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Cast Iron Plant – How to Grow, Care, Types, Pruning, Propagation[Guide]

Cast Iron plant is a plant which has good reputations in every household because it easily grows and it requires less care. Why I am saying that this plant is all in one, a full package because it requires very less maintenance.

It can grow even with less sunlight or no direct sunlight , in winters it requires very less water and care.Only give it water when its soil gets dry that you can find out by touching the soil below 2 inch with your finger whether soil is dry or not.

cast iron plant

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Background Information

It is a type of houseplant or flowering perennial. It is from Convallariaceae Family. How Cast iron plants easily survive in many conditions makes it stand out among other household plants. The name of cast iron plant in the language of science is Aspidistra elatior, its common name is Cast Iron Plant or Bar Room Plant. The plant is often found here in Japan and Taiwan islands.

These plants are basically indoors without much care it can survive.It can grow but make sure to put this plant in the right location where there is no direct sunlight reflected on plants. Either put it in the partial shade or full shade it can grow, where other expensive plants fail to flourish, it can grow in difficult situations and conditions.

(Aspidistra elatior) How to grow Cast Iron Plant

To perfectly grow this plant it needs no direct sunlight and water needs are fulfilled in a week or 2 as they mostly live under the shade so less watering requirement. This plant tells a story where other plants fail, it alone survives.

This plant remains so green even with no sunlight. These plants(Aspidistra Elatior) are always planted under trees when they are planted in outdoor land.

Often, this plant also produces a flower of purple color, which is on the surface soil, you never see it because it gets hidden due to its leaves. Whether cold weather or extreme hot summer, it doesn’t matter to the plant but it grows & survives.

These plants are highly tolerant in all weather conditions.

Major issues come when people put it in direct sunlight or they watered it a couple of times and you know what these plants dislike the water getting trapped on soil for a longer time period.

In older Aspidistra Elatior you can cut off the rhizomes( Lower stem) that can be used to give the plant another life in case your plant gets all dried because of absence of water.

Here is the tips on how to grow cast iron plant :


It needs less water when it is put in a low light area , generally this plant needs water ones every 8th or 10th day. Make sure to check 60% water on soil is dry before watering.


Its leaves will change to brown when put in direct sunlight, make sure it gets filtered light or no sunlight. Just like Plants grow under the tree it is the same whether you need your home shed or indoor to grow properly.


It can Survive in 45°F to 75°F temperature. Mostly they can grow in many different climate and they don’t really care about warm or humidity. Just like Other plants , It can’t be growing in heavy cold there you need to protect this plant with frost blanket or warmth room tempearture.


When the plant starts growing , mix fertilizer every month for its better growth.


It doesn’t matter much, normal household humidity is good. It will not grow in high level of humidity so extra care in winters as you know that is the time when any plant can freeze.


Use potting soil if you put this plant(Aspidistra Elatior) indoors. Use compost with a pH value are from 5.4 to 6.4. If you want to grow it outside it can grow in both sandy or clay soil.


Use a solution of mineral oil, alcohol, biodegradable liquid soap and water mix it well and use it to kill the pests that are present in cast iron plants , spider mites and mealybugs are 2 of them.

These pests eat portions of leaves and it stops the photosynthesis process of the plant that can ruin the plant growth.


No need to prune the Cast iron plant. It doesn’t require it.


Repotting plants every once a year is necessary, plants need fresh soil and fresh compost to grow further.

In case of cast iron plant it can go without repotting  only repotting needed if you think your pot is too small for the plant.

Also Check : Weeping Cherry Tree A Beautiful blossom Of Cherry flowers

Cast Iron Plant Propagation

Here are the steps on how to propagate cast iron plant :

1. Cut the Rhizome.

first you need to cut the rhizome of the plant with 2 leaves in it, it is important to have leaves on it as they want food making leaves to exist and it is important for rejuvenating the plant.

2. Using Pot Mixture.

Prepare a new pot & put some potting soil , it is important to have well drained soil, mix peat poss for smooth draining.

3. Moist Soil.

You need to moist the soil for 20 min and wait until all water go out. Cast iron needs moist soil when its cutting is new.

4. Place Rhizome.

Now you should put the cutting of rhizome and put into the soil and sprinkle lightly some water.

5. Regular Care.

It requires regular care as they needs lightly water water sprinkle until it starts growing properly, Make sure wait for soil dry then give water only.

Also it will take time as the plant grows slower so have patience and wait for the plant to regrow.

Cast Iron Plant Care

Caring is subject needed for plants to making sure they grow healthy and when people ask how to care cast iron plant is they should ensure everything from checking it gets proper sunlight, water, fertilizer every 3 months and repotting it in a new bigger container

or in a garden which has fertile soil. With frost blankets it can handle -9°C and normally they can live in 8 to 28°C temperature. You can bring them inside your home if the temperature gets below 7°C .

With all the techniques you do to make this plant(Aspidistra Elatior) grow faster, It won’t be successful as they are quite slow in growing. You will see 2-3 leaves grown every spring. when leaves turn yellow ,it is the indication that leaf life ends there.

They do grow flowers but they don’t have any smell on them. Flower pops out from the soil and grows just above the soil and stays in the soil surface and its flower is pollinated by Amphipods , snails, slugs.

When the plant is grown fully then it will give flowers that can last for 3-5 weeks and at a time one flower shown in my experience may grow more. They grow in partial sunlight which simply means they need less sunlight typically less than 2-3 hours.

Also Read : Orange Star Plant Flower, Care, Propagation, Pruning[Detailed Guide]

Cast Iron Plant Benefits

The biggest advantage or we can say cast iron plant benefits is that these guys can purify indoor air quality by lots of harmful chemical including  Formaldehyde pollution & this plant is also selected for one of best indoor plants

because these plant eats harmful chemical that are present in air & clears indoor air for us humans. They can grow in Low light , Survive days without water, temperature resistant , what’s more it can survive easily in any condition.

Type of Cast Iron Plant

Here is the types / varieties of Cast iron plant :

Aspidistra Elatior Variegata

These long lasting plants can grow 25 to 35 inch long green leaves with creamy white color layer of leaf structure at center of leaf or sometimes on left or right, that makes this plant very unique in its leafy structure.

The leaves of this plant grow from the rhizome and move vertically upward.

These plants need more light to read so that they can keep their golden color consistent.

Here the plant is very expensive, it is very expensive because it is very slow growing, instead of its variety plants.

Aspidistra Elatior Goldfeather

This plant grows faster than other varieties of Aspidistra. They can resist in winter cold but its other variety can’t do that. It has Yellowish -greenish vertical small leaf shape inside the bigger dark green leaf.

They grow about 30 inch with dark green leaves.

Aspidistra Minor

This is the new species from Vietnam. This plant has multiple white dots scattered in the whole leaf , making its appearance very unique to showcase.

It has Short height and leaves are also small in this plant.

This Plant has another nickname, the Milky Way , because of its dotted structure covering the whole leaf. The foliage can be seen as brown or black dark green in color.

Aspidistra Elatior

This one is the most similar form of the main cast iron plant having dark green shiny leaves.They grow about 18-20 inches.

It is an expensive plant because of its slow growth.

It needs more time to grow to its normal height. It lives for 9-10 years So good money investing plant.

Aspidistra Elatior Okame

This variety is almost available in every online store.

These have white vertical lines over dark green leaves.

It grows more slower than every other variety So more expensive it is for buyers.

If you can give them more sunlight they can grow beautifully and show healthy vibrant color. It has very similar caring needs so you can do it easily.

Aspidistra Elatior Asahi

This variety grows about 18-20 inches long and 5-6 inch wide and the pale green leaves are bushy and have a mid way vertical creamy color shape going upward to the tip.

This Name Aspidistra Elatior “Asahi” comes from Japan and its English meaning is Morning sun.

It can resist winter cold and can be a great choice if you are planting this in winters.

Recommended Products

It doesn’t require growing in post first you can plant this in your garden.

Cast Iron Plant Pruning

Pruning needs to bring back its original beauty of greenness.

Most of the time the leaves get brown from tip or partial brown it means they will no longer grow and these brown leaves make these plants more ugly.

On how to prune cast iron plant is use your hands and gently pull out the leaves from the base.

After doing this handwork you will see it would be looking pretty and fresh again.

Do this often whenever needed. Pruning is essentially important for plants to retain their growth potential.

It will make your plants live longer.

(Aspidistra Elatior) Cast Iron Plant Fertilizer

When it comes to care this plant needs fertilizer that will boost its strength.

Here is top 6 fertilizer for cast iron plant :

1 . Miracle-Gro  – Easiest to Use – CHECK PRICE IN  AMAZON

2 . Indoor Plant Food –  Best for Houseplants – CHECK PRICE IN  AMAZON

3 . Osmocote plant food  – Most Versatile – CHECK PRICE IN  AMAZON

4 . Easy Peasy House Plant Fertilizers CHECK PRICE IN  AMAZON

6 . Joyful Dirt Premium Premium – CHECK PRICE IN  AMAZON

These all are organic fertilizer specially made for plants health and care.

Also Read : Polka Dot Plant – Care Guide, Benefits, Pests, Leaves Curling

Cast Iron Plant Common Health Issues

This plant can survive in most conditions but sometimes with less care it does get some health based issues in it. Here we will be talking on those issues.

Dark Leaf

It can handle most conditions but if it gets bruised or cracked leaves or stems that get dark in color.

What you can do is pull out all those leaves that show dark color which makes the plant ugly and also change your plant location to a shady place where it is not bothered by people’s walk.

Yellowish Leaf

When your green leaves turn its color to yellow then it indicates that you are giving them more sunlight than what they need.

These plants grow in shady low light areas but if you put them in sunlight where leaves can get damaged and that yellow leaf is the first sign of this damage.

Change your plant location to indirect light area or partial shade area.

After that in 2-4 weeks you can see the change in them and see how happy they are in the partial shade area.

Where to buy cast iron plant

You can buy this amazing plant from many websites including Amazon eCommerce website.One where to buy cast iron plant is the price range goes from $24 to $35 in various websites which are also selling its cast iron plant variety.

These are available in many website for online purchase :

Here are the list of website you can buy from:

  1. Amazon ($19- $24) – Check in Amazon  Lowest Price  and Highest Price 

( We wanted to give our users best product with best rating in terms of product handling to customer delivery and $24 price one wins the race)

  1. lowes($7) (Most of the time out of stock)
  2. fast-growing-trees($29.95)
  3. wilson bros gardens($32)
  4. plant delights  ($24)
  5. etsy ($27- $38)

Also Read : Purple Heart Plant – Care GUIDE, Pruning, Fertilizer(Full Info)

Variegated cast iron plant

The Aspidistra Variegata is  a variety called by the name Variegated Cast Iron Plant , these are the one that grow in medium cold winter areas and live for a longer time period. Conditions where other plants shrivel but this one thrives in harsh condition.

Yes it grows Slowly but it produces long leaves 3 to 4 inch wide and 1-2 inches high and gives that amazing variegated leaves with different markings.

How to get rid of cast iron plants

On how to get rid of cast iron plant first cut the spiky leaves and then remove the root from soil surface & then you need to spray some good herbicide one such is glyphosate which can get rid of any grass or plantation not just the excess cast iron plant.

Cast iron plant seeds

You can find cast iron plant seeds in many websites online , you don’t need to visit a physical store for that.These were sold by lowes for $7 and what I can tell you is that you can grow this plant from cutting which is an easy process.

You can find how to propagate cast iron plants just above in this article.

Outdoor Tips

One outdoor tips is your need to put them in full shade areas where sunlight doesn’t reach or areas where it gets partial sunlight of 1-2 hour. This plant can grow in a hardiness zone from 6 to 11. That’s why it is called outdoor perennial.

Make sure to check regular water shortages in this plant and give them proper space in gardens of 13-18 inch.

Indoors Tips

These plants on indoors tips is you need to check minimum requirements of the plant and this requires the best position would be near a north facing window with no direct sunlight. If this plant is put out in outdoors sunlight then

leaves can turn brown because of excessive light which burns the leaves. When put indoors make sure to not give excess water to the plant and check if its soil dries out below 3-4 inch from soil surface.

Cast iron plant diseases

These plants get affected by fungal diseases known by the name Fusarium fungi which eat the plant leaves making large yellow or brown-colored spots on the leaves surface. Another fungal disease is Sclerotium rolfsii which can affect the stem,

turn them into brown and after some days the plant stem loses its strength and then fungus attacks them which leads to leaves turning brown and then dying.

So to Tackle this situation you should use fungicide and give it on every 8th to 10th day. If you don’t want this problem to appear in the first place make sure your pot is draining water perfectly.

Cast iron plant flower

The cast iron plant flower is seen at the bottom of the cast iron plant; it can grow from the root, either you have to dig it to see that flower or it can come up from the soil surface. The flower is kind of unique, having purple color leaves and looks like a lotus plant.

Cast iron plant for sale

Cast iron plant for sale can be seen in many websites already selling this amazing robust plant at high rates and the only reason it is costly is because it grows slow, but it is a partner who can live life longer and resist many conditions.

The sale is on many websites here is the link to buy cast iron plant from amazon.


Home depot

US websites are very popular when it comes to indoor plant sales and it is home depot , many people are searching for this website to buy cast iron plant so they can get one, this not only sells plants but many household items.

Sale near me

Most people who don’t like to buy online probably search for a nursery near me which sells this amazing plant.

I suggest you make a list of all near me nursery google shows and just go and find out because it is not possible to find every plant in every nursery but keep searching you will find it in many nursery as it is a very popular indoor plant.

Also Read : String of Dolphins – How to Grow, Care, Propagate, Repot [Full Guide]

Frequently Asked Questions

Cast iron plant leaves splitting

This issue is different from many other species and it can be a climate change that leads to an unknown way of growing. Large Leaves like banana trees have this problem because of heavy winds that again because of the change in environment. 

Sometimes it is a normal thing if you put a different plant variety. It is due to fans or flow of air or harsh wind comes  from nearby window.

In Cast Iron Plant leaves splitting is often linked when people use too much fertilizer means quantity of fertilizer is more than the soil which is making the leaves split. Reduce the fertilizer and increase the soil can help to recover the plant.

Orchids flower has this leaf split issue and as you know it is grown as indoor plant , but if it doesn’t get enough humidity it can get this kind of problem and spraying some water and regularly doing it result in the plant growing fresh.

How to divide cast iron plant

These plants have multiple stems that can be divided easily that are coming from its soil surface , you just need to cut one part of the root with a stem and leave in it that’s how you divide cast iron plant successfully. Plant that in a new pot so that it can grow and water it twice a week.

My cast iron plant spread

This plant spreads because its rhizome root needs to become large that way it makes this plant more stable and strong from roots.

Should we put these plants outside to take full sunlight

It doesn’t need sunlight , No direct sun it damages the leaves . Grow this plant far from windows or keep it close to north facing windows.

Why do cast iron plants(Aspidistra Elatior) have brown tips 

Brown tips simply means lack of water in plants. You should water it when the soil is dry.

Why is this plant so expensive

 These plants grow very slowly and it takes years to grow to a perfect size to sell. That’s why it is expensive but once you have one cast iron plant you can propagate the plant to make new ones.

Does this plant purify air

Yes it can improve the indoor air quality as NASA study shows Indoor plants can absorb harmful gases such as formaldehyde and benzene etc. Nowadays in this polluted environment we should use indoor plants at least it can purify indoor air.

Is this plant toxic like other indoor plants

No it’s not toxic and it will not harm.

What is the milky way cast iron plant

This is a variety cast iron plant which is also called by the name Aspidistra elatior ‘Milky Way’. why this name as this plant has green leaves having white creamy spots. These plants come in 3 to 4 inch pots.

Why is this plant called a cast iron plant

This plant tolerates everything from shades , pests , disease, drought, summer heat to winter’s cold and still stands like an iron rod .


Lastly Let me tell you these are used in many places like in Office Lawn and even Office buildings , Interior , Airports, Railways , Schools Gardens and roads where They stay near or under the big trees. The purpose is to give a beautiful feel to a landscape or place.

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Amelia Clark

I have over 10 years experience in gardening and here I try to answer every question about plants and how you as a beginner gardener can able to solve various problems. Also If you would like to check our Designed Plant T-Shirts. Please do so.

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