Sometimes called the ‘Life Saver’ plant, Huernia zebrina is a low growing succulent with fascinating flowers. The flower is a yellow five potted star with a brown to deep red ‘Lifesaver’ band.
The foliage is usually green as the plant naturally grows in part shade, although in full sun it can turn to red or yellow. The individual stems have a toothed spike like appearance, however these are not sharp.
So this fascinating little succulent has a lot going for it, it even has a fragrance, however the smell of the flowers is not pleasant at all. The flowers can smell a little like decaying meat, and this is to attract pollinators.
Best grown in a container and a free draining succulent potting mix, this is a fairly easy plant tp grow.
- Light : Bright light to part shade. Foliage will change colour in full sun.
- Watering : Only water when the growing medium is dry. In winter keep the plant on the dry side.
- Fertiliser : If you repot every 2 years using a good potting mix with some slow release fertiliser, Huernia zebrina should need no extra fertiliser.
- Temperature range : Generally 10 – 29 C (50 – 85F). The plant is best protected from frosts and extreme cold.
Pest and Problems.
- Mealybugs can be a problem and need to be treated immediately.
- Foliage can burn or change colour in very hot sun.
Huernia zebrina propagation is by one of three methods.
- From cuttings. Stem cuttings are taken, allowed to callus over for three to four days and then planted in an almost dry cactus and succulent mix. They are not watered for the first 10 days to prevent fungal problems and rot.
- The second method is by division of established clumps. These are divisions with a root system, again they are planted into almost dry cactus and succulent mix. Water after 10 days.
- The third method is from seed.