It is a genus that includes many species of herbaceous plants belonging to the fern family, native to Asia, Africa, Australia and the American continent. They have thin fleshy stems, of variable size, but generally contained, completely covered with flaky, waxy and thick leaflets. S. kraussiana is a climber, very small in size, bright green, similar to a cushion of moss; S. martensii is 20-30 cm tall, the thick stems are very branched, fan-shaped, fleshy, green or yellowish-green in color; S. lepidophylla is native to desert places, similar to the previous one, it has the particularity of going into dormancy in lack of water, becoming almost dry, as soon as it comes into contact with fresh water it assumes a bright green color and begins to vegetate again; S. uncinata has blue-green leaflets. Widely used in hanging containers or in large vases.
To best cultivate Selaginella, place the plant in a bright position, but not exposed to direct sunlight; these seedlings must be grown at temperatures no lower than 5 ° C, therefore in winter they must be kept indoors, or in a temperate greenhouse.
The ideal temperature for growing this type of plant is around 18 ° C. This plant does not like temperature changes and drafts that can cause serious damage in a short time.
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Selaginella martensii plants need regular and abundant watering, so that the soil is constantly humid, but not in the presence of stagnant water, all year round; from March to October it is good to provide fertilizer for green plants, mixed with the irrigation water.
In the hottest period it is also good to provide for frequent sprays of water on the leaves to provide the correct humidity in the environment, a decisive factor for keeping this type of plant healthy. This water must be used at room temperature and not cold, to prevent Selaginella martensii from being damaged.
To plant the Selaginella martensii plants, use a soft, well drained compost rich in organic material; prepare an ideal compost by mixing peat, leaf soil, universal soil and a small part of sand and pieces of bark.
It is good to repot the plant every year, using a rich and non-calcareous soil.
Throughout the year it is possible to divide the tufts, repotting the portions produced individually; in spring cuttings can be taken, removing the basal shoots, the cuttings of Selaginella martensii root very easily, even at the internodes. The cuttings should be placed in a mixture of peat and sand and placed in a sheltered place with a temperature around 22 ° C.
Selaginella martensii: Parasites and diseases
Plants suffer in particular from water imbalances, both for those caused by the soil soaked in standing water, and for those caused by drought. If you notice withered or crumpled leaves, this is a symptom that the plant has had little water and it is necessary to implement watering, always taking care not to overdo it to avoid the formation of water stagnation.