues for an aspidistra.

Why are the leaves on my Aspidistra fading?

Unlike the majority of other foliar interior plants, this one can happily go for far longer intervals without watering. Overwatering damage to Aspidistra leaves, including brown tips and leaves with yellow and green specks, is fairly prevalent. One is quite simple to overwater, especially if you treat it like any other houseplant. It needs much less care than the majority of other foliar plants and will suffer adverse effects from excessive care.

Make sure there is enough time between waterings for it to dry out. Because the cast iron plant has tap roots that extend downward from its rhizomal roots, which run horizontally across the soil surface in most indoor circumstances, it is not advised to water through the liner. It should be sufficient to water the soil until the soil surface is constantly moist.

Be gentle with yourself if your plant has some brown tips that have appeared. It has been reported that even seasoned horticulturists can cause brown tips. The Aspidistra, however, is a plant that allows us the luxury of pruning back those brown tips in order to restore the brilliant green appearance.

Why is my Aspidistra acting strangely?

The Aspidistra is a resilient plant that can withstand filthy air, chilly weather, and dark hallways, but if you’re having issues, take a look below.

Given the wide range of potential causes of brown tips on the leaves, this can be challenging to diagnose. To figure out what went wrong, read the following and consider how your prior care methods compare. You can remove the brown tips in the meantime without hurting the leaves.

  • The most frequent cause is likely to be mild underwatering. Occasionally adding a little more water should help stop the development of new brown tips.
  • Placement in an extremely warm, arid environment is the second most typical cause. possibly next to a radiator or an open flame. Short bursts of warmth are OK, but prolonged warmth can lead to brown tips, which can be problematic. Increasing the humidity around the plant should be beneficial.
  • Thirdly, although it’s the least likely cause of the three, pests like spider mites can eventually result in brown tips.

Aspidistra resembles a vampire in that it doesn’t require much to survive, yet it can’t handle direct sunlight at all. Anything more would be too much; it needs to be in a shaded or sunny position or the weak filtered sunlight from another angle.

It’s natural for one leaf to turn yellow; there’s no need to be concerned. However, if the leaves are turning yellow in large numbers or slowly over time, this is a concern and is frequently brought on by one of the following:

  • Cold exposure: A quick and widespread yellowing effort can be brought on by exposure to very cold temperatures or heavy Frost.
  • Repotting a plant too frequently can disturb its roots. Repotting is the most effective method of accomplishing this. Repotting established plants more frequently than every three years is excessive.
  • An Aspidistra would prefer to be too dry than too wet if given the chance. The soil should never be saturated or sodden; it should only ever be damp. The roots will suffer if the soil is very wet, and this is often represented in a significant number of leaves turning yellow and dying off.

Possible treatment: Our Aspidistra already experienced the yellowing issue. Most likely from drinking too much water in the midst of winter (we all make mistakes occasionally!).

Individual stems will occasionally act in this way in an effort to help the rest of the plant survive. When one leaf became completely yellow, it appeared as though it signaled the other leaves to follow suit.

After losing seven sizable leaves over the course of just a few weeks, things started to look pretty concerning as numerous leaves began to turn yellow one by one, starting from the leaf’s center.

In the end, we used a dramatic method to stop the yellowing, cutting off an entire leaf stem that was quite close to the ground and showed the first beginnings of a yellow streak. The “signal cascade” appeared to be stopped as there was no further yellowing after this.

Why do the leaves on my Aspidistra become yellow?

Overwatering is the main cause of yellowing leaves on Cast Iron Plants (or any plant).

Your plant’s leaves are likely to turn yellow and fall off if they are submerged in water or planted in dense soil that lacks enough drainage.

Remove the yellowed leaves and address the water, soil, and placement issues with your plant to solve this issue.

Should I trim the Cast Iron Plant’s brown tips?

This plant’s broad leaves tend to draw a lot of dust because of their size.

I frequently dust mine, either by giving the leaves a thorough rinse in the shower or wiping them down with a moist sponge or paper towel.

For their best health, it is crucial that you keep your plants free of dust.

The leaves on your cast iron plant may have brown tips. If this occurs, I just use scissors to trim the brown points.

If your plant’s tips are brown, it may have been kept too dry. It might also indicate that your plant is very likely pot-bound.

Please read my blog post on the top 6 reasons why your leaves are turning brown and crispy if your cast iron plant or any other houseplant has been developing brown tips.

Can you trim Aspidistra back?

When is the ideal moment to reduce the number of cast iron plants? Mine appear to be a little faded and brownish-yellow. I reasoned that if I cut it down to the ground, they would revive. Despite being in the ground for a number of years, this planting has never been trimmed out. Randall Eustis

In late February or early March, you can prune back cast iron plants (Aspidistra elatior) before fertilizing them. The planting will be revived if you cut everything down to a few inches above the ground. It will, however, take a year or two for it to regain its previous thickness and height. The plants will recover more quickly if you can simply remove the undesirable leaves while leaving the lovely, healthy green leaves alone, but this is more work. If a plant appears brownish-yellow throughout, it can be receiving too much light. Cast iron plants like complete or significant shade because they do not like any direct sunlight.

My Aspidistra may I place outside?

Few houseplants will withstand as much neglect as an aspidistra if you want a genuinely unbreakable houseplant. It can withstand more shadow than practically any other plant, in addition to months of drought, the coldest drafts, and nearly any insect. Therefore, the species was known as the “cast iron plant” in Victorian times.

But exactly how unbreakable is unbreakable? Well, I had a specimen that the mailman had left in a trash cabinet at my front door when I was testing out plants for one of the tropical gardens I designed for the Chelsea Flower Show. This was still in its sealed cardboard box when I eventually found it a month later, and it came out looking as though nothing had occurred. No other plant that I am aware of would survive this treatment without resembling wet mush or a dried-out skeleton.

Few people are aware that aspidistras have a surprising amount of cold endurance given their tropical appearance, which makes their robust constitution equally beneficial outside as it is indoors. Even though aspidistras are regarded to be reliably hardy species like fatsia, cordylines, and phormiums, estimates of the exact temperatures they can tolerate range greatly. However, I have seen aspidistras survive winters that have been devastating to these plants. This means that they are the ideal choice if you live in a more temperate area and have a protected garden that is afflicted by dry shadow, the gardener’s worst nightmare. Almost every modest urban plot I have seen has at least one area that fits this description (since surrounding walls not only produce a relatively sheltered microclimate, but they also function as a rain/sun shadow to create the location that is both sun-starved and extremely dry). It is thus surprising how seldom this genus is actually employed. A lot of people are also unaware of how stunning and varied they may be, in contrast to the bland, dark-green paddles of the conventional Aspidistra elatior of days gone by.

I adore the A sichuanensis ‘Ginga’ plant’s gorgeously speckled foliage, which has constellations of dazzling lemon yellow spots scattered across its dark green leaves. It grows in tidy clusters of narrow, blade-like leaves that like something out of the Amazon, yet in my experience, it can withstand extended lows of at least -10C without suffering any obvious damage. If you like speckles, “Milky Way” is extremely similar, except the patterning is creamy white rather than brilliant yellow. A sichuanensis ‘Chromatographic,’ which has yellow dots that are each surrounded by a halo of pale olive green before blending into the dark green, is the most amazing of all the dotted species in my opinion.

The tips of an elatior have the appearance of having been painted white, and they bleed through the leaf like tie-dyes, which can halt even a seasoned opponent of variegated plants (like me) in their tracks. Aelatior “Okame,” which is striped with ice-white, is another material I adore for its ability to reflect light in even the driest and darkest areas. Lacking flowers? A attenuata, also known as the “Dungpu Dazzler,” arrives with drifts of pale yellow stars that are right at ground level and are punctuated by slender, almost grass-like leaves.

Can I revive a struggling cast iron factory?

It is probably thirsty if your cast iron plant’s leaves are turning a crispy brown and drooping, but it is overwatered if they are turning a deep brown and squishy. Although these plants can tolerate some drought, you should water them when the top 50 to 75 percent of the soil is dry. Thoroughly rinse, then throw away any extra water. Make sure the soil is never wet because this might cause problems with root rot.

Low to indirect light is excellent for your cast iron plant. Growth will be slower under worse lighting conditions, however excessive direct light will render the foliage a pale brown color. To protect the plant from sun damage, remove any browned leaves and move it a little further away from the window.

What volume of water does an aspidistra require?

The only other indoor plants that can tolerate poor light, drafts, general neglect in watering, and dust collection are probably Aglaonemas, the hardy “Zanzibar Gem (ZZ plant), and snake plants.


  • tolerant of neglect, dust, and drought
  • Temperatures as low as 28 degrees Fahrenheit can be tolerated by the leaves without causing damage. (Learn more about indoor plants that can withstand cold)
  • Accept dim lighting in certain situations, even at 10-foot candles.
  • make wonderful additions to bouquets of cut flowers, and the foliage frequently endures for weeks.
  • Generally free of pests

Size & Growth

At the base, thick, fleshy root stalks and stems give Aspidistra elatior its upward clustering growth pattern. The bright, green, corn-like leaf blades get up to 24–30 inches long.

From underground rhizomes, full-sized Aspidistra plants emerge with stems around 12 inches tall and leaves up to 12 inches long “It measures 18 inches long and 5 inches wide, creating an arch.

At the base of the plant, the new leaves that grow from the underground rhizome are wrapped up. Then, they gradually widen to a little, sharp tip.

Small-scale cast-iron plant owners need to be patient. An Aspidistra takes a long time to mature into a specimen plant, even with strong development.

The Aspidistra in variegated cast iron has borders of the leaves with bright colored stripes. These stripes can occasionally be seen in the middle of each big leaf.

Aspidistra minor, often known as Aspidistra Milky Way, is a dwarf variety with leaves that are black-green with white dots. Try to amass all three so that they can be displayed in lovely beautiful containers.

Cast iron spreads outward when grown outdoors at a pace of roughly 18 inches per year. It is the ideal evergreen plant for your yard because of this.

as many “Cast iron plants and folk plants are not often offered in nurseries. Their accessibility is partially a result of its gradual growth and underappreciation.

Typically, azalea pots measuring 6, 8, and 10 inches are used for cast-iron plants. The Aspidistra is unique among bushy potted plants since it may grow from 12 to 24 inches tall and wide. They are the ideal indoor plants for a bathroom.

Cast Iron Flower and Fragrance

Cast irons display their bell-shaped flower, which blooms infrequently. But occasionally, Apsidistra blooms with tiny purple flowers close to the soil’s surface.

If they do show up, they don’t last long and don’t smell particularly good.

At the soil level, tiny globular aspidistra flowers with a perianth and a violet-brown hue grow.

Light & Temperature

Cast Iron plants enjoy bright indirect light, like many indoor perennials. However, it is not necessary for their survival, and they are able to function in low light.

The one thing they cannot tolerate indoors is direct sunshine. Leaves may become pale green or burnt under direct sunlight. So, to prevent the leaves from being harmed, keep them in shaded areas of your home or yard.

The ideal range for daytime temperatures is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal nighttime temperature for iron plants is between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

With the right care, aspidistras become much more appealing and can withstand a broad range of temperatures.

As Indoor Plants

The best light comes from a north window. However, plants will thrive with 150-foot candles if they are growing in artificial light.

Although aspidistra can tolerate dry air and low humidity, they thrive in moist air.

As Landscape Plants

The USDA Hardiness Growing Zone 711 is advised for the cast irons. They thrive when planted in shady locations away from the sun. They are exceptionally tolerant of temperature extremes up to 4585 degrees Fahrenheit, and temperatures do not appear to have an impact on plant growth.

Water and Fertilizer

When you let the soil dry up before watering it again, aspidistra grows well. Do not overwater. When the top few inches of soil feel dry to the touch, water them every 10 to 14 days.

Even for a month, the iron plant can withstand underwatering. Overwatering can result in root rot, which can lead to their death.

This perennial plant thrives in soil that is evenly damp but not always wet, though it will tolerate missed waterings.


Do not overfeed a slow grower. Instead, apply fertilizera liquid food once a month at half intensity or apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer prior to the start of the spring and summer growing seasons to improve their health.

Apply an all-purpose liquid fertilizer every three to four months when the light level is low.

Soil, Re-Potting & Transplanting

Use a high-quality, well-drained potting soil blend designed for houseplants or African violets as a potted indoor plant. Build your own potting mixture using:

  • All-purpose loam, one portion
  • portion peat moss
  • Vermiculite or perlite, in one section

Every two to three years, the iron plant needs to be replanted because it thrives in a pot. Before new growth starts, repot in the early spring using a pot with drainage holes. They dislike having their roots uprooted frequently.

Make sure the decision to relocate the plant to a new pot is justified if you must. For instance, it has outgrown its size. If so, choose a pot size that is two inches bigger than the present, outdated pot. The roots should then be carefully removed and untangled before being planted in their new location.

As a landscape plant, place the cast iron outside in a good-quality, well-drained garden soil that has been enriched with decomposing manure and up to one-third part peat or compost. Any extra water in the root ball needs to be able to drain away from the roots.

NOTE: In poor soil with good drainage, I have personally seen beds of cast iron plants thrive.

Grooming And Maintenance

Wipe each Cast Iron leaf with a moist cloth or soft sponge once a month to prevent dust accumulation. Additionally, routine cleaning keeps them free of pests and increases photosynthesis, which gives the leaves more light.

Early March should be the time for pruning. Trim brown leaf tips, fading leaves, dead leaves, and leaves that are turning brown.

As a result, the plant has the summer to recover. You can encourage the growth of a stronger, healthier plant by cutting the stems and leaves to a distance of a few inches from the soil’s surface.