Mesembs – 7 Helpful Tips To Grow And Care For The Plant


Last updated on July 30th, 2022 at 11:51 am

Mesembryanthemums or Mesembs as they are frequently called, come from the Aizoaceae family and come generally from South Africa as well as Namibia. They occur in both summer season and winter season rainfall areas and this impacts their cultivation needs.

The Aizoaceae family has approximately the same number of species as the Cactus family, although the bulk of them are discovered in a single nation (and practically all of them in 2 countries), it takes care of a big variety of growth habits and weather conditions.

There are alpine summertime growers, dead-stick summer season inactive types, large shrubs, and single leave pairs not bigger than your thumbnail. Knowing exactly how to grow them can somewhat be a challenge.

Mesembs share a couple of typical characteristics that will be found throughout the family. One is that all are leaf succulents with the frequent behavior of reusing resources from older leaves to help new growth. They are mostly adapted to reasonably foreseeable rainfall patterns rather than severe drought uneven rainfall.

Total rainfall might be very low, yet water is available at least seasonally or with haze and condensation. This causes or enables plants that are not specifically large as well as often very small, and influences the way they need to be treated in cultivation.

Growing Condition For Mesembs


Mesembs need a loam-based garden compost with the addition of extra drain products such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like great light conditions and also a lot of ventilation.

Some are reasonably cold-hardy and can also survive mild winters outdoors. Many will certainly make it through temperature levels that is low to a freezing point. There are some Mesembs that start to grow in the fall as the temperature level decreases and also the days get much shorter. Examples are Conophytum, Manilaria, and Mitrophyllum.
Because various category within the Mesembs family has various growing conditions, special care needs to be taken when watering. Some genera will certainly profit from a light spray water to avoid shriveling during their inactive or dormant period.

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Mesembs  Grower’s Tips

The fundamentals of Mesembs treatment are extremely easy, with free-draining soil, a lot of sunlight and ventilation, and also regular light watering in the appropriate period. The problems are endless, trying to adjust to the Mesembs’ own flexibility as well as to follow their development practices in certain conditions.

In their indigenous environment, these little mesembs grow in nutritionally poor soil in arid, warm areas. The bodies of those with “windows” are entirely buried in the soil to secure them from the hot sunlight with simply the tips exposed to draw in the light.



In cultivation, we should treat them a bit differently. Plant them with their bodies above soil. They may rot if buried, because of higher wetness content in soil and in the air.

Considering that mimicry plants have actually adapted to severe, poor conditions, little or no fertilizer is needed.
When brand-new growth emerges from the center of the plant, plants will certainly announce their growing period. The old leaves must not be removed for the sake of cleanliness, as the brand-new growing leaves absorb water and nutrients from them. The plants will not require extra water as they are absorbing moisture and nutrients from the old leaves.

After the old leaves are completely dry, then they can be very carefully removed with safety. Mimicry plants have shallow roots which can additionally take in climatic evening moisture. Water need will certainly be visible by slight softening and wrinkling of new leaves, as well as will certainly depend upon warmth and humidity.

Water in the morning so plants can dry off before evening. Water very well when you do water, which triggers greedy roots to swell immediately as they drink to their fill.


Mesembs need well-draining soil, which implies it dries quickly. Basically, the soil should include a whole lot of pumice, sand, or perlite. I use a great deal of sand, which not everybody agrees with, but works well for me. The sand must include lots of sizes of particles, from dust to 1/8 inches. The standard soil mix is 1/4 soil mix to 3/4 pumice and sand.

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Light and Air

All mesembs need a great deal of light and moving air (meaning not stagnant or humid air). High warmth is not required, however, a sunny exposure is needed, some shading is advised throughout the summertime and also heat waves. Ideal growth is provided by making use of a greenhouse, however not necessary, provided that the dormant or inactive plants are brought in during the winter rains. Home window sills function well.

Watering mesembs


Allow the plants to dry completely in between waterings; check the soil with your finger at least a couple inches down within the container to be sure the soil is completely dry.

Mimicry plants dislike cold and moisture. So it is better not to water on cold, cloudy days.

Bets tip: When doubtful, do not water. Soil should be extremely porous and well-draining. Mimicry plants, generally, like filtered sunlight outdoors, and great intense light inside.

All plants require lots of water throughout their growing period, however tough plants are hard to grow since they are easy to kill, and also a lot of death is caused by too much water at the wrong season or insufficient water at the correct time.

I water my Lithops and most other summer growers from April to October, normally every 6 to 14 days. Generally, the plant’s soil needs to dry between watering, and also the plants should be noticed to see if they are too fat, or shrived. If the plants are too fat and perhaps even splitting or cracking, wait for a couple of days between watering. The ideal timetable is to wait till a little shriveling is seen, then water again.

Winter season growers like the same treatment, every 6 to 14 days, but from September to May. Throughout the colder part of the year, the soil is slow to dry, so lighter watering that just moistens the top of the soil is excellent, so the soil isn’t soaked for weeks at a time.

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Make use of some diluted fertilizer throughout the growing season, but way too much will cause the plants to get bloated and trigger various other problems.

Other helpful tips for growing mesembs

  • I’ve found out that the very best details I can suggest to other individuals trying to grow tough mesembs is always watch out for root rot. If the plant doesn’t seem to be growing or is shriveled during its appropriate season, look for root rot. Test the roots by applying a tiny tug on the plant, if rotted, the plant conveniently separates from the roots at the rotted area.
  • A lot of mesembs can be conveniently re-rooted, generally its best to cut all the stem off, right up to the last active leave set. Attempting to re-root a clump is high-risk, its far better to reduce the clump up and re-root all the individual heads. Be very careful not to cut the meristem, simply above the stem on Lithops and Conos. Dead meristem means dead plant.
  • A heat wave in springtime, or absence of water, or disturbing on roots on winter months growing plants may induce early inactivity an dormancy.
  • The best time to transplant mesembs is before the growing season, after that leave completely dry until the growing starts, and after that water. One more idea, sprinkle seeds around in pots, some will certainly grow!
  • Do not let the stems of the stem-less, delicate plants bake in the sun, cover with sand or gravel as the stems grow out a little.
  • The majority of the shrubby mesembs, like Trichodiadema, Glottiophyllum, Jensenobotrya, and Mestoklema, can deal with water all year long, less in winter season, much less water in winter for the tuberous rooted ones.
  • The plants look best when grown naturally, meaning grown hard with vry strong light, meager watering, as well as compact.
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