Cast iron plant; Bar room plant; Aspidistra Elatior

Why we love Howard

He earns his nickname ‘the cast iron plant’ by being close to indestructible. He’ll soldier on in conditions that would finish off less tough plants. Anyone can keep Howard happy.

Most light conditions
Almost unkillable
The patch promise

Really, there’s no extra care needed for this guy, but he’ll appreciate you keeping his leaves free of dust by wiping them occasionally with a soft cloth.

Quick facts

Botanical name

Aspidistra Elatior


Cast Iron Plant; Bar Room Plant

Plant type


Air purifying


Plant height (including pot)

50-60cm; 70-80cm; 110-120cm

Pet/baby safe


Nursery pot size

13cm; 17cm; 24cm

About Cast Iron Plants

Aspidistra are sometimes known as the Cast Iron Plant because they’re almost impossible to kill. They’re practically bomb-proof (we have not tested this). If you forget to water yours, give it a dark spot and just generally forget it exists for a bit, it will merrily make do on its own.

They’ve built up that tolerance for poor conditions by growing in the shade under larger trees in China and Vietnam. Their resilience has made them an extremely popular houseplant, because anybody can care for one. If you’re just beginning your plant parenting journey, there’s no better starting point. You’d have to try weirdly hard to kill him (don’t try).

Did you know?

The aspidistra was massively popular in Victorian times, because it easily tolerated the poor light and air quality of 19th century homes.