How To Care For And Grow Your Cast Iron Plant


Cast Iron Plant


Native to: South Japan

Watering needs: Low (every 2–3 weeks)

Lighting needs: Low – tolerates most lighting conditions

Difficulty: Near-unkillable

Great for: Beginners, anyone who travels a lot

Pet-Safe: Yes

Looking for a quick introduction?

We've summarized all the essentials in our short Cast Iron Plant video, here:


1.0 Choosing Your Cast Iron Plant

2.0 Picking The Right Spot (Lighting, Air Conditioning, Temperature)

3.0 Caring For Your Cast Iron Plant(Watering, Dusting, Re-potting)

4.0 Beginner Questions

5.0 Some Common Problems

6.0 Buying Cast Iron Plants Online

1.0 Choosing your Cast Iron Plant

Cast Iron Plants are simple.

It’s Alright If You See:

Small Marks on Leaves

A characteristic of the Cast Iron Plant, these mean that the plant is healing from physical damage it suffered in the past. These are very common and, unless accompanied by yellow, brown, or black spots, are nothing to be worried about.

But, Watch Out For:

Yellow, Brown, Black Spots

Indicates an unhealthy plant and should be avoided.

2.0 Picking The Right Spot (Lighting, Air Conditioning, Temperature)

Half of plant parenthood is choosing the perfect spot.


Cast Iron Plants can tolerate most light conditions, but definitely not direct light. And while Cast Iron Plants grow faster with more indirect light, they are still tolerant to low-light, but only after they have acclimated to their environment first. 

When your Cast Iron Plant arrives, place it close to a window with the largest possible view of the sky for the first month, so that it gets acclimated to its new home. In case of burnt out leaf-tips, which indicate too much sunlight, move your plant further indoors, away from the window.

After the first month, you can safely move it to the low-light location you had initially chosen for it, assured that it won’t die on you.

Pro-tip: You don’t need to worry about UAE window when it comes to direct light. Since most of them are tinted, the sunlight coming through is already filtered indirect light, not direct. If you were to keep your Cast Iron Plant near a non-tinted window, you would see scorch marks on its leaves within the hour.

Air Conditioning

Cast Iron Plants are built to survive a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels, so you don't have to worry about your AC harming it!


Native to large fluctuations in temperature, Cast Iron Plants will do well when kept anywhere between -2º C to 30º C — well within the range of most UAE households.

3.0 Caring For Your Cast Iron Plant (Watering, Dusting, Re-potting)

How to keep your plant alive (and also show your love).


Water when the soil is completely dry

The most important care tip when it comes to Cast Iron Plants is to let their soil dry out completely between waterings which could take between 2–3 weeks, depending on how much light it gets (the more light, the faster it will dry out) and how high the temperature is (the hotter it is, the faster it will dry out). 

An easy way to check if it's time to water is to insert your finger into the soil. If you feel even a little moisture, then it's best to wait a bit longer.

Pro-tip: About once a month, insert a blunt stick like a chopstick into the soil to create pockets of soil to avoid the risk of water being unable to reach some parts of the plant when you water.


Once a month, gently wipe away any dust on your plant.

Wiping your Cast Iron Plant free of dust with a damp rag once a month will help it soak in light and breathe through the little pores on its leaves (stomata).


Leave it in its nursery pot

You don’t need to worry about re-potting for at least 3-4 years.

Time to re-pot

When re-potting, use a high-quality potting mix and transfer your Cast Iron Plant into a pot that's about 1–2 inches in diameter larger than its current one (or one or two sizes up). Cast Iron Plants are highly susceptible to overwatering; so the right mix must have a high percentage of aggregate materials (such as perlite and pine bark) that will provide adequate drainage and prevent the soil from absorbing too much moisture and holding it for too long.

Whatever you do, avoid a bag of pure peat moss. This is what you’ll get in most bags that say “potting soil” or “gardening soil”. When in doubt, reach out to our team at, and we’ll help you identify whether the soil bag you’re considering will work for your Cast Iron Plant.

Remember, always go for a pot with drainage holes.

Pro-tip: To keep watering simple and easy, you can simply re-pot your Cast Iron Plant into a larger nursery pot and place that nursery pot in a larger planter.

4.0 Beginner questions

Ask away, grasshopper.

How easy is a Cast Iron Plant to care for?

Cast Iron Plants are native to the subtropical forests of South Japan where they've evolved to grow in dark environments in the shade of larger trees.

Used to the dark shades of taller forest trees, Cast Iron Plants can tolerate low levels of light (though the more it gets, the taller and faster it will grow).

Cast Iron Plants are incredibly drought tolerant and need to be watered, at most, once every 2-4 weeks. Wait for the soil throughout the entire pot to dry out COMPLETELY before watering.

Native to large fluctuations in temperature, Cast Iron Plants will do well when kept anywhere between -2º C to 30º C.

Its ability to tolerate just about any conditions has earned it the near-unkillable status (hence its nickname 'Cast Iron' Plant).

Can I use UAE tap water to water my Cast Iron Plant?

Yes, Cast Iron Plants Plant can be fed using UAE tap water.

However, to ensure your plant is as healthy as possible, it is best to account for the high level of chlorine and calcium found in UAE tap water:

  1. Leave tap water out for 24-48 hrs before using it. This will allow minerals time to evaporate.
  2. Water all the way through the soil until water is dripping out the bottom of the nursery pot. This will ensure any excess build of calcium (and other minerals) is flushed out from the soil.

Finally, look out for tell-tale signs of too much chlorine or calcium:

  • Scorched brown tips at the leaves = too much chlorine
  • White crystals on the soil = too much calcium
How much light does my Cast Iron Plant need?

Like all indoor plants, the more bright indirect light it gets, the happier it will be.

Practically speaking, this means giving it as much view of the sky as possible.

However it cannot withstand direct sunlight for more than 2-3 hours a day, so here are some practical suggestions for homes in the UAE:

  • If your window is facing North, South, or West then place your plant close to your window, as long as it doesn't get direct sunlight
  • If your window faces south, then place your plant deeper into the room

Having said that, Cast Iron Plants can also tolerate very low light conditions. So, if the spot you wish to place it in is a few meters away from the window, then that may work!

Once you find a spot, monitor your Cast Iron Plant's leaves for a few weeks.

  • If your leaves are looking faded (yellow) or brunt (light crispy brown), then it's getting too much light and must be moved away from the window.
  • If its leaves start to droop but the soil still has moisture in it, then your Cast Iron Plant is getting too little light - move it closer to the window
  • If their leaves stay dark green, and upright and you see new leaves growing in the summer then you've found a happy spot for your plant - good job!
Will AC harm my Cast Iron Plant? What temperature should I set it to?

Cast Iron Plants are built to survive in a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels, so you don't have to worry about your AC harming it!

5.0 Some Common Problems

Like we said, Cast Iron Plants are low maintenance.

Brown Leaves

Cause: Underwatering

Suggestion: First, snip away the dehydrated leaves with a clean pair of scissors.

Next, to avoid underwatering part of the plant again, insert a blunt stick (like a chopstick) into the soil to create pockets in the soil. For best results, do this about once a month.

Drooping Leaves

Cause: Not enough light 

Suggestion: Move your Cast Iron Plant closer to a window to get more sunlight, but not outdoors or under direct sunlight.

Faded (Yellow) or Burnt (Light Crispy Brown) Leaves

Cause: Too much sunlight

Suggestion: Move your plant to a place with less direct sunlight

Yellow Leaves or Stems

Cause: Overwatering 

Suggestion: Gently pull out the yellow/ light green plants. Don't worry if you don't see any roots — overwatering causes the roots to vanish completely.

Next, allow the soil time to dry out completely (sometimes this can take 2–4 weeks), then slowly re-water.

6.0 Buying Cast Iron Plants Online

When shopping for a plant online, look out for the following:


If you're looking for a table-top plant, then go for one that's 40cm tall. A 60cm tall plant would work well on a low side-table. Plants about 1 meter or taller would work well as statement floor plants.

Note: Stated heights will always include the height of the plant AND planter.

Pot style

This is all about the vibe you're looking for, and you'll typically have a choice amongst different colors and shapes.

If you're looking for subtlety, we suggest a circular pot in white. To make more of a statement, look for contrasting shapes and colors!


It goes without saying that your plant supplier should meticulously package all plants.

When you personally buy a plant from a store, you're able to rush it home, ensuring it stays outside for as little time as possible. But when you order online, your plant will ride-share with a lot of other plants all on their way to their new homes.

Depending on where you live, weather can play a big part in your plant's health along the way.

If possible, ask your plant shop what precautions they take to ensure your plants stay as safe as possible en route to you.


Reading customer reviews is a good way to get an idea of the customer experience provided by the seller (here's ours, by the way), but you need to practice caution there.

Don't expect to be able to tell a fake review right away, some reviewers can be great con artists, and some negative reviews can be fake to harm the seller.

Your best bet is to zoom out and look at multiple comments from multiple categories to get a good overview of whether you can trust this company and/or their review section.

For example, look at how recent the reviews are, and how spread apart. Was there a sudden spike of comments in a short amount of time? Do they sound like they're all written by someone rehashing the same template? Do they all sound too positive to be real?

Yes, going all detective on reviews can be a chore, but Future You will thank you for it.

Returns and refund policies

Things can go wrong.

Sometimes it's no one's fault, and sometimes there's nothing anyone can do.

So the best practice is to offer (and honor) a no-questions asked return/refund policy. Check out the seller's policy before you make a purchase, so you know you're insured in case things don't work out.

You can check out our return/refund policy here.

Ready to adopt a Cast Iron Plant?

Your Cast Iron Plant can't wait to meet you — just choose a height and pot and let's introduce you two!