Gardening Tips

Sunbeam or Lampranthus plant: care

Sunbeam or Lampranthus plant: care

The Lampranthus, also known as sunbeam, mesen or cat’s claw, is a plant widely used in gardening and decoration for its beautiful flowers. In addition, some parts of the plant are consumed as part of natural medicine to prevent and treat some ailments. For all these reasons, many people want to have one of these beautiful plants in their home.

If you want to learn more about the care of the plant rayito de sol or Lampranthusjoin us in this EcologíaVerde article.

How is the plant ray of sun or Lampranthus

The Lampranthus It is actually a whole genus of the Aizoaceae family, with about 250 species, and they are succulent plants. Also, they are groundcover plants that have their origin in South Africa, which form beautiful carpets with their colorful and striking flowers. Its leaves, cylindrical or triangular and fleshy, are also showy and help the large corollas of the flowers of the sunbeam plant stand out even more. They are plants of fast growth, which reach heights of about 45 cm. Lampranthus flowers also open and close as day and night alternate, lasting about a week. Flowering usually occurs in spring, between the months of April and May. Depending on the species, it produces flowers of different shades, ranging from red and orange to violet or white.

Some of its best known species are:

  • Lampranthus spectabilis
  • Lampranthus roseus
  • Lampranthus aurantiacus
  • Lampranthus aureus
  • Lampranthus glaucus
  • Lampranthus multiradiatus
Sunbeam or Lampranthus plant: care - How is the sunbeam or Lampranthus plant

Sunbeam or Lampranthus plant: basic care

Take note of the basic care of the sunbeam plant or Lampranthus to keep her healthy at home:

Climate, location and light

This plant withstands hot and dry conditions quite well, but on the other hand, it does not take cold climates well. Thus, when caring for your Lampranthus plant, the first thing you should keep in mind is that you should find a location where the temperature does not drop below 10ºC, even in winter. Some of them can withstand sporadic and isolated frosts, but if you take a chance you could be in for a nasty surprise.

Regarding light, they easily withstand the influence of direct sunlight, even in hot climates. In fact, it is better to always find a location where they receive a lot of light throughout the day.

Substrate for the sunbeam plant

Apart from this, it is a succulent plant It does not need excessive care. It adapts without problems to soils poor in nutrients, although if you plant it in a pot, the ideal is that you use a special substrate for cacti or succulents. It is important, however, that the soil or substrate has good drainage.

Irrigation and fertilizer for the Lampranthus plant

Like most plants of this type, they require very little water, so you must make sure that the waterings are sufficiently spaced. Water your rayito de sol plant only when the upper layer of the substrate is completely dry, and always without flooding it. This should be approximately every two weeks in the winter and twice a week in the summer. Keep in mind that if you water it excessively, the plant runs a significant risk of suffering root rot or being attacked by fungi.

It does not require a lot of fertilization, so it is enough to apply a specific fertilizer for succulent plants every three weeks in the warm months.

Maintenance, pests and diseases

It is also important to remove faded flowers when their blooming season arrives in spring. By doing this, we stimulate the production of new flowers in the Lampranthus, which will cover the garden, pot or flowerbed they are in with their beautiful and vivid colors.

Finally, as far as pests and diseases are concerned, it is not very common for it to be attacked by anything, with excess moisture being its worst enemy, as is the case with many succulents. At most, if you see spots on the underside of the leaves, there may be a cottony mealybug, a whitish insect that produces waxy-type secretions. If there are few, it is easy to remove them manually with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, or spray water with neutral soap on the plant, making sure to rinse it well afterward.

Sunbeam plant: reproduction

Reproducing this plant by cuttings is easier and more practical than by seeds, although these can be planted in spring without complications. For reproduce a Lampranthus plant by cuttings follow these steps:

  1. Cut a branch about 10 cm long in early spring.
  2. Let it dry for about 3 days in a sunny or semi-shaded area and then, after helping the lower end with rooting agent (we recommend any of the ecological rooting agents that you can prepare yourself at home), plant it in a pot with a specific substrate.
  3. The first days keep it in the shade so that it has time to recover, in an area with temperate temperatures, and water it a little more than usual to keep the substrate somewhat moist.
  4. Once you see new shoots, it means that it has completely adapted and is already a new plant for all purposes.

In this other EcologíaVerde article we tell you more about How to make cuttings.

Sunbeam Plant or Lampranthus: care - Sunbeam Plant: reproduction

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