How to cultivate the oscularia
The Oscularia is a genus of plants (Oscularia Schwantes, 1927) succulent of the Aizoaceae family. It is a genus originating from South Africa characterized by a shrubby ground cover; the plants are composed of numerous glabrous cylindrical twigs of a reddish-green color.
The genus includes only two species:
– Oscularia caulescens Schwantes;
– Oscularia pedunculata Schwantes.
In this card we will see how to cultivate the Oscar following its climatic and vegetational needs.
However, the Oscularia is a plant suitable for growing in pots and rock gardens.
In Italy it is possible to grow it outdoors only in coastal areas and in regions with mild temperatures.
The flowers are slightly fragrant and are similar to small pink or orange daisies. The petals, numerous and ligulate, surround a central button of a deep yellow color.
The flowering, in areas with mild climate, occurs from spring until late autumn. In cooler areas the flowering is more sparse and less persistent.
For the choice of the exposition, bright and sunny places are recommended for many hours a day. In summer it is advisable to transfer it to bright places but not to direct sunlight. Let us remember that these plants do not tolerate cold and temperatures below 5 ° C.
For the choice of the substrate, the Oscularia fits better in sandy and well-drained ones.
substrate must never be compact or asphyxiated but loose and therefore the optimal one for cultivation must be composed of a third of sieved peat, a third of pumice and a third of red lava with a grain size between 4 and 5 mm.
As an alternative to peat it is possible to add other well humified organic substance.
For irrigation, as for other succulent plants, it is necessary to intervene from spring to autumn by irrigating the plant only when the soil is completely dry. During the vegetative rest it is necessary to irrigate very sporadically.
For fertilization, it is necessary to begin to supply nutrients from the vegetative growth, by administering a specific fertilizer twice a month for succulent plants or in granular or liquid form (appropriately diluted to the water used for watering). If, on the other hand, it is grown in the open ground, in the early spring period, mature manure (or other well humified organic substance) must be added, distributing it to the plant’s collar, without damaging it, and covering it with a layer of earth or gravel.
For multiplication you can proceed by sowing. Sowing should be carried out at the end of March using a specific soil mixed with a part of sand. The seeds should not be buried but should be made to adhere to it with a light pressure of the hands. For all the time necessary for seed germination, the substrate must be kept moist and the container must be placed in a shady place at a temperature of about 21 ° C.
Once germination is obtained, the young seedlings are allowed to strengthen until they have reached the right size to be transplanted to their final home.
As an alternative to sowing, which requires longer times, it is possible to proceed with multiplication by cutting. This agamic or vegetative propagation technique should be done in spring or autumn.
In this case it is necessary to intervene with well sharpened and disinfected scissors or shears, with which we remove stems or twigs of Oscularia; after which they are left to dry in the air and only then should they be left to root in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts which should always be kept moist. Once rooted, the individual plants must be transplanted individually into pots and allowed to winter in a protected place until the following spring.
For the repotting it is recalled that this technique, for the Oscularia, must be operated in spring when by now the available space is completely exhausted both for the roots and for the vegetative part. The new vase must always be larger than the previous one; the fresh and specific soil for succulent plants and on average rich in organic matter.
For adversity, finally, it is recalled that, it is a plant resistant to the attack of common parasites such as aphids and cochineals but it can be subject to infestations of red spider whose presence is detectable by small cobwebs.
For fungal diseases the most formidable is that of white malaria or oidium caused by an excessively humid climate and root rot due to water stagnation in the ground or in the saucer.