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Pollyanna Vine Soleirolia soleirolii

Previously known as:

  • Helxine soleirolii
Phonetic Spelling
so-ley-ROH-lee-uh so-ley-ROH-lee-eye
Description

Angel tears or baby tears is a low-growing ground cover resembling moss that honors Joseph Francois Soleirol, who acquired a large collection of specimens of Corsican plants.  The common name Baby's Tears is derived from the tiny, rounded leaves.  It is in the nettle family.

This creeping perennial ground cover is evergreen in zones 10 above and will die back but rejuvenate in zone 9.   While it can spread up to 6' wide in the garden, as a houseplant, it won't go far.  Not having contact with the soil will limit its spread and it can be pruned as needed.  In warm winter areas, it can be somewhat weedy and difficult to eradicate as any stem pieces left can regrow,

It may be used as a terrarium plant, but over time will crowd out the other terrarium plants.

Ideal conditions include moderate temperatures, high humidity and bright, indirect lighting.  Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. It prefers well-drained fertile moist soils. A wide, shallow pot creates an ideal location for this plant.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect or disease issues.  Aphids, whiteflies, and scale are possible problems.  Once established outdoors, the plant may prove to be difficult to remove.  Even after removing the plant, many small stems are missed and the plant can regenerate.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aurea'
    Golden leaves.
  • 'Golden Queen'
    Yellowish leaf margins.
  • 'Silver Queen'
    Silvery-gray foliage.
  • 'Variegata'
    Silvery green variegated foliage.
'Aurea', 'Golden Queen', 'Silver Queen', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#hardy#houseplant#low growing#perennials#frost tender#herbaceous#terrarium#low growing plant#ornamentals#tropical evergreen#herbaceous perennials#groundcover#evergreen groundcover#humidity tolerant#foot traffic tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical#dry soils intolerant#drought intolerant#wet soils intolerant#mat forming
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aurea'
    Golden leaves.
  • 'Golden Queen'
    Yellowish leaf margins.
  • 'Silver Queen'
    Silvery-gray foliage.
  • 'Variegata'
    Silvery green variegated foliage.
'Aurea', 'Golden Queen', 'Silver Queen', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#hardy#houseplant#low growing#perennials#frost tender#herbaceous#terrarium#low growing plant#ornamentals#tropical evergreen#herbaceous perennials#groundcover#evergreen groundcover#humidity tolerant#foot traffic tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical#dry soils intolerant#drought intolerant#wet soils intolerant#mat forming
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Soleirolia
    Species:
    soleirolii
    Family:
    Urticaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Ground cover
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    W. Mediterranean, Italy, Sardinia and Corsica.
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Shade
    Textural
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Cascading
    Climbing
    Creeping
    Dense
    Horizontal
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Ovoid and shiny fruits are enclosed by calyx.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The tiny, creamy white flowers in the leaf axils that lack petals and are insignificant.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The shiny, lime green leaves are tiny, only 1/4" diameter. They form a dense ground cover as they spread.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The many branched, fleshy stems root into the ground as the plant spreads. Spreading in a prostrate form, they have stinging hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Patio
    Rock Wall
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Foot Traffic
    Heavy Shade
    Humidity
    Problems:
    Weedy