Aspidistra: description, cultivation and care at home
Among plant growers, the aspidistra has gained its popularity relatively recently, however, in just a few years, this flower has spread en masse as a home and office plant. Aspidistra is attractive not only for its unique appearance, but also for its unpretentiousness and ability to grow in partial shade. Nevertheless, this species needs special conditions of detention, including a microclimate. Next, you will learn about the main features of the content of aspidistra, as well as the basic needs of the flower.
What is an aspidistra? Plant description
The genus of aspidistra, belonging to the large family Asparagus, includes about a hundred species of perennial stemless herbaceous plants. The first varieties of aspidistra were discovered in 1822 by the English botanist John Goler. In the natural environment, representatives of this genus are common in mountainous regions with a subtropical climate in Japan and China. In culture, the most common type of aspidistra is high - it is used as a decorative indoor plant, in rooms with poor lighting.
The flower is distinguished by a large underground rhizome of creeping type. The plant does not have a stem; instead, elongated lanceolate leaves of a saturated green hue with a glossy sheen develop from the basal rosette. The length of the leaves is within 50 cm, the width is often no more than 15 cm. The total height of the flower under artificial conditions does not exceed 60 cm, but in the natural environment it can grow up to 1 m.
Did you know? Aspidistra became one of the main characters in George Orwell’s book Long Live the Ficus! In the novel, the plant became a symbol of the desire for prosperity and a special social status, with which the main character waged an internal struggle. The most popular and common varieties of aspidistra:
- "Milky Way";
- Ginga Giant;
- Snow cap;
- Sekko Kan;
Useful properties of the plant
Aspidistra is considered one of the most useful interior additions. This plant successfully fits both in the home environment and in the workspace, and in addition to decorative purposes, it also helps a person to improve his living environment. The flower is one of the best natural adsorbents that successfully purifies the air of nicotines, dust and phenols.
The plant also has an antibacterial effect due to the release of specific substances into the air. In addition, aspidistra is simply indispensable for areas with a dry climate. Due to the huge area of green mass, the flower is able to saturate the air with moisture, while regulating the humidity in the room.
Did you know? Aspidistra is considered a long-lived plant, in room conditions it is able to grow and develop for about 100 years. It should be noted that in southern Asia, aspidistra is widely used for medicinal purposes. Thanks to the unique compounds contained in the leaves and rhizome, it is able to improve the condition of the body in acute and chronic forms:
- sore throats;
- gastrointestinal tract infections.
- wound healing;
- stopping bleeding, including with pathologies of the oral cavity;
- treatment of periodontal disease and related diseases.
Keeping an aspidistra is easy even for a novice. This plant is not demanding for lighting, it can be safely grown in partial shade, away from the windowsill, but in winter the flower must be transferred to a well-lit corner of the room. The flower grows well under artificial light, but at the same time it needs to be highlighted for at least 16 hours a day.
The best temperature for growing a species is considered the average daily optimum of +18 ... + 20 ° C, but its representatives can develop in hotter conditions, and with a seasonal decrease in the indicator to + 10 ° C.
Important! Varieties with variegated leaves must be sure to provide a well-lit place, otherwise in the shade their color will lose decorative value.
The aspidistra loves moderate moisture, but a short drought is not harmful to the flower. The view is also not demanding on air humidity, but light humidification of the air and the aboveground mass positively affects its growth. The optimum moisture content should be between 65–80%.
Features and landing technology
This species develops quickly enough, especially the root system, therefore, for planting a flower, use volumetric individual pots. They can be made of plastic, ceramic, glass or metal, but the containers made of high-quality ceramic or non-toxic plastic are considered the most aesthetically valuable. Capacity for landing you need to choose a large and deep. An ideal pot should be twice as large as the volume of the rhizome with soil.
As a filler, well-fertilized soil for indoor plants is often used. The substrate can also be made with your own hands, for this you need to mix peat, sod land, river sand and humus in equal parts.
In addition to aspidistra, unpretentious houseplants also include balsam, adromiscus, hymnocalicium, koleriya, mulenbekia.
The main rule of growing a flower is the proper preparation of containers for planting. These include the following measures:
- sterilization with 70% alcohol, 1% potassium permanganate, or other disinfectant;
- laying a drainage layer of fine gravel or expanded clay;
- proper packing, the soil must be compacted tightly, and its level must be 1-2 cm below the edges of the pot.
The soil should be sterilized - this measure will also help protect the plant from infections, in addition destroying pests. There are many ways to carry out the procedure, but the most simple and effective are:
- freezing in a freezer, at a temperature of -20 ...- 25 (3-5 days);
- heating by heat at + 90 ° С (in a kitchen oven, about 20-30 minutes);
- soaking the substrate with sterilizing solutions (1% potassium permanganate).
Important! After sterilization, the soil is left alone for 5-7 days. During this time, she independently restores her structure, as well as the microflora, disrupted by an aggressive procedure. Cultivate the flower in the following ways:
- division of the bush;
- leafy cuttings;
- rhizome fragments.
- Carefully inspect the planting material - it should not have fungal or other pathologies.
- Prepare the soil and capacity for planting. The pot is disinfected (1% potassium permanganate solution), and also provide good drainage in it. The soil is fertilized and sterilized. After that, the container is densely packed with soil substrate.
- Sterilize planting stock. To do this, use 1% potassium permanganate or other, interchangeable solutions.
- Place the planting material in a pot, wrap it up with soil and water well.
- After planting, install a protective dome over the soil in a pot of transparent plastic, glass or polyethylene. This will create for the aspidistra greenhouse conditions, in which the most active plant germination is observed.
- Transfer planted containers to a warm, well-lit area.
- A week after germination, you need to gradually remove the protective dome (from this moment the flower can be watered). Spend this for several days, starting with airing the greenhouse for several minutes a day and ending with the complete elimination of the shelter.
- From this point on, a young plant can be kept in the same way as an adult.
Video: Caring for an Aspidistra
Growing and caring at home
For the safe cultivation and maintenance of this species, the plant grower is required a standard set of measures used for indoor plants. Like any other flower, aspidistra requires timely watering, pruning and transplanting. In this case, the most attention should be paid to pruning and transplanting - the plant does not always respond successfully to these procedures, and if performed ineptly, they can even lead to withering.
Watering and feeding
Aspidistra requires a moderate watering regimen. From spring to autumn, the plant is watered no more than 1-2 times a week, but in winter, the multiplicity of the procedure is halved. To do this, use soft, pre-settled water at room temperature. Protected rainwater is best suited for these purposes, but if you live in regions with adverse environmental conditions, such watering can cause intoxication of the plant.
Fertilize flowerpots throughout the spring, 1-2 times a month. For these purposes, use any complex fertilizer for flowering species. The main rule of such dressing is a low concentration of fertilizers, otherwise they can cause burns to the roots of the flower. Top dressing is carried out with weakly concentrated solutions, diluted twice as much as manufacturers recommend.
Important! Varieties with a variegated color are not recommended for feeding, as this can provoke discoloration of the foliage.
This room view does not need periodic cropping, including for shaping. But, in order to provide him with a corresponding aesthetic appearance, plants need to be periodically inspected and cut. Carry out the procedure as necessary; leaflets with obvious pathologies (spots, putrefactive lesions, holes, dried up or damaged by pests areas) are subject to removal. Cut the foliage at the base with a sharp garden or kitchen knife. In this case, you should not pinch off the leaves, since in this case there is a high probability of damaging the aspidistra.
Aspidistra is hard to tolerate a transplant and often after this is sick for a long time, so they spend it no more than 1 time in 2 years. The most favorable period for this is the first half and mid-March. At this time, the flower activates after winter, which helps him to get used to the new conditions most quickly.
- Prepare and sterilize the soil and container for transplanting.
- Put a drainage layer at least 2–4 cm thick on the bottom of the tank, over which a few centimeters of new soil should be rammed.
- Carefully remove the flower from the old flowerpot, together with the soil, and then transfer it to the new flowerpot.
- Fill the cracks between the old soil and the walls of the flowerpot and carefully compact everything.
- Water and fertilize the plant 1 week after transplanting.
The aspidistra propagates vegetatively and generatively, so you can get a young flower both by germinating parts of the plant, and by seeds. Traditionally, the simplest is reproduction by dividing the bush and leaf. These methods do not require specialized skills, while being highly efficient.
Dividing the bush
Division of the bush when propagating a flower is used infrequently. This is due to the fact that exclusively mature plants with an age of at least 5 years are suitable for such reproduction. At the same time, they must have a developed and powerful rhizome - otherwise the procedure will lead to the death of aspidistra. Reproduction by division is often combined with a transplant, carried out in the early spring, no later than mid-March.
The main stages of the process:
- The aspidistra is carefully removed from the pot, its rhizome is freed from the soil.
- Rhizome is cut into 2-3 parts so that each of them has at least 1-2 full leaves.
- The resulting dividends are planted in separate containers, watered, and subsequently contained as adult plants.
Leaf propagation is a more gentle way to grow daughter plants. Moreover, it is easier than dividing the rhizome, and also makes it possible to obtain a young aspidistra without harm to the mother plant.
- From a young plant you need to separate a healthy, full leaf. In this case, the petiole must remain intact.
- A leaf stalk is dipped in a liter jar with 150–250 ml of pure water, and then it is closed with a plastic lid.
- The jar with the leaf is transferred to a warm and well-lit place for 5-14 days.
- As soon as the first roots appear on the handle, it can be transplanted into the soil, under a dome made of polyethylene or other transparent material.
- After rooting of the leaf cuttings, the shelter is gradually removed, and the young plant is transferred to an adult maintenance regimen.
Sowing seeds is considered a fairly rare way to obtain new aspidistra. In connection with the physiological characteristics of the flower, seed reproduction gives a full-fledged plant only 15–20 years after sowing the seed. To accelerate this process at home is not possible. Therefore, aspidistra is grown by seeds only in laboratory conditions, for breeding purposes, in order to obtain a new variety or improve the old one.
Flowering aspidistra is considered one of the rarest phenomena in the botanical world, since this plant blooms only under optimal conditions, and no more than a day. Subject to all conditions of detention, by the middle of summer small, nondescript flowers develop on it, characterized by a brown-violet shade of perianth.
In most cases, the plant does not bring trouble to its owner, but sometimes, under the influence of adverse environmental factors, the aspidistra can become seriously ill. While for experienced plant growers this is not a problem, for beginners this outcome may be the main cause of death of the flower.
The main difficulties encountered by the grower when growing aspidistra:
|Black or brown spots on the foliage||solar ultraviolet burn||plant transfer to a darker place|
|Slow growth||nitrogen deficiency in the substrate||the soil must be fertilized twice with a urea solution (5 g per 1 liter of water) with an interval of 14 days|
|Yellowing or wilting of leaves||waterlogging of the soil||the frequency of watering is reduced, the flower is transplanted into fresh soil|
|Foliage discoloration||lack of light||the flowerpot is transferred to a more illuminated place, on the southern windowsill|
|Browning of foliage with the appearance of a nondescript cobweb||spider mite||twice, with an interval of 14 days, the flower is treated with a solution of Actellik fungicide (1 ml per 1 liter of water)|
|Yellowing and falling of leaves, small bugs are visible on the healthy part of the plant||flower damage||the flower is treated with a solution of "Karbofos" (5 g per 1 liter of water), twice, with an interval of 10 days|