Monday, February 18, 2013

Sturdy Aspidistra

Aspidistra elatior

You can't go wrong with an aspidistra, or cast iron plant. I've had this one for many years and it's bold and deep green leaves are a source of calm and strength. It will live in just about any room or anywhere.  It always makes me laugh when it blooms. It blooms in the most unusual way. Deep purple flowers appear on the soil surface! They are a delight to behold.  

Its native habitat is in China. It is such a hardy plant and has been popular as a houseplant for so long that you should be able to find one anywhere there are nurseries and garden centers. I once saw one growing outdoors at a botanic garden in Atlanta, GA, where it is warm enough for an aspidistra to live outdoors. 

The aspidistra is highly recommended for a beginner or someone who is skeptical of being able to develop a green thumb. (You can.)

Care Instructions---
  • Tolerates low light well.  It will thrive in bright indirect light or an hour or so of direct morning sun. Full sun is too much.
  • Water when the top of the soil is good and dry to the touch. It can dry out an inch or so below the soil line without a problem.  A plant this size, in a 10"(25cm) pot should get about a quart to 2 quarts (about 1-2 liters) of water when necessary.
  • Use about a quart if it is in low light unless the soil had dried out too much. 
  • Fertilize regularly.  
  • Very Hardy.

***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click below:

The Indoor Garden TV show


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