Looking for a beautiful plant that can accent and compliment your home or garden? Look no further than a cast iron plant!
Cast iron plants (also known as aspidistra elatior) are houseplants that require moderate sunlight and are very low-maintenance plants. They all function more or less the same in terms of growth and care, but the differences lie mainly within their features.
There are many different plant varieties that you can choose from the cast iron family. What makes it even better is that the process for growing them is all roughly the same. The only difference amongst them is the presentation and overall appearance of each individual plant.
To help you better decide which one you should pick and grow, allow us to elaborate on the varieties and their qualities.
Believe it or not, this family has over 100 species! Now, unfortunately, we can’t name and explain every single one of them. It would simply take too long! Plus, there are some types of these species that aren’t grown as houseplants.
That said, we can give you some of the best ones that will be perfect for your home!
Let’s continue to explore some of these fascinating individuals, shall we?
One of the cast iron options you might consider bringing into your home is the variegata plant. This perennial species is 24-36 inches long and has deep green leaves with creamy white stripes that are spread vertically on the leaves.
The qualities of this variety make it require very little effort to take care of it. This variety is hardy and has the ability to grow in adverse conditions, like in extreme shade or even in somewhat filtered light. It can also tolerate poor soil.
These characteristics of high adaptability make it perfect for growing as a houseplant. It can be grown indoors, in a shaded area, or even beneath eaves or in interior courtyards. Just water variegata plants every now and then and it should stay healthy and vibrant for a long period of time.
Variegata is one of the simpler, easier-to-find varieties in the cast iron family, but it’ll still give your home that hint of accentuation that it needs to make your home look lively.
Another species that can be found in the cast iron family is the asahi plant. This variety is 20 inches long and 6 inches wide with pale green leaves with the tips of the leaves being frosted white.
Although they will look good anywhere you put in your home, they will accentuate the beauty of your outdoor garden even more – as long as your climate and growing conditions are suitable for this species. Its white tips make it one of the most dramatic foliage specimens you can grow in your shade garden.
Don’t sweat it if the weather isn’t ideal for growing this specimen outdoors where you live, either. You won’t go wrong with putting this species in your home to bring the decor in your home to life.
For any of you who look at the beautiful night sky, why not get a variety that reminds you of its beauty?
The hoshi-zora will remind you of your love for the night time sky. Its name translates to “starry sky,” and is perfect for giving you that reminder of something so incredible to see every night.
The hoshi-zora is one of the most vigorous cultivars that has long leaves that grow up to 3-feet tall. It also sports spots that are each widely spaced apart from each other.
One feature that makes this variety different from the others is that it has two different colors when it blooms. Initially, right when it begins to bloom, the colors will be burgundy and green, which gives the houseplant a vivid and colorful essence that can complement your home.
4. Lennon’s Song
Lennon’s Song is another variety to consider – this one is prized for its colorful leaves.
The leaves on this variety come with either light green stripes or yellow stripes. The color patterns on all of the varieties may be similar, but the features that they come with are different. All of these varieties can serve as the “missing piece” to complement any home.
5. Alishan Green Giant
The Alishan Green Gant is another cast iron type that can easily be grown as a houseplant. It has a rich heritage and comes from Taiwan’s Mt. Alishan.
They’re 3’ tall x 3.5 wide dark green leaves. One of the features that make this particular variety different from the others is that it does not have any yellow flecking on the leaves.
The flowers on this plant are shaped like that of a star at the base of the plant.
6. Akebono Center Stripe
The akebono plant has leaves that are 30” tall. Each leaf on this variety is highlighted with a narrow and creamy yellow streak in the middle of the leaf. Towards the end of the winter season, they flower at ground level.
This species will make a great addition to any room in your home!
Another incredible cast iron plant that would be great for every home is the fuji-no-mine plant.
This houseplant is 3’ tall x 5 wide with dark and glossy green leaves that shine so bright. The leaves on this pretty plant is highlighted with narrow, creamy yellow streaks with a narrow white border at the tip.
In English, fuji-no-mine translates to “crags on Mt. Fuji.” Try sticking fuji-no-mine somewhere in your garden to add more diversity amongst the rest of your plants and see how well it looks!
8. Flowing Fountains
The plant in the cast iron family is one that is incredibly unique: the flowing fountains.
Aspidistra ebianensis ‘Flowing Fountains’ is a unique cast iron plant. It was first transported stateside as an un-named clone of Aspidistra lurida from China’s Wuhan Botanical Garden by botanist Hayes Jackson.
Flowing fountains are great for groundcovers and can really help make your garden pop with its presence. Having this houseplant for your home will add extra variety with a touch of a unique and flourishing essence of beauty!
9. Snow Cap
Add a touch of a winter feel inside your home or garden with the snow cap cast iron plant. From its native home of Japan, the snow cap plant would make a beautiful selection!
‘Snow Cap’ has a white pattern of variegation that is large and persists year round. It can be slightly brighter in the winter, but you’ll find that the contrast remains vibrant throughout the entire year, for the most part.
Keep in mind that if you have a younger snow cap plant, it’s going to take some time for the white pattern to fully develop. With the moderate white patterns on each leaf, the color will not be as bold as they are with the other plant types.
Try something different with your interior design scheme by adding this elegant and vivid plant to your home!
Another gorgeous plant that hails from the lovely land of Japan is the Okame cast iron plant. This plant is similar to its counterparts, having vertical white stripes that highlight every dark green leaf.
The flowers on this plant are a tad bit strange, resembling that of a dwarf pepperoni pizza, but they only appear at the very beginning of spring. More than anything, however, this plant will be fine as a simple piece to add to your home or garden.
Should I Grow Cast Iron Plants?
So now that you know of the different cast iron plant types, you’re probably wondering if they’re worth growing. The answer to this question is YES!
Remember the most important key takeaway that we discussed earlier: the process of growing cast iron plants is extremely simple and requires little maintenance.
Having this particular plant is good for anyone who might be too busy to care for the plant, so the fact that you don’t have to put in as much effort to take care of it is a huge benefit. The fact that it comes in different varieties makes it even better, too, giving you more options to choose from to put into your home.
Take the time to think about which of these beautiful plants would be suitable for your home, and take the process of growing them from there!
*image by simonapavan/depositphotos