Albuca Spiralis or Corkscrew Albuca, commonly known as Frizzle Sizzle is a flowering plant native to the Northern and Western parts of South Africa. This unique and whimsical-looking flowering bulb succulent is recognizable by its distinctive long and narrow leaves with corkscrew tips that make an eye-catching addition to your garden.
In this guide, we’ll discuss all there is to know about the Frizzle Sizzle and how to care for the spiral grass succulent.
Belonging to the Asparagaceae family, the spiral grass succulent grows up to 8 inches in height. The plant has dark green spiral leaves that coil up from the bulb and have glandular hairs on the tips. From late winter to spring, the spiral grass succulent bears around 10-20 yellowish-green flowers that have a sweet vanilla scent.
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The spiral grass succulent needs plenty of light to grow and thrive. If there is partial sun, the plant will do well as long as it gets around 5 to 7 hours of sunlight; however, full sun is better.
The leaves of the plant will not curl if there is too little light and they will simply become wavy and long. However, avoid putting the plant where there is direct sunlight or the temperature is very hot, as the plant can get burned.
If you’re growing the plant indoors and the light is not sufficient, then it may be a good idea to get a grow light. If you’re growing the plants in a container, then it may be a good idea to place them in a south-facing location or any other place that receives plenty of natural light.
While your spiral grass succulent requires water, you must not overwater the plant. Too much water and humidity can cause the leaves to become soft or floppy. Being a succulent, the plant stores water in its leaves and too much water can prevent the spirals from forming.
The important thing about growing your Frizzle Sizzle plant successfully is just-right watering and good drainage. From the start of summer all through fall, the plant must be watered once every 2-3 weeks, such that the soil is just damp. Allow the soil to dry out between the waterings.
When the weather turns cooler, i.e., the growing season of the plant, start watering the succulent more frequently. Ensure that the soil is moist but not very soggy. Also, avoid the container sitting in water because the soil will become too wet and this can cause bulb rot.
If you notice that the leaves are turning soft, floppy, wilting or yellow, then it means that you’re overwatering the plant. So, cut back on the watering until the soil dries out before watering again.
On the other hand, underwatering the plant can cause the leaves to droop, have brown or dry tips or stunted growth. It will affect the growth of the foliage and also the ability of the Frizzle Sizzle plant to produce flowers.
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The spiral grass succulent grows best in sandy soil. The soil should promote good airflow while retaining adequate water. You can use a succulent and cactus mix for your Albuca Spiralis succulent or use your own soil blend by mixing regular potting soil with 50%-70% mineral grit such as pumice, coarse sand or perlite. The plant grows well in the soil of regular pH levels.
Spiral grass succulent requires to be fertilized in late fall before it enters the active growing season. It needs a second round of fertilizing in spring when the flower stalks begin to form. It is best to use liquid fertilizer for your Albuca Spiralis succulent.
Before applying the fertilizer, make sure to water your plant well the day before so that it is fully hydrated. Apply the liquid fertilizer to the soil and not the plant and allow any excess liquid to drain via the soil. In late spring, when the plant enters dormancy, stop fertilizing it.
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The spiral grass succulent does best in the U.S. Hardiness zones 8 to 11. The plant thrives in temperature between 60°F to 75°F degrees. The succulent does best when the temperatures are slightly warmer. However, in the summer, if the sun is too intense, then the plant can get burned and it is better to move it indoors.
The spiral grass succulent thrives during the winter season. The succulent is not frost-hardy and it is best to avoid freezing conditions as it will damage the plant. The plant requires cooler temperatures to produce viable seeds.
Typically, the spiral grass succulent is literally a pest-free plant that is not plagued by pests. However, in rare cases, the plant may have spider mite problems in the soil during the hotter months.
While the Albuca Spiralis succulent, in general, is a disease-free plant; nevertheless, it is susceptible to bulb rot and fungal growth that may be caused due to overwatering the plant. So, it is important to avoid overwatering the plant and also use sandy soil that helps any excess water to drain off quickly, preventing any issues.
The Albuca Spiralis succulent can be propagated through bulbs, seeds or division. Once you collect the seeds of the Albuca Spiralis succulent, you must plant them within 6 months. Plant the seeds as deep as 2x their size as they don’t require a lot of soil on the top of them.
You can also sow the seeds on the surface of the soil. Mist the seeds to keep them damp until the plants start to grow. Place the container in a place where the seeds receive full sun so that they are warm and can germinate.
To propagate using bulbs, separate the bulbs from the parent plant along with healthy roots. Replant the bulbs as a new plant. The method of propagation by division too works in the same way. However, in this method, you need to separate an entire cluster of bulbs into 3 to 4 bunches before replanting them.
If you allow your Frizzle Sizzle plant to produce flower stalks, this will cause the leaves of the plant to dry or turn brown. And, if you don’t want this to happen to your succulents, then it is better to prevent it from flowering by removing the flower stalks as soon as they start to appear.
The best thing about the Frizzle Sizzle is that it does not need to be cut back or pruned. You may need to only cut off the flower stalk as they can prevent the leaves of the succulent from curling. Also, the plant may require some pruning to remove the leaves that have gotten sunburned or turned yellow during dormancy.