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Aspidistra problems


I have ab aspidistra which I love. I think I have had it about 6 months and up until now it has been very healthy. This morning I noticed a relatively young leaf has started to turn yellow and on closer inspection other leaves have become speckled with a paler green and the surface of the leaves is covered with dust. The dust could well be just dust but there is something odd about it that I cant quite put my finger on. The plant next to it (a sansevaria) doesn't have the same dust on it.

I've already lost a previous aspidistra to scale insect and would rather not lose its replacement too! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

It lives in a dark hallway. 


  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    i'd stick it in the bath and give it a wash over with some cool (NOT cold) water with a showerhead, alternatively you can put it outside in the semi-shade during the summer and that seems to deal with scale insects well.
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    My aspidistra has a lineage which I can trace back to at least 1850! The second and third photos are the 'parent' plant which lives outside during the summer and the potting shed in winter although it has been left outside all winter, several times. The indoor photos show the plant I carved off the parent 2 years ago. The outside plant has brownish bits and some speckled leaves as well as new leaves. I will trim off the tatty leaves when it goes back inside. Unless you can actually see scale insect I would clean each leaf gently with a piece of damp kitchen paper. That is what I do from time to time. Since I became custodian of my aspidistra in  it has been split up maybe 3 times 2017, 1980 and perhaps once in the 70s. They are really tough and don't mind neglect but as you can see they do like a bit of TLC.
  • Thanks guys. This doesn't look like scale insect. Or at least not the same as my previous aspidistra which had scale. I have attached a couple of photos from mine hurriedly taken this morningng
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    Hi Faye. Can I ask what yours is planted in? Until I split my parent plant in 2017, it was always planted in garden soil. Since I moved house, the soil wasn't up to much so I planted up the 8 plants I had to hack off, in John Innes number 2. I think that they prefer soil rather than compost which contains a lot of peaty ingredients. The one in the picture had 3 leaves when planted, the rest have grown since. I  couldn't get on bit off  - all I wanted was a small bit that I could put in a pot small enough for the jardiner which is also an antique! 
  • I have no idea. Whatever it came in. It didn't look like it needed to be repotted and I know they don't like their roots messed about with so I left it
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    You're probably right to leave it alone at present.  When I shoved mine out of its pot I had to use a screwdriver to push the crocks through the hole in the pot. When I did get it out, there was no soil evident and despite trying to wrench it apart gently I had to resort to a very sharp bread knife. Perhaps just giving the leaves a bit of a clean will suffice. I do mine when I water it which isn't very often, perhaps every couple of weeks in summer, less in winter. Cast iron plant is their common name. They're quite happy in poor light. They seem to prefer it.
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