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Homalomena Selby – A Comprehensive Guide

by gardeningit
Homalomena Selby

Homalomena Selby is a unique, beautiful plant with stunning green leaves that twist and turn as they please. These leaves have a beautiful pattern on them and subtle markings that let it stand out of the crowd. However, being beautiful is not all there is to this species. It is famous for how versatile, tolerant, and manageable it is.


  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Aroideae
  • Genus: Homalomena

About the genus Homalomena

This genus consists of flowering plants that have a strong resemblance to Anise plants in terms of their smell. The name Homalomena comes from a mistranslated name in the Malaysian language. Homalos means “flat” while Mene means “moon.”

These plants are all evergreen and grow in the form of clumps. The foliage ranges from heart-shaped leaves to arrowheaded ones. These plants bloom with tiny flowers that have no petals and are hidden in a green spathe and leaves.

Origin and Distribution

Homalomena plants are as old as 3000 years. Since their discovery, Tamilians have used these plants to cure stomach problems, Flem, piles, etc. Oil derived from this plant is used to cure several diseases.

These plants are native to the rainforests of Southern Asia as well as the South-Western Pacific. Some species also grow abundantly in Latin America.

Homalomena Selby Features

Foliage and Stem

A Selby plant features oval, light green foliage with dark patterns, and markings all over the leaves. These leaves are thick, large, and leathery. They develop from the center of the plant and grow upwards and outwards.


With its unique, beautiful foliage, it would be a shame if it wasn’t evergreen. Luckily, it is. The leaves stay green, lush, and beautiful throughout the year, and you don’t have to worry about handling a dull Selby.


The mature height of a Homalomena Selby is about 12 to 18 inches with a spacing of 15 to 18 inches. The tall, upright leaves have a significant contribution to the overall height of the plant.

Temperature Tolerance

When it comes to a temperate environment, Homalomena plants do not complain much. Because they come from a humid, warm, tropical background, we can survive well in warmer climates. Frost, however, is not a friend of this species. So make sure that you keep it nice and warm during the winter season.

Humidity Tolerance

Again, owing to the origin of the plant species, Selby plants are very fond of humidity. Lack of moisture around then can make them look unwell. Thus, do not hesitate from making extra efforts to boost the water content in the air around them. You can opt for misting, humidifiers, and the pebble-tray method. Similarly, keep them away from the dry air that strips off the moisture from their surface.


Even though they are not very fussy about frequent watering, Homalomena plants don’t do well under complete water-deficient conditions. They need constant reassurance through spraying or naturally humid air. Thus, give it immediate attention of they look dry and dehydrated.

Pressure Tolerance

Unfortunately, these plants are not big or tough enough to resist pressure. You must remember to keep them safe, so they don’t get stepped on. Plus, avoid putting them in a spot where they get lots of external pressure from plants or objects around them. Also, keep them away from pets and children, so they don’t nibble on the leaves and destroy them.

Disease and Pest Resistance

One of the most popular features of this plant, and one of the reasons it is so well-loved, is because it is resistant to pests and diseases. It is a rare site that Selby gets sick or unwell. However, a plant living in inadequate conditions is almost always prone to such problems. Make sure you keep the plant well hydrated, clean, and dry at all times to avoid fungal infections and other rotting diseases.


If you have pets and children in the house and you want to keep this plant indoors, be careful with where you place it. Homalomena Selby is a very toxic plant, so you must be extra cautious not to let anyone ingest it.


These plans are perennials, which means that they are highly durable and will live longer than two to three years.


Considering that they do not catch a lot of diseases and are very easy to take care of, Selby plants are low to moderate in terms of maintenance.


While it is not to confirm whether the plants go dormant, their growth indeed becomes slow during the winter season. To be safe and cautious not to damage the Selby, experts recommend that you leave it alone for these months and do not overwater, overfeed, or propagate it.

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Homalomena Selby Care

Homalomena Selby care is not intimidating at all. All it needs is a well-lit corner of the house with indirect sunlight hitting its leaves. Plus, you can water it every few days after the soil starts drying on the top. Monthly fertilizing is also a great aid to boost growth.

Water Requirements

The rainforest origins of Homalomena Selby plants make it a water-loving species. Thus, you must make sure that it is well-hydrated. Water the plants nicely and then let it be so that all the water drains out. Now, wait for the soil to start drying on top. Only then water it again. During the winter months, however, cut down on the frequency and amount of water you are giving the plant. Two to three sessions a week are more than enough.


The soil for Homalomena Selby care is supposed to be well-draining and semi-porous. The substrate base should be peat, and you can add a little bit of sand and humus to increase the levels of organic matter. Make sure that the soil texture is not to clay-like and not too sandy. The ground must be able to hold enough water for proper hydration but efficiently let go of the excess. The pH of the soil should remain from 6.5 to 7.3 (slightly acidic to neutral).


Because of their habit of staying in rainforests and shady areas, they can grow well under lowlight conditions. However, when placing it indoors, consider a spot that receives lots of indirect sunlight; diffused, filtered light leads to the optimal growth of the plant. Direct, scorching sunlight can do the opposite and damage the leaves.

Temperature Requirements

The optimum temperature range for Selby plants is from 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It is essential to maintain this temperature range for maximum growth and development. If the temperature starts to drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant will begin looking unwell. 

Humidity Requirements

Just like all the other indoor plants of tropical origins, this one is also fond of high humidity levels in the air. If you live in the dry areas of the world, installing an indoor humidifier or using the pebble-tray method will do the plant well. If the edges of your Selby’s leaves have started to turn brown, it means that they are not satisfied with the humidity levels. To combat this, boost moisture in the air as soon as you can. Spray the plant with water two times a week. 

Fertilizer Requirements

To ensure maximum healthy growth, you can fertilize a Selby twice in a month. The ideal type of fertilizer used for the species is complete liquid at half the recommended strength. Make sure you do not do this during the winter seasons when the plant is inactive.


Keep your eyes open for blocked drainage holes and escaping roots that have outgrown their pot. Once you witness anything of the sort, immediately re-pot the plant, preferably do this during the spring or summer seasons, and avoid it anytime near the winters.

Grooming and Pruning

These plants have a compact growing habit, so maintaining their shape and pruning them is not a hassle. However, you can groom the plant and make sure it looks clean and neat at all times. Wipe the plants with water or oil and conduct a proper inspection to make sure everything is okay.

Homalomena Selby Propagation

Homalomena Selby matures with clumped roots. For such plants, the best way to propagate them is through plant division. The process is simple and involves dividing the plant and growing the pieces separately.

  • Select a mature plant or one that needs to be re-potted.
  • Take out the plant from its container and remove excess soil from the roots.
  • Now, divide the ball of roots into sections with your hands. Avoid using knives and scissors for this purpose.
  • Prepare new pots with the same soil mix as the one in the parent pot.
  • Plant the divided sections into separate pots and make sure that these new containers are not too large.
  • Water these baby plants frequently and make sure they stay well hydrated. Although, avoid placing them under direct sunlight.

Final Thoughts

Homalomena Selby is a beautiful statement plant with gorgeous, unique, and unusual foliage. The leaves have a beautiful green color with stunning dark markings all over them. Even though this species can be a little expensive sometimes, it is durable, evergreen, and easy to maintain. So, adding them to your collection is worth it.

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