ILLUSTRATED CARE GUIDE FOR THE PACHYPHYTUM (MOONSTONE) SUCCULENTS
The Pachyphytum succulent makes for an excellent gift to any beginner in succulents.
Its botanical name Pachyphytum Oviferum and Pachyphytum compactum is from Greek and Latin origin and for those of you who love etymology as much as we do; ‘Pachys’ (Greek) means ‘fat’, and ‘phyton’ (Greek) means ‘plant’. The Latin part ‘ovum’, means ‘egg”’ and ‘fero’, is ‘ to bring or ‘to carry’. This beauty, in other words, is your fat plant that bears eggs. Let’s have a look why.
This stunning little plant that is native to Mexico features chubby leaves tightly packed in the shape of a rosette. These little leaves or ‘eggs’ also resembles almonds, hence it’s other name; the ‘Sugar Almond’ plant. The leaves present themselves in stunning shades of pastel: grey, blue, purple, pink, yellow and sometimes even orange. Towards the end of Winter and start of Spring you should be able to spot tiny bell-shaped flowers collected in clusters on a stem growing in the very centre of the plant.
These guys are easy to grow, but beware, even though they are tough, they are also rather delicate – the oil on your skin could affect the opacity of the leaves, so don’t tough it too much if possible. It makes for a stunning feature in any space! Read on to learn more about how to care for your Moonstone Succulent.
This plant is not toxic to kids or pets.
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“Little Jewel Moonstone” or “Moonstones Pink Panther”.
Light & Temperature:
- Your Pachyphytum succulent plant loves sunlight and warmth, it is not cold hardy at all and will not do well in freezing conditions.
- Water once the top soil is dry and be careful to avoid getting water on the leaves to prevent from flushing away the precious farina (fine powder covering the leaves that helps protect it against harsh sunlight).
- It’s active growing season is during colder months and over these periods you may need to water it more frequently.
- Overwatering will literally cause the leaves to burst, resulting in black spots.
- Remember that terracotta pots release moisture in hot conditions, in which case you will need to keep an eye on your plant to ensure you water it before the leaves lose its beautiful plump appearance.
Planting & Soil:
- These hardy beauties can live in even the poorest soil conditions as long as it is well drained.
- Neutral or alkaline soil is best and it will really perform if you add a fertile loam , sandy growth medium.
- Feed with a liquid fertiliser once a month during its active growth phase (Summer months).
- If planted outdoors, it should occupy a space where it can show off in at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
Impress your friends:
- Your Moonstone plant is part of the Crassulaceae family (also known as the stonecrop or orpine family)
- This diverse family of flowering plants are characterized by a unique form of photosynthesis known as Crassulacean Acid Metabolism or CAM for short.
- CAM in very basic & broad terms mean that the leaves remain shut during the day to reduce evapotranspiration and open at night to collect carbon dioxide. Talk about a plant that works for you while you are asleep!
- Sudden changes in temperature or lack of light could cause your plant to experience shock and blush – this means that it will literally turn into a different colour.
- Propagating your Moonstone plant is very easy, simply choose a few healthy leaves from the mother plant. Make sure you harvest the whole leaf, then leave it out to dry and callous or a few days and simply stick them in soil.