How to Care for Cast-Iron Plant (the Best Houseplant for Brown Thumbs)

Garden Betty

If your plant-keeping efforts lean more toward brown thumb than green thumb, then Aspidistra is a houseplant you want in your corner.

It isn’t called the cast iron plant for nothing: known to be virtually indestructible, this low-maintenance plant can tolerate low light, little fertilizer, and a wide range of temperatures.

Here’s what you should know about growing Aspidistra indoors.

Light and temperature

It hasn’t evolved to be able to withstand lots of sun, so you’re best off placing yours in a spot in your home that gets bright indirect light.

Soil and planting

Your cast iron plant will probably do well in pretty much any soil type: just some regular houseplant soil with a handful of perlite mixed in for drainage should work like a charm.

Water and humidity

The amount of water they need really depends on the amount of light they get, as well as factors like temperature. It’s true that most houseplants end up being watered to death, so don’t overdo it!


During the growing season, you can apply some diluted liquid houseplant food every month or so. Don’t fertilize during winter or if your plant isn’t doing well.


Your cast iron plant is unlikely to ever need much in the way of pruning. Old leaves can yellow and eventually crisp up, at which point you can remove them.

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Garden Betty