In-Depth Care for Your Australian Chestnut

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If your Classic Subscription dated between mid June and mid July, you'll have received an Australian Chestnut (Castanospermum australe) in the post: a deep green miniature tree from Australasia. We say tree, but these plants are actually closer to beans than they are to forestry. 

At the base of the pot you'll find three or four cracked chestnuts, out of which sprout strong speckled stems, topped with lush green foliage. If cared for well, your Aussie friend could produce edible fruit - somewhere between a grape and a kumquat. On the other hand, the leaves and seeds of this one should be avoided as they contain toxic sap. 

You'll have a physical care card to help you take care of your new arrival, but here's some more in depth information to ensure your plant has a long life. 

 Water

As a general guide, water your Australian Chestnut once a week. Wait until the top of the soil has dried out and then give him a good drink. Always remove your plant from the outer pot when you water, and do not put return it to the ceramic pot until it's stopped dripping. This should save you from overwatering. 

 Light

Make sure that your Australian Chestnut is in a room with a good amount of light. Too much direct sunlight could lead to discolouration, but this is unlikely to be a problem unless you place him in a real suntrap. 

 Maintenance 

This tree-like plant shouldn't require too much maintenance. If he gets too gangly, you could prune away his offshoots and he should bush-up.

By next Spring he should be ready to be re-potted. Aus Chestnuts like well-draining, fertile soil. For more about repotting, check out Mama Botanica's video.

 

Feeding


The Australian Chestnut shouldn't need regular refertilizing, but if you want to give it a treat, we recommend an all-purpose organic elixir, from a reputable brand such as Sprout - available here. Simply dilute the fertilizer and either spritz your Chestnut's leaves, or pour into soil while watering.   



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