Tylecodon racemosus (Harv.) Toelken
Cotyledon chloroleuca, Cotyledon racemosa
Tylecodon racemosus is a sparingly branched succulent shrub with a single main stem and green branches, all with yellow-brown to grey horizontally peeling bark. It grows up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall. Branches are covered with remains of old leaves when young. The leaves are fleshy, green to grey-green, glandular-hairy to glabrous, and crowded at the tip of the branches. They are linear, oblanceolate to obovate, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long, and up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) wide. The upper surface of the leaves is flat to grooved to broadly channeled at the base. Flowers appear in early summer in erect thyrses with 1 to 5 monochasia, each with 1 to 6 flowers. Peduncles are up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long. The corolla tube is pale green, cylindrical, slightly broadened at the mouth, and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) long. Petals are white or pink with darker pink to purplish striations, spreading, and often becoming recurved.
The specific epithet "racemosus (ray-see-MO-sus)" is a Latin adjective meaning "full of clusters" or "clustering" and refers to the arrangement of the flowers.
How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon racemosus
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. racemosus. 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 highly tolerant when it comes to high temperatures and also tolerant of cold, frost-free conditions during the winter. T. racemosus can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.
Watering: As a winter grower, T. racemosus 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. racemosus 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 racemosus
T. racemosus is adapted to avoid animal predation being poisonous. Keep it away from children, pets, and livestock.
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