Baby’s Tears – Houseplant or Outdoors – You’ll Love It!
Many of you may or may not be familiar with a tiny plant called Baby’s Tears. It seems as if this plant is too old-fashioned or it’s “Grandma’s plant” or something because it seems really hard to find. Granted, maybe it sells out quickly so none is available, but the blank stares I get when I ask for it seems to mean that it is a relatively unknown or forgotten plant.
But I have finally located some Baby’s Tears at a garden center near me. I will put up a video which may become a series, my Come Plant Shopping With Me videos. Sometimes I get so inspired when I go Plant Shopping…not to mention going overboard. I need to expand my growing area!
In this Pin Image above, I took a close-up view of the tiny flowers that are blooming on the Baby’s Tears presently. They are incredibly tiny but I can see the pale pinkish tone of them. What you see here is as big as they get, but it is still interesting to see. I found one remaining pot of the Baby’s Tears at Stockslager’s and they had one extra that was, for the most part, dead or dying. She told me I could have it free if I would like, so I took it home as a rescue plant. Couldn’t help myself since I am a shopper of the “Death Row” area of Lowe’s and Home Depot. ( Someone used that phrase in the comments on a video, but I can’t find it again to give them credit. So funny!)
Stats for Baby’s Tears
- Houseplant or Zone 9-11 outdoors
- Herbaceous perennial meaning it dies down in cold weather and regrows again in its zone
- Soleirolia soleirolii or Helxine soleirolii or Corsican carpet plant, Corsican curse
- Insignificant blooms May to June ( mine didn’t read the instructions)
- Mats to 1/2 to 1 inch tall, lesser light causes it to grows 4-6 inches in looser form
- Bright light, but not sun. Outdoors mine grew in morning sun up til noon overhead sun.
- Quickly spread into mats
- Roots easily since each branch touching soil sends out roots
- For UNCOVERED terrariums, it will mold in enclosed one.
Full disclosure (My Bad)
When I brought my second free pot of Baby Tear’s home, I planted both right away. I planted the good one first, then the bad one so that I wouldn’t cross-contaminate the one that was healthy. It appeared to me that the plant was a victim of too cold of temperature or dried up for some reason. So I did plant it in a terrarium. However, to get it fully hydrated, I covered both of these terrariums for the first night.
Unfortunately, I uncovered the “good” one next morning, but forgot about the other one. In my defense, one was not next to the other because I didn’t want to let anything get on the newer plants. To make a long story short, by the third day I remembered “Oh, get the cover off that “bad” Baby’s Tears.
Uh-Oh. It was covered in white web-like mold strands. I grabbed my cinnamon bottle to shake it all over the plant. Well, I hadn’t used the flip top. I unscrewed the top and shook. Need I say that the poor plant got a HUGE dose of cinnamon.
We will see what happens with this one, shall we? I hope it survives. Maybe it could have been OK with the right dose of cinnamon, but will succumb to Cinnamon Poisoning because of my “dosage.” Next time, Kim, stay calm!
But my other “good” pot as transplanted into its own terrarium (large open top) is doing fine and is spreading. See how nice it looks? It is the one blooming and I can see growth just in the few weeks I have had it. I also put some stones and wood that I treated myself. But I will tell you more about that in another post and video. It appears to have worked. My tiny pieced of wood still have lichens though. Hopefully that is a good thing.
I grow these outdoors in my hypertufa pots too. This picture below is one I could locate with the Baby’s Tears. Those are mini-hostas growing with a blanket of Baby’s Tears around them. These get morning sun and full sun until about noon and it passes over and then is shaded by the house through the rest of the afternoon. I felt that it grew wonderfully. My little hostas bloom each year. I left the Baby’s Tears outside and they died here in the Ohio winter. I wish I had dug them all up.
So if you even see Baby’s Tears for sale, snag them right away or you may never see them again. It is so delicate that one can almost see the fluids running through the stems in these close up photos. That image at the top is from a terrarium that I had sea shells inside. Do seashells get holes in them like that? Why? Just curious.
I have a baby tears that I keep at my office and its been struggling. I have been making sure that the soil is moist and I spray mist on it daily to make sure the leaves don’t dry up. Even after doing that, the leaves still seem to be very dried up and shriveled. I live in Minnesota so its very cold and our office is very dry. Right now I have the plant in a small mason jar. Any tips on what I could do to help the leaves come back to life?
If you mean it is planted in a small jar (down inside), can you put a lid on it for a day or two to see if that would perk it up? Sometimes mine need that at first, but if it is too wet, they will mold. If you can put a lid on, then watch it for a day to see if the sides of the jar get condensation showing. If any condensation at all, needs no water. Hope that helps some.
Can you put plastic wrap over the top to help keep it moist my plants is in a pot I brought it in for the winter I prob waited to long and now it’s in shock from the dry heat in the house?
Yes, I have done that many times when I don’t have a lid. Just check often and don’t let it get too “soggy” since it could rot. If it is getting really misty, fold back a small opening until it is just right. Hope you save them all!
Hi Alex, I also had a small pot of Baby Tears that the leaves dried up and crumbled off the plant. My best guess is that I kept it too wet for a prolonged period of time. My original plant eventually died completely but I did manage to propagate it first. I took cuttings of the healthiest looking stems, even if they lost their leaves, and planted them in small shallow containers of seed starting mix. I stuck the cuttings in the soil vertically with at least 2-3 nodes below soil. Many of my cuttings were fairly short, with only 1/4″ stem lengths above the soil. The container had lots of drainage holes which also helped to bottom water the cuttings (place the container in shallow water for about 20 minutes). I kept the container of cuttings underneath a clear plastic disposable cup to create a miniature greenhouse. If condensation was visible inside the cup, I definitely did not water. When there was no condensation, I would touch the soil surface as well as pick up the container to feel the weight to determine if I should bottom water or not. I only watered when the soil surface was no longer moist. If, after touching the soil surface, there was moisture on my fingertip, I did not water.
My cuttings rooted quickly, new leaves sprouted and I now have a beautiful new plant. To keep it healthy, I keep it slightly damp but only water when the soil surface has dried out enough to not transfer moisture to my fingertip. I also keep this new plant in a relatively shallow pot. My original plant was in a fairly deep container that I think contributed to its death.
Hopefully your plant recovered by now but if it didn’t, hopefully my experience will shed some insights as to what may have happened.
That is awesome, Denise. Thanks for all that good advice.