Argyroderma delaetii C.A.Maass
Baby's Bottom, Living Stones, Silver Stones, Stone Plant
Argyroderma roseum var. delaetii, Argyroderma schuldtii
Argyroderma delaetii is a dwarf succulent that usually forms a single head, rarely 2 or 3, that consists of two opposite semi-elliptical leaves divided with a deep fissure. It can grow up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) tall and is usually sunken into the ground in its native habitat. The upper surface is up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide. Leaves are fleshy, gray-green to blue-green. Each year a new pair of leaves appear from the fissure, disintegrating after 1 or 2 seasons. The old leaves dry out and wither gray.
Flowers are solitary, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, and appear in fall. They vary in color from magenta, red, or pink to yellow or white. The fruit is a 14- to 24-locular capsule.
This species is very variable. Even plants from the same seed capsule may produce flowers in different colors.
Argyroderma delaetii is native to South Africa. It occurs in Van Rhynsdorp in Western Cape, growing on On flats or slopes with quartz pebbles.
The specific epithet "delaetii (del-ay-tee-eye)" honors For Frans (Frantz) de Laet (1866–1928), a Belgian succulent plant expert and horticulturist in Kontich.
How to Grow and Care for Argyroderma delaetii
Light: This succulent needs bright light but does not like too much direct sun. A sunny windowsill where the plant receives 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight during the early part of the day and partial shade during the afternoon is the perfect spot to grow your A. delaetii indoors.
Soil: A. delaetii thrives best in porous soil mixes that allow water to drain away quickly. Use a commercial potting mix specially designed for growing succulents, or make your own.
Temperature: High temperatures are not a problem for this plant as long as there is plenty of fresh air, but it is not a cold-hardy succulent. A. delaetii can withstand temperatures as low as 35 °F (1.7 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10b to 11b, 35 to 50 °F (1.7 to 10 °C).
Watering: A. delaetii requires little or no water when it goes dormant, usually in summer. When it begins to grow again in fall, it is safe to water deeply, allowing the soil to dry before between waterings. If leaves start to wrinkle during active growth, your plant needs water.
Fertilizing: This small succulent is a light feeder and does not need fertilizer if it is repotted every two years.
Repotting: This small succulent will stay happy in the same pot for several decades. The common reason for repotting is to divide or to give the plant a larger growing space. The best time to repot A. delaetii is at the beginning of the active growth period, but the repotting can be done almost any time while the plant is actively growing.
Propagation: This species is usually grown from seeds. It is also easily propagated by division. The best time to divide A. delaetii is in late summer before it begins to break dormancy. Sow the seeds in fall in a pot with a well-drained soil mix.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
Toxicity of Argyroderma delaetii
A. delaetii is considered non-toxic to humans and pets.
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