Huernia volkartii Werderm. & Peitscher
Ceropegia volkartii, Huernia montana, Huernia volkartii var. volkartii
This species is native to Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. It grows in leaf litter and in shallow soils over rocks or on granite outcrops at elevations from 3,280 to 5,580 feet (1,000 to 1,550 m).
Huernia volkartii is a small succulent with erect to decumbent stems with low conical tubercles joined into usually four, sometimes five angles. It forms clumps or mats up to 3.3 feet (1 m) in diameter. Stems are grey-green to reddish, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long, usually much shorter, and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) across.
Flowers are bell-shaped, facing slightly upwards, and appear solitary or in clusters of 2 to 3 at the base of the stems on up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) long pedicels in summer. They are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) across, densely papillate, cream suffused with maroon or brown outside, and cream with irregular maroon rings in the tube and smudges on the lobes inside. The five corolla lobes are triangular and slightly folded up towards the tips.
How to Grow and Care for Huernia volkartii
Light: H. volkartii prefers bright light or partial shade during the hottest summer days. Too much sun causes stems to develop a protective pigmentation or get sunburned. Too little light leads to weak, thin stems and decreased flower production. Indoors, place the plant near the brightest window in your home.
Soil: The right soil is crucial to successfully growing H. volkartii. Use a commercial potting soil mix for succulents, or prepare your own with 50 to 70 % mineral grit, such as coarse sand, pumice, or perlite.
Temperature: This plant thrives in warm outdoor environments with low to moderate humidity but does not like winter cold and should remain fairly dry and warm during its winter dormancy. H. volkartii can withstand temperatures as low as 40 °F (4.4 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 11a to 11b, 40 to 50 °F (4.4 to 10 °C).
Watering: H. volkartii has typical watering needs for a succulent. During the growing season, water your plant thoroughly and allow the soil to dry between waterings. The plant goes dormant in winter and needs almost no water, about once a month.
Fertilizing: If you want to keep your plant healthy and thriving, fertilization during the growing season is a good idea. Feed with water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength.
Repotting: H. volkartii will benefit from fresh potting soil every 2 or 3 years. Repot your plant in spring, just before the growing season. Pick a container with drainage holes.
Propagation: The best way to propagate this succulent is from stem cuttings. Take cuttings during the growing season to ensure good rooting. H. volkartii is also easy to grow from seeds. Sow the seeds in spring.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Huernia.
Toxicity of Huernia volkartii
H. volkartii has no toxic effects reported. It is safe around pets and humans.
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