Jericho’s Rose is the name given to several plants in botany, although none of them belong to the rose family. Jericho’s Rose is a true oddity, a miraculous plant. It was already the most important plant of Christmas in ancient times, and its reverence has grown since the Middle Ages, as it symbolizes resurrection from death and eternal life. In the past, it was also used for divination and fortune-telling, and it was employed for purifying the air.
- The oldest known Jericho’s Rose is the Anastatica hierochuntica. This plant is a cruciferous annual plant that thrives in the desert areas of Egypt, Syria, and Arabia.
- Another one is the Asteriscus pygmaeus. This plant belongs to the aster family and resembles a miniature sunflower. It is also an annual plant that opens and closes its bracts.
- The third variation originates from Mexico, the Selaginella lepidodhylla. There is also a town named Jericho near the Mexico-US border, which is where the plant got its name. This plant belongs to the clubmoss family and is also known as the Mexican rose moss.
All three have the special ability to curl up into a ball and survive for decades without water. The fatty oils in their cells provide them with energy.
For most of the year, Jericho’s Rose appears as a dry cluster of leaves, brown and fragile, about the size of a tennis ball. Desert winds easily pick it up and roll it for kilometers. Its uniqueness lies in its ability to dry out without water and harbor life within itself for years, only to bloom and flourish in full glory at the first few drops of moisture. It is nearly indestructible and symbolizes the continuous renewal of life.
Caring for Jericho’s Rose
In Europe, the third variation is the most common. This plant is a desert plant that has adapted to the extreme conditions of its habitat by curling up during dry weather and surviving in a dry state when there is a lack of water. However, it opens up again once it receives moisture. The tuber can be purchased in a completely dry form. It prefers sunlight, so it thrives near windows.
- Remove the tuber from the packaging and place it in a container filled with lukewarm water for a short period, making sure only the roots are submerged in water.
- You can already see changes within a few hours, but it may take 2-3 days for it to fully green up.
- It’s advisable to change the water every 2-3 days, and in summer, you can also use misting to provide moisture.
- In winter, due to heating and lack of light, the plant may not turn green. In such cases, it’s best to let it dry out again and only bring it out when there is enough sunlight, light, and warmth.
- It’s recommended to dry out the plant again once a month, but if it’s thriving, it can remain in water for several months.
- Propagation is relatively simple: If you already have a larger plant, you can cut it in half at the base with a sharp knife.
- From spring to autumn, it prefers partial shade.
What Jericho’s Rose doesn’t like:
- Planting it in soil, as it will perish from it.
- If we don’t change the water underneath, it will become algae-infested.
- Keeping it on a radiator will cause it to deteriorate quickly.
- If the leaves come into contact with water, they will develop mold.
- Keeping it in water for too long will cause it to develop mold.
- Temperatures below 18 degrees Celsius during winter.
- From April onwards, it can be placed outside, but avoid direct sunlight.
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