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Aizoon family. Homeland South Africa. In nature, there are about 120 plant species in the form of small shrubs with succulent leaves.
Types of Delosperm
- Delosperma echinaceous Delosperma echinatum - with thin ascending stems, up to 30 cm high. The leaves are arranged opposite, cruciform, ovoid or spherical in shape, about 1.5 cm long. The leaves are bright green, covered with so-called papillae - transparent outgrowths of the skin. Outwardly, it seems that there are bristles on the leaves. The flowers are solitary white or yellowish, about 1.5 cm in diameter. This species is most adapted to indoor conditions.
- Delosperma Lehmann Delosperma lehmannii is a stunted succulent with creeping reddish stems that eventually forms wide clumps. Leaves are sessile, triangular, gray or light green. The flowers are yellow, large - about 4 cm in diameter, very showy.
- Delosperma alpine Delosperma alpinum - fleshy leaves are dark, young growths, especially in specimens growing not on the south side, they are green with a reddish base, in adult plants, especially in a sunny place, the leaves are almost plum-colored, the flowers are white.
There are several other types of delosperm, distinguished by brighter and more abundant flowers, grown in the Mediterranean countries as ground cover plants for decorating flower beds and flower beds. However, these species, as a rule, are not successful as indoor plants - they are too demanding in terms of care.
Many species of Delosperma, such as the black-eyed Delosperma echinatum, still do not have official taxonomic status - they appear in the list of plants in Kew Gardens and the Missouri Botanical Gardens as "unresolved". At the same time, they do not belong to the closely related genus Mesembriantemum.
- Delosperma sutherlandii Delosperma Sutherland is another ground cover species, creeping stems, up to 50 mm long, lance-shaped leaves, about 50 mm long and 15-20 mm wide, rough. The flowers are large, up to 7 cm in diameter, saturated pink, almost purple.
- Delosperma cloudy Delosperma nubigenum - shoots are short, but form a solid green carpet, up to 5 cm high. The leaves are fleshy, bright green, almost triangular in shape with a convex back side. The flowers are yellow, about 5 cm in diameter.
Delosperma - care and cultivation
Temperature: in summer, the usual room temperature, although in the heat above 28 ° C, the plants should be shaded. In winter, it is desirable to provide a dormant period at a temperature of 10-12 ° C, at least 8 ° C, with a dry content. It is advisable to provide enough fresh air in caring for the plant - best of all on a glazed balcony, where it is light and airing without drafts. On the balcony, delosperma can stand until October in dry soil.
Lighting: Full sunlight all the time. If the windows are not sunny, in winter during the heating season you cannot do without additional lighting. Use fluorescent (phyto-lamps) or LED - they can be placed at a distance of about 5-7 cm from the leaves.
Watering: moderate during the growing season. It is watered very carefully if the temperature drops by night or during periods of spring-summer cold snap (cloudy and rainy), the roots easily rot from excess water. During the rest period with a cold content, watering is stopped altogether. In many ways, the correctness of watering depends on the structure and quality of the soil.
Top dressing: only if the plant has not been transplanted for more than two years. Fertilizer is taken in half the dose recommended by the manufacturer, or a special fertilizer for cacti.
Air humidity: These succulents tolerate dry air well and do not need to be sprayed.
Transfer: Into small pots as needed, when the roots fill the entire pot. For planting, you can use the following soil: 1 part of sod land and 1/2 part of very small pebbles (3-5 mm) and 1/2 part of vermiculite. You can use a general-purpose primer from a store, but also thin it with sand, vermiculite, or well-rinsed zeolite. The correct soil for succulents should absorb water very quickly (in seconds) when watering and dry out very quickly (no longer than 2 days). Planting pots are suitable for wide and shallow, plastic ones have large drain holes at the bottom or good drainage.
Well-drained soil is one of the keys to successful delosperm cultivation. In its pure form, peat or storey soil is not suitable for growing succulents, loosening components are required - fine gravel or pebbles, quartz sand are better: for crops, rooted cuttings and leaves about 2-3 mm, for transplanting adults - larger - about 4-5 mm. You can replace them with zeolite granules made of cat litter (such as Barsik, non-clumping and insoluble), they must be rinsed to clean water.
Delosperma reproduces by seeds, cuttings, leaves.
The easiest and quickest way to get a new plant from a cutting is by cutting off a twig from the top of the shoot about 5 cm. From the bottom of the cutting, you need to remove the leaves, leaving a piece of bare stem about 2 cm.Prepare a small pot (about 5 cm in diameter and at 7 cm in height), put a clay shard on the bottom, fill in the soil (peat or leaf earth in half with small pebbles), very moderate humidity - the ground is not damp and not dry!
Make a depression in the soil with a pencil or a pen rod. Stick in the handle and squeeze the ground slightly. Do not water for two days, moisten the soil slightly on the third, and then water moderately enough, but not allowing the substrate to dry out into dust. Keep rooted cuttings under light shading, preferably without sudden temperature fluctuations in the first month, while the roots are formed. The appearance of a young growth of leaves is a sign of successful rooting; you can accustom the plants to full-fledged sunlight.
Delosperm seeds can be sown at any time, if it is possible to provide heat and light. Sowing in wide bowls under a film, in a mixture of universal peat soil and small pebbles in equal parts.
Germinate at a temperature of about 25 ° C, humidification from a spray bottle. As soon as shoots appear, you need to provide enough light (you can use fluorescent or LED lamps).