Winter brings us a lot of joy and fun things to do. Still, it usually takes away colors from our gardens. In the sea of white and gray, it`s a real refreshment to see a little bit of difference. That’s exactly what Adromischus maculatus aka Calico Hearts can bring you. With an unusual shape and charming color combination, this succulent will bright up your garden or home succulent arrangement. Also, Calico Hearts can be a great addition to a rock garden.
Calico Hearts– Spotted Beauty
Adromischus maculatus aka Calico Hearts has another common name- Chocolate Drop. It`s a low-growing, perennial leaf-succulent that grows in a form of small clusters or mats. The stem of the plant is short and woody. Stems can be decumbent to prostrate and they gen grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) long.
Stems carry flat, oval, wedge-shaped leaves that usually have a horny margin. Leaves can grow up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long and 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) wide. Leaves are shiny, with gray-green, gray-brown or just green colors. When the plant is “happily stressed”, leaves become almost scarlet with (and sometimes without) deep purple spots. Calico Hearts blooms in the winter. Flowers are tubular and pale yellowish-green.
Grow and Care Tips
When it comes to soil, Calico Hearts loves well-draining, sandy soil. You can be safe with a conventional succulent or cacti soil mix with some extra sand or gravel for more drainage. Calico Hearts can grow well in somewhat crowded containers as long as their roots are getting enough nutrition.
This succulent is not particularly cold-hardy. If you live in the area with temperatures dropping below 20° F (-6.7° C), you`ll need to take Calico Hearts inside during the coldest months. This succulent will thrive in room temperatures. Just make sure that it gets a lot of sunlight, ideally 6 hours per day. Being a house plant, Calico Hearts will appreciate the southern-facing window, where it can sunbathe, but still remain shielded form the direct light.
Calico Hearts is sensitive to overwatering. Make sure that the soil is dried out before coming in with the fresh water. Your water schedule should remail regular from spring to fall and then completely cut out during the coldest months in the winter. For some extra kick, you can add mild feri+tilizer every now and then, to help the growth and blooming. Calico Hearts is sensitive to mealybugs. You can solve the pests problem with systematic insecticide.
Propagation of Calico Hearts
The best way to propagate Calico Hearts is from leaves. They are easily collected and the new plants start pretty quickly. Simply remove the healthy, thick leaf from the stem by twisting it and be careful not to leave any part behind. Allow the leaf to callus over couple of days and just lay it on the well-draining soil. Water it whenever the soil is dry. Keep an eye on the leaf and wait until roots and a rosette appear and the mother leaf becomes withered away. Then you can plant the new growth in a fresh soil mix.