The high demand for Dudleya plants, especially in the Asian region, is attracting poaches. There have been recorded cases of people smuggling them to China and Korea because they are considered trendy.
According to a report in NBC San Diego, two Southern California natives were caught trying to ship stolen Dudleya plants in eastern Asia in February of this year. The succulent plant poachers were subsequently sentenced, and two more cases are pending in court.
In another case that took place in Humboldt County, three men were caught for illegally possessing 2,000 Dudleyas. One Chinese and two Koreans were sentenced to about four years in state prison and a fine of thousands of dollars for the crime.
Combating the Poachers of Succulent Plants
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife urges people to report such instances to them through their hotline at (888) 334-2258. The agency said that they will treat each call as confidential.
On the other hand, succulent growers are taking steps to prevent the poaching of Dudleyas. They are planting valuable succulents on a massive scale to combat the illegal harvesting of these valuable plants.
Dudleya plants are very attractive because they often grow small charming rosettes on their branches. However, since there are around 40 to 50 varieties of this plant, some may not have branches. These are native to the western states of US, Mexico and other areas in the Southern American continent.
As a consumer, you can also help prevent the poaching of succulent plants in your own way. Buy only from a legit and reliable source like Cal Farms. You can grow these plants in your backyard or indoor garden too.
How to Grow Dudleya Plants
Dudleyas are easy to grow. Like most succulents, they do not require much attention like frequent watering.
These succulents can be propagated from seeds, cuttings or division. You can plant them in small containers or pots filled with garden soil or sand. The containers or pots should have small holes in their bases to allow excess water to drain.
Dudleya plants thrive in dry conditions, so it’s recommended that there should be long intervals in between watering. We suggest watering them only during the fall and stop watering them during the summer season.
Make sure that the water is directed to the roots of the plant as this type of succulent cannot tolerate getting its leaves wet. It’s for that reason that you might notice a white wax covering its leaves. This serves as a coating that prevents the stagnation of water droplets from its leaves. As much as possible, avoid touching the leaves to keep its coating undisturbed.
Dudleya plants love the sun. Therefore, make sure that you position them in places that get the most sunlight. An adequate amount of lighting from the sun gives them a healthy green glow, but too little of it can result to its leaves getting soft and stretching.
These succulents cannot tolerate frost. They will surely wither in that condition. However, they can survive as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.