Pachyphytum: 4 species with photos and secrets of caring for a mysterious plant
The world of succulents is rich in plants with an extraordinary, sometimes even cosmic appearance. One of these exotics is pachyphytum. Looking at the flower, it is difficult to understand that this is a representative of the terrestrial flora.
Why is this representative of succulents so original and how to care for him?
What does it look like?
Perennial of the Tolstyankov family, pachyphytum oviferum has a lush root system formed from small thin roots. The stems of it crawl on the ground, the leaves are voluminous, with thick walls, look fleshy.
They have an interesting shape resembling medium-sized pebbles, painted in bluish-green tones (see photo). On the surface of the leaves is a bluish coating.
The meatiness of the leaves is so pronounced that flower and called "plate". In Greek, the word sounds like "pachyphytum."
Where does it grow?
The main habitats of the original succulents are Mexico and some southern US states. It feels good in arid areas, because its leaves contain enough moisture to not be thirsty for a long time.
When does it bloom?
Pachyphytum blooms in mid-summer and only ends in late September. To show the world small flowers, the plant shoots up with a long peduncle.
On the inflorescence in the form of a spikelet pink, red or white corollas blossomconsisting of 5 petals. They exude a rather pleasant sweet aroma. When flowering is completed, seed pods are formed.
Although there are 10 species of pachyphytum, only half of them have found their place in home flower gardens. Let's take a closer look at these popular species.
Egg-bearing pachyphytum (pachyphytum oviferum) has a thick, up to 1 cm, stem with a height of about 20 cm. The flower stalk of the plant has the same length. Teardrop-shaped leaves, 5 cm long, grow on the upper part, they fall from below, leaving small scars on the stem.
The color of the leaves is gray-blue, a pinkish tint may appear at the tips. The flowers look like pink and white bells.
The creeping stalk (2 cm in diameter) of the species extends by 30 cm, rather large (up to 10 cm) leaves are formed at its apex, having the shape of a flattened drop.
Their width is 5 cm. This species has a very long peduncle - up to 40 cm, and the flowers are red.
Compact - means not taking up much space. This is how this type of pachyphytum grows. He has a stalk about 10 cm long, leaves fill the entire stem, there are no exposed areas.
Narrow, not more than 1 cm wide, but the length is 4 cm. The compactum surprises with its high peduncle (up to 40 cm), on which red-orange flower petals appear in summer and autumn.
The peculiarity of lilac pachyphytum in its short stalk and long leaves. All parts of the succulents are covered with a wax coating. Gives flowers with petals of a dark pink tone.
It is not difficult to grow and contain pachyphytum. Home care does not require special skills., the main thing is to provide the plant with a good drainage system. Succulent with an unusual appearance prefers to grow in small containers.
Taking a small pot, holes are made in it to drain water and pour drainage (pebbles, expanded clay). The soil can be bought or made independently.
The store takes a mixture for cacti with a low pH. When preparing the mixture with your own hands for it, you need to take in equal proportions the turf and leaf soil and sand.
Attention! Frequent transplants should be avoided, it is enough to transfer the plant to a new pot once every 2 years.
Intensive development of the plant occurs in mid-spring and lasts until the beginning of autumn. During this period, he needs to provide additional nutrition.
For fertilizing, choose liquid fertilizersrecommended for succulents with a minimum nitrogen content. They are brought in only 3-4 times during the entire growing season.
Able to store moisture for the future, pachyphytum calmly perceives infrequent watering. The fact that the plant needs moisture shows the state of the soil: if it has dried out by a third of the volume, it is time to water. For watering, you need to take warm water.
Important! Remember that pachyphytum has small roots. It must not be poured so that they do not rot.
Somewhere in mid-July, succulent pleases owners with flowering. He releases an arrow of a peduncle, bearing numerous inflorescences.
Small bells are strewn with it, differing from each other in size and shades of pink, white, red tones. The aroma is pleasant, unobtrusive.
The east and west side of the house is the right place to keep an unusual pet. The flower welcomes good lighting, but in direct sunlight it is better not to leave it.
If pachyphytum stands on the north window, it is difficult to wait for it to bloom, and the leaves lose their decorative effect.
Growing in arid regions, the flower is accustomed to dry air. In the house, he lacks the usual indicator of humidity for people.
Attention! Never spray pachyphytum so as not to spoil the wax coating on the leaves. With dark spots and damage, he will lose all beauty.
Adapted to high temperatures, Succulents easily tolerate summer heat, but require an influx of fresh air.. Do not forget to ventilate the room where it is located. If you can, take the plant to the loggia or balcony.
In winter, the flower "sleeps." The owner’s task is to find a cool place in the house where the temperature will not rise above 16 ° C. It cannot be dropped below 10 ° C: from such a cold, pachyphytum freezes and dies.
Two methods are used for plant propagation: cuttings and planting of seeds.
- We take a blade and cut off part of the leaf or stem from an adult flower.
- Dry the resulting material for a week.
- Dip in a solution of growth stimulator for several hours.
- We translate into the soil. We fill a small tank with drainage and moist soil from equal parts of sand and peat.
- We are waiting for rooting, periodically soaking the substrate with moisture.
- We translate into a stationary pot with soil.
- We select for planting seeds a small flat shape with low sides.
- Fill the soil, moisturize. We distribute the seeds, lowering them into the ground by 5 mm.
- We make a microparc, covering the container with a film. We maintain a temperature of 22 ° C in it.
- Every day we open the greenhouse for 30 minutes to ventilate the space. At the same time, we spray the soil.
- With the advent of strong shoots, we remove the film. We give them a little growth, then translate into pots.
Diseases and Pests
The main mistake of those who first started pachyphytum is excessive watering. The roots of the succulents do not withstand such mockery and rot. Following them, the whole flower dies.
From waterlogging, not only the roots, but also the upper parts of the plant can rot.
The flower is resistant to fungal diseases and practically does not get sick. The appearance is much more dangerous for him. powdery worm. The larvae and the worm itself with pleasure absorb the contents of the leaves of pachyphytum, sucking life out of it.
It is not difficult to notice the pest: it leaves a thin cobweb on all parts of the plant. To destroy it, you need to wipe the flower with a cloth moistened with a soap solution.
After the “wash”, you need to take the infusion of garlic or tobacco and spray the plant for 3 weeks, 1 time in 7 days.
Cactus growers and succulent lovers love this unpretentious and original in appearance flower. Using the similarity of its leaves to pebbles, they create real Japanese-style mini-kindergartens from it.
Compositions from different types of “moonstone” look very beautiful.