Tulista pumila (L.) G.D.Rowley
Pearl Plant, Miniature Aloe
Aloe arachnoides var. pumila, Aloe pumila, Haworthia margaritifera, Haworthia pumila, Tulista pumila var. pumila
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs in a winter rainfall area of the Western Cape from Worcester-Robertson Karoo in the southwest to Laingsburg in the north.
Tulista pumila, formerly known as Haworthia pumila, is a small, slow-growing succulent that forms rosettes of thick fleshy olive-green to dark brownish-green leaves covered with raised white tubercles. It is slowly proliferous and variable in leaf shape, color, growth form, and tubercle. The rosettes grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall and 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. Leaves are juicy, triangular-ovate to broadly lanceolate, upright, sometimes incurved, up to 5.6 inches (14 cm) long, and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. Flowers are greenish to brownish-white, waxy in texture, and appear on slender, up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall spikes in summer.
The specific epithet "pumila" is the feminine form of the Latin adjective "pumilus," meaning "dwarf," and refers to the original description as Aloe pumila. It is the largest species of the genus Tulista, but it is small for an Aloe.
How to Grow and Care for Tulista pumila
Light: This succulent tolerates full sun, but it prefers semi-shaded positions. Any window in your home or office is likely to be an appropriate setting for T. pumila.
Soil: Use a commercial soil mix formulated for succulents or make your own.
Temperature: T. pumila likes warmer temperatures in summer but cool in winter. It can tolerate cold down to 30 °F (-1.1 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10a to 11b, 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C).
Watering: In spring and fall, when the growth is most active, water T. pumila thoroughly, then wait until the top of the soil dries out before watering again. Water your plant less during the winter when its growth slows down significantly. During the hottest summer months, when this plant is mostly dormant, water just enough to keep the leaves from shriveling.
Fertilizing: T. pumila does not require much fertilizer. However, 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 T. pumila in a new shallow and slightly larger pot with fresh soil. The best time to repot is in the spring or early summer.
Propagation: This plant rarely offsets, so most propagation is by seeds. Spring is the best time to sow seeds.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Tulista.
Toxicity of Tulista pumila
T. pumila is considered non-toxic to humans and animals.
Varieties, Forms and Cultivars of Tulista pumila
- Tulista pumila var. sparsa
- Tulista pumila 'Donuts'
- Tulista pumila 'Emperor'
- Tulista pumila 'Tenshi no Namida'
- Tulista pumila 'Variegata'
- Back to genus Tulista
- Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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