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Rauhia peruviana photographed at Tula Plants & Design. Rauhia peruviana photographed at Tula Plants & Design.

Rauhia peruviana

Botanical Name — Rauhia peruviana
Plant Family — Amaryllidaceae

Background

This Peruvian native is a favorite for its tongue-shaped, fleshy leaves that seem to spring right out of the sandy ground. Beneath the surface is a bulbous caudex, a moisture retaining root that helps this plant sustain itself through long periods of drought in high deserts. Hardy and resourceful, this plant will root itself if you just drop it on the ground, but we recommend giving it a little more love than that. Come spring, watch a tall inflorescence grow and release a cluster of blue-green flowers with white stripes.

 

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Growth Requirements

Sun

  • Rauhia peruviana does best in filtered sun, 4 to 5 hours a day. Avoid intense afternoon sun by sheltering this plant beneath the limbs of a larger plant or placing it in the shadow of a sheer curtain. Grow outdoors in light shade or indoors in a sunny window with southern exposure.

Temperature/ Humidity
  • Rauhia peruviana prefers warm temperatures in the 70s and 80s. It can become stressed if left in conditions of extreme temperatures or intense sun.
  • These plants are cold hardy, but it’s best to move them indoors when night time temperatures drop below 55 ºF.

Water
  • Native to high deserts, Rauhia peruviana are drought tolerant plants. Water when the soil dries out in the summer and only infrequently during the winter. Their soil should be allowed to dry out entirely before watering thoroughly.

Soil/Roots
  • These plants prefer a sandy, sharply draining mix. Cacti or succulent potting mix is great. You can amend a regular potting soil with sand or pumice up to 50% to improve grittiness and drainage.

Flowering
  • Rauhia peruviana produce blue-green flowers with white stripes most often during the spring.

Fertilization
  • These plants do not require fertilizer though it can be added to give container grown plants a boost or to supplement poor soil. Apply a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer monthly, diluted at half strength.
  • Never fertilize in winter.

Propagation
  • Rauhia peruviana can be propagated from stem cuttings. The best time to do this is late spring or early summer. Allow cuttings to callous for one to two weeks before dusting with rooting hormone and placing in soil.

Health

Diseases
  • Rauhia peruviana are not often prone to pests, but older plants sometimes are infected with mealybugs at the caudex. Keep an eye out for white, fuzzy specks hiding in and around dry bulb scales.
  • Root rot can also be a concern and is triggered by overwatering. Always err on the side of underwatering.

Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
  • Little maintenance is required to grow these plants.
  • This plant loves to be rootbound in a pot. Once planted, they will be happy in the same pot for several years. Repot once every two to three years.

Toxicity
  • Rauhia peruviana contains alkaloids that are poisonous. Keep this plant away from young children and pets.