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How To Care For Graptosedum 'California Sunset'

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How To Care For Graptosedum 'California Sunset'

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'California Sunset' is an interesting hybrid succulent that was created by crossing Graptopetalum Paraguayense (Ghost Plant) and Sedum Adolphi (Golden Sedum). The stems tend to grow long and leggy. New growth has a grayish-green color but the rosy orange hue will be intensified by drought and cool winter temperatures. The leaves are typically fleshy and triangular in shape, with a gradient of colors ranging from pink and coral to orange and yellow. The leaves form small rosettes that look similar to Echeverias. The colors of California Sunset intensify with increased sunlight exposure, giving the plant a beautiful sunset-like appearance, hence its name.

This succulent is a low-growing plant and its rosettes that can reach up to 6 inches in diameter. It produces numerous offsets, or "pups," which can be easily propagated to create new plants and make this succulent a perfect, colorful ground cover in USDA hardiness zones 10a to 1b. Graptosedum 'California Sunset' is a versatile plant that can be used in various garden settings. It looks great in rock gardens, succulent arrangements, or as a colorful accent in containers or hanging baskets.

Toxicity

Graptosedum 'California Sunset' is generally considered to be non-toxic to humans and pets. However, it's always a good practice to keep any plant out of reach of children and animals to prevent accidental ingestion, as some individuals may have sensitivities or allergies to certain plants.

General Care

Light

Graptosedum 'California Sunset' thrives in bright sunlight. It prefers to be placed in a location that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight per day. When grown indoors, it's best to position the plant near a sunny window where it can receive ample sunlight. South or west-facing windows usually provide the brightest light.

It prefers to be placed in a location that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight per day.

If you're growing this succulent outdoors, it's important to note that it can tolerate partial shade, but the colors of the foliage may not be as vibrant compared to when it receives more sunlight. If you live in an area with intense, scorching sunlight, it's beneficial to provide some protection during the hottest part of the day If your home does not have enough lighting, consider using a grow lamp to keep your plant healthy.

Watering

As a succulent, Graptosedum 'California Sunset' can store water in its leaves and does not frequent watering. The watering frequency may vary depending on factors such as the amount of lighting, temperature, humidity, airflow and pot size. In hot and dry climates, you may need to water more frequently, while in cooler and more humid environments, the time between each watering should be longer.

The general rule is that you should only water when the top 2 or 3 inches of the soil is dry to the touch. Water thoroughly until water flows out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot and let all excess water drain completely. It's important to always check the soil moisture before watering and adjust the frequency accordingly. Your plant may need more water during its active growing season (spring and fall). Watering should also be reduced during the dormant period in winter.

Soil and Fertilizer

Graptosedum 'California Sunset' thrives in well-draining soil that promotes good airflow around the roots. Pick a high-quality ready-to-use soil mix made for cacti or succulents or create your own by combining regular potting soil with perlite, coarse sand or pumice. This type of soil allows excess water to drain away, preventing the roots from sitting in overly moist conditions, which can lead to root rot. Avoid rich soils that retain moisture.

Graptosedum 'California Sunset' is a relatively low-maintenance succulent and doesn't require frequent fertilization. In fact, too much fertilizer can be detrimental to the plant. Use a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer once a month during the active growing and always follow the instructions carefully. Stop fertilizing during the dormancy in winter.

Temperature and Humidity

This succulent thrives in normal indoor environments with temperatures between 60°F to 80°F. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 30°F, but it is not cold hardy so that long periods in temperatures below 40°F can be harmful to this plant. Do not keep this plant in places with extreme temperatures, such as near drafts, air vents, heaters or ovens. If planted outdoors in cold climate areas, Graptosedum 'California Sunset' should be in a container and brought inside during the cold months. The color of this plant is more intense in cool temperatures.

The color of this plant is more intense in cool temperatures.

This succulent has moderate humidity requirements and can adapt to a variety of humidity levels. It thrives in most indoor humidity levels between 30-50%. The important thing is that it needs good airflow to prevent moisture-related issues such as fungal diseases. If you live in a humid region or during periods of high humidity, make sure the plant is placed in an area with good air circulation. Use a dehumidifier or open the windows frequently if your room is too humid.

Potting and Repotting 

As a succulent, Graptosedum 'California Sunset' needs proper drainage. Having well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes is crucial to this plant’s health. You should also use pots made from a porous material like concrete, terracotta, or ceramic pots to enhance drainage and airflow around the roots. We recommend using regular shovel probing to increase airflow in the soil and help the roots receive water, nutrients, and oxygen more efficiently.

Graptosedum 'California Sunset' may require repotting periodically every 2-3 years to provide it with fresh soil, and space for growth, and to prevent overcrowding of roots. Only repot during the growing season with a pot about 1 size or 10% larger than the original one. Before repotting, water the succulent a few days in advance. This helps to moisten the soil and makes it easier to remove the plant from the current pot without damaging the roots. Remember to monitor the plant closely after repotting and provide it with proper care to help it adjust to its new environment.

Pruning 

This succulent does not need regular pruning, but you can remove damaged, yellowing leaves using clean and sterilized pruning shears. Pruning can be done for aesthetic purposes or to control its size and shape. It's generally best to prune during the active growing season so your plant can recover and regrow easily. You can also remove offsets to make space for the parent plant and avoid overcrowding the pot.

Propagation 

There are three ways to propagate Graptosedum 'California Sunset':

From Stem cuttings:

  1. Select a healthy stem and make a clean cut below a leaf node.
  2. Let the cutting callus over for a day or two.
  3. Plant it in well-draining soil, keeping it lightly moist, and place it in a warm and bright spot with indirect sunlight.

From Offsets:

  1. Wait for offsets with their own roots or leaves to develop.
  2. Gently separate the offset from the parent plant, and make sure not to damage their roots.
  3. Plant the offset in well-draining moist soil and keep them in a warm and bright location with good airflow away from harsh direct sunlight.

From Leaves:

  1. Select healthy leaves and remove them from the parent plant with sharp pruning shears or a gardening knife.
  2. Let the leaves callus over for a few days.
  3. Plant the leaf on well-draining soil, avoiding burying it too deeply.
  4. Place it in a warm, bright location with indirect sunlight and keep the soil slightly moist.
  5. Wait for roots and a new plantlet to form before transplanting new baby plants into their own pots.

Common Problems 

Graptosedum 'California Sunset' succulents are generally hardy and resilient, but they can still encounter a few common problems.

Overwatering

Excessive watering can lead to root rot and other issues. Ensure that you allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings and avoid leaving the plant sitting in standing water.

Underwatering

While succulents are drought-tolerant, prolonged periods of drought can cause the leaves to shrivel or wrinkle. Water your Graptosedum 'California Sunset' thoroughly when the soil is dry, and make sure the water penetrates the entire root ball.

Sunburn

Too much direct sunlight, especially during hot summer months, can burn the leaves, leading to brown or discolored patches. Provide the plant with bright but indirect sunlight and cover it during the hottest parts of the day.

Pest infestation

Common pests that can affect succulents, including Graptosedum 'California Sunset,' include mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. If you notice signs of infestation such as sticky residue, webbing, or small insects, treat the plant with an appropriate insecticidal soap or neem oil, following the instructions on the product label.

Leggy growth

Insufficient sunlight can cause the succulent to grow tall and leggy instead of maintaining a compact, bushy shape. Ensure that your Graptosedum 'California Sunset' receives adequate bright light to promote healthy growth.

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