Huernia zebrina Any tips to keeping it alive?


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I have over the years tried growing Huernia zebrina successfully but all end up rotting! My last attempt lasted a year grew and them rotted again. It was grown in a small pot with a mix of peat and over 50% or more of perlite. It was very free draining. I watered it roughly every 3 weeks in summer. And about 5 weeks or more in winter. It was on a sunny kitchen windowsill. Though attempts growing in my warm greenhouse over the years went the same way. I got it through last autumn/winter 2019/20 successfully and it had grown at its tip. But went downhill in October this year. Where am I going wrong?

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If succulents rot in winter it is always due to overwatering.

I would try cold but frost free and bone dry in the winter. Absolutely no water until it starts growing again in spring. That is how I am overwintering all my south african succulents successfully.

Br

Magnus  

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Same reasons. Rotting off in succulents is normally a Sign of overwatering. But more common in winter.

I never water most of my succulents. They are outside in summer and gets rain from time to time. In winter they are in overwintering room in the greenhouse. Min 5 degrees and bone dry.

However, havent tried the species in the topic, just many different from the same area.

Br

Magnus 

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Stapeliads including Huernias can be tricky, too wet they rot, too dry the roots die back after which it can take ages to reroot.  I have Huernia zebrina "magniflora" and have found that it grows best in the house rather than greenhouse.  It needs a certain amount of shade, I found sunlight in a South facing window was too strong but in a North facing window they will go leggy.  South seems ok during late Autumn to Spring.

They need a freely draining compost and, although you say your compost is freely draining, I think the peat based mix will be too water retentive.  I would use a loam based mix with at least 50% added grit, so something like 50/50 John Innes 2/grit.  Your watering regime sounds about right but I never flood the pot like I would with a healthy cactus, also I don't give them any fertiliser.  As Magnus says, overwatering is the biggest problem.

Final words would be always keep spares because, as you know, sooner or later they're going to rot.

Edited by Gaz
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  • 5 weeks later...

After many years of growing the plant, and then nearly losing it, I’ve been paying it a bit more attention. I lost most of my plants by moving them to the greenhouse, which I think is too cold and damp in winter. I’ve also noticed that my sole survivor has been growing a lot over the winter, and hardly at all over summer, so maybe it’s mainly a winter grower so needs a little water then, but no too cold so it does not rot. 

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I wonder if I kept it too dry before watering it?  Prior to watering it was a little wrinkled at its base. And about a week after watering it started to rot. Despite cutting the base off and a little later removing its new growing point at the top both shrivelled up quite rapidly. 

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