How to grow and care for Baby's Tears Plant

Houseplant, Baby's Tears Plant

Botanical name: Soleirolia soleirolii 
Synonym: Helxine soleirolii
Family: Urticaceae

Baby's Tears Plant is excellent for hanging baskets or for covering soil around tall plants. However, care should be taken as this plant can smoother low-growing plants. It is fast grow and easy to propagate; a small clump of the plant will grow into a mossy mound in no time when placed on moist soil. It bears green or yellow tiny leaves and multitudes of tiny white flowers. It grows close to the ground in mats. The leaves are slightly stalked, about 5mm across. The minute flowers produce oval seeds.

This plant belongs to the nettle family Urticaceae. It has a number of common names like Mind Your Own Business, Angel's Tears, Bits and Pieces, Bread and Cheese, Corsican Creeper, Corsican Curse, Paddy's Wig, Irish Moss among others. It is native to the Northern Mediterranean region in and around Italy and nearby islands. Soleirolia was named after Joseph Francois Soleirol by Espirit Requien, a French Naturalist. Soleirol, an amateur botanist collected the plant in Corsica an island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Several varieties are available argentea has silvery leaves. Aurea has golden-green foliage. Variegata has silvery green variegated leaves.

How to Grow Baby's Tears Plant

Light

Bright indirect light or semi-shade is the ideal for Baby's Tears but will survive almost anywhere. However, keep it away from direct sunshine to prevent sun burn. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants

Water

Keep soil moist at all times for Baby's Tears. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to rotting and eventual death of the plant. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average warmth with a minimum of 120C is ideal for Baby's Tears. Find out more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Baby's Tears prefers high humidity. Employ these techniques to raise humidity. Baby's Tears can also be grown in a terrarium where humidity is high.

Feeding

Feed Baby's Tears with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal.

Repotting

Repot Baby's Tears during the growing season when it becomes root-bound. Use rich, free-draining soil and a pot 1-2 sizes larger. Ensure that the pot has drainage hole(s) to prevent waterlogging which can lead to rotting and eventual death of the plant.

Pruning

Pruning Baby's Tears involves cutting back the stems when they become straggly to rejuvenate growth. Find out more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Baby's Tears Plant

Baby's Tears Plant can be propagated by division at any time of the year. Remove the plant from its pot and divide it into sections of small clumps. Pot up these sections in individual pots containing moist potting soil. Place the set up in a warm shaded place. Maintain the soil moist through out until new growth emerges and the plant is well established.

Common Problems in Baby's Tears Plant

  • Brown shrivelled leaf tips
  • Low humidity is the cause. Employ these techniques to raise humidity for Baby's Tears.

  • Diseases
  • Baby's Tears Plant is prone to Root-rot disease which is enhanced by waterlogging of the soil.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Baby's Tears are Spider Mites, Aphids and Whiteflies.

Toxicity

Baby's Tears Plant is non-toxic to both humans and pets. The plant is safe to be grown indoors.

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