This is another plant that is suitable for small spaces. Due to its compact size, you can easily find a place for it in your home or in your office. Emerald gem plant is its official name but it is also famous as Homalomena.
The spade-shaped bright green leaves look amazing. It has many different varieties all of them have slightly different colors of leaves. But general care and size are the same for all varieties.
So, without wasting time let’s find out how you can grow it at home what it needs to grow perfectly fine?
About the Plant
In general growing environment, the emerald gem plant grows 20 to 30 inches tall and also spread the same.
To control its height, you can prune the top new growth, and then it will produce more leaves per stem. This is called the dense growth technique.
For pruning, please use sharp shears. Before using them sterilize them in warm water or in rubbing alcohol.
Other basic care requirements are discussed below.
Types of Emerald Gem Plant
All the varieties grow to the same height. There is no difference in their care but there is a difference in the color of their leaves.
Other Homalomena varieties are:
The Purple Sword has sword-shaped leaves with silver markings on the green color. The underside of the foliage is a dark burgundy.
As the name suggests this variety of Homalomena has lemon color leaves that glow in the sunlight. But it cannot tolerate direct sunlight. It has good tolerance power and can be easily grown in poor light and with less humidity.
It has bright green leaves with purple stems and both colors look amazing on this plant. Unfortunately, it is a rare variety of Homalomena.
To grow it healthy give it a high amount of moisture in the air and expose it to the indirect bright light.
It has moderate light requirements which means it can grow well even in low light. But for its full growth and thriving look expose it to bright light.
The light source can be sun or artificial grow lights. In the case of the sunlight, protect it from direct sun rays. Because they can burn the plant leaves.
In the case of indirect light make sure all parts of the plant get an equal amount of light. Let’s say if only one portion of the pot is exposed to the light.
Then your plant will grow leggy.
To avoid this condition, rotate the plant pot if the light is coming from only one direction.
In case of the absence of indirect sunlight, you should use grow lights. They are inexpensive and consume less electric power.
Your main focus should be on the aeration properties of the soil. Emerald needs plenty of fresh air to grow and roots cannot handle the extra weight of the soil.
Therefore, use a potting mix that contains lightweight ingredients like Sand, Humus, etc.
Blockage of fresh air invites many fungi-related problems even in well-draining soil. The drain hole of the pot will not work if there is no air circulation in the soil.
Sand in the potting soil makes many air pockets that allow the fresh air to circulate in the pot.
Do not try to make potting soil at home. We have many great options in the market one of them is miracle grow potting mix.
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Now, this is the tricky part because emerald gem plants neither like to live in waterlogged soil nor in dry soil.
You should create a balance between both conditions. To do so you need to water it deeply and then let the soil dry to its half before the next watering session.
Grab the watering can and water your plant until you see water starts coming out of the draining holes. Then stop watering and let it dry.
After 30 minutes empty the saucer and place it again under the plant pot.
Then let 50% of the potting soil dry before the next watering session. This way you can save your plant from overwatering and from underwatering.
All-purpose liquid fertilizer is recommended. Because it is a soft root plant, therefore, it cannot handle the high amount of fertilizers.
Dilute the solution in the clean water to its half strength then pour to the plant.
To avoid overfeeding use supplements only in spring and summer, once in 30 days.
Temperature & Humidity
60 to 85 degrees F is the ideal temperature range for the Homalomena plants. Fortunately, this is the general temperature range of American homes.
This means you do not need to worry about the temperature unless you place your plant pot outside.
Bring it back inside when the night temperature starts dropping. Emerald Gem Plant cannot handle cold winds and cold weather.
Place it away from the heating vents. The direct flow of hot air makes the plant leaves dry and they turn brown and crispy.
This also increases the watering applications even in winters which is not a good caring practice.
For humidity, the general home air moisture is enough to grow a healthy Emerald Gem. But in case you feel the humidity is low then you can change its place or mist some water on its leaves.
Emerald Gem is toxic to humans and pets only if ingested. The sap of the plant contains harmful and poisonous chemicals that can irritate the stomach membranes.
Vomiting, stomach pain, inflammation, etc are the symptoms of its toxicity. Immediately call the doctor.
To avoid, place the plant away from the reach of your pets and children or educate them not to eat its parts.
The good news is you do not need frequent repotting because this plant-like to live root-bound. But once you see the roots are visible over the top surface of the soil.
Or they are coming out of the bottom holes. Then it is time to shift your plant to a large size pot.
Use only 2 inches large pot for the repotting. An extra-large pot will cause harm to the plant and its roots.
You are free to use any type of pot material. It does fine in all types of pots.
Propagation of Emerald Gem Plant
Root division is the only method of propagation of emerald gem plants. This technique has over a 95% success rate.
Take the plant out of its container and remove the soil from the roots. Then divide the roots into different sections.
Place each section in the different pot using fresh potting soil. Give some water and you are done with the propagation.
To make it thrive like crazy ensure that it is growing in the perfect growing environment. Water it less to avoid water-related issues.
Expose it to bright light to encourage proper growth and give light fertilizers to help it to achieve its full maturity and size.