Cast-Iron Plant

By: Larry Hodgson

The cast-iron plant gets its name from its hardy, iron-cladconstitution. See more pictures of house plants.

The cast-iron plant, also called the parlor palm, is a hardy house plant that bears broad, oblong, leathery leaves from creeping rhizomes below soil level. Some varieties are variegated, with cream to white stripes, but lose their coloration if not given good light.

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A Victorian favorite, the cast-iron plant is slowly coming back into popularity, but remains expensive because of its slow growth. The common name refers as much to its iron-clad constitution as to the darkness of its leaves: Just about nothing will kill it.


Cast-Iron Plant Quick Facts:

Scientific Name:Aspidistra elatior

Common Names: Cast-Iron Plant, Parlor Palm

Light Requirement for Cast-Iron Plant: Bright Light to Filtered Light

Water Requirement for Cast-Iron Plant: Drench, Let Dry

Humidity for Cast-Iron Plant: Average Home

Temperature for Cast-Iron Plant: House to Cold

Fertilizer for Cast-Iron Plant: Balanced

Potting Mix for Cast-Iron Plant: All-Purpose

Propagation for Cast-Iron Plant: Division

Decorative Use for Cast-Iron Plant: Floor, Table

Care Rating for Cast-Iron Plant: Very Easy


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Larry Hodgson is a full time garden writer working out of Quebec City in the heart of French Canada where he grows well over 3,000 species and varieties. His book credits include Making the Most of Shade, The Garden Lovers Guide to Canada, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, Houseplants for Dummies, and Ortho’s Complete Guide to Houseplants, as well as other titles in English and French. He’s the winner of the Perennial Plant Association’s 2006 Garden Media Award.