Conophytum minutum (Haw.) N.E.Br.
Lesser Dumpling, Mini Buttons
Conophytum braunsii, Conophytum glabrum, Conophytum minusculum f. sellatum, Conophytum minusculum var. nudum, Conophytum minusculum var. sellatum, Conophytum minutum f. minutum, Conophytum minutum f. sellatum, Conophytum minutum var. acutum, Conophytum minutum var. laxum, Conophytum minutum var. minutum, Conophytum minutum var. nudum, Conophytum minutum var. sellatum, Conophytum nudum, Conophytum parile, Conophytum sellatum, Conophytum thecatum, Conophytum tubatum, Mesembryanthemum minutum, Mesembryanthemum thecatum
This species is native to South Africa (Western Cape), where it grows on quartz gravel flats, gneiss, or limestone ridges.
Conophytum minutum is a dwarf succulent that grows in a cluster of many bodies composed of two fleshy, almost entirely fused leaves. It offsets readily to forms a mound up to 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter. Bodies are inversely conical, usually about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) tall and 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter. They are smooth, grey-green, bluish-green, or rarely purple and have scattered dark spots. Flowers are diurnal, magenta to pink, sometimes white, and appear in fall. Fruits are 4- or 5-locular capsules.
The specific epithet "minutum (min-YOO-tum)" is a neuter form of the Latin adjective "minutus," meaning "very small" or "little," and refers to the size of the body of this species.
How to Grow and Care for Conophytum minutum
Light: This succulent needs bright light but does not like too much direct sun. To avoid sunburn, place your C. minutum in a position to receive a few hours of full sun in cooler periods of the day. The plant stretch if it needs more light.
Soil: C. minutum thrives best in porous soil mixes that allow water to drains away quickly. Use a commercial potting mix specially designed for growing succulents or make your own.
Hardiness: High temperatures are not a problem for this plant, but it can be damaged when the temperature goes below freezing. C. minutum can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.
Watering: When it goes dormant in the spring, C. minutum requires little or no water. In the fall, when it will begin growing, it is safe to water deeply, allowing the soil to dry before watering again. During active growth, if leaves start to wrinkle, your plant needs water.
Fertilizing: This small succulent is a light feeder, and it does not need fertilizer unless it is repotted every two years.
Repotting: The best time to repot C. minutum is at the beginning of the period of active growth, but repotting can be done at almost any time while the plant is actively growing.
Propagation: Like all Conophytums, this plant is easily propagated by division. It can also be grown from seeds. The best time to divide C. minutum is in late summer or early fall, before it begins to break dormancy, or after it has flowered. Sow the seeds in fall in a pot with a well-drained soil mix.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Conophytum.
Toxicity of Conophytum minutum
C. minutum is non-toxic and safe to grow around children and pets.
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