plant image thumbnail
plant image thumbnail
plant image thumbnail
Piggy-back Plant

English Name


Scientific Name


Named after Dr. William Fraser Tolmie (1830-1886). This plant is hardy, easily grown, compact and ideal for cold and draughty places in the home. Each plantlet grows on the upper surface of a leaf at the junction of the leaf and its stalk.

North America




55°F - 68°F

Temperature (°F)

6" - 1'

Height (feet/inches)

Hardy Perennial

Life Cycle





Water moderately throughout the warmer months and during the active growth. Allow top half inch of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. During the short Winter rest period, water only enough to keep mixture from drying out completely.


Apply standard liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks when plant is in active growth.


Re-pot at any time of the year. Use soil-based potting mixture, plant 3 together in a 3 inch pot or group 4 or 6 plants in a hanging basket. Move plants in larger pots only when they are pot bound.


In Spring or Summer, cut a leaf that has a well developed plantlet on it, leaving about 1 inch of its stalk attached. Plant in a 2 or 3 inch pot of moistened cutting compost or equal parts peat moss and perlite or coarse sand. Make sure the stalk is buried and the plantlet sits on the surface of the compost. Alternatively the plantlet can be propagated in water or by layering.


Tolmieas thrive in either bright or medium light. Stand outdoors in Summer. In mid Summer it develops greenish white flowers. Flowers are rarely produced on plants grown indoors.


Keep the desired height and shape with light pruning or clipping at any time.


Newly rooted Tolmieas grow best and healthier, so it is best to replace older Tolmieas rather than to re-pot them more than once or twice.


Dry soil or a high level of soluble salts may damage roots causing plant to die back and making it prone to infestations of spider mites.


Stand pot in saucer of pebbles almost cover in water. Spray with water about once every 14 days to keep plant clean.


House-plant compost.

Did you know?

Watering is necessary when transplanting, but be careful not to over water.