Friday, April 11, 2014

Cheiridopsis denticulata

I bought these Cheiridopsis denticulata (labeled candidissima) in June 2013 and was really worried how they will like my conditions. After all, they are my first Cheiridopsis and winter-growing mesembs are generally a bit tricky on a windowsill. Now I've had them for almost a year and they seem to have completed their yearly life cycle successfully. What a relief! Over the last months, starting as early as November, they've grown new leaves that are simply magnificent. The old ones are wrinkled but I'm allowing them to stay because accordning to my inside sources (Thank you Bob! ;) ) it is okay for them to have several pairs of leaves at a time. In fact one of the plants is pushing another pair (or dare I hope a flower?). 
All in all I'm very pleased they are happy with what I can give them in terms of sunlight and substrate and watering schedule. I will reduce waterings during the summer and reprise what I've been doing for the past year.

Not everything is this shiny with Cheiridopsis. Ch. peculiaris didn't make it as well as one of the 5 Ch. denticulata I initially had. Never started any new growth and just withered with time. Acclimation is hard.


  1. They look really nice. So big they are actually casting shade on some of the smaller guys. The leaves have a bold, sculptured form. They came through the winter very well, and you have remarked the winter was a rather dark one. You do such a good job adapting your culture to less than optimum light conditions. They almost look greenhouse grown.

    1. I'm glad you approve, thank you :)
      They look like ribs of a fossil animal, cleaned and whitened by the weather for many many years... Would be an interesting disguise for a desert plant.

      I think the small pots and pure pumice help a lot with this. As you can see, the pot they are growing in is my standard 5x5x8,5cm square pot. One "two-headed" (two branched?) plant in one and 3 grown plants in the other. The soil being so poor probably helps to maintain steady growth instead of a growth spurt during dark weather resulting in bad shape. I was watering very carefully but they also weren't asking for it much (my orientation were wrinkles and softness). To grow those new leaves it took them almost 5 months! Now I'm watering as soon as I see wrinkles on the new leaves. Also, I'll keep watering until I know that the new growth I could see on one of them is not a flower. If it is it will need to be supported...
      The sunny weather we're having is doing wonders to the plants :)

  2. I have only recently tried a few Cheiridopsis. I got one at the Mesemb Event in 2012 which flowered this Winter and have raised some from seed. I find Mesembs which have more than one pair of leaves at once more difficult to learn how to grow.

    1. Cheiridopsis must have the cutest seedlings! I'd love to grow them from seed, too..

      I think being able to keep them alive and happy for at least one year is a good sign. You had yours for 2 years - to me it means by now you know how to deal with them, congratulations :)