The Faucaria subintegra (chalumna tiger jaw) is one of the most unique-looking plants you’ll find in the succulent family. This unusual-looking succulent has leaves that are shaped like teeth and grow on rocks in rocky areas in Cape Province, South Africa.
This tiger jaw succulent is also called faucariopsis or false faucaria because it resembles the real Faucaria genus but isn’t actually related to them.
I’ve always had a fascination with odd or strange-looking plants, especially ones that look like they belong in the ocean depths or on another planet entirely. One such succulent that fits this bill is the Faucaria subintegra, or Chalumna Tiger Jaw (so named because of its serrated leaves).
If you aren’t familiar with succulents, they are hardy, drought-resistant plants that have adapted to survive long periods of time without water.
If you’re new to succulents and you’re looking for a good place to start, then look no further than the Chalumna Tiger Jaw Succulent (Faucaria subintegra). A native of South Africa, this striking succulent produces upright leaves that grow up to three inches long by about an inch wide and have white teeth along the edges that are reminiscent of the namesake animal’s jaw.
Origin and distribution
Faucaria subintegra is an endemic succulent species native to South Africa. Its natural habitat is along rocky cliffs and crevices, where it grows in full sun. In cultivation, it should be planted in well-drained soil in an area with a similar amount of sunlight exposure as it would receive in its native habitat.
Faucaria subintegra is not frost-hardy and requires winter protection when temperatures drop below freezing.
Faucaria subintegra propagation
There are two methods to propagate faucaria subintegra, division and leaf cuttings. If a section of a plant is more than three-quarters of an inch across, it can be divided.
To divide a plant, use a sharp knife to cut through the center of it with as much of its root system intact as possible, and replant in clean soil with adequate sunlight and water.
Leaf cuttings should be made from green leaves using a sterile blade or razor blade. Cut off about four inches of stem, remove any leaves from the bottom half of that stem, and place on top of moistened perlite or vermiculite in individual pots.
Faucaria subintegra will grow well indoors as long as they receive at least five hours of direct sunlight each day. They will also do well outdoors in zones 10-11 if they have full sun exposure year-round.
Faucaria subintegra care information
Although they are small, succulents like faucaria subintegra (chalumna tiger jaw) need soil that drains well and doesn’t stay waterlogged. They prefer soil with a pH of 7.0-7.5, meaning it’s slightly acidic to neutral.
If you don’t have potting soil for succulents already on hand, use a blend of equal parts garden loam, coarse sand, and peat moss or compost to fill your container.
Faucaria subintegra is a succulent plant that is most often found in light shade. It can also be acclimated to full sun, however, it will need additional water and care.
Faucaria subintegra does best when planted in a free-draining, sandy soil mix. You can buy potting soil for cactus, succulents, and other fast-draining plants; use it or make your own by combining one part sand with two parts peat moss. Like most succulents,
The Chalumna tiger jaw succulent requires little attention when it comes to watering. If you allow your soil to dry between waterings, you can stretch out your time between each watering.
Too much water will rot roots, so don’t overdo it! Water only when soils feel dry about an inch below the surface.
Faucaria subintegra is also drought-tolerant, so during dry spells, you can reduce watering without damaging it.
Fertilize with a diluted solution of Miracle Grow or something similar, no more than once every three months. The plant can also benefit from regular applications of mulch, especially pine needles and oak leaves.
Avoid using chemical fertilizers that are high in nitrogen; these may damage or kill your plant.
This plant does well at temperatures of around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In low light situations, it may tolerate some slight cooling in order to preserve humidity and keep water from evaporating too quickly, however, too much cooling will cause its leaves to drop and eventually die.
In high light situations, it is tolerant of both high and low temperatures. If you see your leaves begin to turn red or yellow then you are allowing your temperature to become too hot; if they begin turning dark green or black then it is probably getting too cold.
Humidity should be low, around 40% to 50%. The faucarias are native to arid regions and prefer dry air. If you live in a humid climate, place your plant on a tray of pebbles or small rocks and fill it with water so that it rises up just below the bottom of your pot.
This will create a humid microclimate for your plant. Be sure not to let water sit in your pot for too long as it can cause root rot.
One of the things most people don’t realize about succulents is that they need to be pruned. Because succulents retain their leaves for a long time, it’s easy to forget you have a full and flourishing specimen. Your faucarias might look like just sticks sticking out of potting soil.
But if you pinch them now, you’ll get fuller plants with more flowers in your future. You can even take cuttings from these pups to start new plants later on! It’s always best to let your plant tell you when it needs pruning, if a leaf looks shriveled or brown, chances are good that it needs some TLC.
If you see something brown at one end of a branch, grab some scissors and snip away. Be sure not to remove any green tissue though, just focus on those brown ends. This will encourage growth from what remains.
When to repot
As previously mentioned, a Faucaria subintegra (Chalumna tiger jaw succulent) can be divided into smaller sections at any time of year as long as its roots are not damaged. However, it is best to divide them in spring or autumn after they have gone dormant.
Repotting is an essential part of maintaining your plant because it will help to improve drainage, which will prevent root rot and kill any pests that might be living on or around your plant’s roots. It will also give you more room for your plant to grow.
If you notice that your plant has outgrown its pot, then it is definitely time for repotting! If you do not repot often enough, then your plant may become stunted or even die from lack of nutrients.
When dividing a Chalumna tiger jaw succulent, it is important to remember that each section must contain one eye so make sure you don’t accidentally damage these when dividing!
All species of Faucaria undergo dormancy during winter, where they are less active. They will lose most or all of their leaves and stop growing. During this time, it is important to keep them dormant by keeping temperatures below 16°C/60°F and with very little light.
Dormant plants can also be watered much less frequently than active ones. They will begin to grow again in spring when conditions are right for them. It is best to repot them after a few months if you wish to keep your plant healthy and happy.
To do so, remove it from its pot, inspect its roots for damage or disease and repot into a container that suits its size better (remembering that faucaria don’t like being over-potted). If you see signs of pests on your plant (red mites usually), use an insecticide such as neem oil spray.
Faucaria subintegra flower & fragrance
In nature, Faucaria subintegra will open its yellow flowers from mid-summer through fall. If you grow your plant indoors or in a pot, it can flower at any time of year. The scent from these fragrant yellow blooms is sweet and pleasant. A great conversation starter for sure!
This succulent is slow-growing and difficult to propagate, but it will slowly enlarge over time if given proper care. The leaves are about 4 long and can grow up to 6 in diameter.
Unlike most Faucaria species, Faucaria subintegra does not form rosettes; instead, it grows as a thin, spindly plant with whorls of teeth along its stems.
Faucaria subintegra are toxic and can cause skin irritation. The sap in Faucarias is a mild irritant to humans, causing slight swelling and tingling of skin that disappears when contact with the plant is removed.
However, ingesting any part of these plants can be lethal or result in permanent health damage. It is best to wear gloves when handling Faucarias and never use them as a food source!
USDA hardiness zones
It prefers temperatures between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 50-60 degrees at night.
If you live outside of these temperature ranges, try growing it as an annual outdoors or grow it indoors and move it to a porch during warmer months. You can also plant it directly into your garden if you live within its hardiness zone.
Pests and diseases
Chalumna tiger jaws are relatively disease-resistant, but they’re susceptible to infestations of mealybugs. Look for signs of mealybug damage, excessive plant hairs around a joint or on leaf edges, and white, cottony masses on stems or leaves, and treat with a systemic insecticide.
Mealybugs have distinct life stages that can be difficult to spot without close observation; adults appear as 1/16-inch long oval-shaped dark bugs.
Gardeners often use pesticides to control pests and diseases, but it’s important to be aware of their effects. In short, most pesticides can have a negative impact on human health as well as that of wildlife.
One chemical, in particular, endosulfan, is toxic for humans and bees; because of that fact, many places around the world have banned its use.
Faucaria subintegra, also known as chalumna tiger jaw, is an attractive and somewhat hardy succulent native to South Africa. It thrives in areas that receive full sun or partial shade and sandy soils. Typically grows 2-3 feet tall, with leaves reaching 6 inches long by 3 inches wide.
Its multi-branched structures hold yellow flowers that vary in color and last approximately 4 months throughout summer.