Ultimate Care Guide to Corpuscularia lehmannii.
Corpuscularia lehmannii is a succulent with diamond-shaped leaves and daisy-like yellow flowers that bloom in the winter months, making it one of the most popular varieties among succulents. Its unique look has landed it on Pinterest boards and front porches across the country. This plant, native to South Africa, adds an elegant touch to any garden—and it’s easy to grow!
If Corpuscularia lehmannii is not shaded in the summer, it will develop folds on its gray-green wrap. However, this plant thrives in an environment with plenty of light and water but remains cool. Fortunately, this is the perfect plant for your home. It won’t take up much space and requires very little maintenance. If you keep it in a cool room or windowsill, it will grow year-round!
Cultivation and History.
The Latin phrase corpusculum, from which the genus takes its name, alludes to the leaves of this plant—which are thick on short shoots and have a solid appearance. Delosperma lehmannii is often listed as a synonym of Johan Georg Christian Lehman’s ice plant, and both are valid names. Corpuscularia lehmannii (commonly known as ice plant) is a member of the Aizoaceae family and has thick, three-angled leaves that grow to about 1½ inches long.
The flowers of this plant appear in late spring and remain through fall. They are 1½ inches wide, yellow daisies with darker centers than edges and shorter petals near the tip of each longer one along the border. This plant looks best in well-drained soil and grows in full sun to light shade. It does not like excessive heat and should be watered only occasionally during the warm months. It can also handle going through a dry summer as it is from eastern South Africa – where summers are moister than in other places.
This plant grows naturally on quartzite outcrops amid xeric shrubs and grasses in an area along the coast of South Africa—between Coega and Port Elizabeth, where it was first discovered. The site is threatened by habitat loss and degradation, with two-thirds of known habitats gone. Most of this destruction has occurred due to urban expansion in Port Elizabeth.
Propagation Lehmannii Corpuscularia
Corpuscularia lehmannii can be propagated from either stem cuttings or seeds, but it’s easier to grow by taking cuttings.
To grow an ice plant from a cutting, use a clean, sharp knife or pair of scissors to trim off part of the parent plant and let it dry thoroughly between watering.
In warmer climates, sow Corpuscularia seeds outdoors in well-draining soil. However, if you live in an area with colder winters, start your seedlings indoors under grow lights or on seed mats before transplanting them outside once the temperature reaches about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Grow Lehmannii Corpuscularia.
While ice plants prefer full sun, they can tolerate some shade in the garden. Succulents like ice plants are very tolerant of poor soil but do not like to be kept wet.
The moisture-loving plant can thrive in many environments, but it will die if the soil becomes too wet. Unfortunately, the plants are also likely to spread quickly and become invasive in consistently dry soils.
Division, cuttings, or seeds can propagate the ice plant. Dividing the plants in springtime will encourage them to spread more rapidly than if you were to wait until fall for a more extensive harvest.
Cuttings can be taken almost any time in the spring, summer, or fall. When grown by seeds, scatter them on the surface of well-drained soil and do not cover them—they need light to germinate.
Ice plants are mulch-craved and air-purring. To help both stems and roots, add some gravel to the mix. If you can’t find gravel, bark chips or pine needles will give you a nice garden path.
Plant ice plants where they can bask in the sun and give them well-drained soil. When winter’s cold winds start to blow, it’s too late to plant succulents.
In very cold areas, it’s helpful to plant a “row crop” beneath your ice plant—a few extra plants can help keep the ground from freezing. Also, cover your plants with frost blankets during the most frigid winter months if you live in areas where snow lingers.
Though drought-tolerant, you should regularly water your ice plants during the hottest summer months. This mimics rain patterns in South Africa, where it rains mostly then.
Also, it would be best if you did not water your plants in the late autumn and through the winter. If you do, their leaves will be full of moisture and susceptible to freezing.
Pruning and Maintenance.
It takes little of your time to grow and maintain the Corpuscularia Lehmannii, making it an easy-care plant for even beginners. Although Lehmannii is relatively simple to care for, knowing enough about it can help you avoid failure.
After blooms have faded, trim ice plants down to the same height. Pruning back overgrown ice plants with sharp, clean pruning shears will remove wilted flowers and encourage new growth.
If your ice plant has lost its leaves for no apparent reason, removing them will help it look nicer. If the plant is hit hard with cold weather and dies back significantly, trim it down to the ground; in springtime, new growth will emerge from below where you cut off damaged plants earlier.
Cultivars to Select.
Lehmannii corpuscularia cultivars are as diverse as they are beautiful. Their green petals curve uniquely, making them stand out in any garden. Therefore, you must consider not only their appearance but also their adaptability to different environments.
The red-flowered Delosperma dyeri, commonly known as the Red Mountain® Flame, is prized for its vivid color in late spring. This hardy plant flourishes even in cold regions—zones 6–9—where other varieties would struggle to survive.
Delosperma cooperi, more commonly known as Cooper’s Ice Plant and the first variety introduced to the US. Its deep purple flowers produce copious amounts of nectar for pollinator insects.
A cross between Delosperma Blut and Delphinium, Lavender Ice is a long-lived variety developed by the Colorado nursery Perennial Favorites. When mixed with another tall blue flower-like “Blut,” Lavender Ice produces lovely pinkish lavender blooms.
The cheerful pink flowers and bright green leaves of Delosperma sp. (commonly known as ‘Lesotho Pink’) help gardeners in cooler climates add early-season vibrancy to their surroundings by growing it at higher elevations.
Lehmann’s corpuscularia plants grow best in full sun. They will become hardier if exposed to the harsh conditions of drought. Although these plants can thrive in partial shade, they typically do not like being there.
When growing this succulent indoors, place it next to a large window facing the direction of sunlight. To encourage growth on all sides, rotate the plant while keeping it away from the sun’s rays.
If you are growing your Corpuscularia Lehmannii in soil, choose a well-draining type that does not retain too much water. If possible, grow it indoors—and use a potting mix to avoid overwatering and infestation from pests or disease.
If the soil drains poorly, it can cause rotting of the radicle system and eventually death for Lehmannii. Conversely, the plant thrives in neutral pH soils.
You can add a disinfectant to the mix before planting your succulents or sprinkle some sand on top of the soil for improved structure. A healthy growing environment is essential—succulent plants will absorb nutrients from their potting mix as they grow.
To water Lehmannii corpuscularia, only water it when the soil is completely dry. To test if this is the case, stick your finger in the soil up to your first knuckle; if there is no moisture in the soil and none comes back on your finger after you take it out, then it’s time to add some water. If moisture is in the soil, allow it to dry out even more before watering again.
To water this plant properly:
Allow it to soak up water until it has absorbed all available.
Let the soil dry out completely before adding more. You will have to do this multiple times weekly for this plant to thrive. Do not over-water or under-water this plant as both can cause it harm.
Temperature and Humidity.
When the temperature drops and frost are in the forecast, you may be tempted to bring your Corpuscularia outside for a bit of sunshine. But, please don’t do it! These plants can’t handle freezing temperatures.
If you live in frosty areas, grow your Lehmannii outdoors only when the temperature stays above 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep it indoors inside a pot, preferably near a sunny window, so it stays warm when it’s colder.
Fertilize your ice plants just once in the fall with natural, organic fertilizer to enhance their foliage and flowers. However, fertilizing more than that may cause your potted plants to die off during the winter due to moisture freezing in their plump leaves.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases.
Corpuscularia Lehmannii is relatively free of pests and diseases. However, fungal infections and root rot may occur if the plant’s growing conditions are too wet or inadequate.
Surface fungi are easy to identify and treat because they affect the leaves and stems of Corpuscularia Lehmannii (hence its common name, Lobster Plant). Sooty mold and gray mold are examples of surface fungi.
The fungus Fusarium oxysporum causes Fusarium to wilt. The fungal infection blocks the plant’s water-conducting tissues and turns it yellow if left untreated.
Gray mold and sooty mold are types of fungus that grow on honeydew—a sweet substance produced by insects such as scales, aphids, and mealybugs.
Common Problems with Lehmannii Corpuscularia.
Fungi cause spots on leaves and stems, but these are not harmful to Corpuscularia Lehmannii. Therefore, leaf and stem spots can damage a plant’s appearance without affecting its health.
Root rot is another common problem with Lehmannii Corpuscularia caused by fungal pathogens of the genus Phytophthora and can be difficult to treat. If your plants are wilting and displaying brown roots or leaves, they’re likely suffering from this fungi; if left untreated for too long, it could result in their death.
Managing Pests and Diseases.
If your Corpuscularia Lehmannii has root rot, remove the affected roots and repot it in a fresh potting mix. Once the stem is affected, you can only propagate Lehmannii by cutting off a portion slightly above where rot ended—not through healthy tissue.
You can treat diseases with fungicides, but the best preventive measure is not leaving stubs on your cuttings. This will reduce exposure to the plant and prevent disease organisms from having a host in moist conditions.
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Lehmannii corpuscularia is easy to care for, provided you follow a few basic rules. First, avoid placing them in direct sunlight, or they will burn; they grow and thrive best in the rain. Don’t overwater your plants, but keep the soil moist, be careful not to overwater if you don’t want your plants to die. Finally, when watering, do so from the container’s base and ensure the soil is re-moistened.
Of course, the bottom line is keeping it simple. It’s not hard to grow, so that’s always a good place to start. The care isn’t difficult, but you should know a few things. But if you’re looking for a beautiful aquarium plant to adorn your tank, look no further than Lehmannii Corpuscularia.
Frequently Asked Questions. FAQ’s
How do you treat Lehmannii Corpuscularia?
Fertilizer can be applied during the fall and winter months to provide a nutrient-rich environment for when Corpuscularia lehmannii grows.
Why is my Corpuscularia Lehmannii wrinkly?
The dried-out, shriveled leaves on your Corpuscularia lehmannii plant tell you that more water is needed.
How often should I water Corpuscularia Lehmannii?
Give the top two to three inches of soil a chance to dry out before watering again; then soak it.
How do you propagate a Corpuscularia Lehmannii Ice Plant?
Ice plants are propagated through cuttings or seeds. Cuttings are the easiest method because all you need to do is take a piece of stem and leave it for some time until it callouses over, then insert it in a well-draining potting mix.
How long does it take Ice plants to grow roots?
The roots should appear after three weeks, but once they have developed, you will see them growing quickly.
What can you do to save an ailing Ice Plant?
When water is withheld from ice plants, they begin to wither and die. If your plant seems wilted, try watering it.