How to Propagate a Dinosaur Plant

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A dinosaur plant is the common name for several species of plants, usually Selaginella lepidophylla. This member of the spikemoss family is native to the Chihuahuan Desert in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. The dinosaur plant is able survive without water for prolonged periods by curling its leaves into a tight ball. Gardeners frequently keep the dinosaur plant in the house and propagate it from cuttings.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden trowel
  • Planter
  • Loam
  • Sand
  • Organic compost
  • Sharp knife

Fill a planter with equal parts loam, sand and organic compost. This mixture provides the rich, loose soil that dinosaur plants prefer.

Divide a dinosaur plant at any time during the year. Cut at least 2 inches from the tip of a growing shoot with a clean, sharp knife. Place the open end of the dinosaur plant cutting into the soil so that half of the cutting's length is below the soil. Firm the soil around the cutting to hold it in place.

Add sufficient water to make the soil moist but not wet. Add water each day as needed to keep the soil moist. A dinosaur plant cutting grows roots quickly under these conditions.

Place the planter in a place with medium shade, such as an eastern window. The dinosaur plant grows best at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit and becomes dormant at temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant cannot tolerate temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water a mature dinosaur plant with 1 inch of water only when the soil is completely dry. This plant is extremely drought hardy and can live for long periods without water.

Move a dinosaur plant to a larger pot before it becomes pot-bound. This plant typically requires repotting every three years.

References

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