Things You'll Need
Liquid plant food, 5-10-5
Isopropyl alcohol, 70 percent
Cotton swabs or balls
Bridal veil roots easily in either soil or water; share cuttings with fellow gardeners.
Wear protective gloves when handling diseased plants.
Delicate flowers over cascading foliage give bridal veil (Gibasis geniculata) its name. Also known as Tahitian bridal veil, it is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9b through 13, although this American native is grown as a house plant in other areas. A type of wandering Jew, the plant produces leaves that are light green on top and purple underneath and tiny white flowers through the spring and summer. Beyond protecting it from direct sunlight, the plant is easy to grow.
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Hang bridal veil in a spot that gets diffused light. During warm months, this could be on a shaded porch. In the colder months, place the plant in a room that gets bright, indirect light.
Monitor the temperature where the bridal veil is placed. It thrives in 55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme temperatures will harm it; bring it indoors during these times.
Water bridal veil no more than twice a week during the growing season. Use a container with adequate drainage and water the plant only when the soil is moist just below the surface. The plant does better with soil that is drier, rather than too wet; over-watering will rot the roots.
Feed with a 5-10-5 liquid fertilizer every two weeks. Lightly water the soil before applying fertilizer. Mix 1 part fertilizer to 4 parts water and carefully pour onto the moistened soil; avoid wetting the foliage.
Watch for signs of root rot, such as wilting, blackened stems, yellowing leaves or stunted growth. If you suspect root rot, remove the plant from the container and inspect the roots. Healthy roots will be fibrous and have white tips, while rotted roots will be blackened and decayed. Treat mild rot by improving drainage and water only when needed; plants with severe root rot should be discarded.
Watch for signs of aphids and mites on the bridal veil plant. Aphids are tiny, pear-shaped insects that feed on the leaves of plants. Mites cause leaves to turn yellow and have speckles, or you might see a webbing in the axils of the leaves. Take the plant outside to treat for pests. Use insecticidal soap, mixing 2 1/2 to 5 tablespoons of soap per gallon of water, advises Clemson University. Add the soap mixture to a clean sprayer and spray the entire plant, coating both sides of the leaves. Leave the plant in a shaded spot outside until the leaves dry. Repeat every four to seven days as needed.
Prune to shape the plant and promote more blooms. Use clean gardening shears to remove dead or weak parts and cut off long masses of branches to shape the plant. Clean the shears' blades before and after use by wiping them with a cotton swab or cotton ball dipped in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.
Bring bridal veil indoors in the fall when the outside temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Prune back the plant and place it where it can receive diffused light. During dormant months, reduce watering to once a week and stop applications of plant food.
- Plants Rescue: Gibasis Geniculate
- The Plant Ranch: Plant Care Quick Reference
- My Garden Life: Gibasis Geniculata
- Chicago Botanical Gardens: Recommended Fertilizers
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Insecticidal Soaps for Garden Pest Control
- Purdue University Extension: House Plant Problems
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University: Plant Data Base; Gibasis Geniculata
After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." An avid gardener for 25 years, her experience includes organic food gardening, ornamental plants, shrubs and trees, with a special love for roses.