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How to Grow Soleirolia — Baby’s Tears

Soleirolia soleirolii
Soleirolia soleirolii

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.
Soleirolia soleirolii (syn. Helxine soleirolii) or Baby's Tears
Soleirolia soleirolii (syn. Helxine soleirolii) or Baby’s Tears

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.

Soleirolia Propagation

  • 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.

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