Botanical Name: Strobilanthes dyerianus
Persian Shield is a stunning house plant that's a cinch to grow with minimal attention.
Its lance-shaped leaves are deep purple and green with a shimmer of silver. The colors lighten as the plant ages.
You may see light-blue flowers appear in summer, but they pale in comparison to the magnificent foliage. Pinch off the flower spikes as soon as you see them because they weaken the plant. Those beautiful metallic leaves are the real attraction, anyway.
This soft-stemmed shrub is fast-growing. Cut Persian Shield back in spring when it becomes leggy. Pinching off its stem tips in spring and summer will encourage branching and create a fuller, bushier plant.
Pruning tip: Cut a stem at an angle, just above a node (the place where a leaf or branch is attached to the stem).
Brown crispy leaves are caused by dry air. This tropical native wants moist air to look its best. Take a look at these easy ways to raise the humidity around it.
Repot in spring when the roots have filled the pot -- probably every couple years.
Origin: Burma (officially, the Union of Myanmar)
Height: Up to 2 ft (60 cm)
Light: Bright indirect light
Water: Water thoroughly and allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings. Keep soil drier in winter months, but do not allow it to dry out completely.
Humidity: Moderate room humidity (about 40-50% relative humidity -- or higher).
Temperature: Normal room temperatures 60-75°F/16-24°C
Soil: Any good potting mix.
Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring through fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Only fertilize when watering to avoid fertilizer burn.
Propagation: Take 4 in (10 cm) stem tip cuttings in spring and root them in moist soil. Propagating the cuttings requires a heat mat for best results. Cuttings should root in about 2-3 weeks.
This beautiful plant can get leggy over time.
By propagating stem cuttings -- which is easy to do -- you can replace the plant and keep it going indefinitely.
Strobilanthes dyerianus is a tender perennial from the Acanthaceae family.
Hardy only in Zone 10, so if it summers outdoors, bring it back in if the temperature drops below 60°F/16°C at night.
Running out of space for your house plants? Indoor plant stands may be just the solution. Take a look at these new ways to display your indoor plants.