The Origin, Care Tips & More Information About The Lovely Oscularia Deltoides

oscularia deltoides

Nothing beats taking good care of plants if you wanted to understand the nature around us. It requires patience, a good sense of responsibility, and instinct in order to be a plant parent. But no matter how cautious you are, let’s be realistic that taking good care of plants wasn’t an easy task. If you are into adding some greens to your home, having a succulent plant is an initial step into becoming a green thumb.

Succulents are plants that restore water when placed in dry climates or soil conditions. Water restoration might take place in their stems, leaves, or roots. Physically, these plants are characterized as being fleshy, thickened, and engorged. By nature, this type of plant can survive with minimal care needed.

Succulent originated from the Latin word ‘sucus’ meaning sap or juice. As mentioned, water retention is one of the specific characteristics of a succulent plant. Succulents can grow into an unusual aesthetically pleasing plant, categorizing them as one of the most popular ornamental plants. An estimated 60 plant families are said to be succulents. This water-retaining plant is also becoming an instant crowd favorite. And among the type of succulents that you will truly love is Oscularia Deltoides.

Origin

Oscularia Deltoides is well-known in the South Africa region. It is said to grow on sandstone rocks or mountains. It is a flower-bearing succulent plant. Oscularia comes from the Latin word ‘osculum’, which means smallmouth. It, therefore, reflects that Oscularia means a group of smallmouth and toothed leaves, describing the physical traits of the plant.

The leaves are usually triangular-shaped and are often colored grey-green with red spiky ends, especially during the drier season. Its flowers are color pink and scented. The flower usually blooms in the afternoon when wet and usually closed when dry. Oscularia Deltoides are also called ‘Pink Ice Plant’ by some.

Oscularia Deltoides flowers
By Andrew Massyn – Own Work. Kirstenbosch Gardens Cape Town, Public Domain, Wikimedia

Oscularia Deltoides Care Tips

The following are some of the main steps you can take to grow your Oscularia Deltoides effectively.

Watering

This succulent stores a lot of the water it needs for sustenance in its leaves and stems. Evolutionally it is not designed to grow in places where the soil gets waterlogged; it is meant for dry places. As a result, the roots rot when exposed to too much water as it chokes them, ridding them of oxygen. Root rot is one of the most common diseases affecting succulents, including Oscularia Deltoides.

How should a plant parent manage the relationship between the Oscularia Deltoides and water?

The type of substrate you use when growing this plant is one of the primary determinants of whether your soil will be waterlogged or not. You should have porous soil, but we shall discuss that later.  

After selecting the suitable substrate for the plant, ensure the pot you grow has drainage holes at the bottom. These holes are essential because the water that passes through your porous soil would otherwise settle at the pot’s base, exposing the roots to excessive water and rot.

You should never water the plant when the soil is still wet, as this will always lead to waterlogging. How do you know the soil is dry enough? The soil dryness test is the most effective method. This is whereby you insert your fingers into the substrate. If you find wetness in the top three inches of the soil, hold off watering until this section of the soil is completely dry.

The succulent needs more water during its growing season in spring and summer than in winter. In many instances, you don’t need to water the plant in winter unless you notice severe distress. How often you water a plant depends on the season (for example, the water will evaporate faster in summer due to heat and get used up faster in spring and summer due to the plant’s growth).

It also depends on the location and time because some locations will have hotter summers than others. Also, the exact location may have a different temperature in different years. This is why how you water the plant should depend on your observations after monitoring the plant.

Humidity

This plant doesn’t require much humidity. Average household humidity is enough to sustain it. You should reduce watering in the event there is too much humidity in the environment and increase it in the event humidity is too low.

Pests and Diseases

This plant isn’t too susceptible to pests and diseases, but mealybugs and aphids can attack it. The first line of defense against pests is ensuring the plant is healthy. A healthy plant can keep pests at bay naturally. If you notice an infestation in one or some of the plants, you can save the rest from infestation by quarantining the infected plants and treating them separately.

There are various ways you can deal with an infestation of mealybugs and aphids. The first one is by applying diluted liquid soap to the infested plants. You can also apply to rub alcohol on the infested plant to destroy the pests. The alcohol you can use should have a concentration of 70% to be effective and mild enough to be gentle on the plant.

You could also use chemical pesticides. These aren’t recommended, especially for an indoor plant, because they can affect the house’s air quality.

Organic pesticides are preferable, with the following being the most effective.

  1. Neem oil: Unlike the other pesticides listed below, neem oil is a systemic pesticide. It gets into the plant and poisons it against the bugs so that they don’t survive or reproduce when they attack the plant. Pure Neem Oil is made from the neem plant. Therefore, it is entirely natural and not harmful to humans.
  2. Hot pepper spray: Hot pepper is quite irritating when it gets on your skin and eyes, and it has the same effects on the bugs infesting your succulents. Spray it carefully on the affected parts to protect your skin and eyes.
  3. Garlic spray: A concentrated garlic spray can have the same effects on the bugs as pepper spray. You can manufacture the garlic spray by crushing garlic cloves and putting them in hot water. Put just a little hot water, so the end product is concentrated enough to destroy the pests. Remove the garlic residue, put the pesticide in a sprayer, and spray away on the infected parts of the plant.

Always spray a small part of the plant with the pesticide you want to use before spraying on the whole plant. This precaution applies when using contact pesticides, i.e., hot pepper and garlic. You need to see the plant’s reaction before you spray it all. You can reduce concentration if the test shows the plant’s reacting adverse effects on the pesticide.

Pruning

This plant grows horizontally quite fast, and this growth needs to be managed through pruning. Such pruning helps prevent the plant from dominating the entire garden. Once you prune, the plant also spreads, making it bushier.

Oscularia Deltoides
By Chhe at English Wikipedia – Own work (Original text: I created this work entirely by myself.), Public Domain, Wikimedia

Oscularia Deltoides: Outdoor or Indoor Plant?

Oscularia Deltoides can be both an indoor and outdoor plant. As an indoor plant, one must make sure that the area where you will place the plant has enough sunlight. Make sure to check on the plant once in a while to ensure that it is getting enough sunlight.

You must look into signs when the plant is starting to stretch, leggy, or started to produce stunted growth. It means that it is literally reaching out for more sunlight. The color of an Oscularia Deltoides with not enough sunlight might also turn pale. On average, it is safe to display the plant from 5 to 6 hours of bright light daily. If the circumstances don’t provide natural light, you might want to invest in good grow lights for your indoor plant babies.

As an outdoor plant, Oscularia Deltoides actually thrive naturally. However, the only concern in having this plant outdoor are extreme weather conditions like winter, storm, heatwave, or intense heat. This might affect the way the plant cope with its surrounding and might need additional care.

During a heatwave, you might need to put the plant in a shaded area to avoid sunburn. During winter, the plant can most likely tolerate mild frost and freezing. It is said that they can tolerate as low as 15 to 20 Fahrenheit. However, prolonged exposure to frost might put the plant’s health in critical condition. It is advisable to bring it indoors during winter. If this is not possible, it might be better to put protection around the plant.

These care tips are very beneficial for small plants as they might not yet be sturdy. Whether as an outdoor or indoor plant, what’s important for Oscularia Deltoides is it has a proper draining potting mix and an adequate amount of sunlight.

Oscularia Deltoides Propagation

You can propagate this plant either by stem cuttings or leaves. Propagation by stems is much faster and more likely to succeed than when you multiply it using stem cuttings. The process of cutting and becoming an established plant is also quicker than if you were to use a leaf to reproduce. The following is how you propagate the plant.

What you need

  • A sharp knife or pruning shears.
  • Alcohol wipes or methylated spirit.
  • 4-inch pots with draining holes.
  • Cactus mix and pumice mixed at a ratio of one is too one.
  • Rooting hormone (optional).

Steps

  1. Sterilize the knife, pruning shears, or another cutting tool with alcohol wipes or methylated spirit.
  2. Identify a plump, healthy-looking plant with succulent leaves and cut a stem. Avoid any part of the stem that is dehydrated, sick, or pest-infested.
  3. Cut the stem you have identified with your now sterilized tool and remove any leaves there may be on the lower third of the cutting.
  4. Allow the cutting to be callous under a shade for two or three days. It is essential to let it be cruel because if you don’t, the cutting is susceptible to rotting when you plant it.
  5. If you have any, run the lower part of the cutting with the rooting hormone. Rooting hormones will enable the plant to embed faster.
  6. Put the cactus mix and pumice in the pot after mixing them well. This combination is well-draining, which is very important for this cutting to root.
  7. Plant the cutting in the potting mix and keep it where there is indirect sunlight.
  8. Water the plant regularly so that you ensure the soil is always moist
  9. Rooting will occur in a maximum of six weeks, you can check the roots to see, or you can wait to see new growth on the stem
  10. Propagation usually occurs in the same pot the plant will grow, so when the plant roots, you move it to where you want to grow it and switch to ordinary Oscularia Deltoides husbandry.

How to Make Your Oscularia Deltoides Bloom

Not all succulent plants are flower-bearing. Luckily, Oscularia Deltoides isn’t one of those. It can produce a pink to a magenta-pink flower that generously covers its entire plant. However, like any other plant, it only blooms when it received enough tender love and care. The first important factor you might want to consider if you want your Oscularia Deltoides to bloom is that it is at the right age. The too mature plants might no longer bloom, and baby plants might need more time.

Oscularia Deltoides Bloom
By Nosferatuorlok – Nosferatuorlok, Public Domain, Wikimedia

It is said that it is only proper to give it at around three (3) years prior to expecting it to bloom. The second important factor is to make sure that you were able to prolong its exposure to cold temperatures. This might sound tricky, but the reality is if you want it to bloom, you have to expose it up to 35 – 44 Fahrenheit. When you bring them indoors during winter, make sure that you still store them in a non-heated room. The third important factor that ensures the blooming of your Oscularia Deltoides is to give them abundant fertilizer. It is recommended to feed them every other two weeks and not to overfeed them during the last part of fall or winter.

Final Words

I hope this article enables you to start your plant parenthood journey. Experience and enjoy the benefits of starting a green space in your home. Go and start with a succulent or an indoor plant. Bring back to nature and keep planting! 

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Posted in Succulents