Brown is an evergreen, or semi-evergreen, tree native to Australia; in nature it grows to over ten metres in height, producing a thick, broad crown, and large yellow or red flowers in summer. This tree is also successfully cultivated in pots, as an indoor plant, where it keeps below 100-150 cm in height. It produces a thin stem, erect, with a roundish top, formed by long oval leaves, of dark green colour, glossy, slightly leathery.
In the wild, the trees of castanospermum austral produce big squat pods, 20-25 cm long, which contain 3-5 big seeds; these big seeds characterize also the plants in pot, in fact, the stem of the small plant develops directly from the seed, which is left in sight in the pot. It is an ideal plant to make the garden an exclusive space of great visual impact.
Exposure and watering
The species of castanospermum austral endure any exposure, from complete shade to full sun; in apartment they can be kept either in 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 indoors, exposing them to the sun gradually.
As for watering, we must take into account that these plants are native to the rain forests of Australia, where the humidity is very high; we recommend watering regularly, avoiding that the soil dries too much. Every 15-20 days add some fertilizer for green plants to the water of the watering, or mix with the soil of the slow release fertilizer.
Plants acquire the main nutrients from the soil in which they reside and for this reason, the choice of soil is of fundamental importance for the cultivation of our plants. Grow the chestnut in a soil rich in organic matter, soft and fairly drained, these plants develop a vigorous root system, it is therefore advisable to place them in a large enough container so that the plant can develop at best and the roots do not find obstacles.
When the plant is in its vegetative period, it is important to add to the irrigation water a specific dose of liquid fertilizer for green plants to facilitate growth. This will facilitate the development process of the plant and it can be vigorous and strong.
Reproducing this plant is not always easy but with the right indications I will be able to get good results. The multiplication of the chestnut occurs by seed, using fresh seeds, freshly harvested, even if they are difficult to find in Italy.
Castan – Southern Castanospermum: Parasites and diseases
The southern Castanospermum can be attacked by aphids and mites. These are tiny parasites no longer than 3mm long which, 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.