Friday, December 6, 2013
A New Bloom on Huernia Zebrina
This little cutie is Huernia zebrina (aka Lifesaver Plant).
The species comes from Southern Africa and is in the Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed) family.
The 5-pointed star flowers with a red lifesaver at the center are pretty hard to resist.
Huernia are easy to grow, but like most cactus, resent too much water. A sunny windowsill and neglectful watering are all they require.
Let them dry out completely and then only water every 3-4 weeks. Rot can be a real issue if plants are wet or cold for too long.
Be on the look out for mealybugs too! I keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a small hobby paint brush at the ready, to snuff out any mealybugs I see.
Huernias can often be found anyplace that sells cactus, but many of them look alike and almost never have a name tag. Because of this, I try to buy plants in flower when I can. That way you know what you're getting.
Stepelia and Orbea are similar looking plants and are generally just as easy to grow. Give them a try if you see them. Some have stinky flowers, but that's just part of their charm!