Schwantesia borcherdsii L. Bolus
Schwantes borcherdsii is a small succulent with fleshy, smooth, bluish-green leaves with a flat upper surface, a keeled lower surface, and sometimes reddish-tinged margins. The old leaves shrivel and die as the new pairs form.
The solitary yellow flower is up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and opens during the day.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Mesembs are mostly adapted to relatively predictable rainfall patterns rather than extreme drought and irregular rainfall. Total rainfall may be extremely low, but water is available at least seasonally or through fog and condensation. This leads to or allows plants that are not especially large and sometimes very small and affect how they need to be treated in cultivation.
The basics of care are very simple: free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. Yet the difficulties are endless, trying to adapt to the Mesembs' adaptability and follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.
These plants require a loam-based compost with extra drainage material such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like good light conditions and plenty of ventilation.
Some are relatively cold-hardy and can even survive mild winters outside. Most will survive temperatures down to the freezing point. Some Mesembs begin to grow in the fall as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
Schwantesia borcherdsii is native to South Africa (Northern Cape Province).
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