The Miracle Plant
I was a child when I first came across this incredible plant in my grandparents’ house. They had left their plants unattended for a couple of months.
All the plants had withered without water, and there was nothing we could do to save them except for this one plant, which my grandmother insisted could come alive.
She called it the resurrection plant and kept it in water overnight. Imagine my surprise the next morning when I saw it looking green and fresh!
If you also want to know what is the resurrection plant then read on. It is a species of desert plants and can revive from long dry spells lasting months and even years.
Its stems curl into a tight ball when there is a lack of moisture. Water absorption leads to the unfolding of the stem. It is also known by other names such as ‘Rose of Jericho’ & ‘Siempre Viva,” which means ‘everlasting.’
What Is the Resurrection Plant?
1. Why are they Fascinating?
There are many plants well known for their beauty and also for their fragrant, colorful blooms. However, only a few popular plants are because of their symbolic meanings apart from coming back to life miraculously. The resurrection plant is unique and has many uses.
- Used in many rituals and traditional practices
- Symbolizes protection, power, happiness, peace, and abundance
- Brings in good luck
Apart from this, research has shown that it has various uses in making medicines and has potent cancer-fighting properties. Herbal tea is also made with this plant.
2. Is It Easy to Grow?
It is easy to care for, and even the most forgetful gardeners will not kill it. Just a short soak in water, and it is back to life. There are some facts that you should know before you start.
Several plants can be called the resurrection plant, but mainly two different plants known as the resurrection plants. These two are also known as ‘Rose of Jericho’.
- Anastatica hierochuntica, also known as Jericho’s ‘true’ rose, is less common and considered less attractive. You can get white flowers when it is fully hydrated, but it requires soil to revive. It is harder to care for.
- Selaginella lepidophylla, also known as Jericho’s ‘false’ rose, is easier to care for because it does not need soil to grow. It is a type of spike moss and found in the deserts of Mexico & Arizona. It is much more common to find it.
3. Growing the Resurrection Plant
As a gardening beginner, you will not get an easier plant to work with. You have to do a few things to make sure that the plant thrives. Watch this video for more information.
Things You Need
- Wide shallow dish with no drainage holes
- Wide dish with drainage holes
- Pebbles/ gravel to spread at the bottom
- Distilled room temperature water
- A bright but shady spot
- A dried plant
4. How to Grow
1. Take a wide shallow dish that has no drainage holes. Fill it 2/3rd with water.
2. Add gravel up to the waterline. Place the plant on the gravel. If it is completely brown and dry, it will take at least 3-4 hours for it to turn green
3. Take a container with drainage holes and spread gravel or pebbles up to the level of water. Mix hummus, peat moss, and sand and spread it on the pebbles. Place the resurrected plant on top.
4. Place it in a shady location and maintain a temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Continue to add water to the plant when you notice it getting brown.
Things You Need
- Don’t overwater
- Change the water often
- Every month, give a week-long water break by removing all water
5. Does It Need Soil?
When you purchase the Resurrection plant from a nursery or online sources, you will get a brown, dried up ball of moss. It does have roots, but they don’t attach to anything.
So, there is no requirement for soil to grow. It works similar to hydroponic systems. When there is no moisture for a long time, they curl into a ball and turn brown.
They generally range from 15 to 35 centimeters in height and about 6 to 10 inches in diameter. It is a very easy plant to grow and care for.
6. Can This Plant Die?
Like I told you earlier, it is very hard to kill this plant. You can keep it some dark corner for years and still bring it back to life with water.
One way you can kill the plant is by overwatering. If you leave it standing in water for a few days, it will lead to rot, eventually killing the plant.
7. Some interesting Facts About This Plant
- Have no leaves, only scaly stems arranged in a rosette pattern
- In evolutionary terms, it is a primitive plant and around for 400 million years.
- Can quickly absorb moisture after rainfall and has a rapid growth
- Cannot accumulate water in leaves or stems but stores some in the center
- Appears dead, but it is only dormant.
- Since it lived with dinosaurs, it is also known as ‘dinosaur plant.’
It is understandable why anyone would look at the brown, curled up resurrection plant and think it was dead. However, this ability to revive and come back to life has made it a novelty item and a unique gift to plant lovers.
By simply adding water, you can bring it to life. It is not dead but remains dormant because of the harsh habitats it is found in.
It has managed to survive for more than 400 million years with this unique feature. Though we cannot understand the process thoroughly, we can watch the amazing transformation which takes place.
Watching something go from a dormant, death-like state to a thriving, green plant is a truly marvelous thing.