Discover how to care for Selaginella uncinata, also known as Peacock Fern or Blue Spikemoss, in this comprehensive guide. Learn about lighting, watering, humidity, temperature, soil, fertilization, growth, propagation, and common problems. Enhance your indoor or outdoor space with this vibrant and beautiful houseplant.

Introduction

If you’re looking to enhance the natural beauty of your home with houseplants, then you may want to consider adding Selaginella uncinata, also known as Peacock Fern or Blue Spikemoss, to your collection. With its stunning blue-green foliage and low, spreading growth habit, Selaginella uncinata is a popular choice for terrariums, indoor gardens, and even outdoor containers. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of caring for Selaginella uncinata, including lighting, watering, humidity, temperature, soil, fertilization, growth, propagation, and common problems. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of how to successfully care for and propagate Selaginella uncinata, making it a vibrant and beautiful addition to your indoor or outdoor space.

Lighting

Selaginella uncinata prefers low to high indirect light. While it can tolerate some degree of shade, it flourishes in bright yet filtered light. When placing your Peacock Fern indoors, position it near a window in a brightly lit room, but avoid direct sunlight that could scorch the delicate foliage. Outdoors, provide partial to full shade, such as under a tree or near taller plants, to protect it from the drying effects of direct sunlight.

Watering

Consistent moisture is essential for the health of Selaginella uncinata. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between watering sessions, but avoid letting the plant reach a point of wilting. Regularly check the soil every 2-3 days to determine whether it needs watering. When watering, pour water slowly and evenly around the base of the plant until it drains out the bottom of the pot. Ensure that the soil is evenly moist but not soggy. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the foliage to dry out. Additionally, misting the foliage with water can help increase humidity and maintain optimal moisture levels for the plant.

Humidity

Selaginella uncinata thrives in high humidity levels, with an ideal range of around 90%. To provide sufficient humidity, you can place a tray filled with water near the plant, use a humidifier, or create a pebble tray by filling a tray with water and placing pebbles in it. As the water evaporates, it will increase the humidity around the plant. Selaginella uncinata can tolerate lower humidity levels, down to about 50%, but try to maintain higher humidity whenever possible.

Temperature

Selaginella uncinata prefers a warm and humid environment, with temperatures ranging between 68°F and 77°F (20°C – 25°C) during the summer. In the winter, it can tolerate cooler temperatures between 50°F and 59°F (10°C – 15°C). Avoid exposing the plant to extreme cold or hot temperatures, such as drafts from doorways or air vents, as it can cause stress and damage the foliage.

Soil

Selaginella uncinata thrives in well-draining soil that retains moisture. A peat moss-based potting mix with added perlite is ideal for creating a well-draining medium. This type of soil allows water to flow freely through the soil while retaining enough moisture for the plant’s roots. Ensure that the pH of the soil falls between 6.1 and 6.6, slightly acidic to neutral.

Fertilization

Selaginella uncinata does not have high fertilizer requirements. Apply a water-soluble fertilizer diluted by half once during the spring. Overfertilization can scorch the delicate foliage and harm the plant. Monitor the plant’s growth and adjust your fertilization schedule accordingly. If the foliage starts turning brown, it may indicate a nutrient deficiency, and an additional round of fertilization can be considered.

Growth

Selaginella uncinata is a low-growing plant that typically reaches a height of 10 inches and spreads up to 20 inches wide. Its trailing growth habit and vibrant blue-green foliage make it an excellent choice for filling in gaps in a terrarium or cascading out of a hanging basket. To control the plant’s growth and prevent it from becoming too dense, trim back any excessive growth or pinch back stems as needed.

Propagation

Propagation of Selaginella uncinata can be achieved through stem cuttings and division. Stem cuttings should be taken from healthy, mature stems and placed in a well-draining soil mix. Keep the soil consistently moist until roots develop and the cutting establishes itself as an independent plant. Division involves separating the parent plant into smaller sections, each with its own root system. Ensure that each division has healthy foliage and roots before planting them in individual containers or areas of the garden.

Common Problems

Selaginella uncinata can face several common problems that may affect its health and appearance. Yellowing leaves can be a sign of insufficient watering, sun scorch, or over-fertilization. Remove any dead or dying foliage and adjust your care routine accordingly. To prevent sun scorch, filter the sunlight with a sheer curtain or move the plant to a slightly shadier location. Another potential issue is the presence of pests, such as mealybugs and spider mites. Regularly inspect the plant for signs of infestation, such as tiny webs, curled leaves, or sticky residue. If pests are detected, treat them promptly with an appropriate insecticide or use natural remedies like neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Availability and Safety

Selaginella uncinata is commonly available for purchase at local home improvement stores and online plant shops. The price of Selaginella uncinata can vary depending on the maturity and length of the plant, ranging from $12 to $40. It is worth noting that Selaginella uncinata is not toxic to cats, making it a safe choice for households with pets. However, it is still recommended to keep the plant out of their reach to prevent any potential chewing or ingestion.

Conclusion

Selaginella uncinata, with its stunning blue-green foliage and low growth habit, is a beautiful and versatile houseplant. By providing the right lighting, watering, humidity, temperature, soil, and fertilization, you can ensure the health and vibrancy of your Selaginella uncinata. Regular pruning and propagation through stem cuttings and division can help control growth and create new plants. Although Selaginella uncinata may face common issues like yellowing leaves and pests, proactive care and prompt treatment can resolve these problems. Add Selaginella uncinata to your indoor garden or outdoor terrarium to enjoy its unique beauty and create a serene and natural atmosphere in your home.

References

[^1]: Selaginella uncinata: How to Grow the Stunning Peacock Fern. (n.d.). Terrarium Tribe. Retrieved from <a href=”https://terrariumtribe.com/terrarium-plants/selaginella-uncinata-peacock-spikemoss“>https://terrariumtribe.com/terrarium-plants/selaginella-uncinata-peacock-spikemoss](https://terrariumtribe.com/terrarium-plants/selaginella-uncinata-peacock-spikemoss)

[^2]: Peacock Fern (Selaginella Uncinata): Ultimate Care Guide | Garden Biology. (n.d.). Garden Biology. Retrieved from <a href=”https://gardenbiology.com/peacock-fern/“>https://gardenbiology.com/peacock-fern/](https://gardenbiology.com/peacock-fern/)

[^3]: Selaginella uncinata (Peacock Moss) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. (n.d.). NC State Extension. Retrieved from <a href=”https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/selaginella-uncinata/“>https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/selaginella-uncinata/](https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/selaginella-uncinata/)

[^4]: Everything You Need to Know About Selaginella Care. (n.d.). Backyardville. Retrieved from <a href=”https://backyardville.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-selaginella-care/“>https://backyardville.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-selaginella-care/](https://backyardville.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-selaginella-care/)

[^5]: Peacock moss (Selaginella uncinata) – Indoor Plants. (n.d.). Planting Man. Retrieved from <a href=”https://plantingman.com/peacock-moss-selaginella-uncinata-indoor-plants/“>https://plantingman.com/peacock-moss-selaginella-uncinata-indoor-plants/](https://plantingman.com/peacock-moss-selaginella-uncinata-indoor-plants/)

[^6]: Peacock Moss (Selaginella Uncinata): A Mosaic Of Green—A Care Guide For Peacock Moss In Terrariums – Terrarium Station. (n.d.). Terrarium Station. Retrieved from <a href=”https://terrariumstation.com/peacock-moss-selaginella-uncinata-a-mosaic-of-green-a-care-guide-for-peacock-moss-in-terrariums/“>https://terrariumstation.com/peacock-moss-selaginella-uncinata-a-mosaic-of-green-a-care-guide-for-peacock-moss-in-terrariums/](https://terrariumstation.com/peacock-moss-selaginella-uncinata-a-mosaic-of-green-a-care-guide-for-peacock-moss-in-terrariums/)

[^7]: Plant Profile for Selaginella uncinata – Peacock Spikemoss Perennial. (n.d.). Perennials.com. Retrieved from <a href=”https://www.perennials.com/plants/selaginella-uncinata.html“>https://www.perennials.com/plants/selaginella-uncinata.html](https://www.perennials.com/plants/selaginella-uncinata.html)

[^8]: How To Care For Selaginella- The Spikey Plant Perfect For Terrariums! (n.d.). Garden Lively. Retrieved from <a href=”https://www.gardenlively.com/how-to-care-for-selaginella/“>https://www.gardenlively.com/how-to-care-for-selaginella/](https://www.gardenlively.com/how-to-care-for-selaginella/)

[^9]: Selaginella 101: Spikemoss Explained (& Varieties to Know). (n.d.). Terrarium Tribe. Retrieved from <a href=”https://terrariumtribe.com/selaginella-varieties-spikemoss/“>https://terrariumtribe.com/selaginella-varieties-spikemoss/](https://terrariumtribe.com/selaginella-varieties-spikemoss/)

[^10]: Selaginella Care, Its House Plant Varieties & Facts Guide. (n.d.). Inspire Uplift Blog. Retrieved from <a href=”https://blog.inspireuplift.com/selaginella/“>https://blog.inspireuplift.com/selaginella/](https://blog.inspireuplift.com/selaginella/)

[^11]: Selaginella uncinata – Wikipedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved from <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selaginella_uncinata“>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selaginella_uncinata](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selaginella_uncinata)

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