mind your own business plant

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Mind-your-own-business plant: cultivation, care & the most beautiful varieties.

Katja

I study landscape ecology and through my studies have discovered a love for plants. Plants are not only beautiful, but also have countless fascinating survival strategies. To bring a bit of nature into my home as well, I nurture my houseplants and herbs on every possible windowsill. Favourite fruit: rhubarb and all kinds of berries Favourite vegetables: onions and garlic

Sprawling over the edges of a pot, the mind-your-own-business plant, sometimes called paddy’s wig, looks strangely like a boisterous head of curls. In garden beds, it also makes a great ground cover.

Mind-your-own-business plant in pot

Soleirolia soleirolii , more commonly known as the mind-your-own-business plant, can be kept both as a houseplant and in the garden. With its slender shoots and delicate, shiny leaves, it spreads out over the ground, forming a beautiful green blanket of foliage. Here we will show you how to plant and how to care for the mind-your-own-business plant.

Mind-your-own-business plant: characteristics and origin

The most beautiful mind-your-own-business plant varieties, soleirolia soleirolii as a houseplant, soleirolia soleirolii as an outdoor plant, watering, pruning and fertilising, mind-your-own-business plant drying out or turning brown, soleirolia soleirolii care in winter, propagating mind-your-own-business plants.

The mind-your-own-business plant is a very popular houseplant. Its overhanging shoots look like hair growing out of the pot, giving it a charming appearance. Native to the islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Elba, this herbaceous perennial plant is the only species in the Soleirolia genus, which belongs to the nettle family (Urticaceae). But don’t worry – the mind-your-own-business plant does not sting!

Its long, thin shoots can grow up to 50 centimetres in length, with small, shiny foliage arranged alternately along the shoot. The plants come in different shapes but usually have a rounded appearance. Since new roots are able to form at each shoot node, the mind-your-own business plant spreads out and covers the ground like a carpet when planted outdoors. Overall, it can reach a maximum height of 15 centimetres.

Soreilolia small white flowers and green foliage

In nature, the Soleirolia soleirolii‘s flowers are very inconspicuous and measure only about 1 millimetre, making them easy to miss. But when does the mind-your-own-business plant bloom? Kept indoors, the plant flowers between April and June. However, flowering has also been observed outdoors in our part of the world.

In addition to the classic, shiny green variety, there are other mind-your-own-business plant varieties that come with an array of distinctly coloured leaves:

  • Soleirolia soleirolii ‘ Aurea ‘: The small leaves of this variety are golden-yellow.
  • Soleirolia soleirolii ‘ Variegata ‘: The mind-your-own-business plant ‘Variegata’ develops beautiful variegated leaves in green and white.
  • Soleirolia soleirolii ‘ Argentea ‘: The ‘Argentea’ type has a bright, slightly silvery foliage.
  • Soleirolia soleirolii ‘ Aladatase ‘: This variety has a captivating, bright-green foliage colour.

Mind-your-own-business varieties with different green foliage

Planting mind-your-own-business plants: where and how

The mind-your-own-business plant can grow indoors as well as in garden beds outdoors. Although the plant is accustomed to warm temperatures in its native habitat, it can even survive winters in our latitudes.

As a houseplant, place the mind-your-own-business plant in a partially shaded spot and not exposed directly to the midday sun. It does best with a certain amount of humidity and a room temperature between 18 and 24 °C. Ideally, use a high-quality potting soil for houseplants, such as our Plantura Organic All Purpose Compost . The stable structure of this soil stores water for longer, while at the same time allowing the roots to breathe. When potting up, form a small mound of soil and then place the plant on top. This way, you can create a lovely dome shape.

Tip : The mind-your-own-business plant also likes high humidity. However, you should not mist or spray the plant with water. Instead, place a bowl of water on your radiator near the plant during the winter to help increase the air humidity.

Organic All Purpose Compost, 40L

  • Perfect for all your house, garden & balcony plants
  • For strong & healthy plants as well as an active soil life
  • Peat-free & organic soil: CO 2 -saving composition

In areas with milder winters, the mind-your-own-business plant is used as a ground cover alternative to grass or as a decorative feature on walls. Just like plants indoors, it does best in partial shade outside. The mind-your-own-business plant feels most at home in loose, nutrient-rich garden soil. To ensure the best supply of nutrients, a slow-release fertiliser, such as our Plantura All Purpose Plant Food , can be added to poor soil. Not only is our fertiliser safe for pets and garden wildlife, but its plant-based formula also promotes an active soil life. The plant can tolerate frosty temperatures of down to – 10 °C for a short period of time. The shoots will usually freeze and grow back in the spring.

To plant your Soleirolia , dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball, place the plant in and cover with soil. Then lightly press down around the plant. Plant four to five individual plants per square metre to quickly achieve a dense growth. If you haven’t fertilised, fill the hole with Plantura Organic All Purpose Compost rather than garden soil – this gives the plants a good boost of nutrients to kick start their growth. Finally, water the plants well.

Mind-your-own-business plant spreading as groud cover outside

Soleirolia plant care

To care for your mind-your-own-business plant, you will want to provide it with plenty of water and nutrients, especially during the growing season. Prune as needed or when the leaves turn brown due to its dense growth.

Watering is key to Soleirolia soleirolii plant care. Since the plant requires quite a lot of water, you should regularly water the mind-your-own-business plant, watering from the bottom of the planter. The plant will take up the moisture it needs from there. After about 15 minutes, you can pour off the excess water. For plants outdoors, water directly into the soil rather than onto the foliage. Naturally, the drier and hotter the weather, the more often you will need to water. Once the root ball has dried out, even if only for a short time, it will be difficult for the mind-your-own-business plant to recover. However, since waterlogging is also not tolerated and will result in brown leaves, regular but moderate watering is essential.

mind-your-own-business plant in sun

Extra nutrients are only necessary in the growing season from spring to autumn. During this time, fertilise the mind-your-own-business plant roughly every four weeks with a nitrogen-rich liquid fertiliser, such as our Plantura Liquid Flower Food . This contains a greater proportion of nitrogen than potassium, which supports the development of rich green foliage.

If you find that your paddy’s wig plant’s hairstyle is getting out of hand, you can always reach for your garden shears and give it a trim. However, pruning is best tolerated in spring or summer, and if done in spring, the shoot cuttings are great for Soleirolia soleirolii propagation.

Spring is also the best time for repotting. If the old pot is fully rooted or if the plant is growing too densely, move it to a larger container with fresh soil. Adding a little extra soil to the pot, create a slight mound onto which you will place the plant. This way, you will create an attractive dome shape. For a mind-your-own-business plant lawn outdoors, this step is not necessary as its growth forms a flat ground cover.

Trimmed and poted mind-your-own-business plants

Brown leaves on plants are often the result of plant care mistakes. However, there are other factors that can cause leaf discolouration. For example, the mind-your-own-business plant’s dense growth can lead to discoloured leaves.

  • Growth : Since the mind-your-own-business plant grows very densely and forms many leaves, it is normal that some leaves turn brown at the base of potted plants. If this is the case, prune the plant – either trim the brown-leaved shoots in question or prune the entire plant. It will then grow new green shoots.
  • Sunlight : Too much sunlight can cause leaf damage and brown leaves. Place the mind-your-own-business plant in partial shade with indirect sunlight.
  • Drought : Watering the plant regularly is essential to prevent it from drying out. It is best to water into the tray or saucer under the plant and wait about 15 minutes until it has absorbed the moisture it needs.
  • Moisture : Waterlogging can also cause problems, so make sure to remove any excess water from the pot. If the plant has been wet for too long, repot it and remove any excess water going forward.

Dense foliage of potted soleirolia plant

Summary: Soleirolia plant care

  • Water regularly from the bottom up
  • Remove excess water after 15 minutes
  • Fertilise with a nitrogen-rich liquid fertiliser every 4 weeks between spring and autumn
  • Prune if necessary
  • Keep in a cool and bright location in the winter months

Prune your outdoor mind-your-own-business plant in autumn and provide a protective layer of mulch or straw to keep it safe in low temperatures.

Soleirolia soleirolii houseplants are best kept in a bright and cool place at about 12 to 18 °C, with less watering and no fertilising. Nevertheless, make sure the root ball is always moist.

mind your own business plant growing outdoors

Is the mind-your-own-business plant winter hardy? The mind-your-own-business plant is winter-hardy under certain conditions. As it is native to areas with milder winters, you will be on the safe side if you keep the Soleirolia soleirolii indoors for the winter. However, mind-your-own-business plants have been known to survive severe winters without damage.

Shoot cuttings – the parts of the plant left over from pruning – can be used to propagate Soleirolia soleirolii . Plant the cuttings straight into all-purpose compost and make sure to keep the soil evenly moist. The shoots should soon take root, even at room temperature. Alternatively, when repotting in the spring, carefully divide the plant and place each plant in its own container.

bushy mind-your-own-business-plants growing in partial shade

Is Soleirolia soleirolii poisonous?

Whether you have a cat or a dog, the mind-your-own-business plant is not toxic – so there is no need to worry about your pets.

Soleirolia soleirolii care guide – 5 expert tips for this humble creeper

Mind-your-own-business plant might go unnoticed, but it can play a very important role in your yard

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Baby's tears plant on wall

5 expert tips for Soleirolia soleirolii

When you have small spots in your yard that need filling, the fast-growing plant for ground cover Soleirolia soleirolii can lend a helping hand.

Better known as mind-your-own-business or baby's tears, this vibrant green creeper doesn't like to shout for attention, but can help complete displays with its gem-sized leaves that like to crawl quickly. You can create lush carpets of this creeper, but it is also highly versatile.

'This creeping plant is ideal for those unsightly gaps in between paving or cracks in the garden wall, it really can grow anywhere,' says Thomas Rutter , Content Editor at Homes & Gardens .

'Many garden designers use this plant to add greenery to hard landscaping elements in backyards, helping to soften the edges of patios and pathways,' he adds.

Baby's tears plant is native to Mediterranean climates around Italy and can grow outdoors in US hardiness zones 9-11 , but it can also be grown indoors as a houseplant.

We've spoken to experts to find out what you can do to keep your mind-your-own-business plant thriving and looking its best.

Baby's tears

Thomas is a Content Editor within the Gardens Team at Homes and Gardens. He has been working as a gardener and garden writer for several years. Whilst completing his Horticultural Traineeship at the Garden Museum, London, he was able to gain experience at many of the UK's world-famous gardens, including Sissinghurst, Lowther Castle, and Iford Manor. Following this, he worked for two private estates in Tuscany, Italy. During this time, he developed expertise regarding practical gardening and growing in dry and hot climates. He has managed kitchen gardens and cut flower gardens, providing food and flowers to be enjoyed on a daily basis

The mind-your-own-business plant can easily go unnoticed, but its delicate leaves are ideal for filling gaps in your yard or adding greenery to your home. We've gathered expert tips for keeping Soleirolia soleirolii in top condition.

1. Choose shadier spots

Baby's tears plant

These plants are highly adaptable and will be quite happy wherever they are planted, however they do have a preference for shade .

'It has a preference for damp, shady conditions, but will tolerate a more open, bright location in your yard,' says Thomas.

Indoors, Soleirolia soleirolii will be pleased with bright, indirect light, like on an east or west-facing windowsill.

'Avoid placing it in direct sunlight as it can scorch the delicate leaves,' says   Autumn Hilliard-Knapp , houseplant expert from Perfect Plants.

Autumn is a horticulture specialist and marketing professional at Perfect Plants Nursery. With four years of experience in the horticulture industry, she has developed a passion for helping people create beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy. Her expertise in horticulture encompasses a broad range of activities, including plant care and selection, landscape design, and maintenance.

2. Keep moisture consistent

Baby's tears plant

If you're growing mind-your-own-business in your backyard, rainfall will take care of watering but it's important to know how to water it in drier seasons. 

'To water the baby's tears plant, maintain a consistent level of moisture in the soil without overwatering. Check the soil moisture by inserting your finger about two inches deep. Water the plant when the soil feels dry at that depth,' says Autumn.

Using a watering can with a narrow spout will work perfectly fine for this creeper, like this watering can from Amazon , but it will also appreciate higher humidity levels and you may choose to mist it - especially if you're growing it as a houseplant.

'In my experience, it does not enjoy long, dry periods during the summer months. If there is an extended period of drought, an occasional watering will do the plant good,' says Thom.

3. Grow it in containers 

Baby's tears plant in container

Whether your baby's tears plant lives indoors or out, growing it in a container can be a good idea to stop it from spreading too widely. 

'This plant can spread rapidly and can regrow from tiny sections of stem and root. This can be a positive if you have the space for it, but be warned it can dominate and grow through other plants in your garden,' says Thom.

These plants don't like to be too wet so choosing a container with good drainage is a sensible option.

'Using a container made of materials like ceramic, terracotta, or plastic can be also suitable for the baby's tears plant. These materials can help retain moisture without becoming overly saturated, providing a balanced environment for the plant's roots,' says Autumn.

There are lots of containers like this available online, such as these terracotta planters from Walmart .

4. Prune to shape it

Baby's tears plant

If you aren't careful, you'll find Soleirolia soleirolii growing everywhere in your backyard. They like to creep and crawl far and wide, so it can be a good idea to prune it back to keep it shapely and contained.

'Pruning helps prevent the plant from becoming leggy or straggly and encourages it to grow full and bushy,' says Autumn.

'You can trim the plant by using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut back any excessively long or overgrown stems or yellow/dead leaves,' she adds

Pruning for these plants, with tools like these pruning scissors from Bloomscape , is appropriate all year round, as of when your baby's tears plant is becoming too unruly for your liking.

5. Repot if necessary

houseplant Soleirolia soleirolii in white flowerpot

This is especially important if you choose to have mind-your-own-business as a houseplant because it is among the fast-growing indoor plants that will quickly turn your home into a jungle.

'Signs that indicate the need for repotting include roots coming out of the drainage holes, the plant toppling over easily, or water draining too quickly from the container,' says Autumn.

Not repotting houseplants that are outgrowing their current container risks them becoming pot-bound, hindering further growth.

'Repotting is best done in the spring when the plant is in an active growth phase. I would recommend repotting your plant about every two years. This will allow it to have nutrient soil and room to grow,' Autumn adds.

When should you fertilize Soleirolia soleirolii?

Soleirolia soleirolii thrives when fertilized. It's best to fertilize these plants during warmer seasons in spring and summer while it's growing the most. This can be especially beneficial for baby's tears plants grown indoors and you can use all-purpose fertilizers like this liquid indoor plant food from Perfect Plants nursery .

What plants can you pair with Soleirolia soleirolii?

Soleirolia soleirolii is perfect for filling gaps in yards or adding greenery indoors. It is highly versatile and can be grown as ground cover, on walls, along paths or in containers. It pairs well with most plants but our favorite pairings include using it with trailing houseplants like pothos or ivy to create a fuller look in hanging pots.

Although Soleirolia soleirolii may seem unexciting at first glance, its beaded, creeping foliage can play a key role in filling gaps and unpleasing corners of yards. It's among the best ground cover plants and can make delightful indoor plants for green foliage.

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Tenielle is a News Writer in the Gardens team at Homes & Gardens with five years of journalistic experience. She studied BA Journalism, Media and English Literature and MA Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University. Before coming to Homes & Gardens, Tenielle was in the editorial department at the Royal Horticultural Society and worked on The Garden magazine. She is passionate about sustainable living and the role gardening has to play in tackling the effects of climate change. Tenielle is also a houseplant lover who is slowly running out of room for her ever-growing collection. She has experience successfully propagating indoor plants and overcoming common houseplant problems.

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Soleirolia soleirolii

  • Height: 5cm Spread: 90cm
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Best known as an indoor plant, baby's tears, or mind your own business, Soleirolia soleirolii makes an attractive and maintenance-free alternative to grass as ground cover in moist, shady areas. It's also suitable for using in green walls (pictured), and as a substitute for moss in a Japanese garden. The masses of tiny leaves clothe slender spreading stems that root as they run, forming a dense deep-pile carpet. As it covers the ground it will run over rocks, fallen logs, and so on, clinging to their shape so the features of the landscape are picked out.

Quick to establish, Soleirolia soleirolii survives periodic dry spells and recovers quickly afterwards. It will tolerate sun or shade. Frost hardy, its leaves are killed by winter frost, but it will recover to grow vigorously in spring.

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Soleirolia and wildlife

Soleirolia has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Soleirolia poisonous?

Soleirolia has no toxic effects reported.

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Soleirolia soleirolii

mind-your-own-business

S. soleirolii is a wide-creeping evergreen perennial with slender, rooting, pink or green stems bearing tiny rounded leaves and minute pinkish-white flowers in summer

Other common names

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mind your own business plant

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StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Pink White Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
  • Partial shade

North–facing or West–facing or East–facing or South–facing

Drought resistance

Hardiness hardiness ratings.

All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

  • H1a : under glass all year (>15C)
  • H1b : can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
  • H1c : can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
  • H2 : tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
  • H3 : hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
  • H4 : hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
  • H5 : hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
  • H6 : hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
  • H7 : hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

Botanical details

Soleirolia is a fast-growing, mat-forming perennial with creeping, rooting stems bearing small, rounded leaves and inconspicuous pinkish flowers

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How to grow

Cultivation.

Grow under glass or as a house-plant in a loam-based compost with added grit in full light with shade from hot sun or in partial shade. Water freely in summer but keep just moist in winter. Can be grown outdoors in any soil but has the potential to become a nuisance if not managed well and also becomes deciduous in frost prone areas; suitable for use as bedding, including hanging baskets

Propagation

Propagate by seed or division

Suggested planting locations and garden types

  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Low Maintenance
  • Banks and slopes
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
  • Ground cover

No pruning required

Generally pest-free

Generally disease-free

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.

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COMMENTS

  1. Baby's Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii): All You Need To Know

    Soleirolia soleirolii, commonly known as Baby’s Tears or Mind-Your-Own-Business, is a charming, mat-forming perennial known for its delicate and lush appearance. Due to its versatility and ease of care, it has found a beloved place in many gardens and homes worldwide.

  2. Mind-your-own-business plant: care & varieties

    Soleirolia soleirolii, more commonly known as the mind-your-own-business plant, can be kept both as a houseplant and in the garden. With its slender shoots and delicate, shiny leaves, it spreads out over the ground, forming a beautiful green blanket of foliage. Here we will show you how to plant and how to care for the mind-your-own-business plant.

  3. Soleirolia soleirolii care: 5 expert tips for this creeper

    The mind-your-own-business plant can easily go unnoticed, but its delicate leaves are ideal for filling gaps in your yard or adding greenery to your home. We've gathered expert tips for keeping Soleirolia soleirolii in top condition.

  4. Mind-your-own-business

    Discover how to get rid of mind-your-own-business (Soleirolia soleirolii), with organic or chemical means, from the experts at BBC Gardeners' World Magazine. Remove unwanted mind-your-own-business plant from your garden, with the help of tips from our guide.

  5. Soleirolia soleirolii

    Best known as an indoor plant, baby's tears, or mind your own business, Soleirolia soleirolii makes an attractive and maintenance-free alternative to grass as ground cover in moist, shady areas. It's also suitable for using in green walls (pictured), and as a substitute for moss in a Japanese garden. The masses of tiny leaves clothe slender ...

  6. Soleirolia

    It has a number of common names, including baby's tears, angel's tears, peace in the home, bits and pieces, bread and cheese, Corsican creeper, Corsican curse, friendship plant, mind-your-own-business, pollyanna vine, Paddy's wig, and mother of thousands.

  7. Soleirolia soleirolii|mind-your-own-business/RHS Gardening

    mind-your-own-business. S. soleirolii is a wide-creeping evergreen perennial with slender, rooting, pink or green stems bearing tiny rounded leaves and minute pinkish-white flowers in summer.

  8. BBC

    Best known as an indoor plant, baby's tears, or mind your own business, makes an attractive and maintenance-free alternative to grass as ground cover in moist, shady areas.