Habitat: Mexico and Central America
Cultivation: It prefers positions in full sun, with regular and frequent watering (every 2-3 days). Young specimens remember a fern, as plant grows it looks like a small palm tree.
Curiosity: The name Dioonin Greek means “double egg” and refers to a peculiar characteristic of the female cones of these plants, each one has two eggs attached one close to the other.
DIOON KEY FEATURES
Dioon plants are quite rare. Most species come from the Mexican highlands and are therefore resistant to heat, cold and drought. Long leafy leaves resemble those of fern and have green or green-blue color. They tend to remain small or medium in size: 2.3 meters in very old specimens. Some species, however, can reach remarkable dimensions – even ten meters. If grown in a pot, the height is lower than the potential of the species. The oldest specimens and the wider trunk recall the appearance of small palms. They are dioecious plants: there are therefore male specimens (carriers of male flowers only) and female specimens.
VARIETIES AND TYPES
14 species are known :
- Dioon angustifolium
- D. argenteum
- D. califanoi
- D. caputoi
- D. edule
- D. holmgrenii
- D. mejiae
- D. merolae
- D. purpusii
- D. rzedowskii
- D. sonorense
- D. spinulosum
- D. stevensonii
- D. tomasellii
TIPS FOR CULTIVATION
- Here are the main tips for proper cultivation of the Dioon, but remember that some species may have very different needs and that it is therefore advisable to always check the specifications of the plant purchased.
- It requires , of course, an exposure in the full sun. However, some species may have difficulty resisting direct rays and prefer partially shaded positions, even at high humidity rates.
- Being developed on the plateaus of Mexico, with elevated altitudes, the Dioon resist well in the cold and also tolerate short frosts. However, the temperature should not drop below 4 ° C. It is therefore recommended to shelter the plants when the temperatures begin to be 4/6 ° C.
- As they arise in dry climates, they appreciate regular watering every 2-3 days in spring and summer (or even more frequent if the climate is very dry).
- This is not a particularly demanding plant. It may be sufficient to fertilize only once at the beginning of the season, using a slow release fertilizer for green plants that are not too rich in nitrogen.
- Choose a light, well draining soil, not particularly rich.
- The need for repotting changes a lot according to the species considered.
The reproduction of Dioon occurs by seed. Being a dioecious plant, the simple lovers who has a single exemplar in the house can not therefore proceed autonomously because he could get sterile seeds at most. The right time for sowing is spring.