Aspidistra is a very beautiful herbaceous plant with lush, basal leaves. The small genus belongs to the Asparagus family and includes only 8 species. Of these, only aspidistra high is used in home floriculture - a very hardy long-lived plant. An aspidistra flower spread around the world over a century ago from East Asia (China, Japan, Taiwan). It will become a real find for beginners who can not devote much time to indoor plants.
Aspidistra is a grassy, stemless perennial with a powerful root system. The height of the curtain is on average 50-60 cm. A lot of dense white roots quickly wrap around an earthen lump. The basal neck is slightly curved and thickened. Over the years, on a small plot of land, a dense curtain is formed of many leaves, which is popularly called a "friendly family".
Each leaf of the aspidistra has a long, upright petiole. Its base is covered with small scales. Upon closer examination, they also turn out to be tiny leafless leaflets. Their purpose is to protect the main sheet. A leathery sheet plate has a lanceolate or belt-like shape and often bends outward. Along the entire length of the shiny sheet, relief longitudinal veins are visible. The sheet plate is 50-80 cm long and about 10 cm wide.
Aspidistra blossoms small sessile flowers. They are located alone immediately above the surface of the soil. Small pink or purple bells with a diameter of up to 2.5 cm are sometimes very difficult to detect. For the structure of the bud and color, they are often called "roses of aspidistra." In indoor conditions, flowering is extremely rare, but, of course, it becomes a significant event. As a result of pollination, oblong fleshy berries ripen.
Varieties of Aspidistra
In total, 8 species are registered in the genus aspidistra. Of these, only high aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior). Its large dark green leaves gather in a thick mop, like a lush waterfall. To diversify the choice for exotic lovers, flower shops offer an aspidistra of the following decorative varieties:
- Aspidistra Variegata - the entire surface of the sheet is covered with white longitudinal stripes of various widths;Varidegate Aspidistra
- Aspidistra Blume differs by smaller leaves of a uniform dark green color and yellow or raspberry flowers;Aspidistra Blume
- Aspidistra Milky Way - dark green large leaves are covered with many white dots and shapeless spots;Aspidistra Milky Way
- Aspidistra Amanogawa - in the center of the sheet are white dots, and wide yellowish stripes are visible along its edges;Aspidistra Amanogawa
- Aspidistra Fuji-No-Mine - on the wide dark green leaves on the sides there are lighter stripes;Aspidistra Fuji-No-Mine
- Aspidistra Snow Cap - closer to the ends, the leaves gradually become whitish.Aspidistra Snow Cap
This is only part of the list of decorative species of aspidistra, in various catalogs you can see much more interesting varieties, and breeders are constantly adding new varieties. They differ in the shape and size of the leaves, the density and width of the stripes or specks.
At home, the reproduction of aspidistra is convenient to produce by dividing the rhizome. In March, the plant is dug up and freed from most of the earthen coma. With a sharp knife, you should separate the socket with 3-5 leaves and a section of rhizome. The place of cut is sprinkled with crushed charcoal to prevent decay. Immediately after division, the plants are planted in the soil. For young aspidistras, small pots should be selected. After planting, they need a period of adaptation. During the week, the flowers contain at an air temperature of about + 18 ... +20 ° C and are moderately watered.
You can propagate the aspidistra leaf. For this, an adult leaf is cut without signs of damage. Petiole is removed to thicken at the base of the leaf. Pour some water into a small jar and place the base of the leaf plate in it. The jar is covered with a film and left in a warm, bright place. After 1-2 weeks, small whitish roots will appear at the site of contact with water. The stem is removed from the can and planted in fertile soil, on top of the seedling is covered with a cap. After a while, the roots will get stronger and the aspidistra will begin to produce new leaves.
Transplantation room aspidistra
The plant does not tolerate transplantation and develops rather slowly, so the procedure is carried out only as necessary. In the middle of spring, every 3-4 years, the bush is transferred into a stable pot one size larger than the previous one. At the bottom of the tank pour a thick layer of drainage. Earthball damage is not recommended. When landing, the upper part of the basal neck should remain on the surface.
The soil for the aspidistra is selected light and fertile with a slightly acidic or neutral reaction. Leafy substrates with a small addition of peat are preferred.
Caring for an aspidistra at home is very simple. It’s enough to choose the right place and follow just a few simple rules. In nature, the plant lives in shady tropical forests, so it feels good even in the back of the room or in a dark room. Variegated forms need a little more light, but putting the aspidistra under direct sunlight is not worth it. Burns in the form of brown spots quickly form on the leaves.
The home air temperature for the aspidistra is quite comfortable. It can grow at + 18 ... +25 ° C. In winter, cooling is allowed up to +10 ° C, but there is no need to specially arrange them. For the summer, it is recommended to plant pots in a shady garden. In subtropical regions, the plant can winter in the open ground. It is important to ensure that it is protected from drafts. With hypothermia or a sharp temperature drop, the leaves begin to darken and fade.
It is necessary to water the aspidistra regularly so that the soil does not dry out, but excess water should immediately leave the pot. Irrigation water cannot contain large amounts of chlorine and lime.
The plant needs periodic spraying. It is advisable to use a spray with small holes and purified water so that ugly lime spots do not form on the leaves. You also need to regularly clean the vegetation with a soft cloth from dust and bathe under a warm shower. If the aspidistra does not get enough moisture, the tips of the beautiful leaves will turn brown and dry.
In April-October, the flower needs monthly nutrition. You can use a universal mineral complex for indoor plants.
The aspidistra is resistant to diseases and pests. With excessive watering and dampness, root rot can develop in the soil. The fungus also spreads to juicy petioles and foliage. In too dry air, the crown is damaged by spider mites and scale insects. You can try to wash off small parasites with soapy water and a hot shower, but it is much more effective to treat with an insecticide. To destroy the larvae, spraying is repeated twice with a frequency of 5-7 days.
With poor quality water for irrigation, a disease such as chlorosis can develop. With it, the leaves retain elasticity, but turn yellow and lose their saturated color. Fertilizers and the use of cleaner water will help to cope with the problem.