Lampranthus is the name of a genus that has 100 to 150 species. It is a Latin word meaning ‘shining flowers’ which makes the plant accurately named. It belongs to the Aizoaceae family of plants and produces beautiful blooms in a wide range of colors.
Types of Lampranthus Succulents
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How Do You Care For Lampranthus?
Before we give you the full Lampranthus care and propagation guide, here are a couple of things to know. The Lampranthus ice plants are native to South Africa. They are commonly found around Cape Town and are also called the Pink Vygie and Trailing Ice Plant.
This is a succulent and a perennial shrub and it is recommended for hardiness zones 9 to 11 by the USDA. The flowers typically bloom in summer and stay on for many weeks. They are in different colors which could be pink or purple or orange or red and are often on the edge of shoots.
It should not be surprising that this plant thrives in warm weather and likes a lot of light. That is because it produces a lot of flowers and requires as much energy as possible to get there.
That means direct sunlight for a long time is not a problem. In fact, it is preferred. Follow Lorde’s lead and get some Solar Power for this guy. But remember that this plant is terrible with frost. So, move it indoors in the winter.
Plenty of light when the temperature is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect for the Lampranthus plant.
Like light, this plant also enjoys a good deal of humidity which means the Lampranthus plant does not need a lot of water. This is also true because it is a succulent plant and that is typical of these types of plants.
Those of you who are forgetful gardeners can rest easy knowing that the plant only needs to be watered moderately even in summer. In fact, you should make sure that the soil is dry before you water it. At least the top inch must be dry. You can check that by sticking your finger into the pot.
In the summer months that is about twice every week. And as winter hits, you should reduce the amount of watering down to once every two weeks. If you drown the plant in water, its roots can be attacked by fungi and rot.
Any type of well-drained potting soil combined with pumice or commercial soil used for cactus will work well for these plants. Poor soil with a little sandy texture also fits well for these plants. And if you are transplanting them, make sure that the repotting is done in larger pots.
You can use a weak type of liquid fertilizer in the summer once every 2-4 weeks. Anything that is meant for cactus plants will work just fine. In the winter months, they don’t grow much and the plant will also not flower. So, you don’t have to be aggressive with the feeding.
Pests and Diseases
These are ice plants which means they are susceptible to attack from scale insects and mealybugs. Mealybugs usually attack the soil but you can get rid of them with any organic insecticide that contains neem oil.
The Lampranthus plant is also known to attract spider mites. For this, any miticide will do the trick. Also, remember that thrips and aphids are a common occurrence. They can be taken care of with a food-grade diatomaceous earth powder instead of using a typical insecticide.
This is an important point to remember because these plants are quite sensitive to the chemicals in the sprays that we find in the market. Those might be easy to acquire but they are not a solution to the problem you are facing with your Lampranthus plant.
And if the roots are rotting because you drowned the plant with overwatering, you will notice fungi on their surface. You don’t need pesticides for this but you should cut off the bits that have become overly soft and let the plant dry off.
How to Propagate Lampranthus
Now about the propagation. If you want to grow these plants outdoors, sowing the seeds in spring is the perfect way to do it. Pick a sunny area with well-drained soil that is also dry and a little stony. All you need to do then is to sow the seeds, cover them and add manure.
If you are growing them indoors, you must start the process about two months before it is time to take them outside. This is usually after the frost. When the temperature is about 64-75 degrees Fahrenheit, you will notice that the seeds germinate in a matter of 2-4 weeks.
If you want to plant more of them, gather some cuttings in spring. By autumn, you will notice that some of the stems dry up. That’s a good time to prune the plant.