The Dinosaur Plant, also called the Selaginella Lepidophylla, is an ancient rosette-forming herb that belongs to an ancient group of plants known as Club Mosses, or Lycopodiophyta. It’s an ancient plant that has existed for over 290 million years. It is native to the Chihuahuan Desert and found in the Southwestern US. Although dinosaur plants are familiar with desert conditions, they can also grow well indoors. This article looks at everything you need to know to take care of your Dino plant properly.
Dinosaur Plant’s Survival Mechanism
Resurrection plants are legend for a survival mechanism they have developed to withstand desert conditions. When dry conditions persist, the plant’s leaves dry and curl inwards, turning it into a round mass of tumbleweed. The mass then then rolls through the desert as a tumbleweed and settles over a water source, where it rehydrates and rejuvenates its stunning fronds. This is why they are called resurrecting plants.
The dinosaur plant can survive for long periods without moisture – several years, in fact – through their defense mechanism. Therefore, if you are looking for an easy-to-care plant that requires little maintenance, the Dino plant is a perfect choice.
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Does The Dinosaur Plant Have Any Other Names?
The Dino plant is also known by other common names that include:
- Resurrection moss
- Rose of Jericho
- Resurrection plant
- False rose of Jericho
- Selaginella lepidophylla (scientific name)
- Stone flower
Different Types of Dinosaur Plants
The Selaginella lepidophylla is often confused with Anastatica hierochuntica because both plant species are resurrection plants and tumbleweeds and happen to share the common name ’rose of Jericho.’ However, Anastatica is considered the ‘true’ rose of Jericho, and Selaginella is regarded as the ‘false’ rose of Jericho. They are native to two different continents, with the Anastatica hierochuntica originating from the arid regions in the Sahara Desert and the Middle East.
There is another desert tumbleweed with greyish foliage that is also known as Selaginella lepidophylla. However, this plant must be rooted in soil to grow and germinates quickly, so it can become a weed. In actuality, the dinosaur plant is the last of a group of plants previously referred to as Club Moses.
Main Uses of Dinosaur Plants
Due to its small size, the Dinosaur Plant is commonly used as a houseplant. You can store it in a cupboard during the winter seasons and revive it when you wish to display it.
How to Prune Dinosaur Plants
The amazing fact about resurrection plants is that they do not need pruning. However, you can use a clean pair of scissors to snip off the dead tips that do not revive when the plant is fully hydrated. This practice improves its overall appearance.
Best Soil for Dinosaur Plants
Although resurrection plants do not necessarily need soil, you can still plant it in a loose mix after rehydrating it. You can transfer your Dino Plant into the soil, where you will grow it as a healthy potted plant. It is advisable to use a well-draining potting soil mix such as a mixture of:
- One-part potting soil
- One-part sand
- Two parts organic matter
How Much Light Do Dinosaur Plants Need?
Resurrection plants naturally prefer plenty of light so, you should place your Dinosaur Plant in a location that receives bright, indirect light. However, if your plant has adapted to indoor conditions, avoiding areas with the scorching sun is advisable.
How Often to Water Dinosaur Plants
To rehydrate your resurrection plant, you should place them in a container filled with pebbles and water that reaches just above the pebbles. The plant must rest on the pebbles and not be submerged. Use either rainwater, distilled water, or tap water left out overnight since dinosaur plants are sensitive to water quality.
Please note that resurrection plants will rot if placed in water for too long. Therefore, take them out of the water at least one day a week and every so often allow them to dry completely.
Ideal Temperature Conditions for Dinosaur Plants
Despite the fact that resurrection plants are desert plants, they are sensitive to extreme temperature variations and should not be exposed to too hot or cold temperatures. Generally, resurrection plants will grow successfully with temperatures of about 65°F -85°F (18°C-30°C). You should also avoid placing them near vents or windows with drafts.
Humidity Conditions for Dinosaur Plants
Resurrection plants grow well in rooms that are maintained above 50 percent humidity levels. If you are situated in a place with low humidity, you should place your plant in a glass terrarium with a loose-fitting lid or use misters.
Best Fertilizer for Dinosaur Plants
One notable advantage of resurrection plants is that you only need to feed them twice yearly with a water-soluble fertilizer. Once in the early spring and once mid-summer. However, make sure your plant’s soil is moist before applying the fertilizer to prevent root burn.
How to Propagate Dinosaur Plants
Resurrection plants are sporophytes, which means they multiply through spores. Therefore, they are best propagated by division. Division involves taking their cuttings during a period of active growth and placing them on top of loose soil or gravel, then applying water to initiate growth.
Growth Rate of Dinosaur Plants
If you place your stone flower in lukewarm water, it will open in about 4 hours. However, it might not open to its full capacity immediately. Dinosaur plants also grow very slowly.
Ideal Pot Size for Dinosaur Plants
The Selaginella lepidophylla is a small and compact plant of about 15 centimeters, so it doesn’t need a huge pot. It doesn’t form roots either and can be grown on a dish suspended in pebbles and water.
Repotting Tips for Dinosaur Plants
Since the Dino Plants’ roots do not curl or grow in circles, they do not need large spaces. This plant is also commonly grown in pebble trays, so it does not require to be repotted often. Nonetheless, if you want to take precautions, you can repot after 2 to 3 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Dinosaur Plants Edible?
No. It is not advisable to consume dinosaur plants.
Are Dinosaur Plants Toxic to Cats and Dogs?
The Dinosaur plant is part of the spike moss family. Therefore, it may be poisonous to cats and dogs, so it is advisable to keep the plant out of their reach.
Is The Dinosaur Plants Poisonous?
It is difficult to answer this question accurately because the dinosaur plant has only recently started being used as a houseplant. However, it is safe to assume that it might be toxic because it belongs to the spike moss family.
Do Dinosaur Plants Prefer to Grow Indoors or Outside?
The dinosaur plant preferably grows well indoors compared to outdoor conditions, where they will not survive the extreme variations in temperature.
The Dinosaur Plant has long been believed to possess magical powers due to its ability to ‘resurrect.’ Christians even use it during religious celebrations to signify the opening of Mary’s womb. While we can’t prove these claims, this plant will definitely make an excellent addition to your home if you love low-maintenance blooms.