Aspidistra Elatior

Aspidistra Elatior – Growing & Care Guide

Common name: Bar room plant, cast iron plant | Blooming season: Summer, but full foliage year-round

👍 Loves: Well-drained soil, shade | 👎 Hates: Very wet soil, too much sun

Aspidistra Elatior is an easy-maintenance house plant that is also known affectionately as a Bar Room Plant or Cast Iron Plant. It is native to Japan and Taiwan, and has long, evergreen leaves that grow in clump formations to produce impressive-looking foliage. This perennial comes from the Asparagaceae family, and it is very popular in Japan.

Guide contents

  1. Identification
  2. When to plant
  3. Where to plant
  4. Growing and care tips
  5. FAQs


Aspidistra Elatior
A potted Aspidistra Elatior

FormationClustered, upright leaves
Leaves grow up to 50cm/20in long
Identifying FeaturesDark green, glossy leaves.
Can bloom with cream/purple flowers in the summer

When to plant

You can plant your Aspidistra Elatior whenever suits you. It is an extremely hardy plant that can easily deal with a lot of neglect, which makes it perfect for a first-time houseplant or for a plant to sit in the corner of your garden. It is very tolerant to different conditions.

Where is the best place to put an Aspidistra?

🌱 indoors, potted | ☁️ outdoors in shade or partial shade | ☀️ temp above −5 °C

Aspidistra Elatior can be planted either inside, or outdoors. It copes very well with shade and direct sunlight can bleach the leaves, so it is perfect for planting by shrubs, bushes, and fences, or in corners that don’t get too much sunlight. It is the perfect filler plant for areas that other plants might fail in. If planting indoors, choose an area that is not directly hit by the sunlight.

Despite being very hardy, very low temperatures can cause issues for this plant. If you live in a colder climate and want to keep this plant outside, consider planting it in a large pot so you can move it inside, or to a warmer area, in colder months.

Growing and care tips

Aspidistra Elatior

As one of the hardiest plants around, there isn’t much you need to be aware of as an Aspidistra Elatior owner, but here are some general guidelines.

Watering: If you forget to water your Aspidistra, don’t panic! It is drought tolerant and can put up with being thirsty for a bit. However, it does prefer slightly moist soil. Follow the usual rule for houseplants and tolerant plant – water thoroughly, and wait until the soil has dried out fully (or so you can put a finger in the soil and not feel dampness) before watering again.

Fertilizing: this plant doesn’t ask for much, but it is worth fertilizing with a generic, all-purpose fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer to keep its foliage looking good. Make sure you do this after watering the plant. Don’t bother fertilising it in the winter and autumn.

Soil: should be well drained. If grown inside, it should either be acidic or neutral. Outside, it can cope with clay and loamy soil well.

Pests: pests are no threat to this hardy plant.


Can aspidistra survive outside?

Absolutely! Although often potted and kept inside, Aspidistra is very hardy, making it a great foliage-booster for your outside space.

Why is my aspidistra leaves turning yellow?

If your aspidistra leaves are turning yellow, you are probably overwatering it and effectively waterlogging the leaves. Ensure the plant has enough drainage and fix its watering routine. You shouldn’t be re-watering until the soil is completely dry, or you may rot the roots. Other reasons could be underwatering, too much sunlight, temperature stress (too hot or too cold), or trouble acclimatising to its environment.

We’ve found a detailed guide on this here.

Is aspidistra poisonous?

No, aspidistra isn’t poisonous. It is also safe for cats and dogs, despite being part of the lily family.

how to revive an aspidistra

As we’ve mentioned, aspidistra is very tolerant. So if you notice leaves turning yellow and it looking a bit sad, there is no need to panic. Revive your Aspidistra by giving it a good soak, shaking any pests or debris from it, and putting it in the sun to perk up a little bit. Basically, just give it a bit of TLC.

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