Monanthes polyphylla

Synonyms:

Monanthes monanthes
Petrophyes polyphyllum
Sempervivum monanthes
Sempervivum polyphyllum

Habitat:

M. polyphylla is native to the Canary Island in mountainous region where this species can live up to 1000 m of altitude.

Description:

M. polyphylla is one of the twelve species of the genus Monanthes, of the Crassulaceae botanical family. The plant has a shrubby habit and tends to grow in small clumps. Rosette is dense, round and bright green and can reach 12 cm in height. Leaves are soft, fleshy and geometrically arranged and can be flat or conical. During the spring-summer occurs blooming and the plant produce small star-shaped pink to purple flowers with petals covered by short hairs. Stalks can reach up to 20 cm long and the plant is spineless. This plant due to its shrubby habit can be used to create outdoors flower beds.

Cultivation:

This plant is easy to cultivate and does not require many cares. The best sun-exposure is full sunlight, so you can place it outdoors but the plant does not like temperatures below 10 °C, so at this temperature is better to place it indoors. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly from spring to autumn: 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 to 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 specifics fertilizers for cacti; for this genus a low nitrogen content fertilizer is recommended and it is advisable to stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil.

Propagation:

Propagation can be done by seed or cutting. By seed is not very simple to propagate the plant because the germination needed temperatures between 20-30 °C; during the spring-summer you can sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with high level of humidity. By cutting you can use the offsets that grow at the base of the plant. Cut the offset as close as possible to the base of the stem and then let it 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.

Curiosity:

Of the approximately ten known species of Monanthes, seven are native to the island of Tenerife.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

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