Habitat: South Africa
Cultivation: Argyroderma are plants with little needs. We recommend a very draining soil, only a fertilizer at the beginning of the season and scarce watering .
Curiosity: The name of these plants literally means “silver skin” (from the Greek arghyrion, ie silver, and dérma ie skin) and it refers to the clear and brilliant green of its leaves.
ARGYRODERMA KEY FEATURES
Argyroderma genus includes a bit more than a dozen species of aizoaceae that are part of the so called “living rocks” because of their particular appearance. In fact, they are small, just 2-3 cm high, without trunks. They are made up of pairs of very fleshy leaves, which grow pale and have the shape of small stones separated from each other by a deep slit. From the center of the plant, from this slit that opens between the two leaves, daisy- shaped flowers emerge with brilliant colors ranging from yellow to purple. As time goes by, the pair of central leaves dry, leaving room for the new ones. The plant then expands in width, rather than in height, tapping the vase with the various pairs of leaves.
VARIETIES AND TYPES
These species are recognized today:
- A. congregatum
- A. crateriforme
- A. delaetii
- A. fissum
- A. framesii
- A. octophyllum
- A. patens
- A. pearsonii
- A. ringens
- A. steenkampskraal
- A. Subalbum Villetii
TIPS FOR GROWING
Argyroderma are plants with little needs. Here are our tips for their cultivation:
- EXPOSURE: The ideal location is very bright but sheltered by the direct rays of the sun during the hottest hours of the day. It should be noted, however, that the silvery color of the leaves, typical of these species, develops through direct exposure to the sun at least for a few hours a day (perhaps not the central ones, where the sun is stronger …).
- TEMPERATURE: It loves the heat and the ideal for this plant is to stay above 10 ° C. It can withstand even short periods at zero degree of temperatures.
- WATERING: Water in spring and summer, with care that the soil never gets wet for too long. If the watering can be too scarce, you will find out why the skin of the plant will tend to crumble. Suspend entirely, however, during the winter.
- SOIL: Use a mix of sand, gravel and fertile soil. They are not demanding plants, but they are very afraid of the rotting of the roots.
- CONCIMATION: Only a spring fertilization will be enough, with a specific product for succulents.
- REPOT: Due to the small size, the need for repotting is minimized. When you proceed, choose wide and shallow vessels.
- REPRODUCTION: To reproduce, the classic cuttings can not be used, but seeds can be planted or bush can be divided if the plant is large enough.