Dudleya pachyphytum R.Moran & M.Benedict
Cedros Island Liveforever
Dudleya pachyphytum is a ground-hugging, slowly-clumping succulent up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall. It has thick, basal stem from which form many branches, bearing rosettes up to 10 inches in diameter. The leaves are very thick, somewhat blunt at the tips, rounded on the edges, and with a beautiful white waxy coating. In mid-summer appears the long inflorescence, slightly pink at the base but otherwise covered with the same white coating as the leaves and bearing tight cymes of pale green to whitish flowers. The flowers barely open but are decorated with the same white waxy coating as with the inflorescence stems and leaves.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Most of the myriad habitats Dudleyas occupy become dry in summer. Therefore, it is important to cut off water to Dudleyas in your garden during the summer. Plants grown in sandy soils or containers are exceptions. They will accept infrequent summer watering as long as the soil drains well. The onset of fall or winter rains reawakens Dudleyas from drought-induced dormancy. Their shriveled leaves plump up quickly, growth resumes, and flowering occurs during the next spring or summer. These plants are amazingly resilient. If a portion of a colony sloughs off a cliff face or is uprooted by a burrowing animal, it can persist for months until soil contact is reestablished. Species that naturally grow on ocean bluffs are also salt-spray tolerant.
Dudleyas have their share of disease and pest problems. If you can prevent Argentine Ants from introducing mealybugs or aphids to your Dudleyas, they will be healthier. Mealybugs nestle in the deep recesses of the leaves, and their feeding weakens the plants.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Dudleya.
Dudleya pachyphytum is native to Mexico (Baja California).
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