Goeppertia micans

Family: Marantaceae

Countries: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Central America, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, South America, Venezeula

I bought this endearing little plant about ten years ago.  For me this is a truly charming terrarium plant.  I adore Goeppertia micans leaves; their foliage may appear to be lovely, but fairly ordinary plain green, narrow leaves, but when you touch this foliage it’s a delightful surprise to discover that these leaves are sumptuously soft!  The undersides of every leaf are smooth and silky, they feel like the softest velvet.  When I purchased this plant at the garden centre it was rather unhelpfully labelled as ‘Plant Mix’, but I believe this is Goeppertia micans, or some type of miniature Calathea.  Over the years, I’ve found that this is a slow-growing, miniature plant that is a great size for most terrariums and bottle gardens.  In the photograph above you can see my Goeppertia micans plants growing inside one of my terrariums.  I divided my original plant and I now have five plants, all of which are precisely 20cm tall.

My Goeppertia micans plants that you can see pictured above are growing in a fairly shaded spot, where they seem very happy.  These plants grow steadily but very slowly.  Most days I administer my Goeppertia micans with a light mist of rainwater over their leaves, but other than this I’ve not given my plants any other special care or attention.  I grow all of my terrarium plants, my houseplants, and all my garden plants in peat-free compost.  This terrarium was filled with a mixture of spent compost, coir compost, perlite, and vermiculite.  I guess these plants have been grown in the same compost for at least three years now and they seem very happy.  I’ve never given these plants any fertiliser; my Goeppertia micans plants are simply misted with rainwater.

It’s very easy to propagate Goeppertia micans, it’s simply a case of looking for the thinnest connection of plant growth – the area where dividing your plant will cause it the least trauma and damage fewer roots, and then gently pulling the roots apart.  However, please remember to water your plants a few hours before you separate them and water your plants immediately after dividing them.  I would advise only dividing plants that are large enough in size to tolerate being divided.

Plant Goeppertia micans in peat-free compost, inside a terrarium or bottle garden.  Once you’ve planted up your new Goeppertia micans plants, take care to devoutly mist their leaves at least once each day for the next few weeks.  I mist my plants, spraying a light mist of rainwater over them, almost every day, but this is especially important for newly planted or divided Goeppertia micans plants – established plants will be more forgiving.

To see my Planting List for Terrariums and Bottle Gardens, please click here.

To read articles I’ve written about my terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.

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