Published: 07 February 2014
The Aspidistra
This is the tale of an old Aspidistra plant that has come in from the cold.
I recently came across a large Aspidistra elatior [Cast-Iron plant] outside in its pot with only a hedge for winter protection. It had already had several months of rainfall swamping it and was also getting blasted by icy winds and near freezing conditions.
I was offered the challenge of bringing this plant in from the cold and trying to get sum new life into it. The deal was that if I did the work I could keep a portion for my own indoor plant collection. The challenge was accepted and the following pictures tell the story.

1. As the picture opposite shows it is quite an old plant that was looking rather sorry for itself. It had plenty of foliage of its own but there was also a large fern growing in the terracotta pot.

2. Even after the prolonged and extreme conditions there was still plenty of living foliage and with the pot removed a good root system was visible.

3. A spade and fork were required to force the root ball apart.

4. The single plant divided up into six well rooted divisions, even after removing the fern root from the Aspidistra’s root ball.

5. All potted up and ready to be returned, except the one with my name on it!
This exercise has reminded me once again that plants are often incredibly resilient when faced with adverse conditions. With some practical help and plenty of TLC they will very often repay the efforts with years of enjoyment for all see.
If you have a plant that is in need of some help and you are not sure what can be done to rescue it drop me a line with a brief description, or better still a couple of pictures. I will then offer my thoughts as to the best way to encourage it back to health:
Reported by Chris Allen  

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