The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Acantaceae.

Common name(s): Persian Shield
Strobilanthes Genus of 250 species of evergreen or deciduous perennials or soft-stemmed shrubs from woodland margins in Asia and Madagascar. Strobilanthes is a foliage plant. The long, pointed leaves are dark green with a silvery purple sheen. Unfortunately this appearance declines with age - old plants look straggly and the colour fades - the foliage becomes silvery with dark veins. Replace them with new stock raised from cuttings. Strobilanthes is not an easy plant to grow.

Only one species is grown as a house plant - Strobilanthes dyerianus. It is an erect shrub with leaves which are coloured purple below and with a purple bloth above extending almost to the edges.

Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth in summer - minimum 55F in winter.Brightly lit spot. Keep well away from direct sunlight. Keep compost moist at all times but never waterlogged. Reduce watering in winter. Use soft, tepid water. Misting is necessary. Root basal or softwood stem cuttings in spring or early summer. Use a rooting hormone and provide bottom heat. Sow seed at 54-56 F (13-18 C) in spring.

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