SOLEIROLIA SOLEIROL (syn. Helxine soleirolii) (mindyour own business, baby’s tears)

4 deg C/39 deg F

This quaint plant, the only one of its genus, and originating from Corsica, has been a favourite on window-sills for many years, and is extremely easy to grow. In some mild areas it may survive winter outdoors, but is liable to be killed offby a severe cold spell. It forms a dense. creeping mat of tiny leaves borne on pinkish stems, which send out roots as they spread. In good conditions it can be very invasive and will creep down the sides of its pot or even spread to others if it gets a chance. It has been used as ground cover in greenhouses and to cover the surface of large pots in which large plants with long leafless stems or trunks, such as palms or greenhouses shrubs, are growing. It is also useful for wall pots and the edges of troughs or conservatory staging. This is an excellent plant for growing amidst a collection of other plants. especially in a conservatory or a lean-to greenhouse. The small, attractive leaves cascade around the pots, helping all the plants to blend together and to create a unified picture. Once established, il grows quite rapidly. This plant will grow well in slight shade or good light provided conditions are moist but by no means waterlogged. Excess water may cause rotting of the roots and stems. The plant grows vigorously in any of the modern potting composts. There is a form Aurea’ with golden foliage and another called ‘Ar-gentia’ with silvery leaves. Both are very pretty and can be grown with the type species to good effect Propagation is by division in spring, taking pieces of the plant with plenty of roots coming from the stems.

It is unusual for this plant to have troubles of any kind, if treated normally.

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