Graptopetalum macdougallii: Care and Propagation Guide
Graptopetalum macdougallii is a succulent that belongs to the genus Graptopetalum. It belongs to the Crassulaceae family. This plant is native to Mexico and is mainly seen growing in rocky and shady areas.
It is mostly found at a geographical altitude of 1200- 2100 meters. The leaves of this plant are green in color. The petals of the leaves are ovate and lanceolate in shape. The shape of the leaves is more like a tongue and they spread rapidly during the growth season.
These succulents are flowering, and the pedicles of the flowers grow up to 2 cm. However, the flowers grow 10 at a time. The rosette grows up to a diameter of 3 cm. The rosettes that are ground-hugging bear around 50 leaves at a time.
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How To Care For Graptopetalum macdougallii
Let’s take a look at some specific care conditions required for Graptopetalum macdougallii succulents.
It is important to place a Graptopetalum macdougallii plant under bright sunlight. You should give it several hours of daily sunlight either outdoors or indoors. You can find a good spot on a balcony or windowsill for it.
The plant can also survive well if it receives plenty of shade or a good combination of sunlight and shade. There might, however, be a few differences in color depending on how much light it receives.
Hot climates generally work well for these plants. However, they can also withstand the cold well up to a certain extent. They normally grow in USDA zone 7b to 9a, sometimes even more.
You can water your Graptopetalum macdougallii plants once a week if you are growing them outdoors. If you are growing them indoors, you do not need to water them as much due to slightly lower temperatures inside the house.
Make sure you let the soil become dry enough before you water the plant again. Do not overwater it as this can cause swelling and root rot, inhibiting its healthy growth.
Additionally, the climate that you live in can also affect the water requirements. You should water lesser if the climate is humid. You can also reduce watering during winters to once every two or three weeks.
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You should use porous or well-draining soil for Graptopetalum macdougallii to prevent water from collecting in the soil. You can either buy a soil mix from the store or make it yourself by combining potting soil with some perlite, sand, peat and compost.
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You should ensure that you make the soil as loose and coarse as possible if you live in humid regions that receive lots of rainfall so that the water can drain out. In case you are planting these succulents in the ground, then slightly raising the plant bed can help.
Succulents like the Graptopetalum macdougallii can grow well even without fertilizers. However, you can add a small amount of fertilizer once during the growing season so that you can boost the growth.
You must ensure that you dilute the fertilizer quite a bit as its strength could otherwise damage the plant. Natural methods such as compost can also be enough in most cases if you do not want to fertilize.
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Pests and Diseases
Common pests and diseases associated with Graptopetalum macdougallii mainly include mealybugs that could affect various parts of the plant. You can spot them early on and get rid of them using pesticides or rubbing alcohol.
Apart from that, you should try to avoid swelling that can arise from overwatering and overfertilizing.
How to Propagate Graptopetalum macdougallii
You can propagate Graptopetalum macdougallii either through seeds or using leaves or cuttings. Go through the following steps to figure out the process in detail.
- If you are using leaves or cuttings, ensure that you cut them from a mature plant. Keep some of the roots intact with the leaf clusters.
- You should let the stem cuttings or leaf clusters rest and dry for a few days so that they can become ready for planting. The cuttings might swell up a bit as well.
- You should now prepare a pot or container and fill it with the soil mix.
- Sow the seeds, leaves or cuttings into the soil.
- Lightly water the plant without overdoing it. Keeping the soil moist enough will be sufficient in the beginning.
- For the leaves and cuttings, the roots will grow out within a couple of weeks and develop into tiny plants. The seeds might take a bit longer than that to germinate.
- You can then go on to carry out the regular care requirements.
- Once the plant grows big enough, you can repot it carefully into a larger container.