The creeping plant known as selaginella emmeliana or creeping moss has simple, scale-like fronds that are carried on spreading shoots wherein the roots emerge. It is the perfect plant for a terrarium because its delicate tiny leaves would wither in a typical room’s environment.
There are many ways in which novice gardeners can succeed in growing creeping moss. Here is what you need to do in a nutshell.
Cultivating this plant inside a small, well-drained container in a semi-shaded area far from the window or intense sunshine will boost the likelihood of success when cultivating creeping moss inside.
To increase humidity, encircle the container using moist moss and place it on a pebble tray with wet pebbles. When spraying and hydrating the creeping moss, only use tepid water.
Creeping moss Indoor plants: Origin
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A few varieties of Selaginella plants can be discovered in both halves’ polar and highland zones, but the majority of such plants are located in tropical areas of the planet.
The appearance of Creeping moss
Some Salaginella species include desert perennials, referred to it as “resurrection plants” because they untwist then turn green mostly in the advent of rainfall while curling tightly into a reddish to the brown ball throughout dry spells.
Types of Selaginella plants
Many selaginella plants are pretty famous for being trailing plants, like Selaginella Apoda or club moss.
Gorgeous fern-like plants from the tropics, Selaginella plants are found with more than 750 various species. These contain scale leaves with two different kinds of spores.
Typical Selaginella species include the following varieties: Selaginella uncinata, Kraussiana aurea Selaginella, and Selaginella Apoda.
Many plants have erect stalks, such as Selaginella martensii (also known as Spike Moss), that have rhizomes that extend downward from the branches into the ground and also have 1-foot tall stalks.
Ribbed leaves with 6 inches-tall branches characterize Selaginella emmeliana. Selaginella lepidophylla is a widely distributed species that may be purchased as a dried-out sphere and brought back to life by simply soaking them.
Factors That Affect Creeping moss Indoor plant
One of the biggest mistakes most gardeners or houseplant owners make is using cold water for regular watering. The selaginella varieties shrink and become dormant. The best type of water to use for watering is soft water. Regular misting is needed, and the top inch of the soil must be moist but not overly damp.
Reduce watering the moss during winter so that the soil doesn’t become overly moist. This will lead to overwatering and waterlogging, which results in the leaves of creeping moss turning brown. Just like other plants, always use a pot with drainage holes so that excess water drains away.
Creeping Moss, or Selaginella emmeliana, is a fern-like plant, so despite being from tropical regions, the most effective way to care for an indoor creeping moss will be to give it a partial shade.
This will mimic the same light requirements as that of a creeping moss growing on the soil of a tropical rainforest in partial shade, so it is tucked away from the scorch of too much light.
Since direct sunlight is an issue, always keep it in partial shade even when planting outdoors; install the ground cover. Also, rotate your creeping moss pots often so each side receives filtered light. Most selaginella plants like low light
Apart from the partial shade, creeping moss thrives in soggy soil moist enough to mimic a humid environment. The soil moisture of the potting soil must be enough to hold the selaginella species so that these tropical plants can grow.
Spike moss, creeping moss, trailing moss, and rainbow moss also love soil moisture, and new plants grow in the hanging basket of your house garden.
These are high humidity-loving plants. Whether it is Selaginella martensii or selaginella kraussiana, all selaginella family in the growing season love the humid environment.
Your creeping moss needs at least 18-degree celsius to survive. The ideal temperature to keep the creeping moss thriving is room temperature.
It is important to ensure that creeping moss doesn’t become dormant from a sudden weather change. So one must eliminate the possibilities of draughts.
One great thing about selaginella plants is that it needs very little food. A water-soluble fertilizer sprayed two times a year, once in spring and then subsequently in summer, will be enough to ensure the growth of this resurrection plant.
The trailing plant will, though, need potting mix organic material in the soil for the growing season when it is planted in the ground outdoors.
Common Issues With Creeping moss
In hot, humid climates, mealybugs and other tiny white insects feed on indoor plants and leave behind streaks of white powder all over.
Additionally, they lay their eggs near the vegetation and where the branches join the stem. These little insects consume the leaf sap.
If the invasion is severe, the leaves may exhibit abnormalities and start to deteriorate, wilt, and die. It is usually desirable to have young, fragile leaves, which slows the plant’s growth.
Mealybugs are a particular species of scale bug belonging to the Pseudococcidae genus. Despite having a one-month lifespan, these bugs are notoriously challenging to get rid of.
Mealybugs mostly hide at the base of vegetation, although they will jam themselves and their clutches into any available crevice.
Some microbes make it even more difficult to identify them by blending in with the pots’ bases and dirt. Usually, the first evident sign is a single mealybug or perhaps an ant trail.
Mealybugs have a powdery, greasy covering that gives them their name, which gives them the appearance of tiny cotton puffs.
Mealybugs prefer warm environments and are especially dangerous to tropical indoor plants in USA hardiness zones higher than 9.
The worst part is that adult female Mealybugs can produce up to 500 eggs in a single batch, which allows them to grow rapidly in front of your eyes.
How Can Mealybugs Be Removed?
Use an alcohol and water solution to thoroughly rinse the moss, together with insecticidal soap, to get rid of mealybugs.
Thanks to the insecticidal soap, there wouldn’t be any eggs on selaginella varieties.
Another common nuisance is spider mites, which feed on the sap of your plant and cause it to dry out.
Take your creeping moss plant outside and water it to take care of the spider mite problem. You will do this to get rid of the pests that eat the sap’s liquids. Spray alcohol or neem oil immediately on the plant to prevent the spider mites from coming back.
Both neem oil and alcohol are effective insect repellents for spike moss and club moss as well. To promote the development of new leaves, prune any broken or yellow leaves as well.
Yellow leaves turning brown is another problem that occurs when not enough care is given to the plants. Don’t use potting soil that is not well draining because brown tips occur mainly due to overwatering or if the water remains in the soil for a long time.
Curling of The Leaves
Remember, this is a tropical plant that needs high humidity to survive. If you do not keep the resurrection plant in a humid area, then it will start to curl back. Similarly, underwatering the plant can have the same effect.
Ways To Propagate Creeping moss
Stem cutting and plant division are two ways to propagate the creeping moss. Just like most plants in hanging baskets need pruning to promote the health of your leafy friend, the new growth is best possible by plant division.
How To Use Stem Clippings
Select robust Creeping Moss clippings with stem tips that are 4 to 5 inches long, then remove the majority of the older leaves.
Arrange the setting inside a mild, shady area and bury the bottom end of your clippings into wet soil that drains freely.
Until new leaves appear, mostly on clippings of creeping moss, keep adding water to keep the soil moist.
Prior to actually transferring, give the fresh Creeping Moss seedlings time to settle in.
How to divide plants to propagate creeping moss
Remove the creeping moss that is in the hanging basket or any container, then carefully cut it into many segments.
The Creeping Moss parts should be planted in separate pots with damp soil that drains well.
To avoid the topsoil becoming moist, make sure your containers containing the clippings include a drain opening.
When Should I Repot My Creeping moss?
The plants and their roots need space to expand and grow a healthy root system. The plant becomes root-bound when the pots are too small for the roots.
Since the effects of the root-bound and watering issues are identical, it is difficult to tell which may be the true cause.
However, the entire root system is impacted when the roots degenerate and encroach on one another, much like a disease.
The leaves become limp and yellow because the root system cannot absorb the water.
Observing roots coming out of the container’s drainage openings is a warning indication of root rot. The problem gets even worse if roots are sticking out. So, when roots start to grow out of the hanging basket of creeping moss, then it is time to shift it into a bigger pot.
Why is my Creeping moss turning crisp?
The direct sun is causing the leaves to burn. The window glass that acts as a barrier between your fern and the sun actually intensifies the rays, and then the direct light makes burn marks on the leaves, turning them crisp.
The best way to protect creeping moss from turning crisp is to put it in a semi-shade with enough light.
How To Increase Humidity Around Creeping moss?
The easiest method to do this is to spritz the creeping moss or bring it into the bathroom because that room in the house is damp.
An excellent option would be to use a humidity tray. A pebble tray could also be an alternative choice. You might, however, alternatively spend money on a humidifier.
How Does Turgidity Effect Creeping moss?
Animal cells do not contain nearly as much water as do those of plants. As a result of their thick cell walls, they don’t rupture. Therefore, plants can maintain significantly higher water pressures inside their cells.
Turgor pressure is the force applied to the cell border by water that has accumulated inside plant cells. The cells are turgid when that pressure is properly maintained. Plant cells sag when that pressure is decreased.
Drooping leaves and stems are a sign of flaccid plant cells. Only when plants are dry do their cells have decreased turgor pressure. Therefore, creeping moss leaves start to droop when plants don’t get enough water.
Emmeliana plant is a fern that grows well in tropical areas. It is important to remember that creeping moss will only thrive in low-light semi-shade areas with high humidity and normal room temperature. The colder temperatures will make the plant dormant, and low humidity or a small pot will hinder the new growth.
Furthermore, the pest problems in moss plants can be overcome using neem oil and insecticidal soaps. Your cute little leafy friend does not need enough water or fertilizer to propel. However, if your soil has lost the nutrients, then add some organic matter to make it fertile for selaginella plants.