Cotyledon Macrantha (Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga ‘Macrantha’) is popularly called the pig’s ear or paddle plant. This succulent plant is native to parts of South Africa and grows in the form of a bush or shrub.
The leaves of this plant are light green, fleshy and oblong or paddle-like in shape. They usually have a deep red border around them and can grow in clusters, usually managing to reach a height of around 2-3 feet. The flowers are red and bell-shaped.
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How To Care For Cotyledon Macrantha
Cotyledon Macrantha is fairly simple to take care of and is a very common choice for houseplants. Not only are their needs easy to figure out, but they are also excellent as decorative plants because of their lovely leaves.
Cotyledon Macrantha is native to regions where it gets tons of natural sunlight. This succulent can be grown outdoors or indoors as long as it gets some amount of sunlight every single day.
Very direct and intense sunlight in the morning is tolerated well by Cotyledon Macrantha but direct sunlight in the afternoon can damage the leaves of the plant.
If you have outdoor Cotyledon Macrantha, then use a sheet to protect the leaves of the plant during the hours of intense sunlight. If you have an indoor plant, then make sure you keep it in a spot that gets partial sunlight throughout the day.
Cotyledon Macrantha, like most succulents, is extremely sensitive to overwatering but can tolerate underwatering to a reasonable degree. Any amount of excess moisture can lead to the formation of rot in the roots of the plant.
If your Cotyledon Macrantha is underwatered, you will easily be able to tell. The leaves of the succulent will not have enough water stored and they will become soft to the touch.
In that case, you should go ahead and water the plant. At other times, you must be extremely careful not to overwater the plant. Cotyledon Macrantha should only be watered if the soil is dry up to a depth of four inches.
Alternatively, if the leaves of the plant are plump, then that means that there is water stored in the plant and you do not need to water the plant.
While watering, you must take care not to put water on the leaves of the plant as that can lead to rotting and damage.
Though this may vary according to climate, you can water your plant once every five to seven days during the summer months.
Cotyledon Macrantha enters a period of active growth in the winter and needs to be watered more heavily during that time.
To know when this period is coming, examine the bottom leaves of the plant. If they are dry, then you need to start increasing the quantity of water.
Cotyledon Macrantha has one crucial requirement from the soil. The soil can be of any poor quality but it should be well-drained so that there is no accumulation of moisture around the roots of the plant.
You can buy a pre-made succulent potting mix to plant your Cotyledon Macrantha or you can make your own by combining regular potting soil, sand and perlite or pumice.
Cotyledon Macrantha is native to regions with hot climates and can tolerate high amounts of heat. However, it cannot tolerate low temperatures and can especially die during frost.
Cotyledon Macrantha should not be kept in temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit for sustained periods of time without protection. Temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit can kill the plant completely.
These succulents, especially those kept outdoors, need to be protected from frost during the winter months. You can protect your succulent with a sheet during frost.
Cotyledon Macrantha can be nourished with fertilizers around once a month during their active growth period. For this, you can use the fertilizers available for succulents by diluting them and then putting them in the soil.
Potting and Repotting
Cotyledon Macrantha needs to be potted in well-drained soil, ideally in a container that has drainage holes.
The roots of the succulent do not take up a lot of space and grow slower than the leaves of the plant. As a result, the plant needs to be repotted only about once every two years. The plant should ideally be repotted in the month of April.
How To Propagate Cotyledon Macrantha
New Cotyledon Macrantha plants can be propagated from the leaves found in the center of the rosettes of the plant. After cutting the leaf, keep it outside for about a day. After that, the leaf can be dipped in a rooting mixture and then potted in a moist soil mixture.
The leaf cutting will soon lead to the growth of rosettes of the succulent. As the rosette grows its own root, it can be transferred out of this soil into well-drained soil that is suitable for Cotyledon Macrantha.