Nananthus is a genus of succulent plants that occur widely in the interior of South Africa in the Eastern Cape Province, Northern Cape Province, the Northwest Province, and the Free State. There is also a population in eastern Namibia.
The members of the genus Nananthus are related to Aloinopsis and Titanopsis. The thick-rooted plants are tufted with pointed leaves arranged in rosettes and attractive flowers. The flowers are 0.75 inches (2 cm) in diameter, yellow occasionally with some red. Hardy growers, Nananthus will do well in clayey soil. In the wild, they are summer growers, but they often behave as winter growers in cultivation.
Light: Nananthus plants need full sun or light shade.
Temperature: These plants will take a small amount of frost for a short time. It is reported to be hardy to at least 10° F (-12° C).
Water: Water minimally in summer, only when the plant starts shriveling.
Soil: Because of the taproot, they need a highly gritty compost with much drainage.
Nananthus plants are propagated by cuttings and seeds.
Nananthus are easy and rewarding plants. Coming from a more continental part of South Africa, they will tolerate intense heat and some frost. They should be lightly shaded in summer. Water minimally, only when the plant starts shriveling. They need full sun or light shade in the other seasons. They generally bloom in the fall.
Most species develop large root systems and need to be kept in a large pot. The soil mix needs to have excellent drainage to avoid root rot. They are sometimes planted so that some of the root system is shown.
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