Cotyledon Pendens, a prevalent succulent native to the cliff walls of South Africa, is affectionately known as the Cliff Succulent. Beyond its popularity among succulent enthusiasts, this flowering succulent has also captured the attention of indoor plant and gardening lovers. During its flowering season, each branch of Cotyledon Pendens adorns itself with hanging orange bell-shaped flowers, resembling a collection of charming little bells—a truly enchanting sight.
The Flowers of Cotyledon Pendens
Cotyledon Pendens typically blooms in late spring to early summer, starting as small green buds that gradually turn red. Eventually, the buds open up and arch upward, with some likening the blossoms to a group of tiny octopuses. Beyond its captivating blooms, this succulent boasts a distinctive lemon fragrance, particularly potent during the flowering period, accompanied by the sweet scent of nectar.
Let's delve into the steps to witness the enchanting flowering of Cotyledon Pendens:
1. Outdoor Care or Ample Light
Cotyledon Pendens thrives in abundant light, making it ideal for outdoor growth during spring and fall. In hot summer temperatures exceeding 35°C, provide shade in the afternoon. The rich sunlight not only promotes flowering but also enhances the plant's colors, as the red-tipped leaves complement the orange blossoms, adding to the plant's allure. For indoor care, place it on a sunny windowsill with at least 10 hours of indirect sunlight, rotating the pot periodically for even sun exposure.
2. Hydrate Cotyledon Pendens Adequately
Ensuring Cotyledon Pendens is well-hydrated doesn't mean watering it daily. These succulents exhibit rapid growth, transforming from pruned cuttings to full pots in a year. Hence, they require more water during their growth, especially in spring and fall. Water outdoor plants once a week and indoor plants when the soil is completely dry. Well-hydrated leaves result in plump foliage and provide the energy needed for flowering.
3. Regular Fertilization
If your Cotyledon Pendens hasn't flowered, boost its nutrition with a high-phosphorus, high-potassium fertilizer. Phosphorus encourages succulent flowering. Dilute and apply according to instructions, preferably during spring watering sessions, around once a month.
You may wonder: How to fertilize succulents scientifically?
4. Optimal Flowering Temperature
The ideal flowering temperature range is generally considered to be 15-25°C. Flowering might be challenging in hot summers or cold winters. Cotyledon Pendens is sensitive to cold; move it indoors if temperatures drop below 5°C to prevent frost damage.
5. Larger Pots for Greater Growth
Cotyledon Pendens is vigorous, so opt for succulent pots larger than 4 inches if you anticipate substantial growth. Hanging pots are a classic choice, allowing the succulent to trail as it grows. For windowsills or tabletops, choose taller pots to provide more height for the succulent to cascade.
6. Regular Pruning
Regular pruning promotes bushier growth, removing weak branches to concentrate energy on robust ones. This encourages flowering and maintains the succulent's perfect shape.
7. Protect from Birds and Animals
Outdoor care requires protection against birds and other animals, especially birds that may mistake Cotyledon Pendens for a tasty treat. Notably, Cotyledon Pendens is considered toxic, posing a potential hazard to animals.
8. Exercise Patience
When everyone else's Cotyledon Pendens is in full bloom, patience is key. Older plants typically bloom faster and produce more flowers. With the right conditions, your Cotyledon Pendens will undoubtedly blossom, leaving you in awe.
Have your Cotyledon Pendens bloomed yet? Capture its beauty in a photo and share it on social media, tagging The Next Gardener for the world to admire.