Soleirolia–commonly called Baby’s tears–is a low-growing subtropical plant. Soleirolia grows outdoors in moist, shady spots. Indoors baby’s tear can be grown in terrariums or in containers out of direct sunlight.
Soleirolia is a mat-forming evergreen perennial with creeping, fleshy stem that grow to 6 inches (15cm) in length. The leaves are 1/4 inch wide.
Soleirolia can tolerate a wide range of conditions outdoors. In warm winter regions, it can be grown as a perennial groundcover. It grows best protected from direct hot summer sun. Soleirolia can be invasive if not controlled; it can be difficult to eradicate where unattended.
Soleirolia is a genus of one species. It is native to moist, shaded sites in Western Mediterranean islands.
Get to Know Soleirolia
- Plant type: Subtropical groundcover
- Growing Zones and range: Zones 9-10
- Hardiness: Tender; where temperatures fall below 23°F (-5°C), grow Soleirolia as a houseplant.
- Temperature: Average home temperatures; minimum of 45°F (7°C)
- Light: Prefers bright, indirect light
- Height and width: Creeping, dense mats to 2 to 4 inches (10cm) tall; forms dense, mounding mats
- Foliage: Tiny green leaves grow along pink, succulent stems; plants grow mounded.
- Uses: Outdoors in shady, moist areas; hanging baskets; indoors in a terrarium
- Common name: Baby’s tear, Irish moss
- Botanical name: Soleirolia soleirolii (Helxine soleirolii)
- Family: Urticaceae
- Origin: Western Mediterranean islands
Where to Plant Soleirolia
- Grow Soleirolia in bright, indirect light.
- Plant Soleirolia in a mix of peat moss and soil.
How to Water and Feed Soleirolia
- Water Soleirolia to keep the soil evenly moist. Extra humidity is a must; mist plants often.
- Fertilize Soleirolia infrequently, only once or twice a year.
Growing Soleirolia as a Houseplant
- Give Soleirolia limited light to bright light; direct sun will burn the leaves.
- Provide an average temperature, high humidity, and evenly moist soil or grow in a terrarium.
- Fertilizer Soleirolia regularly during spring and summer. Use a liquid all-purpose fertilizer.
Soleirolia Common Problems
- The center of the Soleirolia will turn brown if the soil dries out or if the plant gets direct sun.
- Propagate Soleirolia by dividing clumps and potting them in an potting mix.
- Soleirolia can also be propagated from cuttings.
Soleirolia Varieties to Grow
- Soleirolia soleirolii (syn, Helxine soleirolii), baby’s tears, Irish moss. Slender, mat-forming perennial with pale green short-stalked leaves to 1/4 inch (6mm) across; produces 4-lobed white flowers in summer. There are several cultivars: ‘Golden Queen’ has gold-green leaves; ‘Silver Queen’ has silver-variegated leaves; ‘Argentea’ has silvery leaves.