Common name: Cast Iron plant
Aspidistra lurida and its yellow variegated variety are the only cultivated species available.
They are an easy to grow evergreen greenhouse / house plant that is from the lily family, and is native to Eastern Asia.
If any green leaves appear on the variegated types, cut them out to eliminate the possibility of the plant reverting back to its original colour.
The long, stiff, pointed evergreen leaves are capable of withstanding temperature extremes, dust, smoke, and other harsh conditions which few other plants will tolerate, but do best in light shade.
They can thrive for many years without repotting.
The state of the plant will indicate when it needs repotting; i.e. the roots will start to protrude from the bottom of the pot.
Bell-shaped flowers, which are usually lilac, brown or green in colour are borne at the base of the plant.
The fruits appear as small berries.
Water freely during the summer months, easing off from October to March.
Give a monthly feed of weak liquid fertiliser in summer.
In summer; if spraying is out of the question the leaves should be carefully sponged at least once a fortnight.
Week 12 - 35:
If repotting is required pot on into into fresh John Innes potting compost No. 2 or its equivalent.
This is an opportune time to divide and replant the roots.
If large plants are wanted, pot on into 250mm (10”) diameter pots.
For the first few weeks after dividing the plants place the pot/s into a shaded spot to aid rapid re-establishment.
In winter keep the plant/s at around 7-10°C (45-50°F), keeping the compost just moist.