The Soleirolia soleirolii is a lively evergreen plant native to the Mediterranean area. It has a prostrate or creeping habit and rapid growth; the stems are thin and tender, and carry very small leaves. In a short time it forms dense carpets a few inches high. In summer, it produces small round pinkish-white flowers of little ornamental value. Generally, the leaves are dark green, although there are many varieties with light leaves, S. Aurea, or silvery, S. argentea.
This plant, also known as Helxine, is very suitable as a wallpaper variety or as an indoor plant, to be used in hanging containers.
This small plant prefers the positions not very bright, if grown in the garden prefers the shade or the half-shade. Temperatures below -10°C cause serious damage to the leaves, but the aerial part of the plant will grow rapidly the following spring. The helxine they can be grown indifferently in the house or in the garden. In the house it is good to keep it away from heat sources, to avoid that it receives too much dry air.
The minimum temperature they can withstand is around 4 °C.
During the hottest days these plants should not be exposed to the sun.
- i have a small lawn with the helxine that is almost never trampled on except occasionally to reach a couple of aioule. all right until July then the dry grass in the form of a circle with the helxine is almost never trampled on….
The soil used to cultivate Soleirolia soleirolii must be kept constantly moist, but not too soaked. At home, water all year round, avoiding leaving the soil to dry up too much; in the garden, water abundantly from March to October, watering should be thinned during the cold months, if the plant loses its aerial part, watering should be suspended until spring. It is advisable to avoid wetting the delicate leaves, which are easily damaged.
Avoid watering specimens of Soleirolia soleirolii placed outdoors when the temperatures are cold, to avoid problems with the roots.
During the growing season, provide fertiliser for green plants every 10-15 days.
Grow the helxine in a soil rich in organic matter, well drained, moist and with a slightly acid pH. Plants grown in containers should be repotted at least every two years, as they tend to grow very much, the operation should be done in the spring, in the garden place them in a place where they can find adequate space to expand, as these plants, if they find a suitable habitat, can also take on an invasive character.
In spring it is possible to divide the heads; from portions of even a few square centimetres, with well-developed roots, new plants can be quickly obtained. The portions are to be placed, with great delicacy, in single containers, filled with rich and light soil.
However, they are plants that reproduce with great ease, so it is not difficult to obtain new specimens.
Soleirolia, Helxine – Soleirolia soleirolii: Pests and diseases
The main cause of death of these plants is usually the drought; however, it may happen that they are affected by the red spiders or that the development of the roots is compromised by the radical rottenness, caused by an excess of watering, or, even by a too compact and little draining soil. However, they are rather resistant plants and are not easily attacked by parasites and diseases.