Tylecodon paniculatus (L.f.) Toelken
Tylecodon paniculatus is a stocky, caudiciform, arborescent succulent, up to 6.5 feet (2 m) tall, making them the largest of the Tylecodons. The plants conserve energy by photosynthesizing through their "greenish stems" during the hot dry summer months. The yellowish green, papery bark is a very attractive feature of this plant and has given rise to the common name. During the winter, plants are covered with long, obovate, succulent leaves clustered around the apex of the growing tip. The long reddish orange, tubular flowers are borne in upright racemes at the onset of summer in November each year, just as the leaves turn yellow and drop off.
How to Grow and Care
Cotyledons can be divided into two groups. One group consists of evergreen plants with a summer growing period. The other group is made up of deciduous plants, splendidly magnificent with large, solid fleshy stems. The second group grows during the winter, and sheds its leaves during the summer.
Cotyledons require a free-draining gritty mix and plenty of sun. They are tolerant of cool, frost-free conditions during the winter if kept dry. Some require pruning to maintain an attractive shape. Cotyledons should be kept in a sunny position. Follow general succulent watering procedures. Be careful of over-watering when they are deciduous.
As succulents go, Cotyledons certainly are rewarding garden and indoor subjects, practically independent of irrigation in all but full desert conditions, though they cannot survive poor light or bad drainage in the wet. Feed it once or twice during the growing season with a fertilizer specifically formulated for cactus and succulents (poor in nitrogen), including all micro nutrients and trace elements diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Cotyledon.
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