Selaginella Lepidophylla: How To Care For Resurrection Plants

This strange plant has many names. Dinosaur plant, False Rose of Jericho, and Resurrection Plant to name a few. The reason for its name is because when it is not moistened, the plant is shriveled, and dead looking. When moistened, the plant seemingly blooms into life, hence the name Resurrection Plant.

In the Chihuahuan desert, an area spanning from Mexico to parts of the U.S., lives a plant that has the ability to survive extreme conditions by going dormant. The plant goes into a state of extreme dehydration and can stay this way for years! The plant in its dormant state shrivels into a tight brown ball. When dehydrated, the roots shrivel, and the plant rolls up and blows in the wind, waiting for the next rains.

When the plant finally gets the moisture it’s been waiting for, it slowly revives and resumes it’s growth. In its moistened state, the plant turns green, with its leaves splayed and laying flat. It expands and is actually pretty large compared to the dry, ball like state it was in prior.

I’ve had my little plant for about a year now. In all honesty, I forget I even have it at times. It has definitely been a few months since I’ve watered it. I know that it’s not dead though because it turns green after being completely hydrated.

It takes a full 24 hrs before becoming completely hydrated. Very slowly the plant comes back to life. After 24 hours, you can keep the plant in this hydrated state by adding a little more water in its tray, or by keeping it in a terrarium. I like to keep mine on this little terra-cotta tray and after a few days of moisture, I let it dry out again.

I give it a good amount of light. I have south and east facing windows that offer plenty of bright indirect light into my room. When dried up, I just store it on my window sill.

If you have any experience with this plant, I would love to hear about it. I hope you enjoyed this post!


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