How to Keep a Cast Iron Plant Alive

Cast Iron Plant is one of my most favorite common names for a plant.

It makes me feel like the Cast Iron Plant must be indestructible. Of course, it’s not, no plant is, but it is a pretty easy-care plant for a beginner.

And it sort of looks like its name. It has a pretty solid, stable set of leaves going for it.

It grows natively in China and Japan and is used to living in the rain forest under a canopy of trees.

How to Keep a Cast Iron Plant Alive

Ok, here are the essentials: water, light, soil and fertilizer so that you can make it just right for your Cast Iron Plant.


Cast Iron plant will really only find one thing intolerable.


You can water it when the top 1.5 – 2 inches of soil are dry, but definitely err on the side of “when in doubt, leave it out”. It will be just fine if you go a little too long without water.

I said a little too long, don’t go leaving it for weeks on end, ok?


We know that Cast Iron plant grows on the floor of rainforests, so that means it is probably not going to like direct sunlight.

If you’re keeping it near a sunny window, protect it with a sheer curtain.

It will be happy in low light though so if you’ve got a spot in your home that you know is low light but you really want to add a plant, then Cast Iron plant might be just what you are looking for.


Nothing fancy as you probably guessed.

A good all purpose potting mix that drains well will work just fine.


Once a month during the growing season is good for Cast Iron plant. They aren’t prolific growers, so don’t expect much!

Problems to Watch for with Cast Iron Plant

Really, they are called cast iron because they are pretty tough to bring down, but there are a couple of things to keep an eye on with this hardy plant.

#1. Yellowing or brown leaves

You probably over-watered.

Cut back on the watering. Let things dry out a bit and hopefully all will be fine.

If you’re really worried, pull the plant gently out of the pot and check the roots.

If they look white and crisp, wonderful. If there’s some brown mushiness happening, cut that off, change the soil to something DRY and repot the plant and then keep your fingers crossed.

Those mushy brown roots are signs of root rot.

#2. Brown Spots

This could be a sign of sunburn. If you suspect the plant is too close to the window and getting some direct sun, move it away or add a sheer curtain.

If you do NOT suspect that the problem is with direct sun, then you might be under-watering. Pay closer attention to the soil next time you check or check it more often.