Resurrection Plant

The resurrection plant (Selaginella lepidophylla) is a species of desert plant in the spike moss family. It is also known by other common names such as rose of -jericho and the bird's-nest moss as the mound of bright green fan-shaped, scale-covered fronds look like a bird's nest.  The plant is an epiphyte which means it doesn't need soil to live and will do fine on a bed of gravel.

At a time when there is extreme drought and water restrictions, the resurrection plant is the perfect houseplant to have. After long periods of dehydration, the plant turns brown, rolls up into a tight ball and appears to be dead then miraculously unfurls and comes back to life when watered. Hence, it is used by some religions during  Easter/Christmas times to represent the resurrection of Christ.  

This plant is usually sold as a ball of dead-looking foliage; however, it takes about three to four hours for a dried-out resurrection plant to fully revive.

Moreover, this special quality enables the rose-of-jericho plant to survive harsh desert climates of Arizona, Texas, and Mexico.   This plant is very easy to care for, making it ideal for the beginner gardener and one of the easiest plants to grow.

How to Care for a Resurrection Plant

Light:  Place your plant in an area where it can receive very high light near a sunny south, east, or west window. If it doesn’t get adequate light, it will start to roll back up into a ball.

Humidity:  Keep humidity high as dry air causes leaf browning and dieback.

Soil:  Plant in well-aerated potting mixture of one part sand, one part potting soil, and two parts leaf mold (humus), as well as a small piece of charcoal. Be sure to repot every two (2) years.

Temperature: Keep plant in average  room temperature out of cold drafts.

Water:  Water thoroughly with distilled water, rainwater, or tap water that has been left out overnight as Resurrection plants are fluoride sensitive. Water thoroughly, so that it drains from bottom, empty the excess, then allow to dry out before watering again.

Fertilization: Bird's-nest moss is not a heavy feeder; therefore, feed twice a year with a water-soluble fertilizer, once in early spring and once mid-summer during the growing season.

Propagation: Propagate with stem cuttings of 2 to 3 inches to increase your collection.

Tip: Trim away the dried-out sections and always check for scale on undersides of leaves,  If present, spray with appropriate pesticide to keep your resurrection plant green and beautiful.

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