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Keep my aspidistra flying

(45 Posts)
Aridane Sun 22-Sep-19 18:57:40

The new leaves of my aspidistra are unfurling and are thin, papery dry and yellow.

What is wrong with it?

I think it could be under watering as when I lifted the pot it was super dry and light.

It is in the hallway where there is some light (not much).

It's about a year old

NanTheWiser Sun 22-Sep-19 20:34:44

I would unpot it and check the roots, I have a large variegated one in my porch which doesn't get watered very often, they are really tough plants, but checking the roots would be the first thing to do, I think.

Aridane Mon 23-Sep-19 09:16:51

These are the roots

Aridane Mon 23-Sep-19 09:17:57

Do they look normal enough to you?

PS soil is damp as have just given a soak to the dry dust in which it is potted!

Aridane Mon 23-Sep-19 09:18:58

And here is the new sad papery leaf that’s come through

Aridane Mon 23-Sep-19 09:20:09

And compared with the usual dark glossy ‘old’ leaves

Aridane Mon 23-Sep-19 09:21:20

And another new(ish) leaf that is part green, part yellow

Aridane Mon 23-Sep-19 09:21:52

NanTheWiser Mon 23-Sep-19 11:36:10

The roots look fine, no idea really about the papery leaves I'm afraid. It looks a little like red spider mite damage, but that would have been apparent on the other leaves too, not just the new ones.

Maybe a repot with fresh compost and a bit of TLC might help, sorry I don't have the answer!

Aridane Mon 23-Sep-19 12:03:54

Thank you - will try repotting or a bit of fertiliser .

I had googled before posting and wondered if it might be chlorosis and compost is just exhausted

DustyDoorframes Fri 27-Sep-19 16:07:58

If it was super dry I'd say it's just that it needed a good water! You could also move it to somewhere a little brighter for a month or so to perk it up, then put it back?

Aridane Mon 30-Sep-19 19:07:29

Would you cut off the unhapppy leaves?

Aridane Mon 30-Sep-19 19:07:52

(which would be visually more attractive - shallow thing that I am)

NanTheWiser Mon 30-Sep-19 22:21:19

Probably would be OK, although I don't know how many it's got! As long as you have a few healthy leaves, I don't think it would be a problem.

Aridane Mon 07-Oct-19 13:37:33

Aspidistra has had the snip and looks much better!

VirginiaCreeper Mon 07-Oct-19 13:40:18

I came on here expecting lots of George Orwell puns.
<slips out>

Drabarni Mon 07-Oct-19 13:44:36

I want one of these, have always wanted one.
We live in an Edwardian semi with a very dark hall, it hardly ever gets light.
Would it be ok? Is there a particular type I should look for.
I'd love to try for "The biggest aspidistra in the land". grin

Aridane Mon 07-Oct-19 14:00:56

They are perfect for dark Edwardian hallways and were very popular in Victorian times for that reason.

They grow slowly and so the larger specimens may be quite expensive.

Drabarni Mon 07-Oct-19 14:42:21

Aw, thank you Aridane

Sorry for derailing, I'm currently checking our garden Centre. thanks

Aridane Mon 07-Oct-19 15:04:35

No derail - aftyl, it’s a thread about adpidistras!

ListeningQuietly Mon 07-Oct-19 15:10:57

Mine is still outside in the garden - where it has been all summer under a tree
It will come in for winter and get more neglect
but it does not like overly dry air

the flowers are pollinated by slugs by the way

NanTheWiser Mon 07-Oct-19 20:46:18

Yes, they are quite expensive to buy (if you can find one - my variegated one came from a friend over 30 years ago).
Ideal for shaded areas that get little light, and as ListeningQuietly says, the flowers are pollinated by slugs and beetles. They are often missed, as they appear at soil level, and look like purplish "earth stars".

Drabarni Mon 07-Oct-19 21:17:36

Eh? Do you mean they bring slugs inside with them.
I don't know anything about them but have always wanted one as grew up hearing old ladies talk about them, in the 70's.

I've also inherited a huge plant that is too big to keep. it's inside and i don't know what it is. No flowers, just waxy leaves, on a stem.
The roots are huge and brown, and I'm sure it's going to sing feed me.

NanTheWiser Tue 08-Oct-19 11:14:24

@Drabarni, no, hopefully they don't bring their own slugs! But if outdoors, that is probably how they are pollinated, as the flowers are at soil level.

If you post a pic of your huge plant, we might be able to ID it for you.

Drabarni Tue 08-Oct-19 16:05:43

Sorry, I had visions of slugs crawling about inside.

I can't do pictures and link, must ask a child to help me grin
It's more of a bush than a plant, we found it in a greenhouse at my ds1 new house when they moved in.
Looks quite old as the roots are massive.
The leaves are dark green and waxy sort of small shape, then another and another and so on, all in like a line. They are very waxy.

ListeningQuietly Tue 08-Oct-19 16:51:22

It could be an aspidistra
or clivia
or a sanseveria

Drabarni Tue 08-Oct-19 17:58:27

Friend identified it on her way to church meeting, I dragged her in, must have looked a right one.

It's some kind of Cactus either Easter or Christmas, she isn't sure. It's too big for the house, not sure what to do.
It's more like bush size.
I can't wait to find out which one. She said if I can't find out it will either flower at Christmas or Easter. grin
Will post a pic if I can, just for the humour side of things.

ListeningQuietly Tue 08-Oct-19 19:35:20

Ah, OK, Forest cactus - SPLENDID plants
have incredible flowers when they are happy

NanTheWiser Tue 08-Oct-19 21:03:33

@Drabarni, it sounds very like Crassula ovata, sometimes called the jade tree or money tree. They can eventually grow into large specimens, with thick trunks, and often flower in the winter. Frequently seen in the windows of Chinese and Indian takeaways. Google it, and see if it matches.

Drabarni Tue 08-Oct-19 22:10:18

I'm onto it and many thanks. The Chinese takeaway is a worry grin I'm going to break into "Suddenly Seymour" soon, I'm sure it's moving. It's going to have to go outside, it's really heavy too.
Can I take cuttings and give to friends? I'm no gardener plants always die on me.

NanTheWiser Tue 08-Oct-19 23:07:58

Was it a Crassula? Yes, you can take cuttings - they are really easy, but might be a bit slow at this time of year. Take a cutting a couple of inches long, allow it to dry out (callus) for about a week, then place it on dry gritty potting mix, not too deep, and it should begin to send out roots after a couple of weeks, when it can be potted up in gritty mix and watered lightly (allow to dry out between waterings).

It won't survive outside over winter - they need to be kept at a minimum of 5c over winter, frost will kill it, but it's OK in a cool room.

MereDintofPandiculation Wed 09-Oct-19 18:23:55

It's too big for the house, not sure what to do. If it's a Christmas or Easter cactus - flat segmented leaf-like stem, so it look like a whole lot of fleshy leaves, the bottom of each one slotted into the top of the one below - break off a few bits and let them root (you can just lie them on the soil). When you have enough to be confident that you'll get back to a reasonable sized plant, you can dispose of the original.

ListeningQuietly Wed 09-Oct-19 18:42:29

Jade Tree : Crassula - break off a few bits and propagate them and then sell the big plant to an office / restaurant on FAcebay

Forest Cactus : ditto

Drabarni Thu 10-Oct-19 14:59:02

Aw, thanks all.
I'm going to look after this plant, it isn't going to die on me.
Have spoken to dh and we are going to wait until spring to repot/take cuttings.
For now it's on a tall bar stool, the pot is looking a bit top heavy but should last.
It takes up the full corner of the room and have measured it. From the highest to the lowest it's 3ft high and 3ft wide.
I read that it must be quite old.

MereDintofPandiculation Fri 11-Oct-19 13:08:57

3ft high and 3ft wide. Doesn't sound like Christmas/Easter cactus. Google them - Christmas cactus is Zygocactus, Easter is Schlumbergia

Aridane Fri 11-Oct-19 16:25:43

Picture, picture, picture!

Drabarni Fri 11-Oct-19 16:55:03

I can't link from my phone, not because I'm not techy but it's set up for dh and I can never remember his password.

It's like this but much taller, not quite that wide but not so far off.

ListeningQuietly Fri 11-Oct-19 17:16:09

Enjoy it
and any bits that break off can be rooted to grow more

Aridane Fri 11-Oct-19 18:35:56


Aridane Tue 15-Oct-19 13:07:40

My aspidistra is now flying!!

Ahem - I think it just needed a good water grin blush

I have killed off about half my mini succulents - only about £1 a succulent, but still -through overwatering so have now gone the other way.

But even though aspidistra are apparently known as the cast iron plant for their resilience, I guess even aspidistra don't like extended periods in effectively a pot full of dry dust!!

NanTheWiser Tue 15-Oct-19 15:05:27

Good news Aridane! Tough as old boots they may be, but they do need a drink every now and then.

Aridane Wed 20-Nov-19 06:26:03

@Drabarni - you can buy aspidistra here!

Not cheap,but they are a very good company

echt Sun 01-Dec-19 11:33:20

Here in Melbourne aspidistras are a outdoor plant. I grow them in the ground and in pots. Huge pots. ( I'll take some pics and post later).

They are deeply unfashionable and still stupidly over-priced. How does that work? I find they sulk like mad for ages when divided, preferring a crowded container.

Aridane Sun 01-Dec-19 11:40:51

Wow - do post the pictures!

Deep.y unfashionable and deeply lovely !

I think they're so expensive because they grow so slowly (unless they grow rampantly in Melbourne)

MereDintofPandiculation Sun 01-Dec-19 13:55:35

drabani That's a zygocactus/schlumbergia all right! I've not seen one that big!. Looks like yours is an Easter cactus, otherwise it'd have buds/flowers on it now.

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