Chasmatophyllum nelii is a species that is both rare and not well-known.
Chasmatophyllum nelii Schwantes
Chasmatophyllum nelii is a succulent subshrub with a thick taproot and short ascending branches that bear fleshy, gray-green leaves with raised white warts. The plant resembles a miniature tree and can reach a height of up to 4 inches (10 cm). The leaves are semi-ovate to elongate, semi-circular in cross-section, and measure up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) long, 0.15 inches (0.4 cm) wide, and 0.12 inches (0.3 cm) thick. They only rarely have an inconspicuous tooth at the keel.
In the summer and early fall, the plant produces daisy-like yellow flowers on stalks that protrude above the foliage. The flowers open in the afternoon and have golden-yellow petals that are reddish on the outside.
Chasmatophyllum nelii is native to South Africa. It grows on rocky flats and hills of sandstone and dolerite plates
in southern Great Karoo, between Prince Albert and Graaff-Reinet.
How to Grow and Care for Chasmatophyllum nelii
Light: Chasmatophyllum nelii 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 Chasmatophyllum nelii healthy, it is most important to know when, how much, and how often to water it. During the dormant period, usually in winter, the plant requires little or no water. From spring to fall, 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 dividing clumps, which is quite simple. Another option is to start from seeds by sowing them in well-draining soil during spring. The best time for dividing is late spring or early summer.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
Toxicity of Chasmatophyllum nelii
Chasmatophyllum nelii is considered non-toxic and safe around kids and pets.
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