Pachyphytum, thick-stem varieties - care and propagation


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Its blue-frosted leaves, arranged in rosettes, decorate the Pachyphytum genus throughout the year. From a distance, they look like stone statues, giving architectural structure to creative plant compositions. If the appealing bell blossoms rise above the unreinforced succulents from April to June, they can easily compete with the classic summer flowers. Which thick stem varieties are particularly profiled, you will find below. All factors related to perfect care and successful reproduction are summed up here.
Striking thick stem varieties
The trivial name for the Pachyphytum genus is based on the translation of pachys for thick and phyton for plant. Imaginative hobby gardeners call the brave survivalists Moonstones. The following types of thick stem provide visual proof that both titles are aptly chosen.
Pachyphytum bracteosum
The succulent leaves of this thick strain are gray-white and form a floury-white tires. Its visual appearance is reminiscent of polished pebbles and has a very decorative effect in a plant bowl.

  • Growth height 15 cm
  • Salmon-colored flowering from April to June
Pachyphytum compactum
One of the most beautiful leaf jewelry varieties within the genus. The rosette-shaped leaves are dull green and covered with a purple Schleicher. The branched shoots thrive overhanging, so that recommends Compactum for cultivation in the traffic light.
  • Growth height 15 cm
  • Orange-red bellflowers from May
Pachyphytum oviferum
On the up to 15 centimeters long trunks flourish fleshy leaves, oval shaped with a smooth edge. The gray-white color sometimes shimmers slightly pink, which harmonizes wonderfully with the crimson flowers and pale blue goblets.
  • Growth height 10 to 12 cm
  • Flowering period from May to June
Pachyphytum hookeri
Here you will meet one of the largest thick-stem varieties. With a height of up to 70 centimeters, this moonstone is hard to beat by its peers. Nice to look at are the blue-green and stielrunden leaves. The red bell blossoms with yellow tips complete the harmonious appearance.
  • Growth height 60 to 70 cm
  • Flowering period from April to May
Pachyphytum viride
A jewel for every hanger comes here on the plan. The low-lying shoots impress with reddish leaves, which can reach a length of 10 centimeters. The five-fold bell flowers enchant in a subtle purple-red.
  • Growth height 50 cm
  • Flowering period from May to June
Pachyphytum longifolium
The gray-green leaves appear as smooth as if they were waxed. The small-sized thick stem variety likes to join cacti or fill in large buckets the gaps with their leaf rosettes and pure white flowers.
  • Growth height 10 to 15 cm
  • Flowering period from April to August
maintenance
Making a choice within the multi-faceted thick-stem varieties poses a far greater challenge than properly caring for the succulents. In the following, you read all the handles that really matter.
Location
In their natural habitat, Pachyphytum thrive on the barren rocky slopes of the mountainous country in central Mexico. The better the chosen location simulates the local conditions, the more indigenous the succulents feel.
  • Sunny to full sun
  • Direct sunlight deepens the leaf coloring
  • A place on the southwest or southeast window is ideal
  • The temperature optimum fluctuates between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius
Dickstamm varieties would like to spend the summer on the balcony or in the garden to soak up the sun and fresh air. In this case, the pot must not be in a coaster, so that rainwater runs off unhindered. If the temperatures fall below the 10-degree mark, the moonstones will move to the house.
Tip: Self-grown or acquired young plants require a one to two-week habituation phase to the full sun. For this purpose, they stay in a sheltered, partially shaded place, which is illuminated by morning or evening sun.
to water
The special ability of water retention in the leaves does not imply that pachyphytum have a sporadic casting need. It is not a problem if you trust in succulence for the duration of your holiday; permanently expecting the plants to feed on their supplies, the moonstones leach out permanently. The normal care protocol therefore follows this rhythm:
  • Water regularly from March to October until water runs out of the bottom opening
  • Empty a coaster after 20 minutes at the latest
  • Wait until the substrate surface has dried
Collected rainwater or soft tap water meets the requirements of thick-stem plants very well.If this water quality is not available, hang a cotton sack of peat in a watering can with water for a few days. The result of this natural form of decalcification is close to the quality of rainwater.
Fertilize
The low nutrient requirement of succulents is covered with a commercial, liquid cactus fertilizer. From April to September you administer the preparation after the soil has been slightly moistened with clear water. Since the danger of overfeeding is particularly high in the small-sized thick-stem varieties, experienced hobby gardeners alternatively use organic fertilizers such as guano, worm tea, liquid compost or nettle.
substratum
Weakly depleting Pachyphytum, the permeable consistency of the substrate is more important than the nutrient content. Conventional potting soil therefore does not meet the requirements because it is heavily pre-fertilized and compacts quickly due to the high peat content. The following mixtures are better suited to the wishes of thick-stem plants:
  • 60 percent cactus clay, 20 percent quartz sand, 20 percent perlite or expanded clay
  • 40% Pikierde, 20% Kokoshum, 20% Lavagranulate, 10% Sand, 10% Styrofoam Flakes
The inorganic aggregates, such as perlite, expanded clay or lava, in the substrate promote the supply of air and create the crumbly structure that is beneficial to root growth. The irrigation water is kept for a short time, then drained quickly.
overwinter
Basically, all thick-stem varieties can overwinter at room temperatures. If the succulents, on the other hand, are granted a break, this leads to a splendid flowering in the next spring. So moonstones are good for the cold season:
  • From November to February, cool down to 10 to 15 degrees Celsius
  • The brighter the location, the higher the mercury level should rise
Recommended is a bright, unheated staircase or the conservatory. If there is no light here, a plant lamp or fluorescent tube creates the necessary brightness. For a place on the windowsill of the cool bedroom, artificial light sources are unnecessary, as long as the room is oriented to the south.
repotting
If the previous planter does not provide the Pachyphytum with enough space for further growth, it will be repotted. Freshly purchased specimens are often in unsuitable potting soil. In this case, immediate transplanting is recommended. Otherwise, the appropriate time is the early spring, after the hibernation has ended. How to handle it correctly:
  • In the new pot over the bottom opening of pottery shards or grit create a 5 cm high drainage
  • Fill the favored substrate mixture to half height and press a small trough in it
  • Drain the succulents and place them in the middle of the trough
  • Fill with potting soil exactly as high as the moonstone was previously planted
As is usual with succulents, they are first re-poured after a period of 1-2 weeks acclimatization. Ideally, they spend this time in a partially shaded spot.
proliferation
For the offspring of other pachyphytum, the use of leaf cuttings has proven to be practicable. To do this, cut off the desired number of leaves from a healthy, vital mother plant. Then lay out the cuttings for 2-3 days to dry. Follow these steps:
  • Small potty fill with a mixture of cactus and sand
  • Insert one leaf cuttings in each half
  • Support with a match if necessary
Place the seed pots in a bowl a few inches high filled with water. Thanks to the capillary action, the substrate is thoroughly moistened within a short time. At the partially shaded location at 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, you wait for the rooting of the leaf cuttings. This can take 8 weeks and longer. During this time, the potting soil must not dry out. If the young plants have completely rooted through the vessel, they are repotted and maintained like adult thick-stemmed plants.
Conclusion
Within the diverse succulent family, the Pachyphytum are keen to catch the eye of the beholder. With their thick-fleshed leaf rosettes and the bright bellflowers they spread a unique charm. The wide variety of thick stem varieties make the hobby gardener really spoiled for choice. In view of the uncomplicated care and propagation, nothing speaks against cultivating all moonstones on the windowsill and the balcony without further ado.

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