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This Low-Light Houseplant Is Nearly Impossible To Kill (Nope, Not A Snake Plant)

The cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior) gets its nickname from its tough-as-nails temperament, explains Bloomscape‘s gardening expert, Lindsay Pangborn.

“The plant’s notability comes from its ability to survive in lower light and drought-tolerant conditions. It also has a natural resistance to many pests and diseases,” Pangborn tells mbg.

Native to the temperate conditions of Japan and China, the Aspidistra elatior has been a popular houseplant around the world for ages. “The nickname for the cast iron plant emerged alongside its rise in popularity during the Regency era,” Pangborn explains. “It continued to reign as one of the most popular houseplants in the Victorian era. It’s also known as the bar room plant thanks to its ability to survive in extremely low light.”

The standard cast iron plant is known for its long, deep green leaves, and the tiny purple flowers you can sometimes spot along its soil line. It also comes in variegated and speckled varieties, known as the Milky Way.

You can find small cast iron plants in most gardening shops and online retailers for around $50. Since it’s a pretty slow grower, taller plants are rare and can set you back up to $100.

As environmentalist and greenery expert Summer Rayne Oakes previously told mbg, this plant would be a perfect fit for someone who doesn’t get much light in their home but still craves a little greenery.

“The cast iron plant is known as a very easy-care houseplant due to its adaptability and resilience,” echoes Pangborn. “It can handle extremes in a watering regime better than most houseplants, and is also tolerant of lower-light conditions.”

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