T. buchholzianus is native to Cape Provinces and Namibia where the plant grows on rocky slopes and in the parts of arid southwest Africa that have winter rainfall.
T. buchholzianus is a dwarf, winter growing, succulent belonging to the Crassulaceae botanical family. The plant has a branched habit and can reach 20 cm tall and 27 cm wide. The plant is a winter growing so the growth starts in September and ends in spring. The stem is thin, fleshy, pale green color covered with a peeling bark. The leaves are short-lived, obovate, fleshy, curving upward, bright green and borne at the apexes of the branches. The plant is a caudiciform so it forms a thick and woody subterranean caudex, from this the plant branches. Blooming occurs from the late spring to the summer and buds are borne at the apex of the branches. The flowers are bell-shaped, from pale pink to red and sometime white in color, borne on short stalks.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 6°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. 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 a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: 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 cacti; 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. 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 name of the genus Tylecodon is an anagram of “Cotyledon”, another genus of succulent plants from South Africa. Tylecodon were considered part of the genus Cotyledon up until 1978, when they were classified as a separate genus. The name of the species is due to the German zoologist Reinhold Wilhelm Buchholz (1837-1876).
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