How to grow and care for Persian Shield Plant Indoors

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Houseplant, Persian Shield Plant, Strobilanthes dyerianus

Botanical name: Strobilanthes dyerianus
Family: Acanthaceae

Persian Shield Plant also called Royal Purple Plant or Bermuda Conehead is an erect evergreen shrub which bears finely-toothed dark-green foliage with bright, metallic-purple stripes radiating outward from the central leaf vein. This appearance declines with age; old plants are straggly and the color fades where the foliage becomes silvery with dark veins. At this stage discard the plant and replace with new plants propagated from stem-tips cuttings. Persian Shield Plant is native to Myanmar. The species name "dyerianus" is in honour to the English botanist Sir William Turner Thiselton-Dyer (1843-1928). The common name "Persian Shield" is in reference to the leaves which resemble feudal battle shields.

How to Grow Persian Shield Plant (Strobilanthes dyerianus)

Light

Persian Shield Plant prefers bright indirect light to maintain the leaf color. Keep it away from direct sunshine as it can lead to scorching of the leaves. Inadequate light leads to a thin and leggy plant. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water

Water Persian Shield Plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering in cold weather to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead in root-rot. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average warmth with a minimum 100C is ideal for Persian Shield Plant. Protect the plant from cold draughts.

Humidity

Persian Shield Plant grows best in high humidity conditions. Employ these techniques to raise humidity for the plant.

Feeding

Feed Persian Shield Plant with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Learn more on feeding houseplants.

Repotting

Repot young Persian Shield Plant annually at the beginning of the growing season. Use a rich, free-draining soil and a pot one size larger. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole(s) to prevent waterlogging which can lead to root-rot.

Pruning

Pruning Persian Shield Plant involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy. To control the height of the plant and encourage bushyness, pinch the growing tips. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Persian Shield Plant (Strobilanthes dyerianus)

Persian Shield Plant is propagated during the growing period from stem-tip cuttings.

Propagation of Persian Shield Plant from Stem-tip Cuttings
Stem cuttings root easily so there is no need for rooting hormone. Take a stem cutting from a healthy Persian Shield of about 3-5 in. and ensure it bears at least two sets of leaves. Insert it in moist free-draining soil and place in a cool shaded place. Maintain the soil moist through out until new growth emerges. Allow the plant to be well established before transplanting.

Common Problems in Growing Persian Shield Plant (Strobilanthes dyerianus)

  • Dull Leaves
  • Inadequate light is the cause of dull leaves in Persian Shield Plant. Move the plant to a brighter spot, they prefer bright indirect light. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

  • Bare spindly growth
  • There are three cause of bare spindly growth in Persian Shield Plant. One cause is too little light; move the plant to bright indirect light. Second cause is too little water; maintain the soil moist at all times and never allow the soil to dry out completely. The third cause is inadequate feeding; feed Persian Shield every 2 weeks with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. However, all the stems become leggy with age; replace a leggy plant with young vibrant plants.

  • Brown and shrivelled leaf tips
  • The cause of brown and shrivelled leaf tips in Persian Shield Plant is too dry air, employ these techniques to raise humidity for Persian Shield Plant.

  • Spotted leaves
  • The reason for leaf spots in Persian Shield Plant is cold water droplets; avoid wetting the leaves while watering.

  • Diseases
  • The most common disease in Persian Shield Plant are Root-rot.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Persian Shield Plant are Spider Mites, Fungus Gnats, Whiteflies and Aphids. Isolate the affected plant and treat appropriately. Mist the leaves regularly to reduce infestation by these pests.

Toxicity

Persian Shield Plant (Strobilanthes dyerianus) is mildly toxic to humans and pets. If ingested the plant sap causes burning in the mouth, tongue and throat.

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