Xerosicyos danguyi

Synonyms:

Silver Dollar Plant
Silver Dollar Vine
Penny Plant

Habitat:

X. danguyi is native to West and South West of Madagascar. In its habitat the plant can live up to 1000 m of altitude. In the wild the succulent grows close to trees to use them as support to get to light.

Description:

X. danguyi is a climbing succulent belonging to the Cucurbitaceae botanical family. The plant has a creeping habit and the stem is thin and branches at the base. Plants propagated by seed form a caudex those from cutting no. The branches may reach 5 m in height. Leaves are flat, round, fleshy, silver-green to blue-green. Blooming occurs in early spring and flowers are numerous and from yellow to greenish in color. X. Danguyi is dioecious that is the male and female flowers are on separate plants. Fruits are 2 cm long and are pale brown to maroon.

Cultivation:

This is a drought resistant plant, easy to cultivate. The exposure is very important because it gets sunburnt easily. The best sun-exposure is light shade, and the plant does not like temperatures below 5 °C so it needs to be placed 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 May to September: 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; 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. Because the plant has a climbing habit it is necessary support pole for the development of the stem.

Propagation:

Propagation can be done by seed or by cutting. By seed is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with high level of humidity. By cutting you can use the offsets during the spring. Cut an offset 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. To increase success of propagation you can cut two or more offsets at the same time. For cuttings is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. It is advisable to use rooting hormone at the base of the cut to energize root development.

Curiosity:

The name of this genus comes from the Greek Xeròs, that is “dry”, and sicyos, that is “cucumber”. In fact, with the cucumbers and other vegetables it shares the family.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

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