The Antimima dualis belongs to the Aizoaceae family, indigenous to South Africa and Namibia.
These small, tufted, low-growing succulents look like symmetrical, compact cushions or round mats, with fuzzy bluish-green leaves. They may flower throughout the year—the flowers can grow solitarily or in clusters and range in color from hues of purple to pink.
The Antimima dualis thrives in sunny, dry environments, and can be easily cultivated in home gardens too.
As mentioned earlier, Antimima dualis succulents are quite easy to grow and care for. If you’re cultivating them at home, the following information on caring for them will help you grow more robust plants.
Antimima dualis succulents require bright, sunny spaces from their early days.
During the cooler months (fall and winter), they flourish in direct sunlight, but during the summer and as young seedlings, they require a cool, shaded spot.
Without the necessary amount of light, the plant body reduces in size, leading to thin leaves and stems.
Antimima dualis succulents are quite drought-resistant, with low water requirements. Water them minimally in the summer months, just enough to keep the soil slightly wet and only if and when you notice the plant shriveling, and water them more frequently in their growing months (spring and autumn).
Overwatering will lead to the plant’s epidermis breaking, causing scars over the plant’s body.
Like all succulents, the Antimima dualis also requires soil that drains well, failing which root rot sets in.
The plant grows well outdoors, in dry, sunny areas, and in its native lands, is found growing in rock crevices that protect it from the excessive wetness in winter months.
They also do well in alpine houses, potted in well-drained soil. Home gardeners can try a mix of quartz grit, pumice grit, lava grit, river, and garden soil (20% of each) for their Antimima dualis cultivation.
Antimima dualis does well in poor soils. Excessive potassium levels are harmful to the plant, so choose a fertilizer with a low potash concentration or always dilute fertilizers with high potassium levels.
Use moderate amounts of fertilizer when the plant is in its growing phase—every three to four weeks if the plant is potted in rich organic soil, and every four to six weeks otherwise.
Antimima dualis, in the South African and Namibian wilderness, grows in limestone, exposed dolomite, or white quartz crevices.
The climate in these regions is extremely dry, with less than 100 mm of annual rainfall. Any rainfall here occurs in the winter months, which makes these plants winter growers, blooming from late winter to late spring and becoming dormant in the warm summer months.
The plant is tolerant of light frost—around 23°F—provided that the soil that it grows in is dry.
As many plants in the Aizoaceae family are vulnerable to, the Antimima dualis is also vulnerable to tiger moth caterpillars. These moths lay their eggs on the plant’s surfaces; eggs are pale green when freshly laid and darken later to blue.
Tiger moth caterpillars, once they hatch, feast on the succulent leaves, causing damage to the plant.
Apart from this, they are vulnerable to root rot if placed in the soil with improper drainage and air permeability.
Due to their naturally occurring round shapes and structures, you don’t need to prune these plants. Only remove dead and withered parts when necessary.
While potting these plants, use loam-based garden soil with gravel and sand incorporated, or a mix of equal parts quartz grit, pumice grit, lava grit, river, and garden soil, as mentioned earlier.
Germination occurs within three weeks of planting and seedlings are ready to be transferred after a year. Autumn is the best time to sow seeds, as the cooler months are the plant’s growing months.
Water sufficiently during the plant’s first winter and then, during the following months, only when necessary, especially during the summer months.
When transferring, ensure that you pick a pot that is the right size, as too large a pot will result in water accumulation and too small a pot will restrict the roots from properly developing and growing. Clay pots are generally a good choice.
How to Propagate Antimima dualis
You can propagate Antimima dualis with cuttings from leaf pairs, as close to the base as possible. Like sowing, cuttings are also best done in the fall months. Let the cuttings dry out for a week before planting them in a sand and soil mixture.
Ensure that water drains well and doesn’t accumulate (pooling on the soil’s surface is an indication of improper drainage). Water sufficiently and within a month, the roots will start to develop.
You can also cultivate Antimima dualis succulents through seeding. Though they are quite rare in the United States, seeds are available at some nurseries.