Has anyone ever tried to grow a Resurrection Plant?

Oklahoma_Tim(z7a OK)September 25, 2008

Over the years I've seen many ads for "Resurrection Plants," and I've always thought the claims sounded too good to be true. Yesterday, my aunt gave me one that she'd had, dry, for "a few years." It was about the size and shape of a medium chicken egg, and was a moderately dark brown color. Since the ads I've recently seen claim the plant can be left dry for 50 years with no problem, I went ahead and placed it in a shallow bowl of water. Within minutes it started to absorb water and expand, and after two hours it was fully wet and laying mostly flat. When it stopped expanding, it was a little over 5 inches wide. However, it was also still brown. Now, the ads say that it can go "from a dry, lifeless ball to a lush green fern in 3 hours," but 22 hours later mine is still brown.

A quick search of GardenWeb lead to a post from 2004 which said that "the ones you find for sale are very likely to already be dead," and I think that mine's dead, too. Is there any chance that it will "green up" and come back to life, or should I just take it out of the water and let it dry back out, to keep as a "novelty"?

I found this picture through a Google search, and it looks a lot like mine did when dry, only larger...

Here is a link that might be useful: Interesting article on Resurrection Plant

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nanw_4wi(4/SW WI)

I tried this one before.
It is very intriguing, watching it 'sort of' come back to life....but mine stayed quite brown in some areas, too.

I have seen photos of other's plants, however, that were beautiful completely green plants!

I thought maybe it was our water, so I tried it in distilled water....still more brown than I hoped for.

So, I guess all I can say is that my experience with it was similar to yours.

Maybe it does depend on it's age or something...I could never figure it out!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 12:08PM
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Oklahoma_Tim(z7a OK)

Yes, I guess that my plant was too old to be "resurrected!" I went ahead and took it out of the water last night, since it hadn't shown any signs of life after 32 hours. By this afternoon it was mostly dry, but only partially curled back up. I doubt that it will curl back up into a ball, but it's still an interesting little conversation piece.

Has anyone else tried to grow one of these things? Is it better to use distilled water, or is tap water okay? I'm thinking about trying to buy some new ones, since I recently saw an ad for "buy one get one free" for $10, plus $5 shipping--that's two plants for $15. Is it worth the money?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 5:23PM
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It sounds like the brown tissues is sort of dead and won't green-up, but will start putting out new green growth.

I like lycopodiophytes (Is that the correct term?). I'd like to set up a little vivarium with quillworts and spikemosses and clubmosses and the like in it. Except I can't find anyone selling clubmosses, I don't know if they grow around here and if they do, I don't know if they'd be a protected species or one that could be transplanted without killing it as some are more sensitive than others.

Selaginella's sold everywhere, though.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 12:26AM
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Oklahoma_Tim(z7a OK)

I'm pretty sure that my resurrection plant is dead, since it showed no signs of life after being in water for 32 hours. I did think about leaving it in there, though, to see if it wound start putting out new growth, but I didn't want it to start rotting. (BTW, it actually did curl back up into a ball, and I think I'd like to keep it that way.)

I'm still trying to decide whether or not to buy a new one, so I was hoping somebody on this forum had some experience with this type of Selaginella. You know, what kind of soil to use, or if they grow better in water, and if the ones sold through the mail are even likely to be alive or not.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 5:38PM
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This is interesting. Apparently, resurrection plants can also be something called a Rose of Jericho, which is an angiosperm. I guess the selaginella in your information link can also be called that, but that's obviously not an angioserm. Anyway, botanical name is Anastatica hierochuntica, and that's what I think YOU have.


According to that, these don't actually come back to life, but just unfurl and disperse their seeds.

The selaginellas can apparently be dessicated and brought back to a growing state, as can resurrection ferns.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 12:17AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

When I first saw the title I thought you were talking about resurrection fern which grows as an epiphyte at least in this part of florida. It culrs up and goes dormant until the rains return. I keep some in my shadehouse where it is always hydrated and rather surpised that the dormant state is not required. Grows all year long.
You are talking about a type of selaginella that is native to southern Texas??
I grow lots of tropical selags but none of this type.
This is among the worlds oldest type of plants and have adapted to all sorts of growing conditions.
My understanding is that the plants unfurls to diperse seed. Read an interesting article about plants in the Atacama desert that frequently go 50 years between cycles due to lack of rain. gary

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 6:49AM
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Oklahoma_Tim(z7a OK)

Yes, I think I've read somewhere that the plant I'm looking for, Selaginella lepidophylla, is native to the southernmost portions of the U.S. and into Mexico. I'm not sure if I was clear enough about exactly what I was looking for in my initial posting, so I've found a link to exactly the type of ad that I've been seeing lately.

Seriously, has anybody out there ever gotten one of these things to grow?????

Here is a link that might be useful: Ad for Resurrection Plant from British company

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 6:01PM
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Get a picture of yours when unfurled and wet, if possible. I know it was still dead, but it might be useful for figuring out what, specifically, you actually got as resurrection plant can refer to several things.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 6:35PM
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Oklahoma_Tim(z7a OK)

All right, amccour, perhaps I still maven't made myself totally clear: I'm not looking for a plant i.d. The dead plant that I was given is a dead ringer (pun intended) for the plants in the pictures labelled "Sinningia lepidophylla" that I find through Google Image searches. Also, I couldn't post a picture of my plant even if I wanted to, since I don't have a digital camera.

I really don't mean to seem rude here, but I'm just trying to get my point across.

What I am looking for is advice on how to grow these elusive houseplants. . . .

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 5:56PM
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I think your best bet is to by a plant in a non-dried-up state and don't let it go into that state. Even if they can survive like that for awhile, it'd be stressful. Also, I'm guessing most of the suppliers selling dried out one are more in the novelty business and don't care if the plants are alive.

I haven't grown Selaginella personally, but from my understanding, their requirements are fairly similar to ferns -- higher humidity, water when dry (although spikemosses might need to be kept on the wetter side), and I'm guessing filtered light.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 8:40PM
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I figured out what happens. 1st of all the Anastatica hierochuntica is not the fern type plant from america, it's the one from the middle east which doesn't turn green really, but it has more religious history.

The american fern type one pictured above: in order to keep it from going brown you only keep it in water for a maximum of three days, then let it dry out for at least a week. The brown is caused by the water for some reason...mold or something... they're still "alive" after they're brown, but they don't smell right and just have a kinda dull vibration. I delt with this problem for years and finally figured it out.

For the reason I came here, to find out how to grow Anastatica hierochuntica from a seed, I didn't really find the answer, so I'm going to mix some potting soil with some sand and see what happens...

to get Anastatica hierochuntica look up "the real rose of jericho" the american fern type version though has its own merrits. I love both for different metaphysical reasons. It seems the actual rose of jericho must be brought to life much more seldomly... on christmas eve for example.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2008 at 3:41AM
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I am very interested in seing the results of the post above by "sky". I have one of these plants that is quite green, and we love it. So much so that we would like to grow another one.

Please do let us know if you are able to "grow" a new one of these plants.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 11:13AM
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meg_awat(Indoor & Outdoor 10-11)

That is a unique one. Thanks for a great thread
Mr. MegA

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 12:37PM
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I have one that had been dried up and in a plastic bag since I was a kid, and I'm now 50! I finally decided see if it was alive, or else it was time to throw it out, lol!

I put it in a dish of water, but after several hours it had expanded but was still brown. Not giving up hope, I left it overnight, and this morning it's almost all green! I'm so happy that it was still alive after all these years!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 1:15PM
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I have messed around with these. trying out all kinds of ways (lots of failures). My success came with my latest plant experiment. In a shallow bowl (mine is 3"),I layed in 1" of pebbles, then rwo inches of desert sand. I use water with a ph of 7.5, it is green and as of today it is 8"wide. This is about an 1.5" bigger than when I bought it.
Hope this is useful to you all
Lee Roberts

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 12:20AM
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YES i have played with them a bit and done time lapsed photos and enjoy them a lot! There are different types of them some are greener than others.The one i found to be the coolest and greenest was at jo-ans fabrics $9.99 ... i think it it a young plant with lava rocks and a bole bright green with city water no dirt nothing. i found the more you try to take care of them ( nice dirt clean water ect ) the worse they do i think they dont have the name of it but heres a link http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/productdetail.jsp?pageName=search&flag=true&PRODID=xprd1132290 there on sale rt now to

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 2:58PM
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Reserrection fern typically does not do well once you remove it from the place where it was growing. You can try using yogurt to keep it alaive. Sounds strange but that is how u propagate many types of mosses. Even though it is a fern it grows more like a moss

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 1:51AM
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I have this "resurrection fern" (pleopeltis polypodiodes). A gift from a close friend and master of propagating all plant life and otherwise. If you are familiar: what do you think about mine having a leaf-mold? They are supposed to be antifungal and antibacterial to gram -/+ bacterias...?! Granted; it lived in a glass of pure water for weeks too long before I retuned to discover this occurence and promptly dehydrated it back to dormancy. Any advice? I'm waking it now to check the status but cannot yet tell if there's development or change. Is this natural, curable, or something more?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:39AM
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I have read that these plants and I found that there is a major point of confusion: at least for me. There are two kinds of these plants. Anastatica is native to the Middle East and it is disputed whether or not it comes back to life or just releases the seeds, according to Wikipedia. Selaginella lepidophylla is the plant that is commonly sold as a novelty plant. It is native to deserts on the U.S.A.--Mexico border.

When growing these plants it is recommended that you fill a shallow dish with gravel and then put a little bit of water in it. The Wikipedia page for Anastaticas states that a dead plant will still uncurl due to expanding cells. I recently received some Selaginella lepidophylla and they all seem green on the inside but brown on the out side.

I know this will be to late, but personally I would place the plant in the tray of wet gravel just to see if it might put out new growth. What is the worse that happens?

Have fun with your plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Selaginella lepidophylla

    Bookmark   December 25, 2014 at 6:47PM
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hi all, I have been reading this post with much interest...I have one of these don't know where I got it but its called a 'dinasur plant' and I just put it in water, I don't know how old it is or where I got it, I remember my Mom having these, but I can't remember if they grew or what happened to them...lol...but my question to you all is, is this the little fern plant that is arround in stores now and they are called a snow fern, I always see them just before the holidays and they look a lot like these, the pictures in the links you all put on here, only they are planted and green with white tips, they are labled snow fern.....any ideas????

    Bookmark   December 26, 2014 at 12:14PM
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This I got at a Mexican market in the herbal section. It said Doradilla and fem Scale on the label.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2014 at 6:20PM
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I too just recently got aÃÂ Selaginella lepidophylla
It's been in water and it has uncurled and is actually very green on the inside
I can't find much info on them but do you plant them? Or do you just keep them in water? Right now mine is in a pot filled with pebbles and water with just the very bottom of the plant actually in the water
Do I just keep it like this? Or I'm I suppose to plant it in some sort of media?
Very confused on it
Also what light does it need?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 6:39PM
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Leaving it in water would just make it rot. I only wake mine up and then let it curl back up again. If you planted it might be happy but they're a kind of tumbleweed so it could roll away if it wasn't tied down somehow. Planting it indoors would kind of make it hard to take out of the water.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 7:32PM
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I guess that makes sense.... I'll try to plant it In most soil and see how it does. It was only 99 cents and free shipping so always could get like 5 more to experiment with

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 5:40PM
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It might work. I'm not really an expert on growing them. When I bought it I thought it was for cooking! Turns out you can make some kind of tea out of them but it's for some medical purpose like gall-stones or something.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 6:01PM
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After learning of this plant from this post I went online and purchased two of them for $.99 each including shipping. They should be arriving sometime this week. I'm excited for them to arrive but not trying to get my hopes up in case I get a pair of duds. This plant is so neat!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 7:41PM
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Haha! Everytime I try to find information on them I always get to weird magic and spell sites and whatever.... Supposedly it's used to conjur spirits in Voodoo! ... Weird. There's lots of religiousness around it
Good luck with yours Savannaicus!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2015 at 11:34PM
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