How to Grow and Care for Creeping Moss (Selaginella) Indoors


Creeping Moss, Selaginella

Botanical name: Selaginella spp
Family: Selaginellaceae

Description

Selaginella or Creeping Moss is a creeping plant with simple, scale-like leaves borne on branching stems from which the roots arise and is ideal for a terrarium as its tiny leaves will shrivel in ordinary room conditions.

To increase your chance of success in growing Creeping moss indoors, grow the plant in a shallow, well drained pot in a semi-shade away from the window and direct sunlight.

Then, surround the pot with damp moss or set it on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity. Use only soft water to water and mist Creeping Moss.

Origin

The Selaginella plants occur mostly in the tropical regions of the world, with a handful of species to be found in the arctic-alpine zones of both hemispheres.

A few species of Salaginella are desert plants known as "resurrection plants" which curl up in a tight, brown or reddish ball during dry times and uncurl and turn green in the presence of moisture.

Varieties

These tropical plants look like ferns. There are over 750 species of Selaginella. They have scale-leaves and spores of two types; a microspore male which is smaller and a megaspore female which is larger.

Some of the common species of Selaginella are the trailing types like Selaginella uncinata (Blue-green Peacock Fern). Selaginella apoda (pale green and moss-like). Selaginella kraussiana aurea (the yellow-green Spreading Clubmoss).

Some have upright stems like Selaginella martensii (Spike Moss) which has 1 ft upright stems and aerial roots which grow down from the stems into the soil.

Selaginella emmeliana has 6 in. erect stems and lacy leaves. Another common species is the resurrection-plant Selaginella lepidophylla which is bought as a dried-up ball and is restored to life by soaking in water.

Where to Buy

Creeping Moss is available online at Etsy. Buy Selaginella Plants online from Etsy.

Creeping Moss, Selaginella

Selaginella Care Indoors

Creeping Moss (Selaginella) thrives in bright, indirect away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, rich, well-drained soils coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Selaginella requires regular pruning to keep it neat, to reduce pest infestations, to encourage bushy growth and rejuvenate growth. Repotting is necessary only when the plant becomes pot-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Creeping Moss grows best in bright, indirect away from direct sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light where natural light is inadequate.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure the plant receive light on all sides for even growth.

Watering

Water Creeping Moss thoroughly and keep soil moist at all times during the growing season but reduce watering in the cold season.

Water the Selaginella with tepid water to avoid shocking this tropical plant.

Use only chlorine-free water to water this plant as it is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.


Temperature

Average warmth with a minimum of 180C is ideal for your Creeping Moss. A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for this plant.

Keep Selaginella away from draughts to prevent sudden changes in temperature as they can cause wilting, leaf drop and drooping.

Humidity

Creeping Moss requires high humidity inorder to thrive. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow Selaginella in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained inside a terrarium.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Creeping Moss monthly during the growing period with a balanced, liquid fertilizer for lush growth.

Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn.

Repotting

Repot Creeping Moss at the beginning of the growing season only when growth has began to suffer as the plant prefers to be slightly root-bound.

Use a pot 1 size larger than the current one and one that has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.

Soil

The best soil for Creeping Moss should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal. Buy quality potting mix for Selaginella online from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Creeping Moss involves removal of dead and yellow leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. To encourage a compact and bushy growth pinch off the growing tips regularly.

If the Selaginella becomes unruly, cut it back to rejuvenate growth. The foliage emanating from the pruning, can be used to propagate new plants.

Propagation

Creeping Moss (Selaginella) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings or by plant division.

How to propagate Creeping Moss from stem-tip cuttings

Take 4-5 in. long stem-tip cuttings from a healthy Creeping Moss and strip off most of the lower leaves.

Insert the lower cut end of the cuttings in moist free-draining soil and place the set up in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight.

Maintain the soil moist through out until new growth emerges on the cuttings.

Allow the new Selaginella to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Creeping Moss by plant divison

Take the Creeping Moss out of its pot and carefully divide the plant into several sections.

Pot these sections in moist free-draining soil in individual pots.

Ensure the pots for the cuttings have a drainage hole inorder to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Place these pots in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out until new growth emerges on the cuttings.

Allow the new Selaginella to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

Creeping Moss, Selaginella

Selaginella Problems Indoors

Creeping Moss (Selaginella) problems indoors include shrivelled leaves, rotting, plant death, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Brown and shrivelled leaves

brown and shrivelled leaves in Creeping Moss is caused by low air humidity. Selaginella requires high humidity inorder to thrive.

To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

You can also grow the Creeping Moss in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained inside a terrarium.

Rotting and dying

Rotting and dying in Creeping Moss is due to root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Read on how to treat root-rot in houseplants.

Pests

The common pests in Creeping Moss are Mealy Bugs and Spider Mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other plants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Also, keep the Creeping Moss properly pruned at all times to reduce the hiding places for these pests.

Is Creeping Moss toxic?

Creeping Moss (Selaginella) are non-toxic to both humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA. They are safe to grow indoors.

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