Cast Iron Plant Division: Tips For Propagating A Cast Iron Plant

Speckled Cast Iron Plant
cast iron
(Image credit: skymoon13)

Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior), also known as bar room plant, is a tough, long-lived plant with large, paddle-shaped leaves. This nearly indestructible tropical plant tolerates temperature fluctuations, occasional neglect, and nearly any light level with the exception of intense, direct sunlight.

Propagating a cast iron plant is done by division and cast-iron plant division is surprisingly simple. Here are tips on how to propagate cast iron plants.

Cast Iron Plant Propagation

The key to propagating through division is to work carefully, as this slow growing plant has fragile roots that are easily damaged with rough handling. However, if your cast iron plant is well-established, it should easily tolerate division. Ideally, cast iron plant division is done when the plant is actively growing in spring or summer.

Carefully remove the plant from the pot. Lay the clump on a newspaper and gently tease the roots apart with your fingers. Don’t use a trowel or knife, which is more likely to damage the tender roots. Be sure the clump of roots has at least two or three stems attached to ensure healthy top growth.

Place the division in a clean container filled with fresh potting soil. The container should have a diameter no more than 2 inches (5 cm.) wider than the root mass and must have a drainage hole in the bottom. Be careful not to plant too deeply, as the depth of the divided cast iron plant should be about the same depth as it was in the original pot.

Replant the “parent” cast iron plant in its original pot or move it into a slightly smaller container. Water the newly divided plant lightly and keep the soil moist, but not soggy, until the roots are established and the plant shows new growth.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.