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Resurrection Plant Rose of Jericho

If you're the kind of gardener that likes to grow holiday-themed houseplants, allow me to introduce you to resurrection plant, also known as Rose of Jericho. The Easter Cactus, and Easter Lilies are grown this time of year because they have come represent rebirth and hope. While a resurrection plant isn't as pretty as the aforementioned plants, the way it springs to life when exposed to moisture makes it a great representation of the season.

Resurrection plant is a bit of a novelty plant. I picked mine up at a flea market a few years ago. As such, I don't know whether this Rose of Jericho is an Anastatica, or an Selaginella lepidophylla. Considering that I picked it up a flea market popular with the Mexican community of Chicago, and S. lepidophylla is native to the Chihuahuan Desert, I think it's safe to assume this plant is S. lepidophylla.

Watch Resurrection Plant Come to Life

Here's a quick time lapse video I recorded of me bringing my resurrection plant to life for the Easter holiday. Vendors at local flea markets and swap meets usually sell these plants around the Easter holiday for about $1.00 a piece.

Rose of Jericho Resurrection Plant

This is what your resurrection plant will look like when you bring it home. The plant looks like a small tumbleweed, and by the looks of the plant you wouldn't believe that anything will happen when you get it home, but have faith. In its native habitat the plant goes through extreme periods of drought and will curl-up into a ball until the rains return. In the photo above there are actually two plants attached together.

Resurrection Plant, Rose of Jericho in water

Place your Resurrection Plant is a shallow container with plain tap water with the roots just barely touching the water's surface.

Rose of Jericho Plant

Within a few minutes your resurrection plant will become hydrated and start to unfurl as the stems become hydrated and reach their normal size and shape.

Resurrection Plant is alive

It took my resurrection plant about 12 hours to go from the tightly bound shape to splayed-out form you see in the picture above. It's pretty fascinating to watch the plant come to life when it comes into contact with water. If you want to speed up the process, place your resurrection plant in a bowl of water and weigh it down with a stone or a plate. The plant will open up a lot faster when submerged in water, but in my opinion the fun is in watching it spring to life and turn green slowly.

My resurrection plant is treated like a terrarium plant during the summer. I'll place it is an enclosed jar with a little water and close it up. In the fall, when the light levels drop, I open it up and allow it to dry up and close itself up into a ball until the next Easter.

Dinosaur plant, resurrection moss, and stone flower are some other names that you'll find resurrection plant being sold as. Whatever the person selling it calls it, it's still an interesting and easy houseplant that you can add to your collection--and the most fitting of all the plants that you can grow indoors for Easter.

Do you celebrate Easter? What are you favorite plants to grow to decorate your home for Easter?  


  1. Definitely the Selaginella species! Very interesting! Are you familiar with resurrection fern? Pleopeltis polypodioides ? I don't know if they grow as far north as Illinois, but it is quite common here in the south, especially in woodlands.

    1. Yeah, I'm familiar with resurrection fern. I used to call resurrection plant, resurrection fern. It's pretty cool, but as you say, I don't think we get them this far north.

  2. I had one of these before. They are so cool!

  3. Anonymous12:57 AM

    Thanks for the info,,I bought 40 acres near Big Bend Tx outised of Terlingua (Chihuahua desert) and these plants are all over my property ,,when I was ast there it hadn't rained in a long time and they were all brown and shriveled ,,I commented to a local with me "what were al those dead plants " and he said they aren't dead ,,give them water and they will come back ,,so I dug one up and brought it home,,and sure enough planted it and watered it and it unfolded and turned green ,,problem is I planted it with other cactus I found on my land and Im scared to water the pot too often for fear of killing the ocotillo ,strawberry cactus ect its planted with ,,can Iwater it directly on its leave s and keep it green ?thanks Danny



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