The Mesembryanthemum, or Mesembryanthemum in botanical jargon, is a plant belonging to the family of Aizoaceae rather widespread in the arid areas of the planet such as South Africa, South America and Australia, but is quite present also within the Mediterranean environment. As this plant prefers arid and rocky habitats in nature, it will not require particularly intense irrigation inside a flowerbed or a garden.
Being a succulent plant, “fat” in common jargon, it is, in fact, prepared to store water inside its tissues and then tolerate heat without damage, bearing quietly even periods of long and persistent drought.
The cultivation of the Mesembriantemo will not require, therefore, a particularly intense and frequent irrigation: in the case in which the plant is on the ground, it will be superfluous to wet it, unless there are some cases of particular drought; in the case in which the plant is instead inside a pot, it will be better to water it regularly, taking care, however, that the soil never remains excessively humid.
How to take care of it
Being a plant very present also in a spontaneous way, the Mesembriantemo does not need in particular way the hand of the man to express itself in all its beauty. However, to ensure that it keeps its wild charm alive without falling into neglect, it will be good to take into account some particular expedient. This plant does not require any kind of pruning, however it tends to have a discreet flowering that risks being submerged by the overbearing green of the leaves.
This does not mean eradicating parts that we think are excessive and disturb our eyes, but we should stimulate flowering by removing wilted flowers and dead leaves. Maintaining this attitude will also prevent the possible onset of fungal diseases. If you decide to grow it in a pot, we recommend repotting the plant every year in a slightly larger pot so as to encourage its natural development.
In order to keep it healthy, it is good to ensure the plant an excellent drainage using unpressed soils, enriching them with sand and stones if necessary.
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For this plant, naturally inclined to grow in rather arid environments, fertilization may not be a strictly necessary treatment, however it would certainly encourage lush growth and help to increase the aesthetic yield of the plant. If you choose to use fertilizer, you should only do so during the growing season, which usually coincides with the hottest months of the year (about May to October, may vary depending on the climate).
With regard to the choice of product, it would be preferable to opt for a liquid fertilizer that contains nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, but any fertilizer specifically for succulent plants is still an equally valid option. As a method of fertilization, it would be advisable to dilute the fertilizer over time by diluting it in the irrigation water.
Mesembryanthem: Exposure and possible diseases
Like all succulent plants, the Mesembryanthemum also prefers warm and dry environments, while fearing the cold, rain and air currents. If you decide to dedicate yourself to the cultivation of this flower is therefore a good idea to reserve a warm place, dry, possibly in contact with sunlight and protected from possible air currents. A good exposure will allow the plant to grow luxuriantly, limiting the onset of the most frequent diseases.
The Mesembryanthemum is a rather resistant plant, however this does not make it totally immune to any kind of problem. The main issues that could affect its health are humidity and insects. Excessive humidity due to adverse weather conditions or too much irrigation may cause fungal growth or rottenness. To remedy the problem, it would be advisable to change the exposure of the plant (when possible), and proceed with the administration of antifungal products and fungicides.
Even an aphid infestation could compromise the health of the plant, in which case it will be sufficient to treat with a broad-spectrum insecticide.
- The mesembryanthemus is a succulent plant with fast growth and compact size, bushy or drooping, with a
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