Also known as the slipper plant or the Tropic-Trillo, the Pedilanthus Bracteatus is a succulent plant that can brighten up any hot summer environment without much effort.
Yet, it’s rarely found because not many gardeners bother to know about it. Although it’s a relatively easy plant to grow, you may find its cultivation difficult if you don’t know the right methods.
Here, we’ll discuss how to grow Pedilanthus Bracteatus in detail.
Overview of the Plant
Native to the Caribbean Basin and Mexico, the Pedilanthus Bracteatus is a succulent plant that can grow to be four feet in width and eight feet in height. The plant branches from the very beginning, so each branch of it looks like a separate plant.
The branches are rather thin, and they branch further off after a certain height. It’s got green stems, and they also bloom with red flowers in the summer and spring.
It may also have leaves that grow to be up to four inches in length. However, the leaves start to shed as the climate gets cooler. Also, when the leaves are shed, the plant looks a lot similar to a thornless Ocotillo.
Overall, it’s a great choice for those who want to add some verticality to their garden.
The Pedilanthus Bracteatus is a perennial plant, and it doesn’t care much about the soil it’s planted in. This gives the gardener the flexibility to plant this in soil with any pH level. Also, the soil bed must have a good drainage system capable of preventing water clogging.
These plants require full sun to bloom the beautiful red flowers in summer and spring. The more sunlight you expose it to, the more flowers it’ll produce.
It’s a succulent plant, which means it’s rather fleshy inside and can store a lot of water. So, it shouldn’t be planted in wet soil as the plant won’t intake much water. This will lead to muddy water as well as root rot and fungal infection.
This plant can thrive even in the desert, and by that, you know it doesn’t require much watering. It’ll be enough to water this 3-4 times a month. In fact, even if you don’t water it, it’s likely to grow just as well because it’s drought tolerant.
You won’t have to fertilize it. As a desert-dweller, this plant can thrive in soil with low nutrients.
One of the best things about the Pedilanthus Bracteatus is its temperature tolerance. You already know that it’s a desert-dweller, so it can tolerate hot and humid climates.
However, it’s also very good at tolerating cold. It can survive in a climate that gets as close as minus 20 degrees. Also, it’s drought-tolerant, so humidity doesn’t affect its growth at all.
Pests And Diseases
These plants are very hardy, so they rarely have any pests and diseases. However strong they may be, overwatering can lead to root rot as well as fungal outbreaks. So, refrain from watering it often.
Also, some of the more common bugs, such as spider mites, white flies, or mealy bugs, may attack these plants if uncared for. You can prevent these easily by using regular garden pesticides.
What are the Uses of this Plant?
Pedilanthus Bracteatus aren’t particularly useful. Even then, there are two ways these plants can help you. These are discussed as follows.
If you want to add some high vegetation to your garden, then these plants may be a good choice for you. These plants can grow up to eight feet in height, and they are quite wide as well. So, you’ll be able to cover a lot of ground with only a handful of these.
Moreover, Pedilanthus Bracteatus doesn’t require much water for cultivation or growth. Watering these only thrice or four times a month will be more than enough to help these mature.
This is why these are considered one of the best choices for water-friendly landscaping. This means that by cultivating these, you’re actually participating in making the world a greener place.
Is it Toxic?
These plants are rather fleshy inside. They store water, and through different chemical reactions, they produce milky white saps. Upon contact, these saps can cause skin irritation and may upset your stomach upon consumption.
Not only human beings but also animals may be affected by these saps. So, we don’t recommend planting these if you have a pet dog or cat.
Is it Drought Tolerant?
Yes, it’s a drought-tolerant plant. The Pedilanthus Bracteatus plant originates from regions with high temperatures and humidity, and they can also survive very well in the desert. So, planting these may be a good idea if you’re short of water, as they can survive very well without any, thanks to their succulent nature.
How Big does it Get?
A mature Pedilanthus Bracteatus can grow up to eight feet in height, which is rather big considering the stems aren’t that thick. Also, each plant branches off and spreads up to four feet in width.
The Pedilanthus Bracteatus is a perennial plant that can grow and mature without much maintenance. They can be planted almost anywhere in the world, will let you add some vertical accents to your garden, and are considered eco-friendly.
So, unless you have kids or pets in your home who may be vulnerable to the toxicity of these plants, you may benefit from planting these.