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How to Grow and Care for Tulista

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Tulista is a small genus of 4 attractive dwarf succulents endemic to the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The species were previously included in genus Haworthia, subgenus Robustipedunculares.

These perennial succulents are relatively slow-growing and have a quite long lifespan, surviving for up to several decades in nature or cultivation. They have small, stemless rosettes of fleshy leaves that are non-fibrous and generally larger than those of Haworthia and Haworthiopsis. The color and texture of leaves vary among the different species, as well as within a species. Tulistas are usually solitary or occasionally suckering from the base to form small clumps. They generally have well-branched inflorescences. Flowers are white or whitish with a pink or brownish-green central vein on the tepals and mostly appear in spring and summer.

The meaning of the generic epithet "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 growing conditions. They are particularly suited for growing in containers. In frost-free areas with low winter rainfall, Tulistas can be grown successfully in rockeries.

Photo by S Molteno

Light

These succulents tolerate full sun, but they prefer semi-shaded positions. The brighter light conditions are needed to bring out the leaf coloration. Any window in your home or office is likely to be an appropriate setting for Tulistas.

Soil

Use a commercial soil formulated for succulents or make your own well-draining potting mix.

Temperature

Tulistas like warmer temperatures in the summer but cool in the winter. They can tolerate cold down to USDA hardiness zone 10a, 30 °F (-1.1 °C).

Pot Size

The pot should be shallow, as the root system is not deep. Be sure that it has at least one drain hole.

General Care for Tulista

Tulista care, no matter the species, is easy and minimal.

Watering

The best way to water Tulistas is to use the "soak and dry" method. Get the soil completely wet and then wait until the soil is dry before watering again. During winter, reduce watering to once per month. Never allow drops of water to remain for long in the rosettes.

Fertilizing

Tulistas do not require much fertilizer. For optimum growth, fertilization is a good idea. Feed during the growing season with a weak fertilizer solution. Do not fertilize during the winter.

Repotting

When it begins to outgrow its pot, repot your Tulista in a new shallow and slightly larger pot with fresh soil. The best time to repot is in the spring or early summer. Repotting time is also the time to take offsets for propagation.

How to Propagate Tulista

Using seeds or offsets are the most frequently used methods of propagating Tulistas.

Seeds

Sow the seeds in spring or fall in a well-draining potting mix and keep the soil slightly moist. Germination usually takes two weeks. Transplant the seedlings into individual pots after the first or second year.

Offsets

Remove offsets when they have started developing their roots. Water sparingly until the plants have rooted and show signs of growth.

Leaves

Unlike Haworthia and Haworthiopsis, these succulents are not as easy to propagate from leaves.

Pests and Diseases of Tulista

Pests

Tulistas are generally free of most pests. The one exception is mealybugs, which can be a problem but easily resolved by physical removal or with standard houseplant insecticides.

Diseases

The number one killer of Tulistas is overwatering. Soil that is constantly wet can lead to root rot. Symptoms of a rotted root include the stoppage of growth, reduction in plant or leaf size, or leaf shriveling. Sometimes root rot will move into the plant stem resulting in the death of the plant.

Toxicity of Tulista

Tulistas are generally non-toxic to humans and animals.

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