Huernia reticulata: Care and Propagation Guide
Huernia reticulatata, also known as Huernia guttata subsp. reticulata, is a small plant that grows in the Northern Cape and the Western Cape of South Africa and gets its name from the network-like pattern of the flowers.
About Huernia reticulata
Huernia reticulatas are small plants, usually growing in groups. They grow upright or ascending up to 4 inches tall. They have many sharp pointed teeth along the edges of their stems. These teeth can be seen spiraling around the edge of the stem.
The flowers are clustered together near the base of the stem. Each flower has five petals with a very wide flat top. When the flower opens, it looks like a saucer with a very conspicuous broad smooth and shining ring raised around its mouth. They have a very strong and putrid odor.
46 Types of Huernia With Pictures
How to Care For Huernia reticulata
The Huernia reticulata is a beautiful succulent you need to get home. Don’t let its stunning beauty deceive you into thinking that it is a high-maintenance plant. It is a creeper that is easy to grow and as long as you take care of the basics, it will thrive.
Huernia reticulata plants demand proper lighting to grow well. You should choose a place for these succulents that receives bright, indirect sunlight. However, make sure you do not expose it to direct sunlight because it can make it susceptible to rot and disease.
Watering the succulent just right is the key to its growth. Huernia reticulata does not like to be too wet and hence, you need to water it sporadically. In the summer season, water the plant only when the top layer of the soil looks crusty and dry. During winters, the plant goes into dormancy and you can get by easily by watering it just once a month.
You need to go for soil and pot that have good drainage if you are looking to nurture Huernia reticulata at home. Unglazed pots work well because they do not keep the moisture trapped. A cactus potting mix works well for Huernia reticulata because it supports good drainage and keeps the succulent healthy and happy.
The growing summer months demand some fertilization. Make sure to fertilize the plant once every month using a light fertilizer. As soon as you enter the fall and winter season, you can stop spraying the plants with fertilizers as they are going to be dormant anyway.
If the plant remains supple, glossy and green with deep red flowers, it is a sign that the plant is getting the desired sunlight. The plant will change in appearance in case the sunlight is not sufficient.
Pest and Diseases
Overwatering can lead to rot in the stem of the plant. You will be able to identify this right by seeing dark spots on the stems. You will have to cut off these dark parts in case you notice an infestation. Alternately, you can also spray the plant with an insecticide to get rid of bugs and rots.
How to Propagate Huernia reticulata
The growing season is the ideal time to propagate Huernia reticulata and you can do it sans any help by following some simple steps.
Usually, people propagate Huernia reticulata using stems. For this, you need to cut an offshoot from a mature Huernia reticulata plant and let it dry on a towel till the moisture completely evaporates from its stem.
Once the stem is dry, plant it in a pot with a fresh cactus mix. In the initial stages of growth, you need to keep the soil slightly damp and wet. Keep sprinkling with water when the soil dries out.
Do not forget to place the pot in an area that receives adequate sunlight. You will see the germination in a couple of weeks. You can repot this plant once every two years but it really is not that necessary. This is because Huernia reticulata succulents do not usually outgrow their containers.
Here are a couple of frequently asked questions on Huernia reticulata succulents that we have curated just for you. Read on!
How do you get Huernia reticulata to bloom?
There are no big tricks that you need to pull in order to get the Huernia reticulata plant to bloom. It is, in fact, about getting the basics right.
There are five key components that you need to take care of to ensure that your plant blooms to its full potential. These include:
- Well-drained container
- Good potting mix
- Diluted, light fertilizer sprayed sporadically
- Optimum light
- Adequate watering
Once you have these in place, it will mean that the plant has everything it needs to function to its full capacity. This will inadvertently lead to blooming flowers and a healthy succulent sans disease and rot.
The best part about this plant is that it has minimal pruning and repotting needs. You can repot once every two years though it is not mandatory. Similarly, pruning can be skipped unless you want a truly miniature plant.
Is Huernia reticulata a cactus?
Huernia reticulata is not a cactus, although there is divided opinion on its being one. In fact, a lot of its distinguishing features and maintenance needs resemble those of cacti.