The genus Pachyphytum, of the family Crassulaceae, is composed of 17 species of succulent plants native to Mexico. Some species are Pachyphytum oviferum, Pachyphytum bracteosum, Pachyphytum hookeri, Pachyphytum viride.
They are small succulent plants with whitish stems and thick flattened egg-shaped leaves with a waxy coating that gives them a whitish color. Pachyphytum produces flower stalks with small greenish-white bell-shaped flowers. They bloom during the spring.
These slow-growing, easy-to-grow plants are often used in greenhouses and in pots for balconies, terraces, and well-lit interiors.
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How to Care Pachyphytum
Pachyphytum is fairly easy to grow, but it is quite susceptible to low temperatures and excess water. Here is how to care for it:
It needs to grow in sites with very good lighting but never exposed to the direct midday sun. It is recommended to grow under protective nets. In temperate countries can be kept in the sun as long as temperatures do not exceed 20°C. In shady conditions, the growth is disproportionate and weak affecting considerably the aesthetics of the plant.
Grows very well in hot climates with temperatures averaging between 20-35°C. It is susceptible to stem and root rot if temperatures are below 5°C.
It requires a substrate with optimal drainage and aeration for perfect growth. Pachyphytum does not survive in compact and waterlogged substrates; it rots easily.
Water only when the substrate has dried out completely. It is a species capable of withstanding long droughts thanks to the water storage in its leaves. In winter only water if the plant really needs it.
Pests and Diseases
It can be attacked by mealybugs (sometimes very difficult to remove because they get between the compact leaves), aphids, and mollusks (snails and slugs). Be very careful with the latter because they can devour a large part of your plant in a few hours.
How to Propagate Pachyphytum
The propagation of this succulent is very simple from leaf cuttings. The leaves should be protected for 24 hours for the wound to heal. Then they should be placed on a sandy and humid substrate until they begin to form roots.