A Potted History:
The story of Adromischus begins with Charles Antoine Lemaire, a pioneering botanist who ventured into the heart of Southern Africa in the late 1840s. It was during this extraordinary voyage that he stumbled upon a group of succulents with a distinct trait—thick stems. Struck by their unique appearance, Lemaire felt compelled to describe and categorize them. He turned to Greek, coining the name "Adromischus" by blending the words "adros" and "mischos," which collectively captured the essence of these plants' characteristic thick stems.
Top Tips & Information:
Care Difficulty - Easy
Adromischus, with their captivating thick stems, thrive with a little care and attention. Here are some essential tips to keep these beauties flourishing:
Location & Light:
Adromischus craves a few hours of direct sunlight each day. Depriving them of sunlight can lead to problems, so ensure they bask in its glow. New offshoots, or "pups," however, should be shielded from direct sunlight until their roots are robust enough to handle it.
Watering frequency varies with the seasons. During the growing period, water every ten to fourteen days, allowing the soil to dry out between drinks. In winter, reduce watering to every three weeks. Never let excess moisture linger in the plant's crown or pot, as this can lead to diseases like southern blight and black rot.
Feed your Adromischus every four waterings in spring and summer, switching to every six waterings in colder months. Opt for a 'Cactus' labeled fertilizer.
- Leaf drops can be caused by various factors, including low temperatures, drought, and irregular watering. If your plant starts shedding leaves, increase the temperature and adjust your watering routine.
- Over-watering is a common pitfall, leading to softening stems and stunted growth. Emulate their natural habitat with periods of drought between watering.
- Pale centers and deformed growth signal insufficient light. Ensure at least an hour of direct sunlight, especially in winter.
- Scorched or browned edges result from too little water and excessive sun exposure. Consider transplanting to moister soil if prolonged exposure causes dehydration.
- Irregular watering can stunt growth and cause leaf loss. While under-watering is better than overdoing it, avoid subjecting your plant to extended droughts, especially in direct sunlight.
Adromischus thrive in temperatures between 12°C - 25°C (50°F - 78°F). They can be grown outdoors in summer if temperatures stay above 12℃ (54℉) but should avoid direct sunlight to prevent sun-scorch.
Most species reach heights of 0.3m and widths of 0.3m within 8 - 10 years.
Pruning & Maintenance:
Regularly remove yellow or dying leaves and debris to promote optimal growth. Use clean tools to prevent disease spread.
Adromischus can be propagated via seeds, offset division, or leaf cuttings. Offset division is best done in spring or summer when the pups are at least a quarter of the mother plant's size. Stem cuttings should be taken from healthy, undamaged growths.
These plants produce beautiful white, red, yellow, or pink flowers on spikes that can reach up to 40cm in height. Adequate hydration and feeding during the flowering period prolong the blooms.
Repot every two years in spring using a 'Cactus & Succulent' labeled potting mix and a slightly larger pot with proper drainage.
Pests & Diseases:
Watch out for vine weevils, spider mites, and mealybugs. Adromischus can also be susceptible to various diseases, including root, crown, or heart rot, sun-scald, soft rot, scabs, nematodes, leaf-spot disease, and powdery mildew.
Adromischus plants are classified as poisonous. Ingesting parts of the plant can lead to symptoms like vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite. Seek medical assistance for severe cases.