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How would you improve this Aspidistra?

Discussion in 'Other Plants' started by Krista, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Krista

    Krista Apprentice Gardener

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    This belongs to my friend,not me,or I might KNOW what to do. I`ve never had an Aspidistra and there`s not much of any help on Google. I`m it`s holiday home because she`s popped off to Oz for a few weeks. She`s had it for YEARS and frankly it`s never looked any better;although to be fair it`s still alive! She tried putting it in a slightly lighter position,it was there for months if not years,but it didn`t really improve. I`ve trimmed off the dead ends of the two leaves that look an odd shape and still have some brown at the tips. It would be lovely to either give it back looking better or at least have some advice for her.OOps you need a photo-pause while I find out how.There ya go!

    Sue`s Aspidistra.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  2. Freddy

    Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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    I know absolutely nothing about these. I would suggest somewhere with lots of light, but not direct sunlight. Difficult to tell from the picture, but the compost looks a bit sodden? If so, don’t water it until the compost looks much dryer. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly, but that’s my advice, for what it’s worth.
     
  3. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    The best aspidistra I have seen indoors was grown in relatively low light and kept moist.
    Not a plant I grow though but have considered one or two of tbe variegated varieties...:)
     
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    • Freddy

      Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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      Well, there you go :biggrin:
       
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      • Clare G

        Clare G Super Gardener

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        I've got one, had it a couple of years now. I keep it in the bathroom but not on the windowsill - so yes, it has relatively low light and nice damp air. Then I water it every week, but not to drench it, and give the leaves a wash if they get dusty - usually a "rainbath" from the showerhead, something all my indoor plants seem to enjoy. Never feed it anything.

        Aspidistras are meant to be slow growers, and also to resent re-potting. All I can say is, I did repot mine early on and then after a few months it rewarded and surprised me by all at once poking up seven or eight new leaves! That was last spring. Not sure if that was a co-incidence or if - fingers crossed - it might do the same this spring. It really is a handsome plant now, complementing its big handsome old brass "aspidistra pot" off ebay.

        Victorians used to call them "Cast-iron Plants" because they were so hard to kill off. I have to say, your friend's one does look more as if it is clinging on to life than enjoying it ... I wonder if it too would benefit from re-potting? Could you maybe cautiously lift it out of its pot and see if it is root-bound?
         
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        • Freddy

          Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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          I’ve just checked, and I saw mention that it likes acidic conditions. Did you use ericaceous compost?
           
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          • Verdun

            Verdun Passionate gardener

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            I think you are right Clare G...I think they are reputedly bathroom plants. Agree too about possible repotting....it will also add some nutrients :)
            Soil? Pretty adaptable I think
             
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            • Clare G

              Clare G Super Gardener

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              No, just whatever all-purpose compost I had in the shed!
               
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              • PaulB3

                PaulB3 Gardener

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                Two of my customers have Aspidistra growing OUTSIDE throughout the year ; both are planted in free-draining soil on West facing borders and at the foot of red-brick walls .
                Considering what we saw last March , they're both very healthy plants .
                With shelter from cold drying winds , A.elatior exhibits a certain degree of frost-tolerance .
                 
              • Verdun

                Verdun Passionate gardener

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                Yes PaulB 3, I have been looking at one or two slightly tender ones for growing outside. There are some very attractive varieties but expensive. :)
                 
              • Krista

                Krista Apprentice Gardener

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                It is in a low-light spot but as I said the higher light spot didn`t do much for it. Your advice about ericaceous compost is-er- mixed but we could try that & I`ll check the roots too-but with that few leaves I somehow doubt that`s the problem. I have no idea how often she re-pots it,if at all, could be spent compost. I might risk a re-pot if I can get hold of some ericaceous and do it with half that & half multi-purpose. I don`t think it gets over-watered and the compost is certainly not sodden right now,even if it looks like it in the photo,Freddy.
                I could try a shower once a week-the plant,not me-that`s far too often for me :snorky: ! Or perhaps it`s as simple as not liking centrally heated homes! Victorian homes were a bit chillier than today`s perhaps that`s why they did so well back then? Further advice from any Aspidistra experts still welcome but TY everyone.
                :ThankYou:
                 
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                • Verdun

                  Verdun Passionate gardener

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                  Ideally, you would repot in early spring Krista and not now. You shouldn't expect much if any growth over winter
                  Also, the watering....it likes moisture esp in the growing season. Forget the "shower once a week" right now too.
                  You are right...central heating is not great for it. Right again, it was a staple in cold Victorian houses.
                  Indoor plants dont like being moved about too much either.
                  Prob best not to do anything drastic for now despite your desire to give it back looking better; you can give advice though.....:)
                   
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                  • Jack Sparrow

                    Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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                  • Krista

                    Krista Apprentice Gardener

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                    Thanks Verdun.Maybe we are simply not keeping it moist. I will water it tomorrow,but no shower,I promise. What did you NOT like about the shower? Too much all in one go?not often enough?summat else? And I will suggest a spring re-pot. Do you have Aspidistra Verdun,if so what do you think about adding some ericaceous compost?
                     
                  • Verdun

                    Verdun Passionate gardener

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                    Krista, no I do not grow aspidistra although I grow most everything else but there are simple growing rules. :)
                    I think adding ericaceous is unnecessary but it wont hurt it ..... Aspidistra will grow perfectly well in any good compost.
                    A shower now, outside the growing season, will do more harm.....in early spring you can do extra watering, repotting etc. Then it will make fresh new growth. However, if the soil feels moist now then hold back on watering.
                    Less is more right now....until spring :)
                     

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