Friday, January 14, 2011

Baby Tears (Helxine Soleirolii)

Isn't it great? My mom calls it the Afro Plant.

What a plant. If you're looking for immediate gratification, buy some Baby Tears. Last July, at the greenhouse where I plan to work this spring and summer, I drove out for their annual garage and plant sale. I picked up little else beside this plant; I had seen it before at this particular greenhouse and had always wanted one. They had one for sale in a 4 inch pot for $2, which I purchased on the spot. At home, I took it out of its plastic 4 inch pot and put it into a ceramic 4 inch, which it almost immediately outgrew. I then decided that because it was growing so fast, I would go ahead and put it in an 8 inch pot. By October or November, it had outgrown that as well and was moved into a 12 inch pot. Right now, it occupies that pot fully. I later read that Baby Tears will stay miniature if you keep it in a small pot... but too late now. I love to see it grow larger and larger, but this summer I think I'll divide it. Maybe give some away, maybe plant some in my garden. It has a great "moss" look to it, and I surmise it'll look great there, but may overtake the garden...
 However, as you can see, this plant will grow very straggly when allowed to. Some trimming with sterilized scissors will do the trick. If you want to, you can take those clippings and push them down slightly into the dirt of a new pot. It's extremely likely that they'll root, like these did:

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