Aspidistra: Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
Better known as a versatile houseplant, the Cast Iron Plant will also do well in a greenhouse as a display plant. However, although surviving much lower temperatures they do not really thrive under 10°C (50°F). Aspidistra lurida sometimes called A. elatior is the plain green species but A. I. ‘Variegata’ is worth acquiring for the elegant creamy stripes running down the leaf. I find that they need a lot of shade in a greenhouse, the best place when not in use being under the staging. They like to be well watered and fed while growing strongly in summer and are prone to attack by red spider mite. Do not forget to look out for their strange flowers which are borne at thesurface and are pollinated by slugs. Propagation is by division. Sometimes a big pot full has to be tackled with two forks back to back to prise the clump apart. Otherwise, if you do not want to disturb a good pot full, it is possible to knock the plant out of its pot and search for ‘toes’ or thick fleshy roots around the edge. These can be cut off in 2.5-5-cm (1-2-in) lengths and just buried under the surface of to grow new plants.