homalocladium platycladum – tapeworm plant, ribbon bush

the tapeworm plant (homalocladium platycladum) is native to the solomon islands. its common name is based on the flat leafless stems that resemble tapeworms. it’s also known as ribbon bush or centipede plant.


the tapeworm plant does best if located bright with some morning and/or evening sun. but it also can be grown on a light shaded place.

it can be planted in a standard potting mix. keep it evenly moist and because of rotten roots avoid overwatering. the drying of the soil’s surface will be tolerated, but it should not completely dry, this can cause leaf drop.

during spring and summer a water soluble fertilizer diluted at half can be given monthly and if placed at room temperatur in fall/winter every six to eight weeks. newly purchased or recently re-potted plants don’t need to be fed for the first six to eight weeks.

homalocladium platycladum can be cultivated at room temperature the year round with a winter minimum of 10 °c/59 °f. at this temperature range it needs less watering (but shouldn’t completely dry) and no fertilizing.

it likes a medium humidity and welcomes if sprayed over with water regularly.


the tapeworm plant (homalocladium platycladum) can be propagated with seeds or cuttings.