The sattaking or satay tree is the second oldest tree on Santorini. The name sattaking comes from sattayate, meaning small ash tree. The sattaking are mostly found in the deeper shade under mountains. The sattaking plant grows to be about 15 feet tall and can be found everywhere on the island. The sattaking plant is the most popular tropical plant for landscape architecture because it has a distinctive gray-green color that looks like grass.
When sattaching, the staying plant can be used as a trellis to support a climbing vine or as a decorative plant in a pot. Many people use sattanging as an ornamental grass when growing herbs in raised beds. The sattanging or staying fern is an excellent specimen plant for the beginning gardener. It produces a lovely yellow blooming flower that ranges from red to purple. The staying fern will grow just about everywhere but it is more common to find it growing in its natural environment of the forested hillsides surrounding a stream or in sandy soils near large rocks. A border of satay will help the staying fern fit into a much larger planting area.
The sattazing fern is very hardy and will grow in most areas. It can tolerate dry spells but it likes some moisture. The staying fern will tolerate drought better than drought and humidity, although it does not do well in these conditions. This species likes acidic soil with lots of rocks and gravel.
There are two kinds of plants that can be sattagged or sattling. The first is the seedpod fern which will grow into a shrub that is the same size as the seedpod. The other setting is done by cutting and dethatching the young branches of the fern. Both can provide a vigorous, healthy plant life if they are properly cared for. It is easier to care for seed pods than it is for sattling.
It is important to use a sharp knife when sattling. This will make the cutting easier because of the sharp point on the knife. You can also use a weed eater to get rid of any unwanted leaves, branches or seeds that might prevent your sattling planter from growing into a full grown fern. Cut the fern at least one foot deeper each time you . In the winter season it is nice to have a layered type of covering such as straw, shredded cotton, or grass along the base to help ward off deer and squirrels that may be thinking about jumping into your fern supply. These predators are really common in the southern regions of Florida, where the climate is warm enough to allow them access to all areas of the sattling planter.
For sattling to be successful, the temperatures in the sattling area should be warm enough to permit healthy plant life to flourish. Be sure that your plants are protected from the inclement weather by laying a plastic tarp over the area. In addition to protecting your plants, the tarp will also help keep things dry. If the ground remains wet, the fern will not grow properly and will not be attractive or healthy.