Among indoor plants, not so many species can boast spectacular leaves and shade tolerance at the same time. But not a single highly decorative and elite houseplant loves shading as much as aspidistra. The impeccable shape of huge leaves in neat bushes and the ability to maintain decorativeness for decades make it the optimal plant for decorating a modern interior. And it is all the more surprising that aspidistra is not as often found on shelves and in catalogs as its much more capricious competitors.
Aspidistra is one of the hardiest indoor plants. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Salt is Love
Description of the plant
Among ornamental-deciduous plants, few can argue with the aspidistra in the severity of lines and silhouettes. But at the same time, she never looks boring or inconspicuous. This amazingly modern plant is an excellent choice for those who seek to decorate the interior with a not capricious, but effective houseplant.
Only one species is grown in the rooms – aspidistru high (Aspidistra elatior), also known as the cast iron plant or the Asiatic lily of the valley. She presents asparagus family (Asparagaceae). The size of the aspidistra is impressive, with age they grow more and more, but grow slowly. A graduate student issues up to 5 sheets per year. The maximum height – from 40 to 80 cm, is actually determined by the length of the leaves. Aspidists are real long-livers. They are able to decorate the interior for decades even in imperfect conditions (if you do not make critical mistakes in care).
Even the rhizomes of aspidistra are unusual – creeping, gray and fleshy, they evoke associations with snakes.
These stemless evergreens produce long-stemmed, at first strictly vertical leaves with solid edges and pointed tips right on the rhizomes. In shape, the leaves of aspidistra resemble lilies of the valley, but do not seem so boring. Oval-lanceolate, they sit on long stalks that add elegance to the plant, and can stretch up to more than half a meter in length and up to 15 cm in width. Dense, shiny, dark green, they look flawless even with minimal maintenance.
The tall aspidistra has its own varieties and decorative forms. Variegata (variegate) Is the most popular striped variety with irregular white and creamy longitudinal stripes on the leaves.
The flowering of the aspidistra is not a spectacular one. Inflorescences with unremarkable purple-gray flowers open near the base of the stems, almost lie on the soil, and they may not be noticed at all. Most often, the inflorescences are removed immediately, but if artificial pollination is carried out, you can observe unusual pear-shaped berries.
Growing conditions for indoor aspidistra
Aspidistra is often, without exaggeration, called one of the most robust indoor plants. No wonder they have earned the nickname “cast iron”! Aspidistra are able to adapt to almost any conditions – except for too much cold.
Lighting and placement
This is a unique plant that does not tolerate direct sun, but will grow well in any other light. Aspidistra can be placed in soft diffused lighting, in partial shade and even in the shade – literally where it will look best and decorate the interior. This is one of the rare plants that thrive in the back of rooms. Aspidistra will not die even in very dark places. And will not “notice” the difference between natural and artificial lighting.
When choosing variegated varieties, it is worth remembering that they need much more intense lighting. The simpler the color, the stronger and the shade at which it remains. When buying, it is better to clarify where the plant is used to standing and not deviate greatly from the recommendations.
Temperature control and ventilation
Aspidistra prefers cool rooms, 13-15 degrees is considered ideal for wintering, but the plant needs them mainly for flowering. That is, in the warmth of the rooms, aspidistra keep the leaves just as good. The main thing to remember is not to let the indicators fall below 10 degrees Celsius. Aspidistra does not like heat very much, it is better not to let the temperature rise above 25 degrees, but this is not a critical requirement.
One of the most important “bonuses” in the requirements of the aspidistra is resistance to drafts. It perfectly withstands temperature fluctuations, is not afraid of the wind, and will not notice sudden changes (within reasonable limits and without extreme phenomena).
For the summer, the aspidistra can be taken out into the garden or on the balcony. She is not afraid of polluted air and smoke.
Care for aspidistra at home
If you do not practice stagnant water, it will be difficult to make mistakes in caring for aspidistra. This is one of the most unassuming plants for the room collection.
Also read our article 10 Best Houseplants for Beginners.
Watering and air humidity
Despite the huge leaf area, aspidistra does not require high soil moisture and does not tolerate excessive watering. When moistening the substrate, you should always remember about the fleshy roots that are prone to decay. Pour water gently, along the edges of the pot (or use the bottom watering method). At the same time, limit the amount of water, immediately drain the excess from the pallets and allow the substrate to dry out before the next watering. In winter, the soil is dried almost completely.
Despite the fact that aspidistra can survive without watering for an amazingly long time, you should not take it to extremes and test its strength once again.
This beauty is not afraid of dry air, demonstrating unique resistance even to the influence of heating systems.
Among indoor crops, you can hardly find a plant so insensitive to dust. But this does not mean that the leaves do not need to be cleaned: it is unlikely that a layer of dirt will make the greenery (and the interior) attractive. A regular wet wipe is the best cleaning method.
Top dressing and composition of fertilizers
Aspidistra is sensitive to excessive feeding. Fertilizers are used in halved doses and only during the period of active growth. Enough 1 feeding from April to August. For variegated varieties, fertilizers are applied only 1-2 times a year or not at all.
For aspidistra, special fertilizers for decorative deciduous plants are more suitable.
Transplant, containers and substrate
The frequency of transplants is determined by the germination of roots: it is worth changing the pots only when the entire space of the container has been mastered. Usually, the transplant is carried out no more than once every 1 years, even for young plants. It is better to postpone it until the end of February or the beginning of March, focusing on the first signals of the plant about the resumption of growth, but not delaying until the beginning of active growth of leaves.
Shallow but wide containers and any versatile substrate are suitable for the plant. Rough drainage at the bottom is required.
Aspidistra neatly roll over, trying to disturb the roots less. The plant is not afraid of transplanting, but when transshipment without removing the substrate, growth resumes much faster. It is important to keep the level of penetration the same, avoiding complete immersion of the rhizome into the substrate.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
The endurance of aspidistra is complemented by resistance to pests. Only thrips and spider mites (provided that the “neighbors” are infected) can harm greenery. And it is better to deal with them immediately with insecticides.
When overflowing, aspidistra are quickly affected by rot, and it is quite difficult to save the plant without a quick response and correction of humidity.
Read also our article The best unpretentious plants for the office.
Reproduction of aspidistra
This spectacular plant gives offspring at home on its own – growing and constantly building up new rhizomes. The division in the spring is carried out carefully, trying to leave large parts that retain a high decorative effect. With careful care, individual fragments of a rhizome with 2 leaves will be able to take root, but until they become attractive bushes, years will pass.