The Lampranthus, also known as radio de sol, men or cat’s claw, is a plant widely used in gardening and decoration for its beautiful flowers. Also, some parts of the plant are consumed as part of natural medicine to prevent and treat some ailments. For all this, many people want to have one of these beautiful plants in their home. If you want to learn more about the amaranthus plant care, join us in this article.
Lampranthus plant care
The Lampranthus is a whole genus of the Aizoaceae family, with about 250 species, and they are succulent plants. Also, they are upholstery plants that have their origin in South Africa, which form beautiful carpets with their colorful and striking flowers. Its leaves, cylindrical or triangular and fleshy, are also showy and help the large corollas of the sunbeam plant flowers stand out even more. They are fast-growing plants, which reach heights of about 45 cm.
The flowers of Lampranthus, also, open and close as they alternate day and night, and last approximately one week. Flowering usually occurs in spring, between April and May. Depending on the species, it produces flowers of different shades, ranging from red and orange to violet or white.
Some of its best-known species are:
- Lampranthus spectabilis
- Lampranthus roseus
- Lampranthus aurantiacus
- Lampranthus aureus
- Lampranthus glaucus
- Lampranthus multiradiatus
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Take note of the basic care of the plant Lampranthus to have it healthy at home:
Climate, location, and light
This plant withstands the conditions of heat and drought quite well, but instead, it does not carry cold climates well. Thus, when caring for your Lampranthus plant, the first thing you should keep in mind is that you should look for a location where the temperature does not fall below 10ºC, even in winter. Some of them can withstand sporadic and isolated frosts, but if you take a chance, you could take an unpleasant surprise.
Regarding the light, they support the influence of direct sunlight without problems, even in warm weather areas. It is better to always look for a location where they receive a lot of light throughout the day.
Substrate for the sunray plant
Apart from this, it is a succulent plant that does not need excessive care. It adapts smoothly to nutrient-poor soils, although if the potted plants, the idea is that you use special substrate for cacti or succulents. It is important, however, that the soil or substrate has good drainage.
Irrigation and fertilizer for the Lampranthus plant
Like most plants of this type, they require very little water, so you must make sure that the risks are sufficiently spaced. Water your sunray plant only when the top layer of the substrate is completely dry, and always without flooding it. This should be approximately every two weeks in winter and twice a week in summer. Keep in mind that if you water it excessively, the plant runs a significant risk of rotting the roots or being attacked by fungi.
It does not require a lot of subscribers, which is enough to apply specific fertilizer for succulents every three weeks in the warm months.
Maintenance, pests, and diseases
It is also important to remove the withered flowers when their spring flowering season arrives. By doing this, we stimulate in the Lampranthus the production of new flowers, which will upholster the garden, pot, or flowerbed where they are with their beautiful and vivid colors.
Finally, as far as pests and diseases are concerned. It is not very common to be attacked by anything, with excess moisture being your worst enemy, as is the case with many succulents. At most, if you see spots on the underside of the leaves, there may be a presence of cottony cochineal, a whitish insect that produces waxy-like secretions. If they are few, it is easy to remove them manually with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol. Otherwise, spray water with neutral soap on the plant, making sure after rinsing it well.
Reproducing this plant by cuttings is easier and more practical than by seeds, although these can be planted in spring without complications. To reproduce a Lampranthus plant by cuttings follow these steps:
- Cut a branch about 10 cm long at the beginning of spring.
- Let it dry for 3 days in a sunny or semi-shaded area and then, after helping the lower end with rooting. We recommend any of the ecological rootings that you can prepare at home yourself. Plant it in a pot with a specific substrate.
- The first few days keep it in the shade. It has time to recover in an area with mild temperatures and water it a little more than usual to keep the substrate somewhat moist.
- Once you see new shoots, it means that it has completely adapted and is already a new plant for all purposes.