The Lifesaver Plant ‘Huernia Zebrina’

Huernia Zebrina Image
Scientific NameHuernia zebrina
Other NamesLife Saver Plant, Little Owl Eyes
Growth SeasonLate spring to summer
Preferred TemperatureThe optimum temperature for this and all huernias is between 50 and 80oF. However it can withstand 40oF – 100oF. It needs to be kept dry to survive at 40oF. It is not frost-hardy.
Hardiness ZoneUSDA 9b-11
Average Mature Height & WidthIts average height is between six and eight inches and width is six inches.
DormancyIt goes dormant at 40oF
ToxicityAs part of the milkweed family, it produces latex when injured. The sap is poisonous to both humans and pets when ingested. Furthermore, it can cause eye damage and skin irritation.
Huernia Zebrina Summary

Huernia Zebrina Physical Characteristics

The plant can be defines as a stem succulent due to the fact that it stores water in the stems. This succulent is basically a creeping plant and it may form mats in certain instances. Its beautiful, showy flowers are its most distinguishing feature. The flower has a distinctive red-ring at the opening of its corolla tube. The ring is also known as an annulus. Further, the star-shaped flower has zebra stripes which are the origin of the ‘Zebrina’ in its name.

Its leaves are saw-toothed and they grow like cactus which is typical of other plants in the milk-plant clan, mostly Euphorbiaceae. Its roots are rather short and they suffer dieback in the cold, dormant seasons.

Owl Plant Care

It is important to water this plant sparingly, its life depends on it. Only water it when water from the previous drink has dried up. Also ensure you plant it in a well, cactus potting mix in a shallow pot. The potting mix ensures water passes through quickly without causing waterlogging, only leaving the soil moist. The shallow pot, on the other hand, is necessary to ensure the plant’s shallow roots reach the entire pot to mop up the moisture.

It does best in partial shade or direct sunlight but the light has to be bright in either case. It can develop a protective pigmentation on the stems if the sun is too much. The pigmentation makes it beautiful but it can inhibit growth.

You can feed it with a 15-15-15 liquid fertilizer once a month. You should, however stop the feeding a month to winter so as to avoid too much fertilizer in the soil during dormancy.

DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>

Richard Miller – Succulent City

Huernia Zebrine Plant Growth

Stem cutting is the easiest way to propagate this succulent. Cut one of the stems, allow it to callous and follow the normal stem-cutting propagation procedure. The plant is small and it rarely needs pruning. Nevertheless if you prune, do it at the beginning of the growth season, it can come back from massively cutting it back.

It is rare for Huernia zebrine to require repotting because it usually doesn’t outgrow its pot. Also the succulent isn’t particularly vulnerable to pests and diseases apart from mealybugs and root rot respectively.

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents