How to Grow a Moses in the Cradle Plant

Hi Judy! Hoping you can tell me what this plant is. My mom got it at a garage sale for like three bucks. I’ve had it for three months. When I got it, I thinned it and cut out the dead stems. It was doing well and even bloomed! Within the last month it is starting to suddenly die. The only thing I can think is now we are running our air conditioner. It’s not directly under it but maybe too close and getting cold. There is a ton of new dead and all the newest green stems and leaves are limp and break easily. I just cut out the dead and thinned again. Will move it to a new area in the house to see if that helps. I really want to keep it alive but have such a black thumb. Can you help!?!

Hi Tammy,

Your plant looks like a Moses in the Cradle plant (in trouble).

green and Purple Moses in the Cradle plant
Moses in the Cradle Plant
Oyster Plant

Moses In the Cradle plants produce rosettes of long, waxy, sword-shaped leaves that are glossy green, green and purple, or lavender with a white stripe on top; all varieties have a purple underside. The very small white flowers, tucked away in a boat shaped bract, give Moses-in-the-Cradle plants their many common names.

These plants need very bright light for at least 6-8 hours a day. Feed monthly in the spring and summer with a well balanced plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. I recommend vigoroulsy pruning a Moses in the Cradle in the spring to keep the plant full and bushy. Always wear gloves since the sap in the plant is toxic and very irritating.

You can read all my care tips on how to grow and care for a Moses in the Cradle plant in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.