Botanical Name — Tylecodon buchholzianus
Other Name — Cotyledon buchholziana
Plant Family — Crassulaceae
Tylecodon buchholzianus is a dwarf succulent from Namibia and South Africa. A winter-grower, it flourishes in the dry season, taking in water from the fog of its coastal environment. Due to regional mining, the plant is subject to habitat loss, though it is not in danger of extinction. Able to photosynthesize through its young stalks, Tylecodon buchholzianus rarely bothers sending out leaves.
- Provide ample sun for Tylecodon buchholzianus, 4-5 hours per day. A window with southern or western exposure is ideal.
- In the heat of summer, if possible, protect Tylecodon buchholzianus from strong afternoon sun by sheltering it in the shade of taller plants or behind a sheer curtain.
- Tylecodon buchholzianus prefers warm temperatures in the 70s and 80s. It can become stressed if left in conditions of extreme temperatures or intense sun.
- These plants prefer heat, but are cold tolerant to just above freezing. Nevertheless, it’s best to bring the plant inside when night time temperatures drop below 55 ºF.
- Water when the roots are nearly dry during the active winter growing season. During the summer, allow the plant to completely dry out for several weeks.
- Native to arid and sub-tropical climates with long droughts, Tylecodon buchholzianus will happily subsist through long periods without water.
- If the newer growth starts to shrivel up, Tylecodon buchholzianus is thirsty.
- Tylecodon buchholzianus prefers 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.
- Tylecodon buchholzianus produce small, showy flowers shaped like pitchers in mid-summer.
- 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 this plant in winter.
- Tylecodon buchholzianus is most successfully propagated from cuttings. Split from the main plant in late autumn and plant directly into the soil.
- Tylecodon buchholzianus are attractive to mealy bugs, so keep an eye out for fuzzy white specks in caudex folds.
- 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.
- Tylecodon buchholzianus are toxic to humans and pets. South African farmers routinely remove Tylecodons in grazing fields, because they frequently poison and kill cattle.
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