Cryin’ ‘bout my Baby’s Tears

You’re “supposed” to be easy. Why’re you causin’ such trouble! (Don’t shake the plant.)

Fresh-faced and rosy-cheeked little fella

Just kidding. I love you. But you are trouble!

  • Binomial name: Soleirolia soleirolii
  • Given name: Ympäri Pyöreä
  • Native to: Western Mediterranean
  • Bought: April 7, 2021 at Plant & Curio
  • Original pot: 4 inch plastic nursery pot
  • Repotted: June 17, terracotta 4 inch
  • Current pot: outside, on the edge of a potted lavender plant also in plant rehab
  • Signs of pests: one slug
  • Soil: aaargh. Soggy on bottom, dry on top
  • Longest strand: who knows, getting shorter
  • Number of strands: fewer, at any rate. Perimeter of growth is constricting.
  • Anti-new growth: just slow death.
  • Signs of pests: millipede in bottom of container. Are the little dots millipede eggs or fecal pellets or both?
Millipede at bottom of original pot plus little dots that are fecal pellets and/or eggs
  • Signs of care issues: drying out; humidity is too low. Had given Marphyl fertilizer by top-watering; seems to have disliked this (I tried to avoid the leaves, but it did touch some).
  • Repotted to terracotta 4 inch pot.
Less lush 😦
Will this work? Maybe it will reduce sogginess while allowing me to add more water to the top regularly!

Still wasn’t happy. Will a cloche work to keep it humid?

Steamy little cloche by June 17.

Didn’t seem entirely healthy — too much condensation inside and a funky smell. Should research how to use cloches before I try them next time.

Still dying back. How about more humidity via a humidifier!?

He’s just not happy, no. Nor is his buddy, Ferris. Ympäri Pyöreä is dying back, maybe less quickly than before? But: I decided enough of this and took him outside in the evening. Do or die outside, little plant.

Le sigh.

I decided to finish this post and, in my research, came to feel love and hope again. Went outside and realized I’d placed him in an area of direct sun. Pulled him out of the death-sentence in sunlight and placed him in a container with a similarly rehabbing, likely-to-die lavender plant. Maybe they’ll keep each other company and either survive or fade out together?

See him hanging out at the bottom right?

Well, we’ll see. As my aunt said to me the other day (not about this guy, but in relation to her plants), “There’s a gardener’s motto: ‘It may come back.’”

No luck. It crisped up entirely and is now, officially, a goner.

Atmosphere

  • Light: medium; part shade to shade
  • Humidity: high
  • Temperature: 10 to 27 degrees Celsius

Water

  • Preference: evenly moist but never soggy

Soil, fertilization, and pots

  • Soil type: any potting mix, African violet mix is good; well-draining, fertile soil
  • Fertilization: slow-release feed in spring; every two weeks indoors with water-soluble houseplant fertilizer diluted by half
  • Repotting: when they overgrow and crowd out existing pot, go up one inch size; great in terrariums. Note that roots are shallow. Set separated plants on top of potting medium and water.

Lifestyle

  • Grow style: fast
  • Common problems: overwatering, underwatering, too much or too little light; whiteflies, scale, aphids
  • Propagation: by division

Research sources: Guide to HouseplantsMy Garden Lifepick Ontario

Salutations, Selaginella

What can you do, selaginella, selaginella? What can you do selaginella from the zoo?

Hey! You’re not from the zoo! You’re from prehistory! Apparently, the lycophyte family, which include clubmosses (AKA this little guy), has been around since 425 million years ago.

So, where ya from…

  • Binomial name: Selaginella [unknown, assuming kraussiana]; ‘Lime’
  • Given name: Ferris
  • Native to: Africa, Azores in damp, forest-like environments
  • Bought: June 15, 2021 at Plant & Curio
  • Original (current) pot: 5.5 inch, plastic, with attached drainage tray

Field notes

  • Soil: moist
  • Longest strand, measured down from rim of pot: 5.5 cm
  • Signs of pests: a single fruit-fly looking insect. Perhaps a fungus gnat. Squished it.
  • Signs of care issues: a couple shriveled, crispy brown leaves on the underside. Removed them; placing the plant closer to a humidifier.

Research notes

Atmosphere

  • Light: full shade to semi-shady (brighter light = brighter plant colour)
  • Humidity: high; use a humidifier or place in a terrarium; misting doesn’t cut it
  • Temperature: 18 to 24 degrees Celsius; keep away from drafts (doors and vents)

Water

  • Preference: moist but not soggy. Room-temperature, soft water, lime-free
  • Frequency: often; water from below

Soil, fertilization, and pots

  • Soil type: well-draining, loose, humus-rich, peat moss + sand
  • Soil pH: neutral to acidic; 6 or 6.5 is good
  • Fertilization: at most once a month during growing season; balanced liquid fertilizer (10–10–10) diluted to half strength
  • Repotting: when outgrows pot. Shallow pot (still needing a couple inches) with drainage holes. Terrarium would be OK.

Lifestyle

  • Grow style: drops rhizophores down from the stems as it creeps outwards. The rhizophore acts as a stem and roots develop where it touches the soil. Healthy frosty fern cultivars grows might outwards at or faster than 6 mm per week, not sure about this cultivar.
  • Mature size: 5 cm high
  • Pruning: can prune back in spring. Cut an inch before the rhizophore to keep them for propagation.
  • Common problems: drying out due to low humidity (signs: brown, shriveled leaves. If you missed a couple weeks, sit the pot in water until soil is saturated (about 60 minutes) then let it drain; remove brown or crispy leaves, cover with plastic or glass to trap humidity until growth returns)
  • Propagation: spring: via rhizome division or cutting an inch before the rhizophore and placing rhizophore in soil. Cover with plastic to trap humidity until roots are developed.

Research sources: WikipediaPlantophilesGuide to HouseplantsBantam.EarthSo Easily Distracted