This plant is a native of South Africa and Namibia, where it is often considered an invasive weed while in nature. Other regions such as North Africa, Southern Europe, the Canary Islands, Israel, Jordan, and Arabia also host the succulent in smaller quantities as part of their natural ecosystem. It may be considered a dwarf succulent due to its small size. Also, it has a mat-forming habit where it grows closely, providing excellent ground cover.
Description of Mesembryanthemum Nodiflorum
The name “nodiflorum” comes from the Latin word nodus, which means node. It is due to the plant’s habit of producing flowers at its nodes. Its stem is decumbent, and it produces numerous branches at the base. They are usually thin, nothing beyond 3mm, and these stem characteristics are why this succulent is such excellent ground cover.
Its leaves grow on alternating opposites on the stems. They are almost cylindrical, two centimeters long, and 1-2 mm wide. It blooms from spring to fall, and its flowers come in two colors; white or pale yellow; they have pink tips and fleshy petals that are usually 20 or 30 in number. The flowers mature into capsule-like, smooth, triangular, or semi-circular fruits.
Mesembryanthemum Nodiflorum Care
One of the first and most important things you need to know about this plant is that it can’t grow under shade. Thus you need to ensure it gets as much direct sunlight as possible. Also, it is noteworthy that the plant is entirely not frost-hardy, it dies even when exposed to light frost, and thus you will need to move it from frost in winter. Cultivating it in relatively warm areas is easier to keep it under direct sunlight without worrying about frost. However, you can grow it in other climates keeping it under direct sunlight.
This cactus can thrive in many different soil types, including ordinary garden soil. However, this one can grow even in clay and loamy soil. Rich or nutritionally poor soils also work for it. Its versatility allows it to grow even in saline and nutritionally poor soils if it gets direct sunlight. Being able to grow in all these soils means that watering is not a significant consideration; it will survive even in soggy conditions, but well-drained soils will still give the best results.
You can feed it with some phosphorus and potassium fertilizer for the year any time apart from winter. Feed it regularly when drainage is good to avoid accumulated salts in the substrate.
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
Propagation, Repotting, and Common Problems
Seeds are the best way to propagate this succulent. The seeds should be sown in a greenhouse in spring for best results. They are susceptible to root rot when young, and therefore, you should sow them in well-draining soil but transplant them in another type of soil later. Propagate the seed in a well-lit place with good circulation. Repotting is only necessary when the succulent has outgrown a pot or when the substrate has been depleted of nutrients. Pests aren’t a big problem, but you can get the plant cured of an infestation using organic pesticides.
Root rot, when the plant is young, and frost throughout its life are two of the biggest problems affecting this succulent. Also, you can’t grow it in frost, so that a greenhouse might be helpful, depending on your environment.
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!