Trachyandra tortilis belongs to the genus Trachyandra of the Asphodelaceae family. It is native to the Cape Provinces of South Africa and is a unique plant in the sense that it has multiple thick leaves that grow in a spiral shape. There are multiple such leaves in each plant.
The leaves are additionally light green in color while the flowers tend to be pale pink.
Sunlight and Ventilation
Trachyandra tortilis, like most succulents, need exposure to sunlight but might wilt if exposed to too much sunlight. Direct or harsh sunlight might often be too much for the leaves of the plant.
Hence, it is often helpful to ease the plant into sunlight by putting it under indirect sunlight and then gradually transitioning into more direct sunlight. Usually, a Trachyandra tortilis grows well with three hours of exposure to direct sunlight but this may vary with the climate you are in.
A Trachyandra tortilis’ biggest enemy is too much moisture. Hence it is crucial to keep the plant in a well-ventilated area to make sure the plant remains dry. The area next to a window is often the most suitable spot to keep your Trachyandra tortilis in most climates.
Water and Nutrients
Trachyandra tortilis plants do not need to be watered more than once every few weeks. It is important not to water your Trachyandra tortilis as you would water your other plants and to have a different schedule for it.
You can gauge whether your Trachyandra tortilis needs water in two ways. Firstly, you can check the leaves to see whether they have enough water or are drying up. The succulent leaves of the plant should have moisture inside of them.
The other method is to check whether the soil is moist and water the plant only if the soil has become dry. You can simply put your finger in the soil to see if it has any moisture.
When watering your Trachyandra tortilis, make sure not to put any water on the leaves as that might cause rotting. Instead, water the soil directly and allow all the water to drain until the soil is moist.
Although Trachyandra plants can thrive in low-nutrient environments, adding fertilizers sparingly to the soil once or twice a year will ensure that your plant is healthy and blooming. However, make sure to do the research to pick the right kind of fertilizer for the succulent.
Trachyandra tortilis goes dormant for about a month during the summer. During this time, though the plant may look dry, it is essential not to over-water the plant and ensure that the plant is drained well. During this time, the plant needs minimal watering and a lot of ventilation.
During winter, Trachyandra tortilis goes into active growth and blooms. The plant needs to be watered once every few weeks whenever the soil has been drained. In the winter, you will finally be able to see your plant’s lovely and fleeting flowers!
Trachyandra tortilis plants are used to desert-like conditions where the soil does not have a lot of moisture. Like most succulents, Trachyandra tortilis plants will struggle to grow in moisture. Hence, they must be potted in well-drained soil when they are taken out of their natural habitat.
Their leaves are designed to store the water for long periods of time but too much moisture in the soil will cause rotting and render their roots unable to absorb moisture.
Besides the soil you use, it is also essential to choose the right kind of pot for the succulent. A large pot made of quick-drying material with drainage holes for excess moisture is the most suitable kind of pot for the succulent.
Dust and Pests
Because of the nature of the leaves of Trachyandra tortilis, a lot of dust may often collect on the leaves. Dust can be very harmful to the plant as it may clog up the pores necessary for transpiration.
Hence, it is essential to clean the leaves of your Trachyandra tortilis gently. You can do this with a small moistened brush but make sure that too much moisture does not remain on the leaves as that may cause rotting.
Some tiny pests may hide in parts of your succulent due to its shape and structure. They are attracted to the leaves of succulents because of the moisture in them. Pests also thrive in moist and fertilized soil.
Hence, to avoid pests, keep the soil drained and use fertilizers very sparingly. You can spray the leaves of the plant with insecticide to stop the growth of pest larvae.
Summing Up on Trachyandra tortilis
Trachyandra tortilis, though rare, can be a precious indoor plant with its decorative leaves and flowers and extremely long lifespan. These plants are extremely simple to take care of once you understand their needs.