Conophytum frutescens Schwantes
Conophytum notabile, Conophytum salmonicolor, Conophytum teguliflorum
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs in the Namakwa District Municipality in Northern Cape province, growing on quartzite slopes, often in the shade.
Conophytum frutescens is a beautiful slow-growing succulent that forms a clump of bodies shaped like lobster claws and composed of two fleshy, often unequal leaves. The bodies grow to 1.6 inches (4 cm) tall and 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. Leaves are smooth, yellowish-green, grey-green, or turquoise spotted and marked with dully purple streaks on the keels and edges of the fissure between the lobes. The showy flowers are brick-red to salmon, rarely pure yellow, and appear in fall, opening during the day.
USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Most Conophytums need bright light but do not like too much intense sunlight. Therefore, to avoid sunburn, place them to receive a few hours of full sun in cooler periods of the day.
These plants thrive best in a porous growing medium that will drain quickly. Use commercial succulent soil specially designed for growing succulents, or make your own mix.
When Conophytums go dormant in the spring, they require little or no water. When plants begin growing in the fall, it is safe to water deeply, allowing the soil to dry before watering again.
Conophytums are light feeders and do not need fertilizer if they are repotted every two years. It is best to feed at the beginning of the growth period and just before flowering.
These succulents will benefit from repotting. Depending on the pot's size and growth rate, they typically need to be repotted every 2 to 4 years. The best time to repot a Conophytum is at the beginning of active growth.
Conophytums are easily propagated by division. They can also be grown from seeds.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Conophytum.
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