The othonna capensis, also known as the othonna, is a succulent native to South Africa. This plant grows in the wild in rocky, sandy areas.
It is a member of the Aizoaceae family and is closely related to the mesembryanthemum.
The othonna capensis is a drought-tolerant plant that can grow in full sun or partial shade. It is a low-maintenance plant that does not require much water or fertilizer.
This evergreen succulent can reach up to has a spread of 12″ inches but creeps as it grows older. The leaves are thick and fleshy with a blue-green color. They are arranged in a rosette pattern and can grow up.
These fleshy, oval-shaped leaves are adorned with red margins.
The othonna capensis is a drought-tolerant plant that can grow in full sun or partial shade.
There are over 150 species in the genus, and they are all native to Africa.
It’s commonly known by several other names, including:
- Little pickles (USA)
- Ruby necklace (Australia)
- Cape aster
- Cape Othonna
- Bobbejaankool (Afrikaans)
Quick Facts On Othonna Capensis
- Family: Aizoaceae
- Light: Bright light
- Temperature: Room temperature or 50° to 55° degrees Fahrenheit
- Water: Only when the soil dries
- Fertilize: Two to three times in winter
- Propagation: Cuttings or seed
- Common Problems: Mealybugs, Scale, softening leaves, breaking stems
Othonna Capensis Plant Care
How Big Do Little Pickles Grow?
The othonna capensis is a small succulent that only grows to be about 12″ inches tall and wide.
It begins as a low rosette of leaves and eventually grows taller as it produces new leaves.
With age, you will notice its growth begins to slow down. However, little pickles can live for up to 10 years with proper care.
When Does Little Pickles Flower? Are The Flowers Fragrant?
The plant will usually produce yellow flowers. However, some may sprout orange, white, or purple flowers.
These flowers resemble daisies and sprout on long stalks most of the year,
The flowers are not fragrant but give the plants great beauty most of the year. However, most flowers will appear in winter.
What Are The Lighting Needs and Temperature Requirements?
Make sure your plant is receiving enough bright light. The lighting needs are different depending on the season.
In the winter, it needs bright light, and in the summer, it can tolerate partial shade.
Feel free to put it in a south-facing window as long as it is not mid-summer.
How And When To Water And Fertilize Othonna Capensis?
The othonna capensis is a drought-tolerant plant that does not require much water.
You should only water your plant when the soil dries out. Feed it sparingly in winter, about 2 or 3 times.
What Is The Best Soil for Othonna Capensis And When Should You Transplant?
You can feel free to use a cactus or succulent mix for this plant.
If you want to make your own mix, use 2 parts perlite or sand and 1 part potting soil. Be sure to add some drainage holes to the pot.
It is best to transplant in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing and has filled the pot.
Does The Little Pickles Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?
If you see any untidy or poorly shaped shoots, you can snip them off with a sharp knife. This will encourage the plant to grow more attractively.
Don’t waste those unruly shoots. You can use them as cuttings.
If your plant becomes too leggy, you can also cut it back to encourage new growth.
How To Propagate Cape Othonna?
When you have an Othonna, you have the option of propagating from either cuttings or seeds.
If you want to propagate from cuttings, here’s how to do it:
- First, take a 4-6 inch cutting from the stem of a healthy plant.
- Allow the cutting to callous for a few days.
- Then, plant the cuttings in well-draining soil.
The cutting method is the fastest way to propagate this plant.
To propagate from seed, do the following:
- First, plant the seeds in spring in well-draining soil.
- Keep the soil moist but not wet and in a warm location until germination, which can take 2-4 weeks.
- Once the seedlings appear, thin them out so that each one has its own pot.
Cape Othonna Pests And Diseases
Your Othonna may have problems with mealybugs, scale, softening leaves due to lack of hydration or overheating, and broken stems from cold or moisture.
These problems are all relatively easy to fix with some basic plant care.
For mealybugs, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and gently rub it on the bugs. You can also use insecticidal soap or Neem oil.
If the plant has scale, you can either pick them off by hand or use Neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Try preventing insects by regularly spraying your Othonna with neem oil.
To fix softening leaves, increase the amount of light and water your plant is getting. If the leaves are wilting, the plant is not getting enough water.
Likewise, if the leaves are yellowing or browning, it means the plant is not getting enough light.
To fix broken stems, you will need to carefully remove the plant from the pot and replant it in fresh, well-draining soil. Be sure to water it sparingly until it is fully rooted in its new pot.
With proper care, your othonna capensis will be a thriving plant that will add beauty to your home for years to come.
Is Othonna Capensis Plant Considered Toxic or Poisonous To People, Kids, And Pets?
No, the othonna capensis plant is not considered toxic or poisonous. It is safe for people, kids, and pets.
Is The Cape Othonna Considered Invasive?
No, the othonna plant is not considered invasive. It is a non-native plant that is not known to spread or invade natural habitats.
Best Uses For The Othonna Plant
If you want to know the best way to utilize this plant in your home or garden, here are some ideas:
- Use it as a ground cover in your garden.
- Plant it in a pot and use it as a decoration on your patio or deck.
- Use it as a filler plant in your landscape or plant it in a rock garden.
- You can also put it to use as an accent plant in your flower bed.
No matter how you choose to use it, the othonna plant is a beautiful, low-maintenance plant that will add interest and charm to your home.