How To Divide Cast Iron Plant

Working carefully is essential when propagating by division since the roots of this slow-growing plant are delicate and are readily broken by hard handling. However, if your cast iron facility is established, division should not be a problem. Cast iron plant division is best carried out in the spring or summer, when the plant is actively growing.

Remove the plant from the pot with care. With your fingers, gently pry the roots apart as you lay the clump on a piece of newspaper. Avoid using a trowel or knife since they are more likely to sever the delicate roots. To guarantee strong top development, make sure the root clump has at least two or three stems attached.

In a clean container with new potting soil, place the division. The container must include a drainage hole at the bottom and should not be wider than the root mass by more than 2 inches (5 cm). The depth of the divided cast iron plant should be around the same as it was in the original pot, so take care not to plant it too deeply.

The “parent cast iron plant” should be replanted in its original container or transferred to a little smaller one. Until the roots are set and the plant begins to develop again, water the newly divided plant sparingly and keep the soil damp but not saturated.

Where do cast iron plants get cut?

Old-fashioned and perhaps overused in some places, Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior) is a great plant for a dry shade garden. Since Cast Iron Plant is a native of China, I’ll have to stray a little from my usual encouragement to use native plants in the garden as I praise its benefits. It lends itself to a lush, tropical aspect, especially in shadowy regions of the garden thanks to its smooth, wide, evergreen leaves. (In the picture below, Inland Sea Oats are in front of the Aspidistra (Chasmanthium latifolium).

It is a xeric addition to any shade garden and grows from rhizome roots. The optimal time to separate the rhizomes is in February or March, but it takes a long time for it to get too crowded. It makes a wonderful gift plant! Pruning Cast Iron Plant every two to four years is beneficial. To do this, prune close to the plant’s base (2–3 inches above the earth). Late winter or early spring is the ideal time to perform this pruning. The fresh from the earth young leaves will soon unfold, verdant and luxuriant. Most years, I just remove the leaves that are ragged and brown, which prevents me from having a barren patch for an extended period of time and maintains the Cast Iron clump looking its best. Additionally, pruning only the parts that truly appear worn out and irritable doesn’t take much time.

There are a lot of Cast Iron Plant gardens that are horrifyingly brown, unkempt, and torn up. There are, in my opinion, two causes for this. 1) No pruning has been done to the poor newborns. Ever. Furthermore, the plants receive full or virtually full sun. Cast Iron/Aspidistra is a must for the shady garden because Aspidistra shouldn’t ever be in full sun and there are many plants that are better suited to full light given the limits of shadow.

This summer of 2011, Austin has had an unprecedented drought and record-breaking heat, and I’ve observed something about one clump of Cast Iron in my garden. This cluster is in the middle of a garden that has dappled shade for the majority of the day but gets an intense west sun blast after 3 PM. The Aspidistra was typically lush and green and gorgeous in June, ready for summer.

By August, the “nice ‘n green” had suffered damage from the sweltering weather. The leaves are brown in some spots and yellow in others.

I wonder whether I can pass off this new appearance by saying that they are the variegated varieties. Then again, perhaps not.)

The other Cast Iron clumps in my garden, all of which are in shaded areas, are in good shape, therefore I believe that the high temperatures and exposure to the sun’s harmful rays are to blame for the unpleasant discolouration. I’ve never seen this happen before, yet this specific clump of Cast Iron has been in that garden for over 13 years. The entire clump will be pruned in February, and I’ll wait to see what occurs the following summer. The Aspidistra should be fine going forward if the temperatures of Summer 2011 were an anomaly. I’ll get rid of this chunk of cast iron and replace it with something else if the recent trend of very hot summers—not just hot summers in Texas—becomes the new standard. Most likely a natural plant, such as American Beautyberry or Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus) (Callicarpa americana).

How far apart should cast iron plants be planted?

Although it can handle a variety of soil types, cast iron plant loves a rich, fertile soil.

Cast iron plants need room to develop, so if you want to use them as a groundcover, space them 12 to 18 inches apart. To aid with their initial establishment, water them. After that, they will be relatively drought-tolerant, though periodic watering will improve their performance.

Similar to how your plants won’t need regular fertilizer, they will benefit from spring or summer feedings.

How do plants made of cast iron grow?

Cast iron plants can be multiplied most effectively by division. This indicates that you are dividing the original plant into one or more sections.

To achieve this, just take the plant out of the pot and find a section of it that has a different root system. It should be noted that this works best if the piece you are separating has at least two to three stems.

Gently separate the roots of each component by using your fingers. Use a clean, sharp knife or scissors to cut the roots apart from one another if they are too knotted and impossible to untangle by hand. Try to preserve as much of the root system as you can.

Put the portion you’ve separated into a pot that is the right size for the plant. After that, take care of it normally by watering it.

Keep in mind that, if at all possible, you should divide your plant in the spring or summer.

Should a cast iron facility be reduced in size?

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.

Can cast iron plants be transplanted?

Your cast iron plant will tolerate neglect, as I mentioned previously. You might find that to be pleasant music!

However, there are some general rules to abide by for the optimal growth, just like with any plant. This plant will grow provided its demands are addressed, and it will flourish in a variety of situations.

Sunlight & Temperature

For cast iron plants, virtually any mid-range illumination is suitable. While it’s better to stay away from complete darkness and intense sunlight, anything else is acceptable.

The yard’s shadier or partially shaded parts are ideal. Your cast iron plant will thrive in low-light conditions if it is grown indoors. Fluorescent lighting is effective and ideal for workplace settings.

Your aspidistra elatior can withstand a remarkably wide variety of temperatures. When possible, stay away from frosty temperatures because it can harm those big leaves.

The ideal temperature range is between 45 and 85 degrees. Inside, the ideal temperature range is between 60 and 70 degrees.

The plant is slightly more vulnerable in cooler climates. When the temperature falls below 40 degrees, provide protection. Plants should be placed away from strong winds and areas where the leaves are frequently wet.

Bring them inside if it begins to feel like freezing. Most cast iron plants can endure temperatures as low as 14 degrees, although they sustain significant damage. Older plants shouldn’t be risked in the cold.

Water & Humidity

Your cast iron plant may only require watering every two weeks in low-light conditions and cold climes. It holds true for indoor plants as well. Don’t overwater if your soil is still wet!

When the top inch or two of soil have dried out, try to irrigate the area. Make sure your soil has sufficient drainage so that the roots of the plant are not lying in mud. A saucer of water should not be left with potted aspidistras as this may cause the soil to get too damp.

Like so many other plants, too much water is the enemy here. The roots are prone to root rot if they are sitting in wet soil.

The cast iron plant isn’t finicky about humidity. It thrives in humid air because its natural habitat is the forest floor. They can tolerate dry air pretty well, especially inside. What matters most is that the soil is hydrated.


Just good drainage is required for the cast iron plant’s soil. While it should always be moist, you never want it to be overly soaked.

Most high-quality potting mixtures will offer the necessary drainage. If you’re not sure, put your mixture in a pot, thoroughly water it, and then wait a few hours before inspecting. It will function properly if it is moist to the touch but not goopy.

Run the moisture test mentioned above before planting your aspidistra in an outdoor bed. Work some composted manure and peat moss to absorb water into muddy soils to improve them. When combining soils that resemble clay, break them apart.

To help maintain the soil’s regular moisture, mulch the area surrounding the base of your plants. Mulching has the additional benefit of keeping weeds from growing around your plants.

The pH of the soil doesn’t really matter to these plants. They can live in soil that is mildly alkaline or slightly acidic. Aim for a balanced range rather than going too far in either direction.


High-quality liquid fertilizers, particularly those made for indoor plants, should be used monthly. It can be considerably less often if you select slow-release granular fertilizers. Slow release medications should be renewed every 2-3 months or such. Don’t fertilize during the winter.

Take cautious not to overeat. Your plant will practically lose its variegation if you use too much fertilizer! The leaves will all continue to be a deep green.


Try not to transplant too often. Although your cast iron plant will put up with some rootboundness, it dislikes having its roots disturbed. Ideally, transplants should take place every two to three years.

There are two reasons to transplant: to create more space for larger plants or to multiply new plants. Propagation will be covered later. Now let’s discuss the latter problem.

Gently slide your plant out of its pot if it starts to appear crowded there and check at the root system. It’s probably time to transplant if it appears to be circling the pot.

Choose a pot that is one or two inches larger than the one you currently have and fill it with your favourite potting soil. After that, take the plant out of its old pot. Set it in the new pot after loosening the roots with your fingertips to untangle them.

Maintaining the plant at the same planting level as before, add more potting soil all around it. If desired, top dress the area with mulch after watering it in to hydrate the soil.


The most frequent method of plant propagation is by division of the roots. Your aspidistra collection can readily grow thanks to this extremely easy approach! If feasible, try to do this in the spring or summer to give new plants time to establish themselves.

Take the plant out of the pot. Lift the plant, if it is in a bed, out from under the root ball after loosening the soil surrounding it. Don’t use your shovel to snip the roots, please.

Once the plant has been removed from the earth, dust off any extra loose soil and use your hands to gently pry it apart. Make sure to choose clumps with at least two or three stems.

Plant each clump in its own pot at the same height as when it was first established. Within a month or two, fresh growth ought to appear.


Any trimming done on a cast iron plant either serves aesthetic purposes or eradicates bugs. This foliage plant is among the most self-sustaining of those we nurture. Since it’s slow to grow, you don’t have a constant need to fuss over it.

Older dead leaves typically blend in with the more recent green growth. If you choose, you can easily remove these, but it is not necessary. Although it’s uncommon, you can also clip off leaves that have extensive insect damage. If you do, make sure to use a clean set of pruning shears.

Companion Planting

The cast iron plant is a popular indoor houseplant among gardeners. It can also be combined with other plants, though! A few of these are:

  • Fuschia
  • Columbine
  • Bubble Flower
  • Flax Lily
  • Sarcococca

It is also a superior layering plant. Aspidistra elatior can be simply positioned next to a fenceline with shorter plants in front of it.

When ought my cast iron plant to be repotted?

When roots begin to emerge from the dirt, it’s time to repot your cast-iron plant into a slightly bigger container. It can take three to five years before this occurs. Repotting is best done in the spring, and a larger container should be used.

How is a cast iron plant reduced?

Cast Iron Plant, also known as Aspidistra elatior, is a tough perennial foliage plant native to China.

Any of the cast iron species that are kept as indoor plants can benefit from a thorough springtime trimming every few years.

Aspidistra that is grown outdoors or in the landscape may require more frequent trimming due to weather damage and perhaps deer damage.

Do the following between thorough prunings:

  • Remove any leaves that are damaged, dead, or that are obstructing the beauty of the plant.
  • Trim the stems of a Cast Iron Plant as necessary, keeping them as near the soil’s surface as you can.
  • Remove the entire leaf and stem after that.
  • You can remove leaves that are wholly brown by pulling them off.