Perhaps because of the name of Aizoaceae these plants do not sound familiar to you. But if instead of it we use the one of “stone plants”, surely they begin to sound much more to you. Above all, if we say lithops, fenestraria…
Do you want to know more about Aizoaceae plants? And your care? So here we collect all the information you need to know. Shall we start?
How are the Aizoaceae plants
The name Aizoaceae refers to the stone plants. And it is that this is made up of a great variety of succulents, sometimes even with flowers. In total, there are about 1,100 species that are divided into 126 different genera. But, broadly speaking, we can tell you that there are five large subfamilies that are:
They are characterized by being herbaceous plants, although they may also be somewhat related to shrubs. Its leaves are entire and will be opposite, and they are almost always fleshy.
Another of the names by which Aizoaceae plants can be known are frost plants. This is due to a special shine that plants have due to calcium crystals that are created in the epidermis of the leaves.
While most of the Aizoaceae come from southern Africa, hhere are some that can be found in Australia or even in the Pacific.
Not all plants in the family flower, but those that do have apetalous flowers with many staminodes. And, from them, fruits come out as a dehiscent capsule.
Aizoaceae plant care
We can tell you little more about the Aizoaceae family without getting fully into talking about any of the typical plants of this family. However, you should know that each one of them has an annual cycle, that is, the plants are not always active in spring; there will be some that are in winter. Knowing this is very important because that way you can personalize care and know when you have to water, give it more sun, fertilize…
Depending on the plant you have, its growth cycle can be spring or winter. For example, in the case of lithops it is from the end of autumn to the beginning of spring, that is, in the middle of winter. While, for other plants, growth occurs in spring and summer.
That being said, which is the first thing you need to know before reading on, we will now discuss with you the different types of care you should provide them with. Remember that they are in general; each one will have its peculiarities.
location and temperature
Most store-bought Aizoaceae plants are not used to enduring heat or sun. And that, although in their natural habitat they do not care, the worst thing you can do if you buy one is to leave it in full sun. The only thing you will achieve is that it dies on you.
Therefore, although the best location is outdoors, it must be taken into account that you must adapt it to your climate. Start with a shaded area but with some indirect light. After approximately two weeks, change it to a part of semi-shade and leave it still again for another two weeks, time in which you can start to put it in direct sun so that it is nourished.
However, keep in mind that if the sun is too intense and the plant is small, a few hours in the sun can be fatal and kill it in a matter of days. So try to control the type of sun they receive based not only on your climatebut also on the age or size of the plant.
Regarding the temperature,
The plants of the Aizoaceae family do not need a specific substratealthough the truth is that if you give it a mixture of succulent and cactus soil with a little peat (yes, that is low in nitrogen) and some drainage so that it is oxygenated, it will thank you very much, especially since it will grow much healthier and faster.
These plants usually have long roots, so It is recommended to put them in pots that are at least 12 centimeters deep so that they develop without running out of space.
A trick so that the water does not have a dent in the plant is to place a layer of stones on the surface (usually they turn white, but they can also be colored) that help to avoid flooding nor does the water cause holes in the earth that cause the water to accumulate.
One of the characteristics of the Aizoaceae family is that plants have a fairly high resistance to water shortage. That is, they can spend time without you watering them.
That does not mean that you forget about them, far from it. But it is necessary that you allow time to pass between watering (this is preferable to getting them too wet and the roots rot).
One piece of advice that we give you is that, when watering, make sure that no water falls on top of the plant because this will only cause it to rot (it becomes soft and in the end it dies).
It is better that you water it around with a good amount of water and leave it without watering for a long time (it can be from two to eight weeks, depending on the season and the life cycle of the plant.
In general, we can tell you that succulent plants are not plants that need fertilizer. But they won’t say no either. However, everything will depend on when the cycle of each plant is to be able to apply itat least once in that period of growth.
Plagues and diseases
One of the most dangerous pests and one that you will have to be very careful not to discover in your Aizoaceae plants is the cottony mealybug. This wreaks havoc on these plants. To remove it, you will have to do it by hand, cleaning the entire plant, including the roots, and put it back in a new pot.
In the case of diseases, the most dangerous has to do with excess watering, thereby causing root rot.
Now, when you buy an Aizoaceae you will be able to know a little more about them and, above all, give them the care they need to get ahead.