Light: Because it grows natively in the desert, Selaginella lepidophylla prefers bright light indoors. Use artificial lighting from winter to spring if necessary, as the plant grows actively during this time if not dormant. 

Water: Resurrection plants rarely need supplemental watering, as they use moisture efficiently and over-watering or denying a dormant period can cause serious stress. During the winter and spring, pour warm water over the plant any time it begins to turn brown or shrivel. Allow the plant to dry completely and enter a state of dormancy during the summer and fall.

Environment: If potted, resurrection plants require a well-drained, general-purpose potting soil. Alternatively, a shallow container filled with gravel also provides the plant with the necessary support. Do not allow them to sit in water for more than a few hours at a time. Generally, resurrection plants are happy in average room temperatures. However, avoid placing resurrection plants in locations next to drafty vents or windows. 

Toxicity: Unknown, likely non-toxic like most other Selaginella

Of Note:

  • Native to the Chihuahuan desert near the U.S./Mexico border.
  • Also known as spreading club moss and belongs to a group of primitive plants known as lycopods.
  • Without water in its tissues, its sensitive photosynthetic machinery would easily become damaged by punishing UV rays. By curling up, the plant essentially shelters these tissues from the sun.
  • Drought tolerance is one of the unique features of resurrection plants. They can survive for up to seven years without water in dormancy and lose up to 95% of their moisture content without cell or tissue damage.