How to grow Pachyphytum
Pachyphytum (Pachyphytum Link, Klotzsch & Otto) are a genus of plants from the Crassulaceae family of Mexican origin.
They are plants characterized by thick and fleshy stem and leaves. The leaves often take a rounded shape and are attached directly to the trunk. The flowers are clustered together and have red colors.
In this card we will see how to cultivate the Pachyphytum considering that there are different species that we report here:
– Pachyphytum aduncum (Baker) Rose;
– Pachyphytum bracteosum Klotzsch;
– Pachyphytum brevifolium Rose;
– Pachyphytum caesium Kimnach & Moran;
– Pachyphytum coeruleum J. Meyrán;
– Pachyphytum compactum Rose;
– Pachyphytum fittkaui Moran;
– Pachyphytum garciae Pérez-Calix & Glass;
– Pachyphytum glutinicaule Moran;
– Pachyphytum hookeri (Salm-Dyck) A. Berger;
– Pachyphytum kimnachii Moran;
– Pachyphytum longifolium Rose;
– Pachyphytum machucae I. García, Glass & see Cházaro Basáñoez, Miguel de Jesús;
– Pachyphytum oviferum Purpus;
– Pachyphytum sodale (Berger) Rose;
– Pachyphytum viride E. Walther;
– Pachyphytum werdermannii Poelln.
In general the cultivation of Pachyphytum requires a draining and very sandy soil, and at the same time also very light, in a very bright position and with no direct exposure to the sun so as to prevent the leaves from falling and the plant to lose its beauty.
Let’s look at the cultivation technique in detail.
Pachyphytum should be placed, as mentioned, in very bright areas not in direct sunlight. In summer the plant can be transferred outside until the night temperatures drop below 10 ° C.
The substratum to grow these succulent plants should be light and sandy and very draining. You can also make a mixed soil with gravel, soil and peat in percentages: 30 – 50 – 20.
For irrigation, remember that Pachyphytum must be regularly watered during growth, on average every 5-6 days, and more frequently in the hottest periods, taking care to avoid water stagnation. Then when the plant, during the winter period, enters in vegetative rest, the irrigations must be suspended altogether.
For the fertilization it is necessary to operate from the beginning of spring until the whole summer period, once a month, making specific liquid fertilizers for the cactaceae; therefore poor in nitrogen, but richer in phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) appropriately diluted in the water of the waterings and in a lower dose, however, than recommended on the package.
In the middle of the earth, a well-ripened organic fertilizer should be administered at the beginning of spring, mixing it at the base of the plant without damaging the part of the collar in this operation.
As for the propagation and multiplication of Pachyphytum, these also reproduce by seed but are faster and faster than by cuttings or by division of the tufts. Furthermore, with sowing, plants that are identical to the mother plant are not obtained.
In the propagation by cuttings it is necessary to wait for the spring-summer period, in which the leaves that spontaneously come off or whole portions of stem taken with well sharpened scissors and disinfected with bleach or denatured alcohol are put to root in a mixture of peat and sand.
In any case, before proceeding with the burial, the scars of the cuttings must be left to dry in the air. At this point it is necessary to water with moderation and place the container in a place at a constant temperature of about 20-22 ° C.
In the propagation by division of the tufts the healthier and more vigorous tufts with their roots are separated from the mother plant. The twigs separated from the mother plant are implanted in individual vessels and are bred with the same care. This technique can be practiced at any time of the year.
Let’s move to repotting. Pachyphytums should be repotted when the space available for the development of the aerial part or leaves becomes small. In this case a larger vessel than the previous one should be used, fresh and well-drained soil not yet used for succulent plants. The best time for repotting is spring. The repotting technique should be performed taking care to avoid breaking the branches and traumatize the delicate roots.
As far as adversity is concerned, Pachyphytums are sensitive to the attack of black aphids and cochineal and, in conditions of an excessively dry cultivation environment, red spider mites can appear.
To avoid these pests you should never use nitric nitrogen fertilizers and do not create excessive water shortage conditions.
Under conditions instead of excess irrigation water, radical rots can occur that can also involve leaves that lose their cellular turgidity, they soften, rot and give off a bad smell.
Aphids and scale insects can be removed manually with a cotton wool pad soaked in an alcohol solution. Infestations by red spider mites can be prevented by periodic foliar spraying, especially in very hot periods.