The Baby Tears plant is a perennial with a spreading growth habit. Baby Tears ground cover is popular when grown outdoors but the plant does well as a houseplant too. Soleirolia soleirolii is native to the Mediterranean and is often compared to moss. Indoors it works well as an addition to a terrarium arrangement.
Baby Tears Plant Appearance
The Baby Tears plant features a mat of round or bean-shaped leaves growing on short, fleshy stalks. The fast-growing plant reaches a size of four inches tall and up to 36 inches wide when allowed to spread out. The plant blooms in late spring or early summer with beautiful ivory-colored flowers.
Baby Tears Plant Care: Light Requirements
Bright, filtered light is best for optimal growth. A South or East-facing window covered with a sheer curtain works well. Too much direct sunlight will scorch the leaves. Low lighting is not recommended so supplement with an LED grow light if needed.
Watering Your Baby Tears Plant
Do not let the plant’s soil dry out or the plant will wilt. If wilting does occur, water the plant immediately and it will rebound within a day if caught quickly. In general, water the plant as soon as the soil’s surface becomes dry, but the soil around the roots is still moist. If water collects in the pot’s saucer, discard it immediately so the roots do not sit in water. Reduce water in the winter when the plant’s growth slows.
Soil and Fertilizer
Proper Baby Tears plant care requires growing the plant in a rich soil mixture. Potting soil with added compost, manure, or humus works well. The plant will also grow without soil, in just water, making it a great addition to a terrarium with some pebbles and water at the bottom. Feed the plant with a liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer to encourage healthy growth.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
Provide temperatures around 70 (21 Celsius) degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth. Avoid temperatures below 50 F (10C) and any constant, cold drafts. The plant will survive brief exposure to a light frost but not prolonged freezing. The Baby Tears plant prefers high humidity. Place the plant in a bathroom or kitchen, if possible, or supplement humidity with a humidifier.
Pruning the Baby Tears Plant
Prune your Baby Tears plant, as needed, to control size or remove unhealthy leaves or stalks. As the plant has a spreading growth habit, be aware that pruning will encourage fuller growth. Whatever is removed in length will come back as fullness.
Propagating your Baby Tears easily lets you create more houseplants or use it as Baby Tears ground cover for outdoor growth in the right climate. Propagation is easy through either division or from a cutting of a mature plant. To divide the plant, remove it from the pot and gently separate the plant at natural divisions in the root system. Replant each new section. To grow a new plant from a cutting, snip a stem at least two inches long. Remove the bottom leaves to expose the nodes. Plant the stem in a pot filled with an equal mixture of potting soil and perlite. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. In three to four weeks new roots will begin to grow.
Common Pests and Diseases
Common pests of the Baby Tears plant are the whitefly, scale, and aphids. Treat large infestations covering the entire plant with neem oil. For spot treatments, wipe away insects with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Root rot is a disease that affects plants routinely overwatered. Soggy soil encourages soil-based fungus to grow, which feeds on and rots the roots. Reduce water immediately and ensure the soil drains quickly when you do water. For roots that have begun to rot, trim them back with sterile shears and repot the plant in a clean pot with fresh soil.
The Baby Tears plant is a unique-looking houseplant that looks great in a terrarium or hanging basket. The plant has easy care needs and adds depth to houseplant collections with its spreading growth habit. Add this plant to your indoor space.
Baby Tears Plant FAQ
The Baby Tears Plant will grow outdoors in USDA zones 9 to 11.
Choose a pot that is large enough to accommodate the spreading growth habit of the plant. Growing this plant in a hanging basket works well.
On average, water the plant every five to seven days or when the surface of the soil feels dry.
Aside from placing the plant in a bathroom or kitchen, placing a tray filled with small pebbles and water under the plant’s saucer works well.