Fenestraria: botanical notes

Fenestraria is a perennial succulent plant belonging to the Aizoaceae family native to southern Africa. The rhopalophylla is the only species belonging to the genus of Fenestraria. The name derives from the presence of a transparent area at the top of the leaves, due to the lack of chlorophyll, which, like a window, allows the passage of light throughout the plant even when it is submerged by sand, as often happens in desert areas. The plant is characterized by the presence of a very short stem from which fleshy leaves with a rounded shape and a greyish-green color, completely glabrous, branch off. Another peculiarity are the large white, yellow or red flowers, surprisingly similar to the well-known daisies,

Fenestraria: climatic conditions and terrain

Like most succulents, Fenestraria tolerates mild-arid temperatures very well, but hardly survives harsh climates for long periods. Sowing can be done around March and the plant can be kept both indoors and outdoors, avoiding in the latter case exposure to winter frosts and seasonal rainfall. Optimal growing temperatures are between 10 ° C and 15 ° C. From what has been said it follows that the cultivation outside the Fenestraria should ideally take place in a greenhouse or in any case in a sheltered place. The cultivation soil must allow good water drainage in order to avoid water stagnation: it is sufficient to add sand or fine gravel to the universal soil, easily available on the market,

Fenestraria: sowing and care

The sowing of Fenestraria is carried out in spring, when the temperatures become milder. The born seedlings must then be transplanted into larger pots. An alternative method to sowing in the summer is the method by cuttings: remove some leaves, dry them and plant them in a pot. Any repottings must always be done in spring. Fenestraria suffers from water stagnation so watering must be modest, paying attention to the real needs of the plant: if the soil is damp it is advisable to avoid irrigation. However, the operation must be carried out in the evening and in winter, when the humidity is accentuated, it is possible to completely suspend watering. Pruning is not necessary, other than the elimination of dry and / or diseased leaves.

Fenestraria: adversity

As already mentioned, Fenestraria is particularly affected by excesses of water, which can lead to rotting of the root system. Another essential condition for the survival of the plant is solar radiation: when this is less, the color of the leaves loses its saturation and the plant can skip flowering. Fenestraria is refractory to almost all diseases but is very susceptible to attack by the red spider, which, in the summer, can attack the lower page of the leaves of the plant, leading them to depigmentation with consequent drying and fall. In light of this it is evident how a correct exposure to light and a particular attention in watering can lead to optimal results.

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