Where Can I Buy An Aspidistra Plant

Don’t allow the Cast Iron Plant stay in a puddle for too long; it prefers soil that drains efficiently.

Take on the mites! Scale and spider mites are prone to attack cast iron plants! There can be a bug issue if you see white dots on the leaves. View our pests guide for assistance.


A variety of lighting situations will be favorable for Aspidistra elatior. A dark, dismal nook is illuminated by strong indirect light. However, avoid sitting in direct sunlight. tolerant of the shade.


In the summer, keep the plants uniformly moist, but in the winter, water less frequently. comparatively forgiving if you occasionally forget to water. Root rot can be prevented by avoiding excessive dampness around the roots.


Although aspidistra may survive in dry conditions, it might fare better in moist environments like the kitchen or bathroom. The plant may benefit from misting on occasion, but it is not necessary.

Can Aspidistra be indoors grown?

The Cast Iron Plant, also known as Aspidistra elatior, is a member of the lily family and is indigenous to China and Japan. It was once a fairly common houseplant and could be found in many Victorian hallways.

Even while it is currently much less popular and less frequent in modern homes than it was at this time, it is still a wonderful indoor plant to acquire.

An aspidistra is a classy houseplant despite being less frequently seen.

However, the plant’s complexity or maintenance requirements have nothing to do with the decline in popularity. In fact, it was given the moniker “Cast Iron Plant” for its near indestructibility because it is perfectly capable of coping with low lighting, muddy surroundings, as well as bad air quality, warm or cold temperatures.

Famously, it even made an appearance in George Orwell’s 1936 book “Keep the Aspidistra Flying” (despite though the book itself has nothing to do with caring for houseplants!).

Only a few new leaves are produced each year due to the slow growth of the huge paddle-shaped leaves, which are frequently a dark shade of green. The biggest benefit of this is that it won’t quickly outgrow the site you choose for it.

It won’t require much of your effort to live fairly contentedly in many regions of the house.

Because Aspidistra take a long time to reach a size that is suitable for sale due to their slow growth, they can be very expensive to purchase. It might be challenging to find due to the price as well as certain false perceptions that the plant is outdated and “fussy” in modern homes.

Nevertheless, it’s worth looking for because, against popular belief, it makes a lovely and forgiving houseplant. It will also thrive in numerous locations without much of your effort. Additionally, they have a remarkable capacity for longevity, as seen by the numerous anecdotal accounts of Aspidistra living past the age of 50.

The Aspidistra variety with all-green leaves, A. elatior, is the most popular (sometimes labeled as A. lurida). It is conventional, simple to maintain, and quite perhaps the variety you will encounter most frequently.

Nevertheless, although they are more difficult to find, there are some variegated varieties available. If you fall in love with variegated varieties and make a promise to yourself that you must possess one, be ready to look for the professional seller.

Cost: These indoor plants can be pricey. With more than 15 huge leaves, a whole pot might easily cost $40 or more. Look for smaller plants with fewer leaves if cost is a concern. They will develop over time.

Because they will need more light to keep their stripes or markings, variegated types are less forgiving when it comes to lighting requirements. Additionally, they may be less temperature tolerant and grow a little more slowly than their green cousin. Even at its slowest, the all-green A. elatior does not grow quickly, therefore the absence of a cultivar that grows even more slowly may be the cause.

There are varieties with white speckles covering the leaves, such as “Milky Way” (below).

Picture taken by Plantsorbust of Aspidistra ‘Milky Way’s white-speckled leaves

Then there are the Aspidistra species that feature stripes, like A. elatior Okame, which have striking white markings. While A. elatior variegata stands out with its creamy white leaves that can have yellow or lime green tints.

All Cast Iron Plants, whether green or variegated, require the same maintenance in order to flourish. Continue reading for some pictures, detailed care instructions, a list of typical plant issues, reader comments, and owner growth advice.

Is Aspidistra a healthy indoor plant?

The cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior), which grows in some regions, has developed a reputation for being both a tough houseplant and an attractive outdoor foliage plant. This plant can withstand extensive neglect as well as adverse growing conditions, like low light, that would kill many other plants. Its arched, lance-shaped, glossy, deep green leaves can grow up to 2 feet long and 4 inches broad. When cultivated outdoors, it occasionally bears inconsequential cream and purple blooms close to the plant’s base, however indoors, the plant rarely sprouts flowers. The optimum time to plant the cast-iron plant is typically in the spring because of its moderately slow development rate.

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.

What does the word “aspidira” mean?

Aspidistra is a plant native to Asia (Aspidistra elatior) that belongs to the lily family and is frequently grown for its foliage.

The aspidistra plant has flowers, right?

Aspidistra/spdstr/[2] is a genus of flowering plants that is endemic to eastern and southeastern Asia, mainly China and Vietnam. It belongs to the Asparagaceae family and the Nolinoideae subfamily.

[1][3] They flourish in the shade of bushes and trees. Their flowers also occur at ground level, where their leaves grow more or less directly. Since the 1980s, there has been a significant increase in the number of species known, with about 100 recognised as of July 2013[update]. The leafy house plant Aspidistra elatior is widespread around the world and is remarkably forgiving of neglect. It may be cultivated outside in the shade, where it and other species are typically hardy to 5 C. (23 F).

Should Aspidistra be fed?

Here are some additional pointers and details on the upkeep of Aspidistra plants:

  • The “Cast Iron” moniker for these plants refers to their propensity to withstand adverse environmental conditions like poor lighting, freezing temperatures, dust accumulation, and other unpleasant circumstances. Aglaonemas are the only other indoor plants that can thrive under these conditions.
  • Although Aspidistra plants are highly tolerant to unfavorable situations, they grow in ideal settings, therefore you shouldn’t intentionally place them in difficult environments. Under proper maintenance, it will seem more attractive and be healthier.
  • The ideal temperature range for these plants is between 70 and 75 degrees F during the day and 50 to 55 degrees F at night. The ideal lighting range is 50 to 500 foot candles.
  • Keep these plants evenly moist but not consistently wet is the best approach to water them. Even though it can tolerate forgone waterings, it’s preferable to provide them the proper attention.
  • The Aspidistra plants flourish in top-notch garden soil when kept outside. It is ideal to grow them in manure-decayed soil. It’s also beneficial to amend the soil with up to 1/3 part peat or humus.
  • It’s advisable to use a high-quality potting soil blend if you intend to keep them indoors. African violet-specific soil mixtures will function perfectly.
  • Fertilization is necessary for aspidistra plants. Ideally, fertilize them every three to four months. Use a half-strength indoor plant fertilizer to fertilize when there is little light available. You can add fertilizer at high light levels once per month. Fertilization is crucial for the growth of your Aspidistra.

How many aspidistra species are there?

Because it can withstand neglect, the cast iron plant has long been a favorite indoor plant. Its resilience to poor lighting and air quality, which were aggravated by coal fires and gas lights in Victorian and Edwardian households, led to its widespread use in drawing rooms during this time.

One of the roughly 100 species in the genus is Aspidistra elatior, an understorey plant that is native to Taiwan and the southern islands of Japan. The British botanist John Bellenden Ker Gawler published the first description of the genus Aspidistra in 1822. The genus’ members are robust, clump-forming perennials with rhizomes that grow just below the soil’s surface that are evergreen. The rhizomes grow broad, leathery, 60 cm long, dark glossy green lance-shaped leaves with long petioles and distinct parallel veins running along their length.

The blooms, on the other hand, are effectively concealed, yet it’s worth looking for them due to their unique form. They are three to four centimeters across, cup-shaped, and meaty when they appear at ground level. The flower’s interior has a vibrant crimson and pink color, with a cream exterior. Pollination and fruit distribution in Aspidistra are quite mysterious. There haven’t been many observations of pollinators, however slugs and, in some Japanese populations, sand fleas are candidates as pollinators of Aspidistra elatior. The stigma is disc-shaped and flattened with a receptive upper surface, while the stamens are retained underneath, inside a perianth tube, making self-pollination extremely unlikely. Other Aspidistra species are pollinated by tiny midges and other flies, and their developing larvae occasionally choose the flowers as a place to lay their eggs.

Aspidistra elatior is a hardy, slowly-growing plant that, under the correct circumstances, can develop to be a big plant. Additionally, some plants live a long time, even becoming into family heirlooms as they are passed down from one generation to the next.

Writings, engineering, and artistic creations have all been influenced by Aspidistra. Samuel Peploe, a Scottish colourist who worked in the early 20th century, painted still lifes of Aspidistra elatior. George Orwell used the plant’s link with upper-class drawing rooms in his scathing, satirical book Keep the Aspidistra flying (1936). In music hall acts like Gracie Fields’ The biggest aspidistra in the world, the plant also made an appearance. The song served as the inspiration for the World War II code name “Aspidistra” for a British radio transmitter. The transmitter was the largest in the world at the time.

2014. Vislobokov NA et al. Female Cecidomyiidi flies pollinate the Asparagaceae plant Aspidistra xuansonensis in Vietnam by depositing viable pollen in the anthers of the anthetic, bisexual blooms. 101: 1519–1531. American Journal of Botany.

Are cast-iron plants contagious?

Cast-iron plants produce eye-catching, dark green leaves all year long in the garden. The plants make excellent ground covers since they are low-growing and spread widely. Long, oblong, and pointed at the ends, the glossy leaves. Most cast-iron plants have a deep green color that works well as a backdrop for shorter blooming plants, as a pathway border, or as an understory plant to conceal lanky bushes’ stems. Alternately, use a variegated cultivar to illuminate particularly gloomy spaces. The plants have a comparable spread and a height of around 2 feet on average.

How quickly does a cast-iron plant develop?

The growth rate of the Cast Iron Plant is quite modest, and it is influenced by the amount of light it receives. In low light conditions, Cast Iron Plants’ development rate will be slowed and they will typically reach heights of up to two feet and widths of two to three feet. In the spring and summer, fertilize your plant once to twice per month. You might even think about year-round foliar feeding.