Cast Iron Plant

Find out more about Cast Iron Plant


  • What You Should Know About Cast Iron Plant

    cast iron plantThe cast iron plant (also called Aspidistra eliator) is a very tough plant that is almost indestructible, like snake plants and philodendrons. The cast iron plant is capable of surviving in low light conditions, together with temperature extremes and irregular watering. This iron plant is perfect for people who think they cannot keep plants alive indoors.

    Some say this type of plant is a native of Japan and others say China. One thing is for sure this plant is tough. The cast iron plant has dark green, shiny corn like leaves that can grow to 24 inches long, and occasionally produces small, purple-brown flowers near the base of the plant. It also has a variegated form and the light markings on this form of the plant help lighten up a dark corner as a potted plant; it’s well worth checking out.

    cast iron plants leafThe tough foliage lasts for weeks and makes a nice addition to cut flower arrangements and it is generally pest free. It is, however, disposed to leaf spotting diseases. Leaf spots are caused by fungus. To your your plants safety avoid planting in low lying areas near water.

    The stems, which remain right below the surface of the soil, can thrive even in a small pot and do not require rich soil. You can usually grow this plant in 6, 8 and 10” azalea pots.

    The iron plant is slow-growing and long-lived. It is a bushy plant, growing up to three feet tall. It looks like a tropical plant though it is hardy enough to survive in the Himalayas. The cast iron plant can survive dust, cold, heat, wet and dry soil, neglect, and low light. It can endure temperatures under 30 degrees, and light as dim as candles.

    There is also a dwarf form of this plant that is named Aspidistra “Milky May” with black and green leaves and having white spots. The plant grows slower and somewhat expensive to purchase, but well worth it. You might want to acquire all three variants and display them together.

    cast iron plant on potsThe cast iron plant is a member of the Lily family (Liliaceae), but does not have fancy flowers like other lilies (day-lilies, tulips, and hyacinths).  It does produce flowers; however, they are quite small and modest. The flowers can be overlooked even when they are in full bloom because they are a dull brown-purple color, one inch in diameter and appear at the soil surface. Plus they are often hidden by the foliage.  A small, dark, one-seeded cast-iron berry may follow the cast-iron flower bloom.

    Propagating the plant is quite easy. Simply remove it from its pot and section the stems into pieces with a few leaves each and some roots.  Each piece of the plant, when potted up will yield a new plant though it may take some time.

    No Comments