G. filiferum is native to Mexico Northeast and Mexico Northwest. In its habitat the plant grows in mountains regions or in cliffs but usually in the shadow.
G. filiferum is a beautiful plant belonging to the Crassulaceae botanical family. The succulent has a large and dense rosette of 75-100 leaves. The plant is perennial and branches at the base. The leaves are triangular, glabrous, flat, fleshy, pale green in color, pointed at the apex with a brownish-red bristle at the tips. Blooming occurs in late spring and in early summer and blossom are born near the top of the rosette by long stalks woody stalks. Flowering lasts a few weeks and the inflorescence is branched at the base. Flowers are bell-shaped with 5 petals white spotted red; at the center of the flower there are green stamens tipped with yellow anthers. The leaves can change hue taking on shades from yellow to pink depending on sun exposure and temperatures.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The best sun-exposure is in bright place but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 8°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The perfect soil is a well-drained soil that let the water to drain away and avoid root rot. To achieve this feature, you can mix the pumice soil, clay and soil. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering is very important for this species and should be done well: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. You should repot the plant every 2 years in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.
The plants of the genus Graptopetalum in English are also called “Leatherpetal”, that means leather petals: they have flowers with particularly thick and sturdy petals, although small and grouped in inflorescences.
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