The Castanospermum family contains only one species - the Castanospermum australe (also known as Moreton Bay chestnut), an Australian origin plant that people love for it’s quirky look, growing from a chestnut-like seed above the soil.

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Below is a general care guide for Schismatoglottis plants which can slightly differ depending on variety.

Light & Temperature

Castanospermum will tolerate light shade but prefer bright light. As such they’re a good plant to keep on a balcony or other outdoor space. When grown outdoors, they prefer to be in a place that gets direct light, such as a window sill that gets sun for a few hours each day. 

Castanospermum enjoy warm temperatures and will be tolerant to all but very low temperatures. 

Watering, Humidity & Misting

Castanopermum should be watered at least once every week with small amounts of water. They prefer their soil to be damp but not soggy. If your Castanopspermum gets direct sun for many hours over day, be sure to keep checking the soil so it doesn’t dry out. Water your Castanospermum when the top inch of soil is dry.

Soil and Repotting

Castanospermum prefer rich, well-draining soil that still retains some moisture. 

Castanospermum will need repotting every 2 years or so, each time sizing up the pot slightly. 


Castanospermum can be propagated from fresh seeds. Use a plant substrate mixed with clay granules or perlite. The seed should be covered with well draining potting mix and maintained at a room temperature and the soil kept moist. After three to four weeks, the seeds should rise and transplanting should be done after the first pair of true leaves have formed.


Use a balanced fertiliser formulated for houseplants. Follow directions on the label of plant food.


Castanospermum leaves and seeds are toxic if ingested and should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.

Possible Issues

Under the right care and conditions, your plant will grow happy and healthy. But here are some issues you may encounter while caring for a Castanospermum: 

Scale, or fungal infestations - When spotted, wipe the leaves and stems with a soft cloth with warm, soapy water or neem oil.

Brown tips on leaves - This is a sign that the plant is being overwatered or underwatered. Check that the soil is damp but not wet and is well draining. 

Drooping leaves - This can be caused by a myriad of reasons: underwatering, overwatering, root rot and fungal infection.