5 Facts About the Albuca Spiralis Succulent Plant

Albuca spiralis is known for its many names. Among them are Corkscrew Albuca, Sticky Corkscrew Lily, Curly Albuca, Helicopter Plant, Slime Lily, Spiral Albuca, Spiral Leaves Albuca, and Fizzle Sizzle. It’s common names imply, the leaves of this succulent spiral out as they grow like the tip of a corkscrew, metal spring, or coiled snake.

The plant is definitely a nice addition to your succulent plant collection because it serves as a beautiful decoration to your house, garden, or office space. Before buying it, you might want to see these five important facts about it first:

1. Albuca Spiralis and Albuca Namaquensis

The Albuca spiralis closely resembles the Spiral Grass plant. Because of that, the latter is often mistaken as A. Spiralis. However, the Grass Plant’s scientific name is actually Albuca namaquensis.

It’s totally hard to tell the two apart. Albuca spiralis is native to the Western Cape province of South Africa. Meanwhile, Albuca namaquensis is native to Namibia and Cape Province also in South Africa.

2. Appearance

Aside from its corkscrew shape, the Albuca spiralis has green leaves. It is during winter when the foliage starts twisting, which is what defines the succulent and what gives its unique look.

The leaves grow up to eight inches if given the proper care. Then during spring, stalks begin to appear, which eventually bloom into beautiful yellow flowers. Like the Spring Grass, the flowers of the Corkscrew Albuca emit a buttery fragrant that gives quite a refreshing and relaxing scent in any area where it is placed.

3. Required Lighting and Temperature

Since the succulent plant is native in South Africa, it follows that it thrives under the full sun. However, it can also grow well in partial sunlight. Therefore, see to it that it gets as much sunlight as possible or at least six hours of exposure from the sun daily.

Despite its hot natural habitat, the Albuca spiralis can survive between the 9a to 11b USDA hardiness zones. That means the plant can live even in cold climates ranging from 20 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s not recommended to push it to that limit though. To be safe, keep it in temperatures not lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit instead.

The Corkscrew Albuca may survive the mentioned temperature but its bulbs are not that frost hardy. So it’s better to cut them to prevent damaging them during the cold season because the rot may eventually extend to the nearby parts of the plant.

4. Planting

The succulent can be propagated using its seeds or offsets. The latter is the more preferred method because it is easier. Simply cut the offset from the mother plant and put it in a separate plant container. It should be noted that some species of Corkscrew plant do not produce offsets, so in this case, use its seeds.

Spring is the best time to propagate the Albuca spiralis. Just fill the succulent pot that you will be using with well-draining soil, and make sure that the container has drainage. You can use any type of garden soil for this one but utilizing a mixture of sand and loam is more advisable. Keep the young plant under partial sunlight, but once it matures, you can already move it to a warmer area.

5. Watering

During the propagation phase, make sure to water the Albuca spiralis regularly to prevent wilting. Make sure that the water goes through the drainage of the pot though to prevent stagnation at the bottom. Excess water may cause the succulent to rot. When the plant matures, only water it sparingly.

5 Things to Know About the Strange Spiral Grass Succulent Plant

The spiral grass plant is a bit of an oddity or almost alien in its appearance because of its snake-like coiling look. As its name says, it’s green, has a long spiral shape, and grass-like. However, don’t let that fool you because what you are looking at is a succulent plant. It is very resilient and a nice addition to your home garden.

These facts and other things about this peculiar plant shall be discussed further as we go along. Here are the 5 things you need to know about the spiral grass if you wish to add it to your collection:

1. It’s Not Grass

As mentioned above, the spiral grass is not grass, technically speaking. It’s only called that way because of its grass-like color, shape, and texture. The succulent starts from bulbs, and when they bloom, they produce the coiled leaves that usually grow up to one foot. The leaves are either rough, hairy, or smooth to the touch.

The scientific name of spiral grass is Albuca namaquensis. It belongs in the family of Asparagaceae, which consists of flowering plants with 114 genera and 2,900 known species, including the edible tender succulent, asparagus. Meanwhile, its subfamily is Scilloideae, which include hyacinths. This plant in the Albuca genus can easily be mistaken for the Albuca spiralis, commonly known as Corkscrew Albuca, because of its strong resemblance to it.

2. It Grows Flowers

Given the ideal conditions, the spiral grass will produce flowers. Over time, a thick stem grows with a huge bulb on top. Then it blossoms into a yellow-green flower that dangles at the tip of the succulent. Owners describe the refreshing smell of its flowers as something between butter and vanilla.

3. Ideal Environment

Albucas are native in South Africa so they can adapt better to warm climates, but they can also survive the cold. Based on the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, the spiral grass can survive somewhere in the 9b and 11b scales. That means the succulent can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Certain conditions must be met when taking care of the plant during the cold though, which will be discussed in the last part of this article. During spring, flowers will bloom from the bulbs of the spiral grass.

4. How to Propagate It

Spiral grass can be grown from seedlings produced from the flowers after pollination. Propagation through seeds can be hard though so the most preferred method so far is through division or bulbs from the mother plant.

5. Maintenance Tips

The spiral grass looks better in rock gardens where it is exposed to full or partial sunlight. If you happen to live in an area where the climate tends to get cold, it is recommended that you place it in a succulent pot or container so you can easily transfer it to an area at home where it is warmest during that period. Remember to prune the bulbs of the plant during the winter too because these are sensitive to cold and can easily be damaged by frost.

Like most succulents, spiral grass only requires consistent watering upon planting. When it matures though, only water it lightly when it already appears very dry. Use quick-draining soil and pot with drainage so that excess water can flow freely out of it. Excessive watering or stagnant water at the base of the pot may result in soft, mushy, and translucent leaves for the succulent, or worse, the whole plant may rot.

How to Propagate and Maintain the Mini Pine Tree

The Crassula tetragona, also known as Mini Pine Tree, may not be as striking as other succulents in its infancy. However, once it grows, it provides a nice addition or variety in your collection or garden. The plant is among the easiest to propagate, and it is very resilient.

Appearance

The Crassula tetragona is a shrub type succulent plant with spiky leaves that curl upwards. Its leaves are bright green with contrasting white bloom. As its commonly known name implies, it mainly resembles a pine tree.

The Mini Pine Tree is an ideal partner to other dwarf shrub succulents. You can match it with plants in the Senecio genus like the Woolly Senecio. It is a nice companion to your Christmas tree during the Yuletide season too. It can stand on its own in any corner of your house or garden as well. The plant’s vibrant green overall color surely provides a refreshing visual to any area.

The miniature pine tree-looking succulent can reach up to three to four feet in height. As it matures, its stem gets thicker and sturdier. Its bark starts to have a more wooden look during aging.

Ideal Environment

The plant is native in the Southern African region so it naturally thrives in hot climates. However, it can still survive in environments along the 30-degree Fahrenheit mark. It can even survive in a freezing climate under the conditions that we will discuss going forward.

Like other succulents, a Mini Pine Tree that’s already acclimated in the North American region should get adequate sunlight but not in direct exposure to it. If used as an indoor plant in the US, make sure to position it near a window that is oriented on the south for it to get at least a few hours of sunlight. The best time to propagate it is during the spring or summer.

Propagation

The Mini Pine Tree can be propagated through its stem. Start by getting a pair of sharp and sterilized shears. Cut the stem cleanly, wash it gently in running water, and set aside the cutting to callus over.

Since the stems of the plant are very thin, it does not take that long for them to dry. You can use a rooting hormone to stimulate the growth of new roots from the node, but this is an optional step, and can be skipped if you prefer a chemical-free growth for your succulents.

Meanwhile, get some loose garden soil and fill your succulent plant pot or tray with it. Your chosen container should have small holes near the base to prevent overwatering the plant and prevent the stagnation of excess water in its base.

Once the Mini Pine Tree cutting’s flesh wound has already healed and dried up, simply stick it in the container that you prepared. For the meantime, don’t put it under direct sunlight until more roots start sprouting as the plant is very sensitive at this point. Sprinkle some water when the succulent starts getting very dry. The succulent should be completely rooted in four to six weeks.

During the cold season or winter, remember to transfer your succulent plant indoors. If it cannot get at least four hours of sunlight or if the lighting conditions are poor in your area, consider using grow lights for it.

Watch out for any sign of withering or drying in your Mini Pine Tree, and apply the necessary remedies if the situation calls for it.

How to Properly Grow a Jade Plant

The Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, is considered by Feng Shui practitioners as a good luck plant. So, if you wish to boost the positive elements coming into your home or workplace this coming New Year, this is the succulent plant that you should consider getting.

While it is convenient to just buy jade plants from known sellers like Cal Farms, if you are up to the challenge of planting, rooting and growing them yourself, then here are effective ways on how to do just that:

1. Growing Roots From Cuttings

If your source is from a full-grown jade plant, this is the ideal method for you. First, identify the part of the plant where the healthiest branches are located. Make sure that the area is free from disease and fresh-looking. From there, select the branch where you will get your cutting.

It should be noted that the branch should be at least three to four inches long. If the branches of your succulent plant are shorter than the length recommended here, skip this method and proceed to the next one below where you can just propagate from the leaves.

Once you have your ideal branch, set it aside and let it dry preferably up to a week. This is because the fresh wound from the cutting will still be wet and putting it in the soil as it is will invite diseases brought about by organisms that thrive in moist places.

You might want to consider using a rooting hormone to accelerate the whole rooting process and to prevent fungi from infesting the flesh wound of the plant. Upon noticing that a callus starts developing on the wound of the branch, that’s the sign when it is ready to be planted.

Start mixing soil with perlite or verminculi into a pot. After that, plant the branch there. Water the mixture sparingly or just enough to keep it damp until roots start growing.

That’s it. Now, just keep it maintained as we have discussed in our previous articles.

2. Propagating the Leaves

When the branches appear too short, this is the recommended method for you. All you have to do is  snip the healthiest leaf in the plant. Again, see to it that it is fresh and free from disease.

Compose a mixture made of half soil and half verminculi or perlite in a pot. Keep it damp with little watering to provide nutrients to the leaf. Keep it that way until you see tiny plants sprouting from the leaf.

When the tiny plants start growing into a few inches, simply provide the regular maintenance needed to keep your jade plant alive.

Beauty Booster

If you don’t happen to believe in Feng Shui, maybe we can just all agree that jade plants are really nice to look at and their healthy green glow never fail to add beauty to any part of the home or office where they are situated. You might want to combine it with rossettes succulents for added visual effects.

Top 3 Things To Consider When Growing A Succulent Plant Garden

When we talk about a succulent plant garden, we’re at lost on the possibility of it. After all, we are so used to seeing succulents inside our homes that it is completely lost to us that succulent plants can actually be grown in the garden.

Succulents, as you well know, can grow in warm, temperate, and cold seasons. It can thrive in warm climates, but can also grow during colder weather. But as low maintenance as succulent plants are, they require some tender loving care from its owners. One of the cardinal rule of taking care of succulents is to give it the right amount of water and sunlight—not too little and not too much.

That is why many plant lovers simply shrug off the idea of creating succulent garden. For them, succulents are grown indoors where they can be better taken care of. However, succulent gardens are increasingly becoming popular because of how aesthetically good they make homes look. They are easy to maintain and it doesn’t take a lot of energy, time, or resources to ensure their long lives.

1. Location

Once you are sure you are ready for planting, you need to choose the best location for it. Should it be where the sun always shines in your garden? Would a shade do? Should you put it together with your orchids and other plants?

Since this is an outdoor garden we are talking about, you need to make sure you find the perfect spot for your succulents. They shouldn’t be too exposed to the sun and at the same time, they shouldn’t be under the shade for too long.

2. Soil Conditions

Succulents like Cal Farms 36 of 2” Beautiful Rosettes Succulents Weddings or Party Favors or Succulent Gardens need soil with good drainage conditions. The soil should not clamp together and they should be easy to loosen up so that the nutrients can get into the plants’ roots.

You can check the soil condition and its drainage properties by digging a hole at least one foot deep and filling it with water. It the water drains within 30 minutes, that means that the soil is porous enough for the growth of succulents. If not, you can mix three inches of sand or other gritty material to the soil.

3. Types of Plants

Not all types of succulents are great for succulent gardens. Cacti, for example, can hold water in their stems and pads. Take note that you should plant the succulents according to how you want your succulent garden to look like. Burro’s tail have spreading and drooping leaves while agave are spiky and wide. Old man’s cactus, on the other hand, are tall and columned, making them the ideal succulents to place in the corner of your garden. You need to plan the design of your garden according to the types of succulents you have.

You need enough space for a succulent garden, but you can begin to grow succulents in a little corner and simply add more as your space grows.

4 Amazing Benefits You Can Get From Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a succulent plant usually found in places with tropical climates. However, it is resilient enough to withstand dry weather and cold winters with proper caring. It is definitely easy to grow and maintain plus there are a lot of stuff you can do with it.

Here are the amazing benefits you can get from aloe vera:

1. Decoration

Aloe vera gives out a green healthy tint from its watery leaves. Therefore, it can be used to bring a fresh look in any interior space of a home or building. It can be planted in boxes or pots. You can place it on the ground or in a hanging container for added appeal. You can even mix it with rosettes succulents to further boost the beauty of the area where it has been placed.

Make sure that it is out of reach of your pets and children though as the plant has little thorns on its sides. Moreover, see to it that it gets adequate sunlight and air. Do not over water it because it only requires sufficient water to grow.

It is highly recommended that you place the plant near windows, but keep in mind that it should not be within direct sunlight or else the leaves might wilt. A lack of it will damage it too. So, just enough of it will do.  As alternative, you can position it in the balcony, porch, living room, kitchen, gallery or the reception area.

2. Medicinal Alternative

The use of this succulent plant as a medicine traces back to Ancient Egypt. Its gel is used to treat skin conditions and  as a health supplement. The gel can be directly applied on the outer layer of the skin or even mixed in drinks.

Aloe vera is rich in anti-oxidants including vitamins A, C and E that help cleanse the blood from impurities. It also has vitamins B12, choline and folic acid that aid the immune system. Then, it is packed with enzymes like aliiase, amylase, cellulase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, lipase, bradykinase, peroxidase and alkaline phosphatase, which burn up excess sugar and fats in the body. Next, it has hormones like auxins and gibberellins that hasten the healing of wounds and minor burns. In addition, it is has healthy sugars such as glucose and fructose as well as polysaccharodes that combat allergies and skin inflammation.

3. Food Preservation

Aloe vera can be used as a natural preservative. Its gel can be applied to fresh fruits or vegetables to delay their decay. It also serves as a natural repellent that will keep insects away from the fresh produce. The good thing about this is that the gel does not affect the taste of the food in any way.

4. Insect Repellent

As mentioned earlier, aloe vera is a natural insect repellent. Mix the aloe vera gel with tea tree oil, citronella, rosemary, lemonbalm or lemongrass, and pure honey. Keep it in a sealed container and leave it in a place at room temperature. After that, apply an adequate amount of the mixture into your skin every time you are going outdoors to help prevent insect bites.

Jade Plant For Peace And Prosperity In Every Home

Are you looking for a succulent plant that can bring you good luck? Although most succulent plants like  CAL Farms 20 of 2” Beautiful Assorted Variety Succulents bring a sense of peace and luck in any home, not all of them are considered lucky charms. There is one very specific succulent that is considered by feng shui experts as the lucky charm of succulents—the Jade Plant.

To begin with, you should know that feng shui is a tradition that likes to draw parallels with nature. Under feng shui laws, in order to achieve positive chi, human life and nature must be integrated. To do that, feng shui plants like the Jade Plant must be used in your everyday life and in your home.

The Jade Plant is commonly referred to as the Jade Tree Plant, the friendship tree, the lucky plant or the Money Plant. Even when we talk about precious stones, jade remains to be one of the luckiest stones in the feng shui world. When it comes to plants and even succulents, the most popular feng shui plants are those evergreen plants with round, heart-shaped, thick and succulent looking leaves.

The Jade Plant fits the description quite perfectly, and in fact, it is one of the most popular plants in Asia. It is thought to bring luck and prosperity in the lives of those who take care of it.

To recognize Jade Plants, you must first be familiar with how succulent plants differ from each other. Just because they belong in the same family of plants doesn’t mean that they have no differences at all. Jade Plants are characterized by their vibrant green leaves that are symbolic of wealth, prosperity, growth, and renewal.

It is one of the most popular gifts being given to business owners because the giver believes the Jade Plant can bring good business and profit to the owner. You will mostly find Jade Plants near the entrance or in a southeast direction of business establishments. When a Jade Plant produces flowers, it means good friendships and relationships as well. The leaves symbolize prosperity and wealth while the flowers signify the blossoming relationships among friends and business partners.

A Jade Plant can do and mean a lot of good when it placed in the right direction. Although it is generally a good luck plant, it is still important to place them in a location that will maximize their good luck potentials and benefits. You might notice that in most Chinese restaurants, Jade Plants or the Money Trees are placed near the entrance or outside the office cubicles. When they are placed in these areas, experts believe they can attract positive energy that will bring about prosperity to the business.

Feng Shui practitioners suggest placing the Jade Plants in a southeast location. When they are placed in such a location, the plants are supposed to invite good business and profit. Placing the Jade Plants in the eastern location, on the other hand, brings harmony in the family, health, initiation of projects, and scholarly pursuits. When placed in western locations, it will produce creativity or children luck. In northwestern locations, it is supposed to bring the luck of mentors, teachers, and helpful people.

Feng shui experts frown upon putting the Jade succulent plants in the bedroom or the bathroom.

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