The soleirolia is a genus of creeping plants that has 3 species, the most popular of which is the Soleirolia soleirolii, commonly called bridal mattress, angel’s tears, mother of a thousand or bridal bed moss. It is a very useful plant for upholstering surfaces due to its rapid growth and although it is not very demanding with its care, we cannot locate it anywhere.
If you want to learn how to take care of a soleirolia, what its characteristics are and how to reproduce it, join us in this EcologíaVerde article in which you will see a complete guide on the care of the soleirolia.
Characteristics of the soleirolia
These are the main characteristics of the soleirolia plant:
- It is a small plant, with small stems that rarely exceed 10 cm in height. If you like plants like this, here you can see 16 small plants: names, characteristics and photos.
- It is native to the Mediterranean area, where it grows naturally in shady and humid areas.
- Decoratively, the plant is highly appreciated for its small leaves, bright green and showy, which form very nice compact mats, recalling its appearance to that of moss. For this reason, it is used as an alternative to grass on occasions, although the soleirolia cannot be located in areas that are going to be stepped on, since it does not support it and dies.
- Its flowers are small and very inconspicuous, so they do not have a great impact on its value as an ornamental plant.
- Its care is not difficult or too demanding, but the plant does not tolerate certain conditions that must be taken into account.
Climate for soleirolia
This creeping or groundcover plant is mild mediterranean climate and does not tolerate high temperatures or strong frosts. It can withstand occasional light frosts, although prolonged or intense frosts will kill the aerial part of the plant. Of course, it is most likely that it will sprout again without problems in the following spring.
Indoors, the ideal is to keep it in an area with a stable temperature above 5 ºC. If you want plants that are more resistant to low temperatures and that can be used to cover surfaces, read this other article in which we collect several cold-resistant groundcover plants.
Light and location of the soleirolia
The bridal mattress does not tolerate direct exposure to the sun. Therefore, it is important to place it somewhere bright place but protected from direct exposure. For example, shaded or semi-shaded gardens They are a very suitable option, as well as bright rooms but in which light does not enter directly through their windows. If the soleirolia is exposed to intense sun, its leaves and stems will most likely burn and blacken, immediately dying its aerial part as in the case of frost.
If planted indoors, the plant needs pots or containers without drainage holes to help maintain moisture. In the case of not having these, place a plate under the pot that accumulates water and humidity. Outdoors, remember to find a secluded area that will not be walked on, as it does not have the resistance of grass.
Irrigation of the soleirolia
Along with its location in shade or semi-shade, irrigation is the most important care for this beautiful ground cover plant. The soleirolia is very demanding with humidity and irrigationand it is that it needs its soil or substrate to be always moist.
If you have it in a pot with drainage holes and a plate below, directly water the plate, allowing the soil to absorb moisture naturally and for it to reach the plant. If you have used a container without drainage, water over it without problems, trying to moisten the soil abundantly, but never puddle it. The plant responds much better to irrigation with water without lime.
Here you can learn more about When to water plants.
Land and fertilizer of the soleirolia
As its roots are very superficial, the plant is not demanding at all with the organic matter of its soil. Any land or well loosened substratethat offer good drainage. You can use a universal substrate and add a quarter of coarse sand to it so that the soil aerates and drains better.
As far as the fertilizer is concerned, it will suffice to apply mineral fertilizer every 15 days in the warm monthsor add some earthworm humus to the soil in those months.
How to reproduce soleirolia
Play the soleirolia is very simple thanks to its superficial root system and the fast growth of the plant.
- Remove a section of the plant with its soil carefully, and you will see that the roots are short and take very little substrate with them. You can separate it with the same hands, trying to damage the plant very little.
- Divide the removed patch into as many fractions as you want to multiply your plant.
- Prepare small pots without drainage with universal substrate duly hollowed out and with the addition of coarse sand.
- Place the separated pieces of soleirolia on the new substrate, and press it lightly on it so that the roots come into contact with their new soil.
- Sow heavily and place containers in shade or semi-shade, where they will quickly root and begin to grow. For example, the windows of bathrooms and kitchens where the sun does not shine strongly are a very typical location for soleirolias.
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