If you want a unique addition to your indoor plant collection, we have got the perfect match for you. Trachyandra tortilis is an exotic succulent with strange ribbon-like leaves and pale pink flowers that grow on spikes. Its leaves are all curled up and grow only 15 cm long. This unique plant has a small height, so it looks great on tabletops, coffee tables, and windowsills.
If you want this handsome, perennial, evergreen species in your home, we can help you take care of it. Here is the perfect care guide for this plant and some amazing features of it for your info.
- Family: Asphodelaceae
- Genus: Trachyandra
- Species: T. tortilis
About the Genus Trachyandra
It is a remarkable genus of the Asphodelaceae family. This genus was first fully classified in 1843. Most of its species are native to Africa, Madagascar, and Yemen.
Origin and Distribution
This unique species originated from the lands of South Africa, where it was first discovered in Albuca.
Trachyandra Tortilis Features
Foliage and Stem
This plant has exquisite leaves with a unique shape. Its leaves are ribbon-like and curled up. Each plant has six to eight leaves that are greenish-grey in color. Each leaf is 15 cm long and 8 cm wide.
This plant blooms in winter and early spring. It produces light-pink flowers that are 4-5 cm in size.
This small, pretty succulent is an evergreen species whose foliage remains functional throughout the year. Its unique foliage remains green and healthy and does not fall in autumn.
This tiny house plant can reach almost 10 inches in height. Its height increases if provided with optimum conditions.
As the foliage of Trachyandra tortilis is thick and fleshy, this plant is quite drought-tolerant. It is a succulent that can survive the days of low water availability. Even if you forget to water it for a month or two, it can still grow at a fine rate.
Disease and Pest Resistance
This robust species is resistant to any pests or diseases. However, mealybugs and root rot are two inevitable problems that can attack any plant. The best way to keep your plant safe is to prevent these two problems by never over-watering it.
If your plant gets mealybugs, you can get rid of them by rubbing the foliage with neem oil or rubbing alcohol. These bugs are hard to locate as they hide in the spiral leaves of this plant. Once you rub all of the foliage, these bugs will vanish on their own.
This species has a moderate growth rate. It reaches its mature height in a year and its maximum height in 2-3 years. If your Trachyandra plant has a slower growth rate than normal, it might be due to some mealybugs or pests.
The recommended USDA plant hardiness growth zones for this plant are 9 to 11.
This good-looking tropical species has been declared as non-toxic and pet-safe. Its leaves and branches are entirely safe for humans and animals. Even if you are handling this plant, you need not wear any protective gloves, etc.
As this lovely species is succulent, it is a low-maintenance plant. You need not stay on your toes to look after this plant all the time. It has bare minimum needs and care requirements.
This plant has the most unique dormancy. It does not go dormant in winters, like other plants. Instead, it rests in the months of summer. As soon as the temperature goes up, this succulent enters its resting stage and stops growing. It should not be fertilized or over-watered during these days.
Trachyandra Tortilis Care
Trachyandra tortilis care involves regular watering, around 2-3 weeks in winters and every two months in summers. The humidity level around it must be kept above 50%. The optimum temperature range is 5 to 15°C. It should be provided with 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight daily.
Trachyandra tortilis is a succulent that thrives on low watering. It should be watered only every two to three weeks in the growing season. As this exotic plant is dormant in summers and actively growing during winters, its watering frequency is more in winters than in summers.
You should water this plant after every two months in summers as this plant is dormant during these days. Never over-water this plant; you can kill it in this way. If this plant gets more water than necessary, its roots, stem, and branches swell up and burst to expose dark, black spots.
The general rule of watering this plant is ‘soak and dry’. Never water this plant until its soil is completely dry, and water it thoroughly until it is completely soaked in water.
This unique succulent grows best in strongly acidic soil. If you want to provide it with all the ideal conditions to watch it grow fast and thrive in your home, you must regulate its soil pH to about 5.1 – 5.5. The potting soil must be well-draining and aerated. The drainage holes below the pot are necessary so that this plant does not die of over-watering or root rot.
You can grow this beautiful plant in a clay or terracotta pot. These two hold just the right amount of moisture for soil and remove the excess of it. You should also add perlite, pumice, or coarse soil to the potting mix to increase its drainage.
This gorgeous curly plant from the Trachyandra genus loves sunlight, a lot of it. It loves being placed in a brightly lit spot where it receives a lot of indirect sunlight exposure. For its placement, we recommend you a south-facing window. It must be provided with at least 6 hours of sunlight indoors. In a south-facing window, it will get all the light exposure it needs. But, make sure to keep it safe from direct sunlight. Direct sun can harm it in ways that cannot be undone. Direct sun rays can cause its leaves and branches to burn and cause the appearance of black spots on them.
This lovely house plant prefers a cooler surrounding to grow. However, it cannot survive in temperature extremes. The ideal temperature range for a Trachyandra tortilis is 5 to 15°C. This means this succulent cannot tolerate high heat or too much cold. You should keep it in a place where the temperature does not fluctuate much. Never leave this plant outdoors during extreme winters; it is not cold-hardy. This plant can get chilly injuries in frost and die from it.
Trachyandra tortilis loves high humidity. It grows best in 50% humidity or more. Its leaves and branches need high amounts of moisture in the air to stay fresh and keep their deep-green coloration. We recommend you increase the humidity in your house to grow this remarkable species successfully as your houseplant. If you do not know how to increase the moisture levels indoors, we are here to help you.
This can be done in several ways. One: Place its pot above a pebble tray. The moisture will evaporate from the pebbles and increase humidity. Two: Place this little fella in a group with other plants to increase the moisture level naturally through collective transpiration. Three: Install a humidifier in your home (Although it is an expensive trick). Four: Place this plant in your kitchen or bathroom where the humidity is naturally high.
This little succulent is not a heavy feeder; it does not need frequent fertilization. It should be fertilized in the growing season only. We recommend you fertilize this plant once every month during winters. Do not fertilize this plant in the summers. As this plant is dormant during summers, fertilizing it would not do any good.
If you are wondering about which fertilizer to add to this plant’s soil, we are here to help you. You should add an organic fertilizer that contains all the macro and micronutrients to this plant. This organic fertilizer should be diluted first to half its strength before adding it to the plant. Also, add the fertilizer after watering.
Grooming and Pruning
As this small succulent produces just a few leaves, it does not need pruning. If you still want to give it a fresh shape and appearance, cut its old leaves before the beginning of the growing season.
You should prune this plant with disinfected gardening shears. We would still recommend you to leave this plant as it is and do not prune it. It will grow healthy anyways.
Trachyandra tortilis likes to stay root-bound. You should not move it to the new pot occasionally. It should be re-potted only when it has outgrown its present pot. This normally happens after 2 to 3 years.
You should re-pot this plant in a pot that is 1-2 inches bigger than the previous one. You should also fertilize the plant at the time of repotting. This gives the plant a PUSH to grow fast and recover from the transplant shock.
Trachyandra tortilis is an expensive and rare plant. It would be a wise move to propagate it once you already got one in your home. If you have never propagated such a rare succulent before, we are here to guide you through the process. Propagation can be done through Trachyandra tortilis seeds and leaf cuttings. Let’s learn about them one by one.
Propagation by Seeds
This process is time-consuming as it takes almost a year to get a mature Trachyandra plant from a tiny seed. However, all the patience and the time would be worth it!
You can get your hands on its seeds through the ways of Trachyandra tortilis kaufen, or say, by buying them. Once you get the seeds, prepare to plant them between mid-fall and early winter. This is because these are the months of active growth for this plant.
- Take a small container and fill it with soil. Spread the seeds in the topsoil, ⅓ inches below the surface.
- Cover the pot with a polythene bag and keep it in a bright spot.
- You should fertilize it every week with a liquid fertilizer.
- Once new shoots appear, remove the polythene bag and plant each seedling in a separate pot.
This is it.
Propagation through Leaf Cuttings
- Take a sharp knife and cut a healthy leaf off this plant.
- Without damaging the leaf, leave it to get dry for 5 days.
- Once callus is formed from the wound, plant this cutting in a proper potting mix.
- Water the plant and watch it grow.
Trachyandra tortilis is a beautiful tropical plant with unique leaves and short-lived blooms. It is a low-maintenance plant that is grown worldwide for its appealing foliage. If you have a black thumb and you have a reputation for killing houseplants, we recommend you to grow this one. It is a hard-to-kill, robust species that will beautify your home even with bare minimum care.