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How to Grow a Resurrection Plant

The name resurrection plant can apply to a whole group of plants that appear to die when unwatered and spring back to life when watered. The most common plant sold under the name resurrection plant is selaginella lepidophylla, a primitive desert plant that is also called rose of Jericho or siempre viva (everlasting). A resurrection plant that has balled up and appears dried out is simply dormant from lack of water. If you want to properly grow and care for this plant, you shouldn’t let this condition last for extreme periods, as contrary to its name, it can die.

Set up an appropriate habitat for your resurrection plant. These do not require soil like most plants; you can think of them more like a moss or lichen. Set out a clay or ceramic dish of your choice that has a lip to keep water from spilling over.

Put a thin layer of fine gravel in the dish. Resurrection plant doesn’t have roots; it simply grows in a self-contained ball. Setting it on the gravel will keep it from soaking in the water and rotting. Pour a shallow layer of water into the gravel and place the plant on top of the gravel.

Place the plant in the sun. Resurrection plant is a desert plant, and is designed for long hours of sunlight and warmth. It should be in a location where it gets direct sun for about 12 hours a day. It doesn’t tolerate temperatures below about 40 degrees Fahrenheit

Water rarely. Let the resurrection plant go without water until it begins to curl up. The plant uses water very efficiently, and this is the best way to be sure you are not over-watering it.

Divide the plant by cutting. It sprouts quickly from new cuttings at any time of year. Just place the cuttings in moist compost or loose soil and water.

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