I have been working on a succulent plant collection since 2007.
A purchased Baby Toes succulent in a 5 inch round pot has sat on the retaining wall in full Southern California sun. It is in a plastic pot with well draining cactus soil. How has it fared?
This amazing plant has done nothing but grow, leaving me plenty of new shoots for potting and transferring to the slope I am working on.
The green gem-like fenestraria rhopalophylla is amazingly trouble free. It has only been given water. The little tubular shaped columns, growing to an inch high, look fragile, but they can withstand plenty of touching. Each segment is smooth and rigid, and includes a clear like “window” at the top. It’s from south Africa and naturally grows in sandy soil. Planting or repotting is very easy, just split off a section of columns with the roots included.
I have used what is multiplying for vertical planters, presents and 1 inch pots for sale. An easy plant like this becomes a favorite of mine.
Growing Baby Toes for Landscaping
The real test for any of my plants is, can it grow in the ground and enhance my landscape? The pot had become very crowded and I bravely took half of the plant and carefully put the columns in the soil on the slope. This was done in the fall, the winter rain should give it enough fresh water. Winter is the dormant season for baby toes, November through February in Southern California.
The years 2014-2016 are proving the worst drought years in recorded history for the whole state of California. Northern California did get relief Winter 2015/16, but the Southern portion of the state is still dry, with only 5 inches of rain. I have been watering the area by hose, and the end of summer 2015 some of the clumps dried up. The clumps did not get enough water.
Baby Toes Succulent Care
My plant is a light gray-green and the aster-like flowers have been white, yellow and pink. I have no clue why the flowers bloom in various colors.
As mentioned above, growing it in a plastic pot is very easy.
On the slope it gets a mix of clay soil and compost. The area has good drainage so sand is not needed. The clumps are tight and some are reddish-green and others gray-green.
Established ground plants should get light water in the summer and stay dry for longer periods during the winter.
The plant in the pot is still going good and multiplying. As the winter progressed more of the ground plant expanded due to cooler weather and a little rain.
The only practice that will kill this plant is giving it too much water.
The Four Basic Rules for Growing Baby Toes
- Soil that allows for no standing water.
- Let dry out before watering again, especially in the winter.
- All day full sun for plenty of new growth.
- Start new plantings with columns including roots.
With these four rules you will enjoy the baby toes succulent for many years.
Too much rain for winter 2016/2017, about 21 inches, did kill the patch planted on the slope. The new plan is to make a pocket of sandy soil and shore it with a small barrier to prevent the sandy from washing down the slope.