Thursday, April 3, 2014

How to care for an Apostle plant

The "Apostle plant" is an iris for the indoors! Its foliage is a peaceful and fresh, almost-glossy shade of green and its soft upright leaves grow very much like the iris you've seen outdoors. It blooms in quite an unusual way. Its beautiful blossoms, which look just like an iris, last for just one day. A few days later, it will bloom again from the very same bud! It repeats this blooming process a few times. A plantlet will form where the flower was, which can be removed and then rooted in water.

The one pictured above is just starting its spring blooming period and will bring me many more joyous flowers over the next month. 

"The Apostle Plant" or Neomarica gracilis is native to Mexico and Brazil as well as other parts of South America. It is one of the easiest to grow indoor blooming plants that I've had the pleasure of nurturing.  I hope that is sold somewhere! In many years of working in the indoor plant business, I have never seen this plant for sale. A friend gave me a cutting from her plant, which rooted in water very easily, and it has been a pleasure to own. You may want to ask your nursery or garden center about availability.

Care Instructions---
  • Strong indirect light. Direct morning sun is good for it. Full afternoon sun is probably too strong and the leaves will fade in color if it gets too much sun. Right in front of a north or east facing window is a great place for them.
  • Water when the soil is dry about 1/2"( or 1-2 cm) below the soil surface. In large pots that are 10"(25cm) or wider in diameter,  the soil can dry out a bit more.
  • When ready,  water a plant in a 6"(15cm) pot with about a pint of water, in a 8" (20cm) diameter container, about 1quart (almost a liter) and in a 10" (25cm)diameter container use about 2 quarts (almost 2 liters) of water.
  • Prefers temperatures above 50 °F
  • Adapts well to normal home humidity
  • Fertilize regularly for best blooming. 

  **To watch short video clips on plant care from my 90's TV series, click here: 


1 comment:

  1. I think you mean removing the spikes (which do look like a stem) that the new plantlets grow on?. Yes, if you've removed the plantlet, then go ahead and cut the spike off. It won't do anything more. Great to hear your plant is doing gloriously! They are a wonder.