I wanted to write something clever about how Neohenricia sibbetii and Delosperma sphalmantoides are similar in looks and growing pattern when in fact I just wanted to post a couple of pictures I recently took of these two plants. They have finally started growing after their winter rest and show off their beautiful leaf tips in the mild spring sunlight.
Even though they don't grow new leaves in the fall and winter months I've been watering them a little once in a while when I felt they looked too sad. They reacted by getting firmer but never by proper new growth. It's nice to see them happier now that spring has come. Both species dry off patches of leaves in the fall making them look scruffy but it all gets better once they start growing and cover the bald spots. In fact they will grow out of their containers before you know it! Neohenricia goes "overboard" every year and within 3 years since I've had it it went from half a pot to two pots and several cuttings I gave away. D. sphalmantoides is slower. I've had two plants, one of which was spreading like crazy just to dry off leaves rapidly at some point without compensation. It died soon after. The one that is left is more compact and I try not to stimulate rapid growth. It is important that there is a balance between growing new leaves and drying off old ones. I reckon, when it grows too many new leaves it leads to problems later as it will have to keep it up. Better to have it grow few new leaves and dry off few. I'm still figuring out how to achieve that. Probably diet.
The flowering pattern is completely different for these two species. While Neohenricia flowers eagerly all summer long (at night!), D. sphalmantoides only sometimes graces me with flowers in spring. Does not look like it's gonna happen this year though. But, as with so many other plants, I am content with looking at their leaves and see flowers as a rare treat, not a rule.