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How to Grow and Care for Monanthes

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Monanthes is a genus of small, succulent, subtropical plants of the Crassulaceae family. About 10 species are mostly endemic to the Canary Islands and Savage Islands, with some found on Madeira. Its center of diversity is Tenerife, with 7 species occurring on this island. On Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, only Monanthes laxiflora occurs.

Species of Monanthes differ considerably in life- and growth-form. Most species make stemless to short stemmed rosettes of tiny, strongly succulent leaves and do not reach more than 0.4 inch (1 cm) in diameter.

Growing Conditions

Light: Monanthes thrive in light shade and full sun.
Temperature: Keep dry at temperatures between 40 and 50 °F (5 and 10 °C) in winter. It can tolerate sporadic light frost if kept dry. They are hardy to USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11.
Soil: These succulents need soil that drains quickly.

General Care

Monanthes are easily grown even in very small pots. They all like hot, sunny spots and well-drained soil to thrive. The only things that can kill these plants are cold, hot blasting sun and overwatering.

Photo via cact.cz

These succulents like to have a winter rest period where watering should be reduced to a bare minimum. From early spring the plants will begin to grow and watering should be increased gradually until late spring when the plant should be in full growth. Water regularly during the growing period so long as the plant pot is allowed to drain and not sit in a tray of water.

Monanthes may be attractive to a variety of insects, but plants in good condition should be nearly pest-free. Repot it every 2 or 3 years in order to evaluate the health of the plant and provide a larger growing space being careful not to damage the sensitive roots.

During the growing season fertilizers applied at a quarter or half strength at every or every other watering should be sufficient.

Propagation

It is easy to propagate either through rosette cuttings or seed.

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