The chestnut is an evergreen tree, or semisempreverde, native to Australia; in nature it grows over ten meters in height, producing a thick enlarged crown, and large yellow or red flowers in summer. This tree is successfully cultivated also in pots, as a houseplant, where it remains below 100-150 cm in height. It produces a thin, erect stem, which bears a rounded crown, consisting of long oval leaves, dark green, glossy, slightly leathery. In nature the trees of Castanospermum austral produce large squat pods, 20-25 cm long, which contain 3-5 large seeds; these large seeds also characterize potted plants, in fact the stem of the small plant develops directly from the seed, which is left visible in the vase. It is an ideal plant to make the garden an exclusive space with great visual impact.
Display and watering
The species of Castanospermum austral bear any exposure, from full shadow to full sun; in the apartment can be kept either in a bright place or even quite dark. They fear intense cold, but in spring and summer they can be placed outdoors, in the sun or in the shade. It is advisable to avoid exposing immediately to the sun plants that have spent the winter at home, to be exposed to the sun gradually. As for watering, we must take into account that these plants are native to the rainforests of Australia, where the humidity is very high; it is advisable to water regularly, avoiding that the soil dries excessively. Every 15-20 days add some fertilizer for green plants to the water of the waterings, or mix it with the soil of the slow release fertilizer.
The plants acquire the main nutrients from the soil in which they reside and for this reason, the choice of the soil is of fundamental importance for the cultivation of our plants. Then cultivate the chestnut in a soil rich in organic, soft and fairly drained matter; these plants develop a vigorous radical apparatus, therefore it is advisable to plant them in a container quite sufficient so that the plant can properly develop itself and the roots don't find obstacles. When the plant is in its vegetative period, it is important to add to the irrigation water a dose of specific liquid fertilizer for green plants to facilitate growth. In this way the development process of the plant will be facilitated and this can be vigorous and strong.
Reproducing this plant is not always easy but with the right indications it will be possible to get good results. The multiplication of chestnut occurs by seed, using fresh seeds, just picked, even if they are difficult to find in Italy.
Castano - Castanospermum australis: Pests and diseases
Castanospermum australis can be attacked by aphids and mites. These are tiny parasites no more than 3mm long that, by feeding on the sap present in the leaves, weaken it causing the loss of the leaves, their discoloration or their curling. For this reason, it is advisable, when the winter season comes to an end, to use a specific broad-spectrum pesticide to avoid the development of parasites.