The Ultimate Guide to Growing and Caring for Baby Tears Plant
Originating from the Mediterranean Islands of Corsica and Sardinia, the popular Baby Tears Plant is often a favorite to put in either hanging baskets or terrariums in the home. It is a low-growing plant, meaning it doesn’t take up much space wherever you put it. Between the bright green leaves and mossy bush appearance, the Baby Tears Plant has become an easy standout favorite to beautify a home or office environment.
When in full bloom, tiny white flowers may emerge from it. Growing and caring for a Baby Tears Plant is relatively easy as it is deemed as a low-maintenance plant. The best USDA zones to grow a Baby Tears Plant is nine to eleven. If you’re looking for the ultimate guide to do so, your first step begins with finding the right soil for the Baby Tears Plant to get started.
Soil and Fertilizer
According to Plant Legend, using regular potting soil with peat moss and perlite works best for a Baby Tears Plant. Ideally, you want soil that can drain well, as well as keep the plant in a container that has drainage holes. The combination of something that has drainage holes, as well as well-draining soil, helps reduce the risk of root rot. This is among the most common problems for this type of plant, which occurs when the plant can’t absorb the excess water at the bottom of the pot.
What will happen is a fungus will begin to take formation and will begin rotting the plant’s roots. Should you encounter root rot, you will need to remove the plant from its current soil and carefully cut away the dead roots. Place the plant into a fresh dry potting mix once you’re done.
The Correct Fertilizer
In addition to finding the right soil, going with a 20-20-20 fertilizer will also work best for a Baby Tears Plant. What you need to do is use half as much of the fertilizer during the growing season for the plant, especially if this is your first time giving it the extra nutrients it needs. This plant’s growing season begins in the spring and runs into the summer.
A 20-20-20 fertilized has an equal percentage of twenty percent nitrogen, twenty percent phosphorus, and twenty percent potassium. These three nutrients offer the perfect balance a Baby Tears Plant needs in order to grow into a healthy plant full of life. Please make sure after you give the plant some fertilizer that you give it some water.
The Baby Tears Plant is at its best when exposed to indirect light. If you leave this plant in front of direct sunlight, the leaves can burn easily. If the plant happens to sit near a west-facing window, put a curtain between it and the window to reduce the sun’s rays reflecting straight on it. You also need to make sure the room temperature the Baby Tears Plant is in sits between fifty-five to seventy degrees Fahrenheit. This plant will do well in an environment where the temperatures don’t bounce too much from a warmth level it enjoys. Should the plant sit outside, it can tolerate cooler temperatures but it can’t handle frost. Once you see frost on the grass, save the plant and move it inside.
The humidity level of a room the Baby Tears Plant sits in should be over sixty percent. If your plant needs more humidity than what you can normally provide, place it in a terrarium that has good air circulation in a bathroom that has a shower. Running a hot shower creates a humid environment that stimulates the plant. Because the plant doesn’t need direct sunlight and will do fine in a room that has a smaller window.
If sitting or hanging somewhere where it can receive light indirectly, the Baby Tears Plant will do fine. You can also mist the plant on a regular basis to keep its humidity level at a high enough level. You can also sit it next to a humidifier. However, be careful as you don’t want the plant to become too humid. This is what invites root rot.
Baby Tears Plant Care
While caring for the Baby Tears Plant, make a point to water it once or twice a week during the spring and summer seasons. You need the soil kept moist so the plant can remain strong and healthy. Should you notice any wilting, this is your queue to water it more often. During the winter season, you can get away with watering this plant about once or twice a month.
You don’t want to run the risk of overwatering the Baby Tears Plant, especially during the colder seasons, as this will likely cause root rot issues. While caring for the Baby Tears Plant, be on the lookout for Aphids. Also watch for mealybugs, scale, and mites as these are commonly found with this plant. Should you notice any of these bugs, you can remove them with a combination of water, insecticide, and soap inside a spray bottle.
You will also need to prune the Baby Tears Plant if you want to maintain a specific look. Anything that looks leggy simply cut them off. If the basket or terrarium becomes too small for the growing plant, you can move pruning into propagation if you want to hang at least another Baby Tears Plant in your home. You do this by splitting the mother plant in half through the root ball. This is a delicate procedure so be sure each new half has its own section of potting mix already in place for them.
Make sure each new plant is watered enough to keep the soil around it moist. If you need to increase the plant’s humidity to sixty percent or higher, place a lid over the container. After a week, check on the new plants to see if they’ve rooted into the soil. If that’s a yes, transplant them to a new container that will serve as their new home.
About the Baby Tears Plant
Baby Tears Plants, also known as Soleirolia soleirolii, is a plant belonging to the nettle family. It got its name from a French army engineer and plant collector, Henri-Augustin Soleirol. His fellow French naturalist, Esprit Reguien, gave the plant its name. There is even a historical museum and statue named after Reguien, located in Avignon, France.
Soleirol was an amateur botanist who originally began collecting the plant in Corsica. There are many other names that make reference to this plant, including Angel’s Tears, Bits and Pieces, Bread and Cheese, Corsican Creeper, Corsican Curse, Friendship Plant, Mind-Your-Own-Business, Mother of Thousands, Paddy’s Wig, Peace in the Home, and Pollyanna Vine. It’s also been called Irish Moss, even though it’s not a moss.
The Baby Ters Plant is a delicate-looking creeping herb that has the trademark of juicy bright leaves or yellow leaves. It can also grow multitudes of tiny white flowers. Usually, this is done among the Baby Tear Plants that are kept outside once late spring hits. Normally, this plant grows close to the ground and is sometimes used in ornamental gardens. Usually, the Baby Tears plant sits next to the ferns, as well as other moisture-loving plants.
Normally, a Baby Tears Plant has leaves that are slightly stalked and measure about five millimeters across. The tiny flowers will produce oval seeds. As mentioned previously, these plants are originally from the Mediterranean islands near Italy. It’s also known to grow along the nation’s northern region. Due to the popularity of this plant, it has since been introduced and cultivated on a worldwide scale. They’re favored as ornamental and garden plants. Finding Baby Tears Plants along the Northeast regions of Ireland is not uncommon. The counties, Antrim and Down, are noted for them.
Because the Baby Tears Plant loves a relatively humid climate of about sixty percent or higher, it makes the perfect indoor houseplant, as well as a habitat for amphibians. It also doesn’t care for direct sunlight so it can even grow submerged in swampy environments. In colder regions, the plant will go to sleep during the fall and remain dormant for the winter. When it returns in the spring, it will return to its lush form as the temperature increases.
Another detail about Baby Tears Plants is they’re capable of vegetative reproduction. If you don’t want the plant to overtake a territory and you need to eradicate it after it’s already been established, the entire plant needs to be removed. There are some regions that consider this plant a common weed as it can sprout new growth wherever its at.
When posting a new Baby Tears Plant and you want it to reach a healthy size, make sure there is enough soil and container space to do so. Among the nurseries, there are several varieties of the Baby Tears Plant. The mossy-green types are the most popular among gardeners but there are gold, white, and yellow breeds that are also available.
According to WikiLawn, the Baby Tears Plant is a good candidate for beginning gardeners who don’t want to start with anything too complicated. This is an evergreen, low-growing ground plant known for its cascade of round leaves. Even though it doesn’t need much maintenance and is a desirable plant to either hang or sport as a potted plant, make sure it has enough room to grow. A healthy Baby Tears Plant is a vigorous grower that can form a dense mound of fresh green and delicate-looking leaves.
They’re just attractive indoors as they are outdoors. If you have a rock garden, they’re perfect as space-fillers. They’re attractive enough to beautify the landscape and can even serve as an alternative to grass. When the fall season hits and they go to sleep, they can survive the cold and shady spots easily enough to still act as adequate ground cover throughout the year.
When grown with other plants, the Baby Tear Plant behaves as an intrusive neighbor that will hog up as much space as it can. If you don’t want this to happen, make sure to keep a regular pruning schedule with the plant so you can keep its growth spurts under control. One of the reasons why it has the nickname ‘Mind-You-Own-Business” is it can easily take over enough territory to keep unwanted neighbors at bay if that is your wish.
Buying Baby Tears Plants
Whether as seeds or as a full-grown plants, Baby Tears Plants are easy enough to come by. Most outlets that supply seeds are likely to carry these. Sites like Amazon will carry them from a variety of sources. For a full-grown plant, greenhouses open to the public are likely to have at least the green variety available. The price will range according to the variant of the plant and its current growth stage.
Baby Tears Plants and Aquariums
It was mentioned earlier if the Baby Plant Tree sits in soil that isn’t draining well enough it will become prone to root rot. However, Baby Tears Plants have also been known to be grown as aquarium plants. These are called Dwarf Baby Tears. Otherwise known as Hemianthus Callitrichoides, it is a popular plant that originates from Cuba. These are the trees that look like a green carpet in fish aquariums.
They’re normally purchased in small pots, as well as rooted plants in coco fiber mats. The care of these types of Baby Tear Plants is different from those of the Soleirolia soleirolii variety. They require considerably more maintenance as it needs to have enough iron in order to keep their green leaves from turning yellow. The Dwarf Baby Tears also require frequent fertilization, as well as CO2 supplementation. It’s a very different plant so be careful not to confuse the two since they both share the same popular name.