A very popular houseplant with the Victorians due to it's ability to withstand lots of neglect, poor growing conditions, deep shade and smoky rooms but it is also very hardy outside in all but the coldest parts of the UK. Native to Southern Japan and Taiwan it seems to remain evergreen down to -5c if planted under a tree or hedge canopy and root hardy down to about -10c if given a thick winter mulch. When grown in shade the lance shaped leaves are leathery, a deep glossy green and can reach up to 1m in height on top of wiry but firm stems giving a lush jungly feel. They can be grown in brighter spots but the leaves tend to pale up, going almost yellow, so shade will give the best looking plants. Unfortunately it is very slow growing and will take many years to form a good sized clump.
Although they can tolerate dry shade (once established) they will do best in a moist but well drained, humus rich soil and do not seem to be fussy about soil PH. Grown outdoors it is not seriously troubled by insects, but as a houseplant mites and scale may cause occasional problems.
Sent as a young plant in a 9cm pot. There are usually 2 to 2+ stems per pot. They grow huge here so the leaves may be cut back for shipping.