How Do I Take Care of a Cast Iron Plant?


The Aspidistra plant is also know as the iron plant or the cast iron plant. The plant gets its nickname from its ability to survive in harsh conditions indoors and out. This plant tends to be a slow grower and requires patience. It generally gets to about 24 inches in height. Proper care will make this plant a lovely addition to your house.


Aspidistra grows best in 6- to 10-inch pots. Its hardiness inspires many homeowners to have several of these lovely plants in their home. They have long, dark green, shiny leaves that resemble those on corn stalks. The cast iron plant gets wide due to its bushy leaves. Use a good quality potting soil and keep it slightly moist, although the cast iron plant will forgive you if you forget to water it every now and then. Use a good houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength about every three to four months if your cast iron plant is in low level lighting conditions. It needs monthly fertilization with high light conditions. It is rare to have a pest problem with the aspidistra; just wipe the leaves with a wet cloth a few times a year to bring out its beauty and the leaves will shine. If you prefer to plant your aspidistra outdoors, use a quality garden soil with decayed manure and 1/3 part humus or peat added according to the website. The plant is seen in many southern states as a practically carefree ground cover under large trees. The cast iron plant has a small, dull purple bloom that only reaches to about 1 inch high; sometimes a berry will also appear, notes the Union County College website. This hardy plant thrives in temperatures above 28 degrees F. It prefers temperatures that range between 50 and 75 degrees. Cast iron plants tolerate dust, drafts and low lighting conditions well.

Fun Facts

The aspidistra plant is perhaps the only plant to inspire the plot in a novel. George Orwell wrote a novel in 1936 entitled "Keep the Aspidistra Flying." The cast iron plant is an excellent choice for floral arrangements; the beautiful leaves can last for weeks in a vase with water. This plant was popular in the Victorian Era when houses were dark, cold and drafty. If they can flourish in those type conditions, it will surely flourish in your home.

Keywords: cast iron plant, growing aspidistra, indoor plants

About this Author

Chelsea Fitzgerald's articles have appeared many times on eHow, the Web and in other publications. She began writing with Demand Studios in 2009. She enjoys writing about family, health, green living, and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.

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