The aspidistra plant is a perennial native to the tropical forests of East Asia. It is also called the "snake pointer" because it is often inhabited by snakes. When they crawl through the bush, they catch the leaves. Because of this, in the homeland of aspidistra rustling of its leaves is a sign that a poisonous predator is just around the corner. This plant is distinguished from others by its dense root system, complete absence of stems, and bright green long leaf plates that have a smooth surface.
Also, the flower is characterized by slow growth and very infrequent flowering. The bush can only bloom in the summertime and for only one day. This plant is hardy and grows well in places with polluted atmosphere. And it also tolerates a lack of light as well as low indoor temperatures well.
Home care for aspidistra
Aspidistra is very popular with florists in many countries.
The fact is that it is not very demanding and does not need any special conditions. It is recommended to grow for those flower-growers-beginners who make only the first steps in floriculture or do not have enough free time to spend on a "capricious" plant.
Most species of this plant develop normally and grow even in poor light. Because of this, it can decorate even the most secluded corner of your apartment. But you should pay attention to the fact that the species and varieties with striped foliage are more demanding to light and need more light.
If such a bush is put in a shady place, after a while its leaves will disappear from the spectacular pattern. Also note that in summer the plant must be protected from direct sunlight.
In autumn and winter, the optimal temperature for such a flower is 15-17 degrees. However, aspidistra will not be harmed by lower air temperatures either, but even short-term frosts should not be allowed. If the room will be warmer, it also will not cause much harm to the plant, because it can quickly adapt to different levels of heat.
However, if the temperature in the room is constantly above 20 degrees, try to moisten the foliage as often as possible with a sprayer.
How to water
Water such a plant only when necessary. Moisten the soil mixture in the pot only after the top layer has dried out. On average, in spring and summer such a plant is watered twice or three times in 7 days. In the cold season, the number of watering significantly reduce and spend them most often once every seven days.
Aspidistra plants should be watered taking into account that they can be damaged by over-drying of the soil in the pot as well as stagnant liquid in the root system of the plant.
The plant will normally develop and grow in simple soil from the garden. However, if you want it to develop as quickly as possible, you will need to buy a universal soil mixture saturated with nutrients at a specialty store for its planting. If you have a desire, you can make the soil mixture yourself, you will need to combine turf, river sand, humus and leaf soil in a ratio (2:1:2:2).
The plant has a delicate and fragile root system, which can easily be injured during transplanting.
For this reason, experts do not advise transplanting very often, it is usually done once every 3 years. Repotting the flower from one pot to another is recommended in March or April.
First, prepare the new pot, it must be a little larger than the old container. Don't forget to make a good drainage layer at the bottom, expanded clay pebbles will do the job. The layer of drainage must necessarily be covered with a small amount of soil mixture.
Then carefully remove the plant from the container with the root ball and transfer it to the prepared pot. Fill all the empty spaces in the new pot with fresh potting soil and lightly compact the surface. Be sure to water the transplanted plant.
Flowers in my home. House plants.
Feed only in the spring and summer. If growing in a place with little light, fertilizer is only needed once every 3 months. If it grows in a well-lit place, then fertilize once every 4 weeks. To fertilize is recommended to use water-soluble fertilizers for house flowers, which contain nitrogen.
To feed such a plant, use a nutrient solution, the concentration of which should be half as much as recommended by the manufacturer. Young leaves that have appeared on the root, try not to pour the nutrient mixture during feeding.
Species and varieties with striped leaves do not need feeding. If you feed them anyway, however, it will cause the pattern on the leaves to disappear.
As the bush grows and ages, it loses its ornamentation.
This can occur because of damage received, as well as when wilted and withered foliage appears. They are a breeding ground for a variety of fungi and pests. To maintain the decorative value of the flower, you should systematically remove all those leaf plates that look unhealthy or have begun to dry out. Trim leaves gently at the root. Pruning does not only improve the general condition of the flower but also stimulates the growth of new foliage.
Aspidistra flowering is extremely rare when grown indoors. In order for this to occur, the plant must be provided with the most suitable keeping conditions. A distinctive feature of such flowering is that the formation of buds occurs on the roots. When the bud opens, a small star-shaped flower of dark purple color appears. The lifespan of a single flower is only one day.
When it fades, it produces a round-shaped fruit with a ripe seed inside.
In natural conditions in tropical Asia, the Aspidistra blooms during the rainy season, which occurs from January to March. Grown indoors, the plant blooms either in the spring or summer.
The flower has an unusual ability to adapt to cold, but it must be protected from frosts. Also, the plant is kept in a place well protected from draughts.
At the very beginning of spring, be sure to feed the shrub, this will help it gain strength before the new growing season. Also remember that if lighting in winter is too poor, both the development and the appearance of the flower will suffer severely.
The Aspidistra can be easily and efficiently multiplied by splitting the shrub. Carry out this procedure in the spring. Remove the shrub from its pot and divide its root system into several parts.
Make sure that each part has a rhizome and at least 5 leaf blades. Plant them in separate pots in a suitable substrate for such a plant. Cover them with a transparent cover and put them in a cool (no higher than 18 degrees) and dark place. In such a place, the dividers will remain until each of them begins to grow a young leaf plate, which is a sign that part of the bush has successfully rooted. To avoid rotting on the dividers, they are treated with wood ash before planting.
Propagation by leaf plate
A leaf cut from the main bush can also be used for propagation. This method takes more time, but is highly effective. Cut the leaf plate and make sure the petiole is about 70mm long. After the cut spot has dried slightly, place the leaf in a bottle filled with water. Wrap the neck with tape so that there are no holes through which air can penetrate.
The cuttings are removed to a warm and well-lit place. To speed up rooting, it is recommended to pour a growth stimulant into the water. After the appearance of roots, plant the leaf plate in a separate container filled with soil mixture, after which it is well watered. Until the young bush is stronger, it is covered with a transparent hood from above, under which the greenhouse conditions are created.
If not cared for properly or not provided with proper growing conditions, various problems may occur.
- Wilting of the leaves. This can occur either as a result of over-drying the clump of soil, or due to stagnant fluid in the root system. To remedy the situation, the watering schedule should be reviewed.
- Yellowing of the leaves. This can be due to the natural aging of the plant, or it can also be due to rotting on the roots.
If the plant is rotten then stop watering for a while and also treat the leaves with a solution of a fungicide and the substrate in the pot with manganese potassium solution.
- Drying of the leaf blades127>. This can occur if the room is too hot or the humidity is too low. This can be corrected by watering more often and by constantly watering with a sprayer.
- Leaves lose their beautiful coloration.
This occurs if the flower is in a too dark place or if there is too much nutrient in the soil mixture. Move it to a well-lit area and do not feed it.
- Faded foliage. If the leaves are pale, it is probably because the flower lacks light, so move it to a brighter location (gradually get used to the new light level). The plant can be left in its present location but it must be given extra light with fluorescent lamps.
- Leaves do not grow. This indicates a lack of nitrogen in the substrate. To speed up growth, it is recommended to water the bush with a solution of urea (1 gram of the substance per liter of water).
- Brown spots on the leaf plates. They form both on the plate itself and on its edge.
These are sunburns that occur when exposed to direct sunlight. Move the bush to a shaded location.
- Dark spots on the surface of the foliage. This indicates that the plant has been exposed to a draft or hypothermia.
- Infectious chlorosis.
When an aspidistra is affected by this disease, it begins to have yellowing leaves, the petals on the flowers turn green and generally changes the color of the shrub. The affected plant should be destroyed as soon as possible.
- Red spider mite. This small pest is very dangerous to the flower. An affected shrub develops a large number of light-colored spots on the front surface of the foliage, and white spider mites can be found on the underside of the plate.
Wash the foliage on both sides with a solution of soap.
- Palm Scythe. This very small insect feeds on plant sap, which it sucks from the leaves of the plant. If a whole colony settles on the bush, it can cause the leaves to turn yellow and die off. If scabies are found, remove them by hand from the leaf surface and then rinse the bush with clean water.
My aspidistra (many words))
Aspidistra species and varieties with photos and names
Aspidistra tall (Elatior)
Named for the fact that the bush is relatively large in size. Under natural conditions, it can reach a height of about 0.8 meters. When grown in room conditions, the height of such a flower usually varies from 0.6 to 0.
7 m. Leaf blades are about 0.3-0.5 m long and 0.1-0.
15 m wide, having an oblong acuminate form (similar in appearance to sharp tongues). Their surface is glossy and their color is green. Over time, the shrub grows, becomes dense and something like a lush fountain. This species is characterized by an extremely slow development. Within 12 months, only 3-5 new leaf plates grow on the bush.
When growing in room conditions, flowering comes very rarely and only in the summertime. It develops small purple-red flowers up to 30 mm across.
Aspidistra Milky Way
This evergreen plant can reach a height of 0.4 to 0.6 m.
If the foliage growth is not restricted, the shrub can become dense and large in diameter. This plant is highly drought-tolerant, and it can withstand not very large cold spells. The surface of the long stiff leaf plates is decorated with a large number of cream-colored spots. Such spots look like small stars, of which there are many in the sky. The Milky Way translates as "Milky Way".
This plant, like other aspidistras, is a slow grower, and it also quite rarely blooms. If grown indoors, flowering can be seen in the last weeks of winter or the first weeks of spring. Small purple flowers with sharp petals grow on the bush.
This species reaches about half a meter in height. Over time, it can grow greatly, resulting in a dense shrub.
It is a very demanding shrub, requiring good growth and development but needs good light and humidity as well as timely nutrition. The dark green leaf plates are decorated with vertically arranged cream stripes. If the plant is not kept properly, it can lose these very stripes. This happens because the substrate in the pot is too wet or because of excessive nutrition.
The large, glossy leaf plates of this perennial are dark green in color.
They are similar in shape to lily of the valley, but much larger, reaching about 50 centimeters long and up to 15 centimeters wide. It is characterized by infrequent flowering. The flower is formed at the rootstock itself. The bud has 8 petals, colored crimson or yellow.
This evergreen plant has long leaf plates (up to 30 centimeters), and they can be up to half a meter long.
There are many small white spots on their surface. This species, like many others, is undemanding in care. It is very hardy and therefore grows well in cool climates in places with polluted air. Over time, the bush grows and becomes lush. At the base of the rhizome once a year in the first summer weeks a small purple flower grows.
After the bud opens, the flower reaches about 30 mm across.
This species was discovered relatively recently. This plant is becoming more and more popular with florists every year. Its distinctive feature is its large flowers and long (about 0.8 m) oval leaf plates.
It also differs from other species by the fact that it does not form a lush shrub over time. Under room conditions, the bush rarely blooms, usually it happens in the middle of the summer period. 3-5 buds are formed on the main root, and from them emerge flowers of dark purple color. After the bud opens, the flower reaches up to 50 mm across. The unusually shaped long petals look like spider legs.
In nature, the species can be found in China in bamboo forests 700 meters above sea level. In these places, this aspidistra prefers to grow in fields, it covers the whole area with its lush leaves. When grown in room conditions, the shrub also eventually becomes a dense shrub. It possesses oval straight leaf plates that are about 30 centimeters long and up to 8 centimeters wide. The leaf surface is decorated with arched, longitudinal white stripes.
The bush blooms in the springtime. One bud is formed on the main root and a small flower of dark purple color appears from it.
The leaf plates of this species are green and narrow (no more than 30 mm wide). It has varieties with flecks of yellow on the foliage. The total height of the bush is about 0.
6 m. This species has small red star-shaped flowers during flowering, their opening begins in the first spring weeks.
This species differs from the others in that its short (up to 20 centimeters long) leaf plates have long petioles that are about 40 centimeters high. There are yellowish spots on the surface of the dense and wide leaf plates. The beginning of flowering is in May, at which time paired buds form on thin stubs, and then large flowers emerge from them, very similar to those formed in Aspidistra largeiflorum.
The opened flowers are either purple or violet in color.
Aspidistra medicinal properties
Eastern Asians have known for a long time that aspidistra has medicinal properties. Because of this, it is often used in alternative medicine. For example, when the gums are bleeding is recommended to chew the fresh leaves of the plant. Aspidistra leaves are placed on a bruise or small wound on the skin.
Decoction of such a plant is used in diseases of the stomach and intestines, cystitis, diarrhea and angina.
Tonic tincture: 1 tbsp of lukewarm water is combined with 1 tbsp of crushed aspidistra leaves. After an hour, the infusion will be ready, it only needs to be filtered. The remedy is drunk for three days a couple of tablespoons in the morning and at lunch.
Medication for periodontitis: Cut a leaf aspidistra, rinse it in boiled water and take your time to chew to a mushy state.
The patient should wait for a minute and then spit out the paste. The procedure is carried out once every two hours. If done correctly, the inflammation will quickly go away and you will feel much better.