Apartment plants

Leaves that open in the middle


Question: leaves that open in the middle


I have been eating "smoke" for many years but a few weeks ago I realized that its leaves break in half and dry out. Then some leaves have clear cuts in the upper part towards the trunk. The plant is watered regularly, in winter it is placed in the house, in the summer on the terrace. Thanks for your attention.

Answer: leaves that open in the middle


Dear Steven,
not being able to see the leaves, it is difficult for me to understand what the problem might be; the eaten smoke, beaucarnea recurvata (or nolina recurvata) are very resistant and vigorous plants, which perhaps have been cultivated in a way that is not entirely adequate, and only now they manifest problems. I can only suggest the best way to grow these beautiful plants, originating in Central America; Contrary to what happens with most houseplants, beucarneas in nature do not live in tropical areas, but in dry places, and therefore can withstand even very long periods of drought. They are in fact succulents, whose succulence manifests itself in the enlarged trunk, which although appearing woody, can actually widen at will, becoming a great resource of water to be used during dry periods.
They are generally cultivated in the apartment, since they fear the intense and prolonged frost, even if in reality they are plants that could remain in the garden for most of the year, and need to be repaired only when the temperatures drop below of 9-10 ° C. They love to be grown in a very bright place, possibly with at least a few hours of direct sunlight every day. Watering is provided only when the soil is decidedly dry, and in general only during the summer, from March to October; during the remaining months it is watered only sporadically, and only if the soil is dry. In general they also tolerate climates characterized by very dry air, but the many cold months in which they are kept at home, with the heating system, or the active conditioner, often cause the tips of the leaves to dry up; for this reason, in winter, it is very useful to vaporize the foliage occasionally, using demineralized water. Smoke-eating plants generally develop better when they are grown in pots of non-excessive capacity, and a few centimeters wider than the diameter of the stem in its widest part; a soil is used for succulent plants, very well drained, not particularly rich, lightened with gravel, sand, pumice stone or lapillus. The fertilizations are carried out with specific fertilizers for succulent plants, very poor in nitrogen, to be supplied every 15-17 days, from April to September. They are very long-lived plants, but with slow development, which over the years can reach a few meters in height; the most valuable apartment specimens have some branches at the top.