Tylecodon occultans (Toelken) Toelken
This species is native to South Africa (Western Cape).
Tylecodon occultans is a dwarf succulent geophyte with a tuberous, sparsely branched, somewhat globose base and deep green, variably glandular-hairy leaves. It grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall. The caudex is up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter and has grey flaking bark. Leaves are fleshy, rounded, recurved, appressed to the ground, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Flowers are tubular, pale yellow to yellowish-green, and appear in summer on an erect, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long thyrse.
The specific epithet "occultans (ock-ULL-tanz)" means "concealing" or "hiding" and probably refers to the difficulty of finding this species in its native habitat. It is the present active participle of the Latin verb "occulto."
How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon occultans
Light: This succulent can survive direct sunlight exposure without any problems, but it will grow beautifully in partial shade.
Soil: A well-draining soil mix is a key to healthy T. occultans. Poor drainage and overwatering most commonly cause root rot in both indoor and outdoor plants. Indoors, it is essential to use pots with at least one drainage hole at the bottom.
Hardiness: Like all Tylecodons, this succulent is extremely tolerant when it comes to high temperatures and also tolerant of cold, frost-free conditions during the winter. T. occultans can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.
Watering: As a winter grower, T. occultans requires careful watering during winter and spring. Get the soil wet, and then wait until it is dry before watering again. In summer, reduce watering to once per month.
Fertilizing: Use liquid fertilizer for cacti and other succulents during the winter months.
Repotting: You do not need to repot this plant often. You can do it when you see that the container becomes too small or shallow.
Propagation: T. occultans can be cultivated either by seed or by cuttings. Sow the seeds in fall and winter. The best time for taking cuttings is the fall.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon.
Toxicity of Tylecodon occultans
T. occultans is adapted to avoid animal predation being poisonous. Therefore, keep it away from children, pets, and livestock.
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