The variegated iridescent purple and green lance-shaped leaves of the Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) make it a popular tropical evergreen plant. The Persian shield grows as an annual in temperate areas and as a tender perennial in warmer, tropical climates. As a stunning easy-care houseplant, the Persian shield thrives. This plant is an attractive feature due to its exotic silvery metallic foliage.
As a perennial, annual, or tropical houseplant, this article contains everything you need to know about growing the Persian shield in your garden. You’ll discover solutions to common problems with the Persian shield at the conclusion of the article.
Persian Shield Facts
The Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) is a beautiful flowering plant that belongs to the Acanthaceae family of plants. This evergreen shrub, native to Southeast Asia, thrives on damp forest floors in dappled shade. The lustrous purple, lilac, and silvery leaves of this soft-stemmed shrub are kept lush and bright by the warm, humid conditions.
USDA zones 10 and 11 include the Persian shield. The shrubby perennial grows to be roughly 3 feet tall when mature. It is 3 feet (1 meter) broad and up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) high. Growing this stunning iridescent foliage plant indoors is the best way for most plant lovers to enjoy it.
The tropical evergreen shrub originates in Myanmar, despite its Persian shield name. The silvery armor shields that look like leaves are the plant’s popular name. Royal purple plant and Burmuda coneflower are two more common names for Strobilanthes dyerianus.
Persian Shield Plant Care Indoors
The royal purple plant should be grown in a sunny location and protected from direct sunlight to take care of the Persian shield indoors. It thrives in a potting soil that is rich, loamy, and well-draining. To keep the soil moist, water it frequently, but don’t let it get soggy. Keep the temperature between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (16 and 24 degrees Celsius) with a high humidity.
Persian Shield Plant Care Outdoors
Select a spot in your garden with dappled light to cultivate a Persian shield plant on the ground. Plant in well-drained, rich soil. To keep the soil evenly moist, add mulch around the roots. When the temperature drops below 60°F (15.5°C), bring it indoors if you want it to grow as a tender perennial. In warm climates, Persian shield becomes an evergreen perennial, whereas in temperate regions, it becomes an annual.
Persian Shield Flower
On the ends of short stems, Persian shield produces Lilac-colored, funnel-shaped blooms with little spikes. Many blooms bloom on one stem, and the little blooms have five lobes. The Persian shield is also known as Burmuda coneflower because of its conical shape during the blooming season.
Exotic Persian shield houseplants rarely bloom when they are growing indoors. The royal purple plant blooms during the winter season when it is in full bloom.
Persian Shield Leaves
The most appealing feature of the plant is its Persian shield leaves. The leaves of the Persian shield are lance-shaped and have a beautiful iridescent purple or lilac color with a silvery metallic sheen. The deep purple hues are complemented by prominent dark green veins and serrated margins. Between 6 and 8 inches (15 and 20 cm) long, purple Persian shield leaves The finest hues in Persian shield leaves are shown at hot temperatures.
Persian Shield Companion Plants
Persian shield plants look stunning when paired with other vibrant landscape plants, which makes them an excellent choice. Persian shield benefits from the following companion plants:
- Curcuma—Curcuma plants’ lovely white, pink, or purple long-lasting blooms contrast well with Persian’s gleaming purple leaves.
- Gardenia—This plant’s blooms are lovely and fragrant, making it ideal for growing alongside a garden shield.
- Impatiens—The dark purple iridescent foliage is offset by the showy, brightly colored impatiens blossoms.
- Lobelia—The Persian shield is given an even more dramatic appearance by the spectacular lobed flowers on white or red lobelia plants.
Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) Care Guide
Now, let’s explore the greatest technique to keep a Persian shield clean and vibrant so that its gorgeous purple leaves stay beautiful and healthy.
Where to Plant Persian Shield in Landscapes
Depending on the climate, Persian shield plants may be either evergreen or annuals. They are excellent as attention-grabbing border or edging plants because of their dramatic purple foliage and modest growth height. Persian shield plants may be grown as a stunning centerpiece in mixed beds.
It’s preferable to grow Persian shield in pots if it’s intended to be an annual. When the weather gets colder, you may move the bushy purple plant indoors.
Persian Shield Light Requirements
Persian shield plants prefer indirect sunlight, but they must be kept away from direct light. If it’s behind a sheer curtain, you can keep the plant indoors on a sunny windowsill. The morning sun and shade in the afternoin of a Persian shield plant thrive well.
The Persian shield’s colorful leaves indicate whether light conditions are ideal. The stem stretching toward the light causes leggy leaf development if the plant grows in too much shade. Also, the silver sheen on the purple leaves tends to fade due to insufficient light. Similarly, the dark colors on the leaves will be bleached by too much sunlight. The iridescent purple hues of the leaves may fade over time.
The Best Soil for Growing Persian Shield Plants
Rich, well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter is optimum for the Persian shield. Two parts peat moss, one part houseplant soil, and one part perlite are used to make a potting mix for a Persian shield houseplant. As a drainage amendment, this soil mixture includes both perlite and organic matter.
For tropical houseplants, a good potting soil combination should keep moisture but not get waterlogged. As a result, their moisture-retaining qualities make peat moss and compost ideal. Compost is also a rich source of nutrients for plants. The acidity of the soil is slightly increased by peat moss. pH levels of 5.5 to 7.5 are ideal.
Indoors in pots, Persian shield plant requires excellent drainage. In order for water to drain freely, you can add inorganic amendments such as perlite, gravel, or horticultural sand. Oxygen is also delivered to the plant’s roots through these changes. Make sure that the soil is properly drained before growing a Persian shield plant in your garden.
How to Water Persian Shield Houseplants
To keep the soil moist but not soggy, water Persian shield plants as often as once or twice a week. Wait until the top layer of soil dries between watering when growing the plant indoors. This should be done at least once a week in hot weather. You should water the plant less often during the winter. When the leaves get droopy, that means it’s time to water the plant. It is, however, preferable for you to rarely allow the soil to dry since this harms the plant.
Room-temperature filtered water is the optimum way to hydrate a potted Persian shield. To drain from the pot’s drainage holes, pour enough water. Place the pot back on the saucer when the excess water has dripped out. The frequency with which a Persian shield houseplant should be watered is influenced by the following factors:
- Shade-friendly potted Persian shield plants need less watering.
- Unglazed terracotta pots lose moisture faster than plastic pots due to evaporation.
- Large pots require less watering, but it’s difficult to keep the moisture consistent if the pot is too big.
Top tip for watering Persian shield plants: Tropical leaves may be spotted if you splash water on them.
Watering Persian Shield Plants Growing in the Ground
Shield plants, which grow in the garden, must have even, consistently wet soil. The purple Persian shield shrubs may need watering weekly depending on the weather. It’s also beneficial to mulch around the root area to retain moisture. In zones 10 and 11, during hot winters, you should water less often.
Purple Shield Temperature Range
Purple shield grows best at temperatures of 60°F to 75°F (16°C to 24°C) in typical indoor environments. The royal purple plant thrives in warm temperatures and retains its vibrant leaf coloration. The foliage colors of the purple houseplant may fade when it is exposed to colder temperatures.
Avoid sudden temperature changes like with most tropical houseplants. If the Persian shield pot is near a drafty window or in the air-conditioning stream, this is a common occurrence during the summer. Keep the purple plant in a warm area but out of the way of hot radiators and air vents during the winter.
In zones 10 and 11, Strobilanthes dyerianus is a tender perennial that blooms outside all year. In zone 9, the royal purple plant can endure warm years. You should, however, anticipate overwintering the Persian shield indoors in zones 8 and below. Light frosts will not harm the Persian shield, which will return to the ground after a while. Freezing, on the other hand, may kill the plant and its roots.
Humidity Requirements for Healthy Purple Shield Growth
A high humidity plant, the Persian shield thrives in moist environments. Humidity should be at least 40% indoors. Higher air moisture levels, on the other hand, are preferred. The silvery purple and green leaves become dry and crispy when exposed to dry air.
Sitting a potted bushy houseplant on a pebble tray is the best way to ensure that it gets enough humidity for a Persian shield. Pour water halfway up the pebbles in a tray and then add a layer of attractive pebbles. On the pebbles, place the plant. The foliage is exposed to humid conditions as the water evaporates. Purple shield leaves don’t help with humidity, so you can preserve their look by misting them.
Strobilanthes dyerianus Growth Rate
When cultivated in hot, humid situations, the Persian shield is a fast-growing shrubbed bedding plant. The purple mounding plant reaches a height of 4 feet (1.2 meters) and a width of 3 feet (1 meter). The plant’s development is influenced by warm weather and shade. The Persian shield’s growth is limited by the pot’s size and indoor conditions, which it grows in containers.
The Best Fertilizer for Growing Purple Shield Plant
Monthly fertilization is beneficial to potted Persian shield plants throughout the growing season. Water-soluble houseplant fertilizer that is diluted to half strength is appropriate for balanced NPK. Regular feedings of four weeks duration help encourage root development and preserve brilliant leaf color. During the winter, don’t apply fertilizer. For Persian shield plants growing in the ground, you can use a slow-release fertilizer.
How to Prune Persian Shield
Persian shield foliage should be trimmed regularly to keep it dense and bushy. To encourage new leaves to grow, cut off any leggy, unsightly stems in the spring or summer. You may shorten the silvery purple Persian shield leaves to around 1 foot (30 cm) in height throughout the winter garden.
Snip the stems at an angle just above a leaf to pinch back the Persian shield. Remember that Persian shield plants are tough and can be trimmed harshly to maintain development dense and bushy. Any flower stalks that seem to aid concentrate growth in the vibrant foliage may also be removed.
Persian Shield Plant Propagation
Cutting off a stem portion from the Persian shield plant is the simplest approach to propagate it. Just below the node, cut healthy stems about 2″ or 3″ (5-7.5 cm) long. The leaves closest to the severed end should be removed. After that, you may root the Persian shield in water. every day, change the water. You can move the rooted cutting to an suitable potting soil when 1-inch (2.5-cm) roots develop.
Cover the pot with a plastic bag to retain moisture and warmth after repotting the rooted stem. Misting the soil on a regular basis helps to keep it moist. The plant should start to grow after about two to five weeks. It’s easy to move it to a bigger pot or outside.
Repotting Persian Shield Houseplants
Shield houseplants that have been established for a long time rarely need repotting. Younger plants should be repotted yearly until they reach the size you desire. Repot the bushy purple plants every two to three years after that. You may, however, leave the plant in the pot if it seems healthy and is thriving.
Look for a large vessel when picking a pot that is suitable. The extra soil will keep the roots moist and healthy, so Persian shield roots tend to stretch deeply. When roots protrude from the drainage holes, water does not drain properly, or growth in the summer appears to slow down, it’s time to repot a Strobilanthes dyerianus.
Pests Affecting Persian Shield Growth
When growing outdoors, Strobilanthes dyerianus is fairly resistant to most pests. It’s also deer and rabbit resistant in parts. Spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs may all damage the plant’s development indoors. Using a neem oil spray to get rid of these bugs is very fast.
Mix 2 tsp. of dish soap with a cup of water and spray it on the bugs. 1 tsp. of neem oil 1 quart (1 liter) of lukewarm water is used to make dish soap. Cover all of the foliage and stems with the neem oil solution in a spray bottle. Spray thoroughly. For best results, repeat weekly.
It’s crucial to detect the early indicators of frequent houseplant pests so that your plant stays pest-free. Bugs, mites, and other pests may become a big problem if you don’t take action right away.
Diseases Affecting Persian Shield Growth
Persian shield growth is seldom affected by diseases. If you keep the plant watered regularly and maintain the soilmoisture but not soggy, you can prevent common concerns such as powdery mildew or other fungal plant diseases.
Is Persian Shield Plant Poisonous?
Persian shield is safe for dogs and cats, and it is not harmful to them. Some claim that contact with the sap from the stems may cause skin irritation.
FAQs About Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyeriana) Care
The Persian shield is a tough plant that flourishes in warm, humid environments. Yet, a few problems may make the lovely metallic purple leaves wilt and perish.
Why is my Persian shield dying?
If the soil is parched, a Persian shield plant may appear to be dying. Persian shields thrive in moist soil and humid conditions as a tropical plant. The good news is that, in most cases, soaking the soil with water brings a dead plant back to life quickly.
Why is my Persian shield turning brown?
If the humidity is too low or the soil is too dry, Persian shield leaves may lose their color and become crispy brown. Watering the earth thoroughly and increasing room humidity are the best ways to remedy this problem.
Why are leaves fading on my Persian shield plant?
The Persian shield leaves will fade if there is too much light or if they are growing in continuous shade. The silvery metallic shine and vivid lilac and purple hues of the iridescent purple Persian shield leaves will fade. To restore the Persian shield leaves’ vibrancy, move the potted Persian shield to a more brighter area and protect the plants from direct sunlight.