Cyphostemma juttae, and Fockea edulis... container growing

bronxfigsFebruary 20, 2012

Recently purchased these two plants, and would like specific cultural recommendations for growing in containers. Most sites only vaguely suggest cultural requirements, and as far as I can tell, I could grow these two plants like a common "Jade-plant" (Crassula). There's got to be more to growing these specialized plants.

I need:

Light requirements in winter....full-sun, temps. full-dormancy/quiescent period, soil mixes, fertilizer regimen, etc. General culture for container growing

Also, should the caudex of the Fockea be fully buried, in a deep pot, in order for it to grow to maximum size? The caudex on these Fockea plants are supposed to be shaded, and the vines can be grown in full sun, so I figured that I'd bury the caudex in a deep pot, using a quick-draining, gritty, soiless mix, and fertilizing with "Foliage-Pro 9-6-3"

The Cypho. will be potted in the same quick-draining mix and be grown on my back deck, under the full, broiling, summer sun, then onto a sunny, south-facing window for the winter months, Temps. will always be in the mid 60s in the cooler months.

Am I far off the cultural mark? Please give me your growing suggestions. I'd like to keep these plants alive. They cost big bucks and I'd hate to kill them! :)



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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I grow the Fockea e., and find it very vigorous & not at all difficult to grow. This picture is several years old, and I've repotted into larger pots several times since the picture was taken. I've never seen a succulent that didn't do exceedingly well in the gritty mix with 9-3-6 providing the nutrients - they love the combination.

Right now, it's in my basement on the outside edge of my growing area, so it doesn't get much light; still, it grows like made & vines in and around my lights if I don't cut it back regularly. I still have the caudex buried, and grow the plant in all-day sun in the summer. I'll prune all the lanky growth off, along with any wayward growing branches that spoil the plant's outline, in June.

I grow a number of succulents and treat them all the same unless they don't happen to tolerate full sun well; in which case I'll adjust their exposure appropriately.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 10:32AM
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Mr. Tapla:
You came through with great growing tips once again!

I'm waiting for this Fockea plant, and also a Cyphostemma juttae to be delivered within the next weeks, and would at least like to have these plants live, and eventually do something, like grow! Thanks to you, and your mix, I'm sure this will happen. : )

I had no idea that the Fockea would grow so fast. I want to grow as large a caudex as possible, so I plan on growing it in a large tub, in your mix, buried, with only the vines above the soil line. I'll let them grow rampant, so they could send plenty of food to the caudex, then I'll trim them back to control the growth as you suggested.

Do you think that the main stem that supports the vine-like growth will ever fatten up on these plants or will they always remain, somewhat skinny?

Your suggestions sure have helped me and others.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 7:56PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It will put a lot of growth on in a hurry if you just let it go. Mine has developed a lot slower than it might have because I've cut it back so many times to keep it tidy, and as you know, that has a major impact on how fast the caudex develops. Be patient about exposing the caudex because it develops faster when it's covered by soil. You CAN give the stem the ILLUSION that it has thickened up by letting the top grow wild then cutting it back hard to shorten the stem. Decreasing the ratio of ht to width is how bonsai artists instill the look of great age and proportion into their plants, but I have a feeling that sense of proportion is going to fall by the way when you start exposing that fat caudex. ;-)

I've had my plant for about 7 years. I bought one on Ebay and they sent 2. I grew both for 3-4 years & decided I don't need 2, so I gave one away to a friend who enjoys succulents but couldn't find the time to keep her bonsai on track. I talked to her last a little before Christmas & she said her plant is doing well & she just moves it indoors in front of a west window when the weather turns in fall.

If I didn't have bonsai to keep me continually challenged, I'm sure I'd have an extensive collection of succulents, just because there are so many that are unique ..... and unique is where it's at.

Have fun!


    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 9:20PM
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Loved the background information. I can't wait to see the plant growing this season. I also have seeds for Cyphostemma juttae, and Fockea edulis coming in the mail.

I just recently looked at some posted photos of Boophane bulbs, which have a beautiful fan of thick, leathery leaves, growing out of the top of a very large an Hippaeastum on steroids!

Take care, and thanks for sharing so much of your knowledge with so many grateful growers.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 9:48PM
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