Botanical Name — Adromischus maculatus
Common Name — Calico hearts, Chocolate drop
Plant Family — Crassulaceae
Calico hearts are native to South Africa and Namibia. In their home in the wild they grow on rocky cliffs in high altitudes. To mimic this microclimate at home, we can provide them with a gritty well drained potting mix and an arid environment. These plants will spread out as they grow, forming clusters up to three feet wide. Adromischus are low-lying plants that will remain fairly short in height, reaching only up to about 6 inches tall.
- Calico hearts prefer bright light, ideally some full sun.
- They would thrive in late afternoon sun. If possible give them a spot in a sill with southern or western exposure.
- This arid plant likes high temperatures and low humidity. It will thrive in temperatures above 75°F, but avoid consistent temperatures below 45°F. Keep it indoors in a sunny windowsill during cooler months.
- This plant is super low-maintenance from a watering standpoint. Succulent leaves retain plenty of moisture so be sure to let the soil dry out completely in between waterings then water thoroughly, fully saturating the soil.
- In the winter, when these plants are not actively growing, ease up on watering even more.
- In their native environment, Calico hearts grow on rocky cliffs in South Africa. At home they’ll prefer gritty, well drained soil. A good cacti or succulent mix would suffice.
- Coco coir is a great amendment to improve moisture retention. Pumice is another great addition to improve grittiness and aeration.
- Calico heart flowers are small and inconspicuous. The plant sends out tall stems with small tubular flowers at the tips.
- These plants flower during the spring and summer time, though they rarely bloom indoors.
- Fertilization is not necessary, but if you are going to use one be sure to use one specifically made for cacti and succulents.
- Fertilize once every two weeks during the active growing season. This is limited to spring and summer in temperate climates.
- These plants will propagate easily by leaf cuttings or division.
- This plant is not particularly prone to pests or diseases. Root rot can be a concern if it is overwatered.
- Though this plant is low maintenance, it is always wise to keep an eye out for any bugs or spotting caused by disease. To help prevent any issues, prune away unhealthy leaves or stems.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- These plants prefer to be root bound, so you’ll only need to repot once every two years.
- These plants are known to be toxic if ingested by animals and humans. Keep out of reach of children and pets.