It is a genus that includes many species of herbaceous plants belonging to the fern family, originating in Asia, Africa, Australia and the American continent. They have thin fleshy stems, of variable dimensions, but generally contained, completely covered by leaflets in the shape of scales, waxy and thick. S. kraussiana is a climber, very small, bright green, similar to a cushion of moss; S. martensii is 20-30 cm high, the thick stems are very branched, fan-shaped, fleshy, green or verge-yellowish in color; S. lepidophylla is native to desert places, similar to the previous one, it has the particularity of going to dormancy in lack of water, becoming almost dry, as soon as it comes into contact with fresh water it takes on a bright green color and begins to vegetate again; S. uncinata has blue-green leaflets. Very used in hanging containers or in large vases.
To best cultivate the Selaginella place the plant in a luminous position, but not exposed to the direct rays of the sun; these plants should be grown at temperatures no lower than 5 ° C, so in winter they should be kept at home, or in a temperate greenhouse.
The ideal temperature for growing this type of plant is around 18 ° C. This plant does not like temperature fluctuations and air currents that can cause serious damage in a short time.
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 it is good to supply fertilizer for green plants, mixed with the water used for watering.
In the hottest period it is also good to provide frequent water sprays on the leaves to provide the correct humidity in the environment, which is a determining factor in keeping this type of plant healthy. This water must be used at room temperature and not cold, to prevent the Selaginella martensii from being damaged.
To plant the Selaginella martensii plants use a soft, well-drained and rich in organic material; prepare an ideal compote by mixing peat, leaf mold, universal soil and a small part of sand and bits of bark.
It is good to repot the plant every year, using a rich and not calcareous soil.
Throughout the year it is possible to divide the clumps, repotting the produced portions individually; in spring you can take cuttings, 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 of around 22 ° C.
Selaginella martensii: Pests and diseases
The plants suffer in particular from water imbalances, both for those caused by the soil soaked in stagnant water, and for those caused by drought. If you notice shriveled 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.