Clubmoss - A Spreading Terrarium Plant

Botanical Name: Selaginella kraussiana 

I'll just say it up front. Clubmoss requires high humidity, so unless you live in the tropics, you'll want to put this plant in a terrarium to keep it lush and green.

Its mounding habit is made up of creeping stems that spread quickly across the soil, forming a dense mat of foliage. Selaginella adds a wonderful texture to any plant grouping. Its unusual, branching foliage gives it another common name, spike moss.

Many types of Selaginella are available for sale. Variegated and gold varieties will add beautiful contrast to your collection.

Brown, shriveled leaves are the result of dry air. Put this humidity-loving plant in a terrarium or mist the foliage every day with room-temperature water to give it the moist air it craves.

Prune it back in spring to keep this spreading plant under control. You can prune up to half of the plant, if you want. It's a vigorous grower and will fill out again. Don't toss out those stem cuttings, either -- they root easily for more plants.

Repot in spring when necessary. A shallow pot will do.

Growing Tips for Clubmoss

clubmoss, selaginella, selaginella kraussiana

Origin: South Africa

Height: Spreads out rather than up. You can keep any variety small by pruning it back. 

Light: Indirect light; no direct sunlight

Water: Aim to keep the potting medium lightly moist at all times, but don't allow the plant to sit in water. Remember to always use room-temperature water for your tropical houseplants.

Humidity: High -- above 50% relative humidity. If the air is dry, mist the plant every morning or stand the pot on a tray of wet pebbles. Keep it in a terrarium to maintain humidity around it, or in a Wardian case.

Temperature: Average room temperatures (65-75°F/18-24°C). Try to maintain a steady temp -- Selaginella doesn't like it too cold or too hot, especially drafts. Keep this plant away from doorways and air vents.

Soil: Peat moss-based potting mix with perlite or horticultural sand added for good drainage.

Fertilizer: Feed monthly spring through fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.

Propagation: Take stem tip cuttings in spring or summer. Just give the stems contact with the soil and they'll take root as they grow, forming a spreading mat.

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