Antimima fenestrata (L.Bolus) H.E.K.Hartmann
The specific epithet "fenestrata (fen-ess-TRAY-tuh) means "having one or more windows; fenestrated" and refers to the translucent margins and keel of the leaves.
Antimima fenestrata is native to South Africa. It grows in yellow, loamy soil or in crevices on white quartz, marble, or limestone slopes in the Knersvlakte region of Western Cape province.
Antimima fenestrata is a compact succulent shrublet with tightly packed leaves on short branches. It can grow up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) tall. The first leaf pair consists of a long, smooth, white sheath that embraces the next leaves at the base. The leaves are gray-green with translucent margins and keel and end in a short spine. The old leaves form a dry white sheath around the new pair of leaves that appear in summer.
During the winter, Antimima fenestrata produces mauve to magenta flowers that can reach up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter. The fruits are woody capsules with five valves that open when wet and close when dry.
How to Grow and Care for Antimima fenestrata
Light: Antimima fenestrata requires bright light but not too much direct sunlight. So, a windowsill that receives 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight in the morning and partial shade in the afternoon will be a perfect spot for indoor growing.
Soil: The plant thrives in porous soil, allowing the water to drain away quickly. Therefore, use commercial soil for succulents or make your own well-draining mix.
Temperature: High temperatures are not a problem as long as there is plenty of fresh air, but this plant is not cold-hardy. It grows best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9b to 11b, with average minimum winter temperatures ranging from 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C).
Watering: To keep your Antimima fenestrata healthy, it is most important to know when, how much, and how often to water it. During the dormant period, usually in summer, the plant requires little or no water. From fall to spring, water it thoroughly but allow the soil to dry between waterings.
Fertilizing: As long as you repot this plant every two years, it does not need fertilizer.
Repotting: Even if it can stay happy in the same pot for years, once in a while, you can repot your plant to give it more space anytime during the growing season. However, the best time is at the beginning of the growing season.
Propagation: One way to propagate this plant is by stem cuttings during the growing season, which is quite simple. Another option is to start it from seeds by sowing them in well-draining soil during the fall.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
Toxicity of Antimima fenestrata
Antimima fenestrata is considered non-toxic and safe around kids and pets.
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