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Tylecodon schaeferianus (Fairy Tale Plant)


Scientific Name

Tylecodon schaeferianus (Dinter) H. Tölken


Adromischus hoerleinianus, Adromischus keilhackii, Adromischus schaeferianus, Adromischus schaeferianus var. keilhackii, Cotyledon hoerleiniana, Cotyledon hoerleiniana var. schaeferi, Cotyledon schaeferi, Cotyledon schaeferiana, Cotyledon sinus-alexandri, Tylecodon aridimontanus

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Tylecodon


This species is native to South Africa (Nothern Cape) and southwestern Namibia.


Tylecodon schaeferianus is a small, highly branched succulent that often forms tufted mounds, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) tall and up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, of gnarled stems and tubers. Leaves are small, green, egg-shaped, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, and up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in diameter. Flowers are pink or white and appear in late summer after it loses its leaves.

The specific epithet "schaeferianus" honors Dr. Fritz Schäfer, a doctor, and botanist in German South-West Africa or present-day Namibia.

How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon schaeferianus

Soil: Well-draining soil mix is the key to healthy Tylecodon. Poor drainage and overwatering most commonly cause root rot in both indoor and outdoor plants.

Light: Tylecodons can survive direct sunlight exposure without any problems, but they will grow beautifully when in shadow.

Hardiness: Tylecodon schaeferianus can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.

Watering: As winter is the growing season, Tylecodons require careful watering during the winter until the spring. Get the soil wet and then wait until it is dry before watering again. In the 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 these plants often. You can do it when you see that the container becomes too small or shallow.

Propagation: Tylecodons can be cultivated either by seed or by cuttings.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon.

Toxicity of Tylecodon schaeferianus

Tylecodon species are adapted to avoid animal predation being poisonous. Keep them away from children, pets, and livestock.


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