The succulent family has countless members and species. We`re already used to that. Still, it gets more and more interesting every day. Even most experienced succulent gardeners get surprised with some new, rare species from time to time. Therefore, prepare to meed Dudleya, a rare succulent you may already encounter without even knowing.
Dudleya– Rarety In Disguise
Dudleya is a small genus of succulents only native to California and Mexico. Because of that specific native habitat, it often ends up on the list of endangers species. The harvesting of this succulent has closely monitored and highly controlled, but it`s still possible to find it in cultivation, in registered succulent stores.
Dudleya is easily confused for Echeveria. However, it can be far more attractive if grown properly. It forms a large, impressive rosette, covered in a white powder called ferina. Ferina protects the plant from sun and wind, and it`s mostly responsible for the breathtaking look.
As Dudleya matures, the rosette develops cute red and purplish leaf tips. Also, this succulent may branch out, depending on the individual species. The whole genus is extremely slow-growing, which caused the common name- “Live Forever succulent”.
In the natural habitat, Dudleya grows on rocky outcrops and bluffs along the coast. The common misconception is that this succulent rarely blooms. Actually, it blooms regularly and doesn’t need extra help, but it may take a while until it shoots up flowers, due to its growth habit. When it blooms, the flowers are yellow or pink, clustered on pink or red flower stalks.
Grow And Care Tips
Dudleya is pretty easy to take care of. It almost thrives on neglect. All you have to worry about is to plant it in the appropriate soil. A regular succulent potting mix is not gonna cut it. Dudleya needs well-draining, rocky soil. You should add as much sand, rocks, perlite, or pumice as you can, so the roots get good airflow.
Dudleya loves sunbaths. You should plant it in full sun, so it can show all the beautiful colors. A ferina coat will prevent leaves from burning, but you should still make sure the plant is protected if temperatures go wild in the summer. As for water, Dudleya needs to be watered once per month. Make sure that the soil is completely dried out before you come in with the water again.
Unlike most other succulents, Dudleya can`t is propagated from leaves. You can get new plants from seeds, cuttings, or by division. However, keep in mind that Dudleya is an extreme slow-grower, so you’ll have to be patient and what a while for a new plant.