How to Grow and Care for Titanopsis
Titanopsis is a small genus (about 10 species) of dwarf succulents from the family of Aizoaceae. Naturally growing in the Upper Karoo in South Africa, it is an attractive but quite unusual plant because of its formation.
The plant grows as a dwarf succulent and produces thick truncated leaves that have crumpled surface. These unusual leaves display all the hues of red, purple, green, cream and blue throughout the year. Flowers appear in late fall and winter. Like its cousins in the Aizoaceae family, Titanopsis produces small daisy-like flowers of yellow color.
The name "Titanopsis" comes from the ancient Greek "titanos", meaning "limestone" and "opsis", meaning "looking like".
Growing Conditions and General Care
Titanopsis are easy to grow and clumps readily, forming a beautiful succulent mat. The clumps can be divided for further propagation of the plant. These plants need moderate water when growing in late fall and early spring. Keep somewhat dry the rest of the time.
The maintenance of these attractive succulents is not difficult. They need a sandy substrate with little organic material. Titanopsis are winter growers, and should be kept relatively dry in summer. These plants should also be kept dry when the temperature is below 45 °F (7 °C).
The best place to grow Titanopsis calcarea, the more popular species from the eastern areas, is a sunny spot where it gets bright sunlight in summer and direct exposure to the sun in winter. Other popular species include: Titanopsis fulleri and Titanopsis primosii.
Division of larger clumps is possible in some cases, but as most species have tuberous rootstocks and offset slowly, seed production is the most common method of propagation. Sow it in spring and it should start flowering after 2 years.
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Titanopsis Concrete Leaf Plant Care
Growing concrete leaf plants is relatively easy, as long as you know what you’re doing. In the growing period of late fall and early spring, they do well with moderate watering. The rest of the year they can tolerate a decent amount of drought. Very well-draining, sandy soil is a must.
Sources vary on the plants’ cold hardiness, with some saying they can tolerate temperatures as low as -20 F. (-29 C.), but others claiming only 25 F. (-4 C.). The plants are much more likely to survive a cold winter if their soil is kept completely dry. Wet winters will do them in.
They like some shade in summer and full sun in the other seasons. If they receive too little light, their color will steer toward green and the stony effect will be lost somewhat.
Growing from seeds
For sowing titanopsis seeds, a light loose substrate is used, which should be slightly moistened. The seeds are slightly pressed into the soil mixture, and they are not covered with anything on top. The container is covered from above with a film or glass, then it is transferred to a bright and warm (about 30 degrees) place. Seedlings should appear several days after sowing.
It will be necessary to open the seedlings only 6 months after their appearance. With the formation of the third pair of true leaf plates, the bushes are planted in separate small pots. The flowering of young plants can only be seen after 2 or 3 years.
Titanopsis can be propagated by dividing the outlet. This procedure should be carried out in conjunction with the transplant. Each of the divisions must have at least three fully formed roots. Treat the cut with charcoal. Then the cuttings are slightly dried in the open air and planted in an individual pot. The soil mixture in a pot with planted bushes is not moistened for 15–20 days. The flowering of young succulents can be observed 1 year after division.
Diseases and pests
Titanopsis is resistant to diseases and pests. However, if the rules of care are violated, it may suffer from root rot. As a rule, stagnation of moisture in the substrate and low air temperature contribute to its development. Pull the roots out of the substrate and cut out any problematic parts down to healthy tissue. Treat the roots with a fungicidal solution. Plant the bush in a fresh soil mixture and do not break the watering rules in the future.
Of all the pests, only a spider mite can settle on a succulent. You can get rid of it with a suitable insecticide.
Titanopsis Species, Concrete Leaf Living Stone, Jewel Weed
|Family:||Aizoaceae (ay-zoh-AY-see-ee) (Info)|
|Genus:||Titanopsis (ty-tan-OP-sis) (Info)|
|Species:||calcarea (kal-KAR-ee-uh) (Info)|
Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Where to Grow:
Can be grown as an annual
Soil pH requirements:
From seed winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed sow indoors before last frost
From seed direct sow after last frost
From seed germinate in a damp paper towel
Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:
On Nov 3, 2009, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:
This is a lovely succulent but it rots very quickly if too much moisture. One rainy day is all it will take. If more rain is in the forecast, cover it or it will surely die. I don't follow my own advice and have lost it twice, but since it can be found cheaply at the box stores in my area, I gladly buy a new one. After my first loss, I decided to never again provide supplemental water. It did great. Then the rains came and it rotted quickly. Again, withhold supplemental water and cover if more than one rainy day is expected.
On Dec 24, 2005, cacti_lover from Henderson, NV (Zone 9b) wrote:
Can also be found under the name Titanopsis calcareum. This plant is from South Africa. It can tolerates high heat and also down to 25F.
On Nov 5, 2005, cactus_lover from FSD,
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:
Rosettes to 10 cm wide leaves to 2.5 cm long with truncate tip densely covered with grey tubercles yellow flowers.