Huperzia… Not the easiest houseplant!


This will be a brief post for two reasons 1) it’s late on Saturday night and I’m on vacation in the coastal woods and 2) only one of the plants in the pic above is still alive.

After purchasing the three beauties I learned quickly that their survival outside of a warm greenhouse would be tricky. The plant that has won so far is this Huperzia carinata. I cannot lie and say that it’s thriving, but it is doing well above my kitchen sink. I know a lot of folks really love these when I post pics of them from greenhouses, but I must add that as much as I want another one, I won’t likely add one until I have a large happy tank to keep it happy.

IMG_4120The first plant to die was this Huperzia sp. Of the three I purchased, it was the only one without a tag. A friend let me know that he’d killed it quite easily and wouldn’t you know it!?! This one died just months after I brought it home.

IMG_4119The tag on this one read Huperzia goebelii but it is not a blue form. This was definitely a very green plant. I am ashamed to admit this one only died because of a mistake I made by overwatering it. Yes, this is possible to do. I think if I hadn’t screwed that up, it would likely be the happy one right now. If I can afford to acquire one again, this is the one I would look out for and I think that I’d recommend it for advanced beginners.

Overall though, my experience with these plants is that they are not easy to grow outside of a warm, humid greenhouse.

Maybe this is why you find me visiting the PNW coast again (my home away from home near the mouth of the Columbia River) were tomorrow I will go in search of some Lycopodium clavatum, or stag’s horn clubmoss. They’re one of the closest things we have to these lovely exotics so I just want to admire them and go home to care for the rest of my plant hoard. It’s when the hoard gets out of hand that you have big losses and I have to admit that losing these two Huperzia during 2019 was rough for me.



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