Piggyback plant (Tolmiea menziesii) is an evergreen Perennial, ornamental house plant. The attractive heart-shaped leaves are medium to dark green and hairy, five to seven-lobed, toothed leaves. A capsule fruit containing spiny seeds. Blooms are brownish purple, 6-10 mm long, petals 4, ribbon-like, sepals 5, 3 large and 2 small, greenish-purple, 3 stamens, several to many in long clusters. Keep out of the reach of children and pets. The hairy leaves of the piggyback plant may cause skin irritation in some sensitive individuals. Always wear gloves while handling.
Scientific Name: Tolmiea menziesii
Common Name: Youth on age, Pick-a-back-plant, Piggyback plant, and thousand mothers.
How to grow and maintain Piggyback plant:
It thrives well in bright indirect light near a bright east or south window and avoids direct sunlight.
It grows well in humus rich, moist but well-drained soil.
It requires cool to average room temperatures between 50°F – 75°F / 10°C – 24°C.
Water your piggyback plant regularly during the growing season and always keep the soil moist but never allow your plant to sit in water. This plant requires less watering during the winter season, so reduce watering from late November through early March and you can allow the topsoil to become slightly dry between each watering.
Fertilize your piggyback plant once per month during the months of May through September with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
It can be easily propagated by seed, by division, layering and by leaf cuttings. Take leaf cuttings with plantlets and set them in a pot, allowing the base of the plantlets to touch the soil. Roots will form quickly from this junction. After the parent leaf has dried up, cut it away from the newly rooted plantlet.
Prune damaged leaves and stems as necessary. Pinch back old leaves and stems to promote new growth and keep your piggyback plant compact.
Re-pot every year or every 2 years in spring when they outgrow their containers. Move to a pot which is one size larger in diameter in order for your plant to continue to grow.
Pests and Diseases:
There is no serious pest and disease problems. Watch for mealybugs and red spider mites. Proper humidity levels help to control the pests.