There is a wide variety of unusual plants that can be grown indoors. They look great in the decoration of various interiors of the house, offices, stores. We want to tell you about the succulent Pachyphytum, which is distinguished by its incredible beauty, miniaturization, spectacular leaves.
Description of plants of the genus Pachyphytum
The genus Pachyphytum is a member of the family Crassulaceae (relative kalanchoe and jade plant) and consists of about 16 species of succulent plants. All of them are endemics of different regions of Mexico. A common feature of Pachyphytum are the fleshy, rather thick leaves that have a whitish waxy patina on the surface. This genus was named Pachyphytum because of its foliage, which means “thick-leafed” in Greek.
A small to medium sized, slow-growing Mexican succulent in the Crassulaceae family (a relative of the calanhoe and jade plants). The leaves of the succulent are plump and fleshy, and vary in color from green to orange and even purple. The leaves form a loose rosette. They are grape-like or tubular in shape and covered with a powdery sheath called a farina. In spring and summer, Pachyphytum blooms with small, unexpressive bell-shaped flowers, usually greenish-white or dark red in color, opening on long spike-like inflorescences. It grows in both shrub-like and stemless rosettes and eventually forms shrubs.
Care of Pachyphytum indoors
We have collected tips from experienced florists and are ready to share them with you.
As with any succulent, the soil should have good drainage and be loose. There are different ways to prepare a suitable substrate for Pachyphytum. To prepare a soil mixture, you will need to mix ordinary soil with fine gravel, as well as coarse sand. The proportion is 3 to 1 to Another option is to use a combination of the same purchased soil mixture, perlite or sand.
Pachyphytum likes sun, especially direct sunlight, but in summer because of the bright sun the plants need shading. The best solution would be to place the plant on the windows facing the West or East.
Please note that the flowering and the coloring of the leaves of the plant will depend on the amount of light received. If the pot is placed in the shade, be prepared for the leaves to fade and decrease in size. Flowering may also not be seen.
The optimal range during the growing season is 68 – 79 °F (20-26 °C). Short-term increases in temperature will not affect the state of the succulent, but prolonged exposure to heat is detrimental to Pachyphytum. If the room is hot for quite a long time, you need to ventilate it often. In the warm season, it is recommended to take the pot with the plant out into the fresh air (in the garden, on the balcony). During the winter, the flower is in a dormant period and should be kept in a cooler place at temperatures up to 60 °F (16 °C). If the temperature drops below 32 °F (0 °C), the succulent may drop its leaves or even die.
Pachyphytum tolerate drought very well, so they do not require much water. You should only water them if the soil is dry or if the leaves are drooping a bit underneath.
Summer is the time when the plant needs more water, water it once a week, but if the weather is quite hot and you notice the soil is dry, water the succulent every five days. In winter, it should be watered once a month. In the spring, water them again once every seven days.
You only need to fertilize the flower during the growing season – from mid-spring to mid-autumn. You will only need to fertilize 3 or 4 times during this entire period. Give preference to formulations that contain little nitrogen. Buy a special fertilizer suitable for cacti or succulents.
Pachyphytum has a fairly compact root system and does not take up much space in the pot. Therefore, the plant can be repotted once every two years. It is best to transplant the plant in mid-spring.
Information about succulents
Pests and diseases of Pachyphytum
Try not to touch the leaves of plants because humans have natural oil in our skin. If you touch their surface, oil will remain on them, which can cause damage. Excess water can lead to rotten roots or rotten leaves. If excessive watering occurs, remove the damaged roots or leaves, and repot the plant in a new pot with fresh soil.
One of the most common pests of the Pachyphytum is the mealybug. Your succulent can fall victim to this pest. An infested plant slows or stops growing (although this is a normal sign of dormancy in the summer). If it occurs for no apparent reason, remove the plant from the pot and inspect the roots or look at the leaf and stem connections. White cottony matter is a sure sign of powdery mealybug infestation. Remove all soil and gently rinse the roots. Apply a cotton swab soaked in alcohol to the cotton spots. Remove any roots that appear to be damaged with a sharp sterile knife or scissors. Allow them to dry very thoroughly before replanting at a later date.
How to propagate Pachyphytum
The most popular method is propagation by leaf or cuttings. For such purposes, an apex stem up to 3 inches (7 cm) long is cut off. The cuttings will need to dry for 48 hours, then transplant into the ground, burying only the tip. For the stability of the seedling, it must be tied to a support.
Propagation of Pachyphytum by leaf
For leaf cuttings, you need to cut a young healthy leaf closer to the center of the rosette. Leave it outdoors for one day to allow the wound to become calloused.
Dip the leaf in rooting hormone and place the leaf (cut side down) in slightly moist, succulent soil. Soon a new rosette will grow from the base of the leaf. Once enough roots have emerged for transplanting, remove the leaf and transplant the rosette.
To ensure rooting, proper watering is to be done. You should not allow the soil to be overwatered, but it is not recommended to overdry the culture either. The substrate, which dries out, you will need to moisten with a sprayer. Do not cover the cuttings with anything, so as not to provoke an increase in moisture levels. This can lead to rotting.
Varieties of the genus Pachyphytum
We suggest getting acquainted with the most popular varieties of this plant.
Succulent has a shortened stem, thick leaves of an obovate shape. The coloring is grayish white or green.
On the surface of the leaves there is a characteristic scurf. Flowers are located on an elongated pedicel, they are colored in red, white shades.
The plant is compact, with stems up to 4 inches (10 cm) long. The shoots are densely covered with cylindrical leaves. They are dark green in color with a waxy patina.
Starts blooming in the spring. The peduncle opens with spike-like flowers of orange-red hue.
Pachyphytum oviferum (“Moonstone”)
Shoots up to 8 inches (20 cm) long. Leaves are bluish-gray in color with a characteristic pinkish cast.
Flowering begins in July and can last until September. The peduncle of “Moonstone” is spike-like, the flowers are whitish-green with pinkish flecks. They bloom gradually rather than immediately.
Pachyphytum Oviferum Rubra is also a popular variety of this variety. Unlike Pachyphytum oviferum, this succulent variety has a more reddish tint to its leaves.
The shoots are up to 1 foot (30 cm) long. The leaves are elongated – up to 4 inches (10 cm) long.
The color is silvery-white, but with a rich pinkish color. Flowering can be observed from August to November. The florets are of a red hue.
A variety of fairly large plants, with good care can form large clusters.
Leaves with pointed tips are gray with a powdery coating, which is easily erased by touch. Plants are easily propagated by leaf or stem cuttings.
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