Baby toes plant, also known as Fenestraria Rhopalophylla, is a charming, tough succulent that grows small, packed club-like leaves. They are relatively easy to take care of as they can thrive on neglect and are well-adapted to the natural habitat of Namaqualand. But one still needs to know how to properly grow one for them to remain adorable. Read on to know how you can properly grow a Fenestraria.
Determining the right time to water your Baby Toes is very easy! If you feel that their soil is completely dry to the touch or whenever you see that the tips on the leaves start to look a bit wrinkled or slightly shrunken, then it is time to give them a nice good drink of water by gently pouring it over and around your Baby Toes, until it drips off from the bottom of the pot.
Another sign is when you notice the "window"- the part at the tip of the leaves start to become wrinkled. That's when you need to water your baby toes.
Generally, Fenestraria can survive in the absence of its owner, as they can store water in their leaves as most succulents do. However, they still need occasional but good watering to refill their water storage and remain adorable.
It’s also quite easy to spot an overwatered Baby Toe succulent. Baby toes are very prone to cracking or splitting their leaves if given too much water. This problem can be mitigated by placing it somewhere dry and well-lit where the water intake can be controlled.
Since Baby Toes plants are adapted to subtropical desert conditions, they require bright sun. So if you are growing them outdoors, make sure they are in a spot where they can get at least 6 hours of sunlight per day and keep them protected from heavy rains and scorching hot afternoon sun, or else, they may end up being sunburned. But if you want to grow one inside your home, put them in a place where it can get lots of bright indirect sunlight, like a southern-facing window.If they are in too much shade, your Baby Toes will grow leggy and the leaves may fall on their side.
Nice and compact baby toe succulent
Etiolated Baby Toes stretch out to reach more light. Source: houzz.com
Like most other succulents, using regular potting soil or any soil that is mixed with loads of humus, loam or peat moss is a big NO-NO for Baby Toes. These soil hold moisture and Baby Toes will most likely end up getting root rot as they will be sitting in water for too long. Instead, use a succulent/cactus soil mix for your Baby Toes.
You can also make a well-drained soil for yourself by mixing equal parts of potting soil with pumice, perlite, and coarse sand to allow it to dry quicker.
With the right conditions, you can take your Baby Toes to the next level, as they produce a stunning picture-perfect flower with lots of narrow petals during summer, which usually in yellow or white shades. Just make sure that they will establish some good roots by providing them enough water and a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day.
Additionally, making your Baby Toes bloom will allow you to experience the enjoyment of watching its flower react to light, as they often open and close their petals, and even move throughout the day.
Propagating your Baby Toes can be performed using seed and offsets. However, since seeds of Baby Toes do not reliably sprout and grow extremely slow, it is highly recommended to propagate your baby through their offsets. Plus, doing it is quite easy, as they are already set to make another plant, and can easily be divided from the mother plant by simply snipping it using a clean sharp knife. Just let your baby toes grow about an inch tall before separating them and allowing the offsets to callous for a day or 2 before replanting, especially if you live in a humid climate.
Baby Toes is indeed one of the wonderful specimens from Southern Africa. Their cute tube-like leaves, making them look a bit like tiny toes of an infant, would definitely be a great addition to your succulent collection. Just don't forget to follow the care guidelines mentioned above or else, you might end up killing them with kindness.
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