How to Cultivate a Healthy Tractor Seat Plant

I have not seen an ornamental plant quite like the unique Tractor Seat Plant. Scientifically known as Ligularia dentate, the Tractor Seat Plant originates from Japan and other Asia counties, mainly found along the coastline, streams, riverside, and other water-covered areas. These riverside areas favor the plant because it thrives in moist and warm environments with adequate lighting and no direct sunlight.

Also known as the leopard plant because of the yellowish flowers on the plant during summer, Tractor Seat Plant can be grown indoors and outdoors, providing the proper environment and care needed to blossom. Their conspicuous feature is their large kidney-shaped green leaves, which account for their apt name and uniqueness.

I have used the plant as an ornamental and cover plant outdoors and love its unique shape. It can also be used indoors for beautification.

Planting Tractor Seat Plant

Ligularia dentate

The tractor seat plant can be a real showpiece to your garden and can also be used indoors. Growing and caring for this plant and setting up the right environment will ensure that it grows appropriately. Mature size is expected to be 1-2 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide, with purely green leaves and yellow flowers. With the right conditions, you can plant its seed and grow the plant either indoors or outdoors.

You can propagate the tractor seat plant through seeds or root division which will be discussed later in this article. Plant the seed at a depth of 1/16 inch and ensure that the soil can hold water to ensure the seeds germinate. With the right conditions, the seeds will germinate in two weeks, and your plant will start to grow.

To ensure quick germination and growth of the plant, the following conditions should adhere:


Consider the quality of the soil before planting, for it suits humus and moist soil. Its natural habitats are by the coastline or along water bodies, so the plant enjoys constant water. So we need heavy soil that can retain moisture while providing a regular water supply which is essential for it to thrive.

In addition, the plant can tolerate neutral, neither alkaline nor acidic soil. The rich soil will ensure the plant maintains its greenness and the flower continues to blossom. You should test the soil’s pH level and add organic contents to make it neutral so your plant can thrive.

Light and Shading Requirements

The amount of sunlight and lighting is vital for this plant to survive and blossom. While the plant requires enough light to thrive, direct sunlight will affect the plant, and it will wilt or languish. If you grow the plant outdoors, place the plant in a shaded area with cover from the sunlight.

If you are growing the plant indoors, you can bring it out in the morning, exposing it to light. But take it inside during the day to avoid direct sunlight on the plant when the sun is high. They grow under trees and shaded areas in their tropical natural environment. The shaded or sheltered areas will also save them from strong winds, which may damage the plant.

The Moisture Content of the Soil

The tractor seat plant originates in the coaster region, with abundant water. To replicate the plant’s essence associated with its originating area, you must water the soil regularly. Designing an irrigation system that will supply steady water to the plant and ensure it grows to its maximum height.

Regular watering of the soil is encouraged indoors using a watering can. Watering as often as possible is advisable because a dry condition will affect the plant’s growth. Note that the tractor seat plants differ from plants that grow on water.

The Temperature and Humidity Requirement

Originating from a tropical climate, the tractor-seat plant will thrive in moderate temperatures and humidity. Extreme temperatures, either too hot or frost, will adversely affect the plant’s growth. During winter, protect the plant from frost by taking them indoors or using some other frost protection methods.

Propagating Tractor Seat Plant

Propagating the tractor seat plant is easy, and you can multiply your plant with a healthy plant. It requires you to uproot a healthy tractor seat plant from its root, ensuring no damage to the plant or the root. Submerge the root in water to clean and remove any soil left before cutting it into at least two or three pieces.

It would be best to place each bud in a pot that is adequately watered and then in a room or sheltered area with enough bright light. After you have completed the propagation process, you should provide the necessary care, as shown below.

Caring for Tractor Seat Plant

Ligularia dentate

With the right conditions, the plant will require minimal care to blossom. The right conditions include a bright environment and moist soil that will provide the plant with all it needs.

Applying Fertilizers

Cultivating the plant indoors by adding fertilizers to attain the humus and wet soil conditions in natural settings.

Controlling Pests and Diseases

The plant is susceptible to snails and slugs because of its rich humus soil and wet conditions. You should watch out for these slugs and snails and pick them up early before they start spreading around the plant. You can also sprinkle salt to kill the slugs or use lime and sawdust as a barrier for the plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the tractor seat plants toxic?

Yes, the tractor seat plants are toxic to humans and animals and should be placed out of reach for children and animals.

What will happen to the tractor seat plant when placed under direct sunlight?

The leaves will lose their green colours as they will eventually languish under such harsh conditions.

Can the plant survive in frost conditions?

You should protect your tractor seat plant against frost, even in a sheltered area. Frost is an extreme condition for a plant that originates in a tropical region.

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