Aspidistra Elatior Cast Iron Plant: Perfect Houseplant for the Forgetful Gardener

Aspidistra elatior, commonly known as the Cast Iron Plant, is originally from China. It is in the lily family and has dark, stiff, glossy evergreen leaves. Some are variegated with green and cream striped leaves.

These plants produce inconspicuous purple-brown small flowers that grow close to the base of the plant.

It is the perfect indoor plant that can withstand a wide variety of growing conditions such as cold temperature, heat waves and drought.

Being one of those indoor houseplants that require little light, it is perfect for a north-facing room that is cool in winter.

It is ideal for locations that have low light such as dark corners of living rooms, hallways, and cool areas near exterior doors. It is extremely slow growing so it can remain in the same pot for decades.

This plant is also known as the Barroom Plant, Barbershop Plant and the Parlor Palm.

This attractive, sturdy easy care plant is perfect for the forgetful gardener because it can survive if neglected. Caring for the cast iron plant is one of the easiest plants to grow and maintain.

And then there is the new variety called "Milky Way" because it has white spots.  This plant, unlike the others, needs sunlight.

Aspidistra Elatior Care Tips

Aspidistra plant

Light: Grows best with bright indirect light, but will tolerate very dim light. Place your plant a few inches back from an east or north facing window to avoid direct sunlight.

Water: Water the soil thoroughly, then allow the top inch of soil to dry before watering again. To prevent overwatering your plant, always insert your finger into the top inch of soil to check for dryness.

Humidity: Average to high. You can achieve this by placing plant on any plastic or non-rusting tray filled with pebbles. Add water to just below the surface of the pebbles so the soil in the pot won't get wet. As the water evaporates it will add moisture to the air.

Temperature: 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit during days and 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit during nights, but can tolerate temperatures as low as 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fertilizer: All-purpose liquid fertilizer during the growing season from spring through fall. Size-wise this plant is 2-3'Hx2-3'W.

Repotting: This plant is a slow grower and doesn't need to be repotted frequently.

Propagation: Is done by division in early spring. The plant with healthy roots is divided in to small section having at least 12 leaves. The sections should be planted into good quality soil like African violet soil. The newly potted plants will root in no time.

Pests: This plant usually have problems with scale. If the plant has only a few, wash them off with soapy water.

Give your aspidistra elatior excellent care and it will flourish and grow to be a beautiful cast iron plant that will add beauty and interest to any transitional area in the home to welcome visitors.