Resurrection Plant Care

Are you intrigued by the idea of a plant that can seemingly come back to life after being completely dried out? If so, you’re in for a treat! In this article, you will discover all the essential tips and tricks for caring for a resurrection plant. From its unique ability to survive desert-like conditions to the simple steps to revive it when it appears lifeless, you’ll learn everything you need to know to nurture this fascinating botanical wonder. So, prepare to witness the extraordinary journey of the resurrection plant and unlock the secrets to keeping it thriving in your own home.

Choosing the Right Resurrection Plant

Understanding Resurrection Plants

Resurrection plants are a unique type of plant that have the ability to survive extreme dehydration and revive when provided with water. These amazing plants belong to the Selaginella and Anastatica families and are known for their ability to “come back to life” after appearing dead.

Resurrection plants have adapted to survive in arid environments by entering a state of dormancy during dry periods. In this dormant state, their leaves curl up and turn brown, giving the appearance of being dead. However, the moment water is provided, these plants quickly rehydrate and return to their vibrant green color.

Popular Types of Resurrection Plants

There are several popular types of resurrection plants that you can choose from. The Selaginella lepidophylla, also known as the Rose of Jericho, is one of the most well-known and easily recognizable varieties. This plant has delicate, fern-like foliage and can survive in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Another popular variety is the Anastatica hierochuntica, commonly known as the Resurrection Fern. This plant is known for its ability to survive long periods of drought and is often found growing in desert regions. It has small, feathery leaves that curl up when dry and unfurl when water is provided.

When choosing a resurrection plant, consider your climate and the growing conditions you can provide. Some varieties may be better suited for indoor environments, while others thrive in outdoor gardens. Research different types of resurrection plants to find the one that best fits your needs.

Consider Environmental Needs

Before bringing a resurrection plant into your home or garden, it’s important to consider its environmental needs. These plants have specific requirements for light, temperature, humidity, and watering. Understanding and providing these conditions will ensure the health and vitality of your resurrection plant.

Providing the Right Growing Conditions

Light Requirements

Resurrection plants generally prefer bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some direct sunlight, but prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can cause their leaves to become scorched. As a general guideline, place your resurrection plant in a location that receives bright, filtered light for a few hours each day.

If you’re growing your plant indoors, place it near a window where it can receive adequate light. East or west-facing windows are ideal, as they provide bright but indirect sunlight. If your plant is not receiving enough light, you may notice its leaves becoming pale or elongated. In this case, consider supplementing natural light with artificial grow lights.

Temperature and Humidity

Resurrection plants thrive in temperatures that range between 60-80°F (15-27°C). Avoid exposing them to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) or above 90°F (32°C), as extreme temperatures can stress the plant.

In terms of humidity, resurrection plants prefer moderate levels. If you live in a dry climate, it’s a good idea to increase humidity around your plant by misting its foliage with water or placing a shallow tray filled with water near the plant. However, be cautious not to make the environment too humid, as excessive moisture can lead to fungal issues.

Watering Schedule

Despite their ability to withstand extreme dehydration, resurrection plants still require regular watering to thrive. It’s important to strike a balance between providing enough water and not overwatering, as excessive moisture can cause root rot and harm the plant.

When watering your resurrection plant, thoroughly saturate the soil, allowing the excess water to drain out. After watering, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. A good way to determine if your plant needs water is to check the moisture level of the soil with your finger. If the top inch of soil feels dry, it’s time to water.

Remember that resurrection plants are drought-tolerant, so it’s better to underwater than to overwater. Over time, you will become familiar with the specific watering needs of your resurrection plant and develop a watering schedule that suits its requirements.

Resurrection Plant Care

Preparing the Planting Medium

Choosing the Right Soil

Resurrection plants thrive in a well-draining soil mix that allows excess water to flow out easily. When choosing soil for your resurrection plant, aim for a mixture that is lightweight and porous. A blend of peat moss, perlite, and sand or pumice is an excellent choice.

Avoid using heavy, water-retentive soils like garden soil or clay-based mixes. These types of soils can hold too much moisture, leading to root rot and other issues. Additionally, ensure that the soil mix is slightly acidic, with a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5.

Adding Organic Matter

Incorporating organic matter into your planting medium can help improve the soil’s fertility, moisture retention, and drainage. Organic matter, such as well-rotted compost or leaf mulch, adds valuable nutrients to the soil and improves its overall structure.

When preparing your planting medium, mix in a small amount of organic matter to provide a nutrient boost for your resurrection plant. However, be cautious not to overdo it, as excessive organic matter can lead to waterlogged soil.

Ensuring Good Drainage

Proper drainage is crucial for the health of your resurrection plant. Without adequate drainage, excess water can become trapped in the soil, leading to root rot and other problems. To ensure good drainage, choose a container with drainage holes and place a layer of gravel or broken pottery shards at the bottom to create a drainage reservoir.

When planting in the container, ensure that the soil is evenly distributed and not packed tightly. This will allow excess water to flow freely, preventing waterlogging. Proper drainage will help maintain a healthy root system and prevent water-related issues.

Planting and Repotting

Selecting a Suitable Container

When selecting a container for your resurrection plant, choose one that is slightly larger than the current root system. Allow room for the plant to grow without being too cramped. The container should have drainage holes to ensure proper water flow.

If you’re planting multiple resurrection plants in the same container, consider the growth habits of each plant and give them enough space to thrive. Resurrection plants have shallow root systems, so a wider, shallow container is often more suitable than a deep one.

Planting the Resurrection Plant

Before planting your resurrection plant, thoroughly wet the planting medium. This ensures that the roots can establish quicker and minimizes the risk of air pockets around the roots.

Create a small hole in the soil and carefully place the roots of the plant into it. Gently firm the soil around the roots, ensuring that the plant is upright and stable. Avoid burying the crown of the plant, as this can lead to crown rot.

Once planted, water the newly potted resurrection plant thoroughly, allowing the excess water to drain out. Place the plant in its designated location and monitor its condition. New growth should start to emerge within a few weeks, indicating successful establishment.

Repotting when Necessary

Over time, your resurrection plant may outgrow its container and require repotting. Signs that your plant needs repotting include roots growing out of the drainage holes, stunted growth, or the plant becoming top-heavy.

When repotting, follow the same steps as planting in a new container. Gently remove the plant from its current container, loosen the root ball, and place it into a larger container with fresh soil. Ensure that the new container has excellent drainage to prevent waterlogging.

Repotting every two to three years, or when necessary, will help your resurrection plant continue to thrive and grow to its full potential.

Resurrection Plant Care

Fertilizing the Resurrection Plant

Understanding Nutritional Needs

Resurrection plants have modest nutritional needs and do not require frequent fertilization. However, providing them with a balanced fertilizer can give them a nutrient boost and promote healthy growth.

These plants benefit from a fertilizer with a low nitrogen content, such as a balanced 10-10-10 or 14-14-14 fertilizer. Nitrogen stimulates leaf growth, but excessive nitrogen can cause the plant to grow too rapidly and become weak.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer

When choosing a fertilizer for your resurrection plant, opt for a slow-release or organic fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizers provide a steady supply of nutrients over an extended period, reducing the risk of overfertilizing. Organic fertilizers, such as compost tea or fish emulsion, are natural and gentle on the plant.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific fertilizer you choose, and avoid applying more than the recommended amount. Overfertilization can harm your resurrection plant and lead to burned foliage or nutrient imbalances.

Applying Fertilizer Correctly

To apply fertilizer to your resurrection plant, dilute it according to the package instructions and water the plant with the solution. Make sure to moisten the soil thoroughly but avoid excessive runoff.

Apply fertilizer during the growing season, which is typically spring and summer, when the plant is actively producing new growth. Avoid fertilizing during the dormant period, as the plant isn’t actively growing and won’t benefit from additional nutrients.

Monitor your resurrection plant’s response to fertilization and adjust the frequency and strength of applications accordingly. If the plant shows signs of nutrient deficiency or excess, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth, reevaluate your fertilization practices.

Managing Pests and Diseases

Identifying Common Pests

While resurrection plants are relatively resistant to pests, they can still fall victim to infestations. Some common pests that may affect these plants include spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. These pests can cause leaf damage, honeydew secretion, and general decline of the plant if left untreated.

To identify a pest infestation on your resurrection plant, look for signs such as discolored leaves, webbing, sticky residue, or visible insects. Regularly inspect your plant, especially the undersides of leaves and leaf axils, to catch any early signs of pests.

Natural Pest Control Methods

When dealing with pest infestations, it’s always best to start with natural control methods before resorting to chemical pesticides. Resurrection plants respond well to gentle pest control methods that minimize harm to the plant and the environment.

Start by manually removing pests with a soft brush or cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol. This can help eliminate small clusters of pests and reduce their overall population. For persistent infestations, consider using natural insecticidal soaps or neem oil sprays, which work by suffocating and repelling pests.

Recognizing and Treating Diseases

Resurrection plants are generally disease-resistant, but they can occasionally be affected by fungal or bacterial diseases. If you notice signs of disease, such as wilting, rotting, or discoloration, it’s important to identify the issue early and take appropriate action.

Common diseases that may affect resurrection plants include root rot, powdery mildew, and leaf spot. To treat fungal diseases, remove any affected parts of the plant and ensure good ventilation around the plant to minimize moisture buildup. Avoid overhead watering, as this can promote the spread of fungal spores.

For bacterial diseases, there are limited treatment options. Isolate the affected plant to prevent the spread of bacteria to other plants, and consider removing severely infected plants to protect the overall health of your garden.

Pruning and Propagation

Pruning for Health and Aesthetics

Pruning your resurrection plant is not a necessity but can be beneficial for maintaining its health and aesthetics. Regular pruning helps remove dead or diseased foliage, improves air circulation, and encourages new growth.

When pruning, use clean and sharp pruning shears or scissors to avoid causing damage to the plant. Remove any dead or yellowing leaves, as well as any parts affected by pest or disease infestations. Aim to maintain a compact and balanced shape, but avoid over-pruning to the point where the plant looks sparse.

Methods of Propagation

If you wish to propagate your resurrection plant, there are a few methods you can try. The most common methods include division, stem cuttings, and spore propagation.

Division involves separating a mature plant into smaller sections, each with its own root system. This is typically done during the plant’s active growing season. Carefully lift the plant from its container and gently separate the sections, ensuring that each section has roots and healthy foliage. Plant the divisions in separate pots and provide appropriate care.

Stem cuttings involve taking a section of stem with foliage and rooting it to create a new plant. Use a clean, sharp knife or scissors to cut a healthy stem with several leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone, then plant it in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil consistently moist until roots develop.

Spore propagation is less common but can be done for certain resurrection plant species. Collect spores from mature plants, then sprinkle them onto a moist growing medium. Place a clear cover over the tray to maintain humidity levels and mist regularly. Once the spores have germinated and developed into small plants, transplant them into individual pots.

Propagating Resurrection Plants

Propagation can be a fun and rewarding way to expand your collection of resurrection plants or share them with others. Experiment with different propagation methods to find the one that works best for you and your plants.

Winter Care

Preparing for Winter

Winter can be a challenging time for resurrection plants, as they are accustomed to warm and dry conditions. To prepare your plant for winter, make sure to bring it indoors if it’s kept outside and if your region experiences freezing temperatures.

Before bringing your plant indoors, inspect it for any pests or diseases and address those issues accordingly. Clean the foliage by gently wiping it with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris. This will help prevent pests and diseases from spreading to your other indoor plants.

Protecting from Frost

During winter, it’s important to protect your resurrection plant from frost, as exposure to freezing temperatures can be detrimental to its health. Place the plant in a location away from drafty windows and cold drafts, such as near a heating vent. Consider using a plant cover or frost cloth to provide additional protection during exceptionally cold nights.

Monitoring the temperature in the room where your plant is located is essential. Keep the temperature above 50°F (10°C) to prevent stress and damage to the plant. If necessary, use heating pads or similar devices to provide extra warmth during extremely cold periods.

Reducing Water Requirements

During winter, resurrection plants go through a period of reduced growth and may enter a state of dormancy. As a result, their water requirements decrease. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly and avoid overwatering during this period.

Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings, as this will prevent water from sitting in the pot for extended periods. Be mindful of lower humidity levels indoors during winter, especially if you live in a dry climate. Consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near the plant to maintain adequate moisture levels.

Reviving a Dormant Resurrection Plant

Signs of Dormancy

Resurrection plants naturally go through periods of dormancy, during which their foliage turns brown and they appear lifeless. This is a normal part of their growth cycle, and it’s important not to mistake this dormancy for plant death.

Signs of dormancy include curled and dried-up leaves, lack of new growth, and a general lack of responsiveness to watering. During this phase, the plant conserves its energy and waits for favorable conditions to revive.

Providing Dormancy Conditions

To support your resurrection plant during its dormant period, replicate its natural conditions as much as possible. Reduce watering but do not completely stop, as the plant still requires some moisture to survive. Aim to keep the soil slightly moist, but not saturated.

Place the dormant plant in a cool and dark location, away from direct sunlight and excessive heat. This will help the plant conserve energy and maintain its dormant state until conditions improve.

Reviving the Plant

When the time comes to revive your dormant resurrection plant, gradually introduce it to brighter light and slightly warmer temperatures. Start by moving the plant to a location that receives indirect sunlight for a few hours each day. Increase the exposure to sunlight over the course of a few weeks to avoid shock.

Resume regular watering, but gradually increase the amount of water you provide. Thoroughly saturate the soil, allowing the excess water to drain out. Monitor the plant’s response to these changes and adjust care accordingly.

Reviving a dormant resurrection plant requires patience and careful observation. With time and proper care, your plant will begin to rehydrate and show signs of new growth.

Common Mistakes in Resurrection Plant Care


One of the most common mistakes in resurrection plant care is overwatering. While these plants require regular watering, they can suffer if given too much moisture. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other water-related issues.

To avoid overwatering, allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Check the moisture level of the soil with your finger before watering. If the top inch of soil feels dry, it’s time to water. Remember, it’s better to underwater than to overwater your resurrection plant.

Improper Light Conditions

Providing the correct amount of light is crucial for the health and growth of your resurrection plant. While they prefer bright, indirect light, prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can be harmful. It can cause leaf scorching and damage the plant.

Ensure that your resurrection plant is placed in a location that receives bright, filtered light for a few hours each day. If indoors, place it near an east or west-facing window. If the plant is not receiving enough light, supplement natural light with artificial grow lights to ensure proper growth and development.

Neglecting Pest Control

Neglecting pest control is another common mistake in resurrection plant care. While these plants are generally resistant to pests, they can still be affected by infestations. Ignoring pest issues can lead to damage, reduced growth, and overall decline of the plant.

Regularly inspect your resurrection plant for signs of pests, such as yellowing leaves, webbing, or visible insects. Implement natural pest control methods, such as manual removal or organic insecticidal soaps, to address infestations early on. Prompt action can prevent pests from spreading and causing further harm to your plant.

By avoiding these common mistakes and providing your resurrection plant with the care it needs, you can enjoy the beauty and resilience of these remarkable plants. Remember to research the specific needs of your chosen variety, listen to your plant’s cues, and adjust your care accordingly. With proper attention and a little bit of patience, your resurrection plant will thrive and bring you joy for years to come.