Tulista is a small genus of 4 attractive, dwarf succulents endemic to the Western Cape Province of South Africa. This genus was previously included in Haworthia subgenus Robustipedunculares. Plants are perennial, relatively slow growing and have a fairly long lifespan, surviving for up to several decades in nature or in cultivation.
Members of the genus are characterized by their small, stemless rosettes of succulent leaves that are non-fibrous and generally larger than those of Haworthia and Haworthiopsis. Leaf characters vary among the different species, as well as within a species, in terms of color and texture. Plants are usually solitary or occasionally suckering to form small clumps. Tulistas have robust inflorescences, which are generally well branched. Flowers are white or whitish with a pink or brownish-green central vein on the tepals. They mostly appear in spring and summer.
The meaning of the name "Tulista" is unclear.
Growing Conditions for Tulista
Tulistas are easy to grow as long as you keep in mind that they are succulents, and require the appropriate light, temperature, soil and watering.
They are best suited to container gardening. In frost-free, winter rainfall areas with a lower rainfall, they can be grown successfully in rockeries. Although they are hardy plants that can tolerate full sun and drought, they flourish in semi-shaded positions, but brighter light conditions are needed to bring out the leaf coloration.
Choose a container that has excellent drainage and use a well-draining succulent soil mix or blend of half potting soil and half grit such as pumice or perlite. Alternately, you can use loam and sand. The container should be shallow, as the root system is not deep.
Tulistas like warmer temperatures in the summer but cool in the winter. They can tolerate cold down to USDA hardiness zones 10a, 30 °F (−1.1 °C).
These plants don't need any humidity. What they do require is good ventilation, especially at night when they take in carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.
General Care For Tulista
Tulista care, no matter the species, is easy and minimal. As with all succulents, the most dangerous situation is too much water. The best way to water these succulents is to use "soak and dry" method. Get the soil completely wet and then wait until the soil is dry before watering again. In the winter, reduce watering to once per month. Never allow water to collect in the rosette.
Fertilize during the growing season with a succulent fertilizer. Don't feed during the winter.
When the cluster has outgrown its container, repot in the spring or early summer into a new wide and shallow container with fresh potting soil. This is also the time to take offsets for propagation.
How to Propagate Tulista
Tulistas are best propagated by seed. Seeds should be sown in spring or fall. Germination can take 2 weeks and seedlings can be transplanted into individual pots after the first or second year.
Species in the genus can also be propagated by removing offsets. Offsets can be removed when they have started developing their own roots. Planted offsets should be watered sparingly until the plant has rooted and shows signs of growth. Older clumps can also be divided into individual plants and replanted.
Unlike Haworthia and Haworthiopsis, these succulents are not as easy to propagate from leaves.
Pests and Diseases of Tulista
Tulistas are generally free of most pests. The one exception is mealybugs, which can be a common problem but easily resolved by physical removal or with standard houseplant insecticides.
The most significant disease problems are root rots caused by poor soil or too much moisture. Occasionally such root rots can move into the plant stem resulting in the death of the plant.
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