Aiphanes aculeata is an evergreen palm of medium size native to Central and South America; adult specimens generally do not exceed 8-10 meters in height; it has a single stem, thin and erect, of gray color, covered by long black spines, very sharp; the fronds are elongated, arched, consisting of triangular leaflets, with jagged margins, of medium green color. The fronds of this palm do not form a definite crown, but are quite disordered, the leaves on them develop in a spiral and also bear numerous long dark spines. In spring, in the places of origin, it produces large inflorescences consisting of campanulate flowers, creamy-white in color, very fragrant, followed by small roundish fruits, of an orange-red color.
The aiphanes aculeata does not like excessively sunny positions, above all as regards the youngest specimens; it fears the cold, even though it can withstand brief frosts of slight entity; in places with very cold winters this palm is cultivated in a container, or it completely covers the foliage with non-woven fabric to avoid winter frost. This species adapts perfectly to cultivation in the garden but, due to its limited resistance to frost, it is preferable to install the plant in a pot so that it can be moved in case of too intense cold and frost during the winter season. If, on the other hand, you want to cultivate the plant in full soil, it is advisable to cover the Aiphanes aculeata with special sheets so as to protect it from the cold and prevent it from weakening, losing the leaves and frost reaching the roots. In any case, the cultivation of the plant is quite simple and suitable for everyone.
From March to October it is watered quite regularly, leaving the soil to dry between one watering and another; during the summer it is necessary to water quite often, especially in the event of prolonged drought. Concerning the specimens grown in pot we should remember to water frequently, avoiding to leave the substratum dry for a long time; let's reduce watering in winter.
L'Aiphanes aculeata are plants that prefer soft, rich and deep soils; we use garden soil, enriched with mature manure and balanced universal soil to ensure optimal growth for the plants. The earth is the most important thing for a plant so try to always buy top quality soil, avoiding excessively controlling the price: the earth is the food of plants and giving food of poor quality can only generate devastating effects. An excellent indicator of the quality of the soil are the brands and prices. Avoid overcrowded soils and at ridiculously low prices because they will most likely be bad. Rely on the soils you find in nurseries and possibly branded and of Italian origin.
Those who wish to multiply the plants of Aiphanes aculeata, must know the needs of this particular plant. The multiplication of Aiphanes aculeata occurs by seed, in the spring period, using fresh seeds, extracted from small oval fruits. The fresh seeds germinate with great ease and it is good to put them first in the seedbed and then transfer them to a larger pot, suitable for a few years of growth. Over the years, depending on the size reached by the plant, it will be possible to decide whether to continue growing in pots or to transfer the plant to the ground in the garden.
Aiphanes aculeata: Pests and diseases
The plants of Aiphanes generally do not fear the attack of pests or diseases, however it is necessary to cultivate these species in the best way to avoid that the plants perish and become easy object of attacks of numerous parasites. In case our beloved plants are attacked by insects, aphids or develop diseases, it is advisable to know that in the most supplied nurseries there are specific products for this type of problem.