Dorstenia gypsophila Lavranos
Dorstenia gypsophila is a rare caudiciform plant, up to 6.6 feet (2 m) tall, with several irregularly arranged branches that rise from a swollen trunk. The main stem is up to 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter. Branches are much thinner than the stem. Each branch carries a sparse crown of simple leaves. It is a monoecious plant, has both male and female flowers on the same specimen. The flowers are light brown.
USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Dorstenias are warm, loving plants, and they need a bit more water than regular succulents. They need a well-drained potting mix, and their water needs vary depending on the season of the year. Water regularly to abundant form spring to fall. Allow the soil to dry slightly between watering, but make sure that they never dry out completely. During the winter months, they tend to go at least partially dormant. During this period, water very little. Giving plants a warm, sunny position can result in beautiful compact growing plants. Fertilizing plants once in a while during their growing period with a high potash and phosphorus fertilizer is recommended.
The spring weather, with a high temperature swing between the day and night hours, and pretty frequent rains, can favor the development of fungus diseases, which should be treated preemptively with a systemic fungicide.
Dorstenias are generally propagated by seed. Many species are self-fertile. Their seeds are expelled explosively from the mature seed heads and liable to populate pots several feet away. They can also be propagated by cuttings. See more at How to Grow and Care for Dorstenia.
Dorstenia gypsophila is native to Somalia.
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