It is a genus that includes many species of herbaceous plants belonging to the family of ferns, originating from Asia, Africa, Australia and the American continent. They have thin fleshy stems, of variable dimensions, but usually contained, completely covered by leaflets in the shape of scales, waxy and thick. S. kraussiana is a climber, of very small dimensions, bright green, similar to a cushion of moss; S.
martensii is 20-30 cm tall, the thick stems are very ramified, fan-shaped, fleshy, green or verge-yellowish; S. lepidophylla is native to desert places, similar to the previous one, it has the particularity to go to sleep in lack of water, becoming almost dry, as soon as it comes into contact with fresh water it takes on a bright green colour and starts to vegetate again; S. uncinata has blue-green small leaves. Much used in hanging containers or in large pots.
To best grow the the Selaginella plant in a bright position, but not exposed to direct sunlight, these plants should be grown at temperatures not below 5 ° C, then in winter should 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 air currents which can cause serious damage in a short time.
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The plants of Selaginella martensii need regular and abundant watering, so that the soil is constantly moist, but not in the presence of stagnant water, throughout the year, from March to October is good to provide fertilizer for green plants, mixed with water of watering.
In the hottest period it is also good to provide for frequent nebulisations of water on the leaves to provide the correct humidity in the environment, a determining factor in keeping this type of plant healthy. This water should be used at room temperature and not cold, to prevent the Selaginella martensii from suffering damage.
To plant the plants of Selaginella martensii use a soft compound, well drained and rich in organic material; prepare an ideal compound 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, non-calcareous soil.
Throughout the year it is possible to divide the heads, repotting individually the portions produced; in spring you can take cuttings, removing the basal shoots, the cuttings of Selaginella martensii root very easily, even in the internodes. The cuttings shall be placed in a mixture of peat and sand and placed in a sheltered place at a temperature of about 22 °C.
Selaginella martensii: Parasites and diseases
Plants suffer in particular from water imbalances, both those caused by soil soaked in stagnant water and those caused by drought. If you notice leaves withered or crumpled, this is a symptom that the plant has had little water and it is necessary to implement watering, always taking care not to exaggerate to avoid the formation of waterlogging.