The natural habitat of perennial succulent cotyledon is located in Ethiopia, South Africa and the peninsula of Arabia, South Africa. Low grassy shrubs reach a maximum of 1.5 meters. They grow slowly, some species have a lignified stem with a brown bark over time.
Cotyledon belongs to the family Crassulaceae. The root system of cotyledon is superficial fibrous. The stems and leaves are fleshy, juicy, fragile. Their color varies from light green to bluish-reddish with a white coating, consisting of mild villi, or smooth, and there are species with variegated leaves.
At home, cotyledon reaches 20-30 cm in height. Some species are suitable for growing bonsai. Other species cover the entire surface given to them with a dense carpet of fancy rosettes.
The variety of forms of cotyledon leaves is striking, they can be: triangular, round, rhombic, oval or lanceolate. Sometimes a contrast eyeliner passes along the edge of the leaf blade. Leaves are attached tightly to the stem with short stalks or without them. They are arranged in pairs or twisted in a spiral.
Flowering of cotyledon begins in March and lasts until August. Small tubular flowers, drooping bells with dense glossy petals, gather in an inflorescence in the form of a panicle or umbrella on a thick peduncle 20-30 cm tall. The color of the petals is usually yellow, white or orange. Inside each bell, there are 10 stamens that do not protrude.
After flowering on cotyledon, the fruits ripen - seed boxes. Cotyledon seeds look like brown balls. Cotyledon at the time of flowering looks very exotic, however, its very value in the unusual shape of the leaves.
Cotyledon is easy to care for, unpretentious, it is actively gaining its place in the collections of even inexperienced gardeners.
Many types of cotyledon are poisonous. When working with a plant, it is recommended to use gloves. Place cotyledon so that children and animals can not get it.
In the family Crassulaceae and the genus Cotyledon, there are up to 40 species of succulents. At home, about 10 species are bred, only four of them are common. They are suitable for composing a variety of floral arrangements.
We list some types of cotyledon:
- Lady Smith
- Large flowered,
Lighting and temperature
Southerly windows with direct sunlight are ideal for cotyledon. On the eastern and western windows, cotyledon will grow, but the light will not be enough for it to bloom.
If the shoots are very elongated, and the leaves become smaller and lose their brightness, you need to add sunlight or additional illumination to increase the daylight hours.
In summer, cotyledon grows well in the garden or on the balcony. Summer temperatures for cotyledon are necessary in the range of 19-25 ° C, and winter boundaries during its rest period are 10-12 ° C. Rest for the flower is crucial for flowering to start on time.
Watering and humidity
The arid climate of nature tempered cotyledon, it should be watered moderately, after waiting for the soil to dry. In winter, at lower temperatures of rest, you can generally forget about watering it.
A good drainage layer in the pot is required.
It is rare to spray and wash cotyledon; it has no complaints about humidity.
Take water at mild room temperature.
Soil and transplant
In nature, succulent cotyledon chooses stony and poor soils. For a soil mixture, turf, leaf soil, coarse sand and fine gravel are mixed at room temperature; charcoal can be added.
If you purchase ready-made soil, then it is suitable for cacti.
A cotyledon transplant is only required as it grows. It is growing slowly. The decision on a transplant is made when the crown has outgrown the diameter of the pot. It turns out a transplant from the experience of breeding cotyledon about once every three years.
Feeding and trimming
From March to October, four times you can feed cotyledon with fertilizers for cacti. He does not need special feeding.
Cotyledon also does not need pruning. Strongly elongated shoots can be pinched, stimulating the plant to bushiness. Cotyledon tolerates these procedures well.
Cotyledon is propagated by seeds and cuttings. Seeds purchased at the store. The percentage of germination of sown seeds in spring in light soil from sand and leafy soil is quite high. Crops are covered with a film, daily airing and spraying. The first leaves will appear in three weeks. At the same time, it is more difficult to grow seedlings to an adult plant. Young shoots are prone to root rot; watering should be done very carefully.
The easiest way to get a new plant is cuttings. To do this, cut the tops with four leaves. Day wither them. Within a month, each stalk will give roots in wet sand. The temperature is kept within 18 ° C.
Diseases and Pests
Cotyledon is resistant to flower diseases if watering, light, and temperature are adhered to. Most often, it is affected by rot and fungal diseases.
Pests of cotyledon: mealybug, snails.