Baby Tears Plant Care: All About Growing Soleirolia Soleirolii

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Baby Tears plant, aka Soleirolia soleirolii [so-ley-ROH-lee-uh, so-ley-ROH-lee-eye], is a plant in the nettle family (Urticaceae).

It’s a creeping herb with bushy growth producing many tiny white flowers (not to be confused with Sagina Irish moss or Pilea plants).

Baby Tears Plant - Soleirolia SoleiroliiPin
Soleirolia soleirolii (Baby Tears)

Baby Tears Soleirolia Quick Care Guide

  • Botanical Name: Soleirolia Soleirolii
  • Common Name(s): Baby Tears Plant
  • Synonyms: Helxine Soleirolii
  • Family & Origin: Urticaceae; Native to Corsica, Sardinia, and the Balearic Islands
  • Growability: Easy to grow, suitable for beginners
  • Grow Zone: USDA Zones 9-11
  • Size: Grows up to 4” inches tall with a spreading habit
  • Flowering: Small, inconspicuous flowers
  • Light: Bright, indirect light; tolerates partial shade
  • Humidity: Prefers high humidity
  • Temperature: Thrives in temperatures between 60°F and 75° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Soil: Well-draining, rich potting mix
  • Water: Keep soil consistently moist; avoid over-watering and soggy soil
  • Fertilizer: Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly during the growing season
  • Pests & Diseases: aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Root rot and fungal infections due to overwatering or poor drainage
  • Propagation: Easily propagated through stem cuttings or division
  • Uses: Ideal for hanging baskets, terrariums, and as ground cover in shaded areas

Is Baby Tear Plant easy to grow?

Baby tears plant is relatively easy to grow, especially if you provide them with the right growing conditions.

This easy-to-grow plant is native to the northern areas of the Mediterranean but has appeared in other parts of the world, including Ireland, where it obtained several common names.



Some of the most commonly used names include Paddy’s Wig and Irish Moss – even though it’s not moss.

There are a couple of true moss plants going by the common name Irish moss.

Baby tears plant, delicate, tiny green leavesPin

Other common names for Soleirolia soleirolii or Helxine soleirolii include:

  • Angel’s tears
  • Bread and cheese
  • Bits and pieces
  • Corsican creeper
  • Corsican curse
  • Friendship plant
  • Pollyanna vine
  • Mind-Your-Own-Business

Adding to the long list of names, most people call it baby’s tears.

No matter what you call it, use proper care to keep it alive for many years.

Baby Tears Plant Care

Size and Growth

The Corsican creeper provides suitable ground cover in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11.

How big do baby tears grow?

It rarely reaches more than 4” inches in height, but it can spread a couple of feet, providing a matted carpet of tiny green foliage. They also make an attractive hanging basket plant with the plant’s foliage spilling over the edge. 

In cooler climates, grow it in a container and bring it in for the winter.

While it appears fragile, this low-growing plant grows quickly and can overtake other plants.

When grown near a wall or structure, it may even start to climb.

Flowering and Fragrance

Baby tears produce many tiny white flowers and round leaves during the late spring to early summer.

Unfortunately, it rarely flowers when cultivated.

It’s mostly grown for its foliage. The green leaves of this little plant resemble a dense mat or carpet of tiny leaves.

Two color variants are available, ‘Aurea’ with golden foliage and ‘Variegata’ with white stippling.

Light and Temperature

Baby’s tears grow best in locations with bright locations but best in bright indirect light or partial shade and not direct sun.

However, the plant can’t tolerate intense direct sunlight and extreme frost.

If grown in a cold climate, bring it inside for the winter to avoid turning the plant into a pile of black mush.

During the summer, it can tolerate extremely warm temperatures and a high humidity level.

As an outdoor plant, baby tears grow best in temperatures of 50° – 70° degrees Fahrenheit (10° C – 21° C).

How often should you water baby tears?

NOTE: Baby tears require more water during periods of extremely hot temperatures as the heat dries out the plant and soil.

It also remains evergreen in USDA zone 9 through 11.

Watering and Feeding

Instead of watering the soil from above, pour water into the saucer and allow the root ball to soak the moisture.

Can you overwater Baby Tears plant? 

Overwatering baby tears plants can lead to root rot and other problems, so it is important to maintain a consistent level of moisture without overwatering.

Check the moist soil frequently to ensure it remains at optimal levels but do not let the potting mix get soggy.

The dainty baby’s tear requires medium to high humidity and good air circulation. You can use a pebble tray or humidifier to provide extra humidity as needed.

A commercial potting soil lightened with peat moss or perlite provides a healthy growing medium.

During the winter, the plant may not need as much water, but it still needs watering to avoid drying out.

Feed the plant using a diluted liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer.

Cut back the feeding in the fall and stop feeding in the winter.

Soil and Transplanting

Plant baby tears in rich soil with excellent drainage. If grown in pots or containers, make sure it has drainage holes so the excess water will go out.

If the soil drains too fast, add organic material such as peat moss or compost to help the soil hold moisture.

Moreover, don’t forget to check the soil moisture regularly.

The root system is thin, making transplanting difficult. Instead of transplanting the plant, trim offshoots and propagate them.

Grooming

Baby tears plants don’t need grooming but prune new shoots using pruning snips or scissors to manage the growth and keep it from overtaking the garden.

You can also prune the green stems to prevent the plant from reverting to solid green.

How To Propagate Angel’s Tear

Propagate using offshoots or small cuttings.

How do you propagate Baby Tears from cuttings?

To propagate with cuttings, here’s what you need to do:

  • Remove the shoots and plant them in small pots.
  • Keep the young plants moist and mist them daily.
  • Use cuttings to propagate baby tears and allow the mother plant to die off. Within several weeks, the new plants should take root.
  • The following spring, the plants may need transplanting. When transplanting the young plants, select a permanent container to avoid needing to transplant the plants a second time.

Another option is to propagate with offshoots.

Place a saucer next to the mother plant and set a piece of cotton wool in the center of the saucer.

Moisten the wool and then drape shoots across the wool.

The shoots should eventually take root in the cotton.

After they take root, transplant them into individual pots.

Bread And Cheese Plant Pests or Diseases

If the plant has leggy growth, it’s not getting enough sunlight. So it’s best to move the plant to a brighter spot.

If the plant doesn’t produce new growth, the roots need more water.

If the tips of the roots appear white, soak the entire pot in a larger container of water for a couple of hours.

If the foliage in the middle of the plant starts to wither, the center needs more sunlight.

Are Baby Tear’s plants invasive?

While most regions don’t list the plant as invasive, it’s an aggressive grower if it is not properly contained. It can spread quickly and take over other plants in the area.

The root system spreads quickly and may take over other plants in the garden.

Use caution if planting outdoors around other plants and manage the spread of the plant.

Moreover, the baby tears plant is prone to common insects, including aphids, mites, and mealybugs.

You can use neem oil or insecticidal soap to eliminate these pests.

Another common disease is root rot, often caused by overwatering.

Suggested Uses For Friendship Plant

Is Soleirolia soleirolii toxic to grow?

Soleirolia soleirolii is not toxic to humans or animals. People often grow non-toxic baby’s tear plants for ground cover, as they add a bright green carpet below the taller plants.

Just remember the plant may invade the rest of the garden if allowed to grow uncontrollably.

The bushy growth also makes lovely small hanging baskets, houseplants, or terrarium plants.

Place it on a shelf or table, as the short plant needs a pedestal to get sunlight.

They make great terrarium plants and excellent evergreen ground cover or filler plants for rock gardens or fairy gardens.

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