Cacti and succulent aficionados are forever looking for the next new plant and building unique collections. Rose-shaped greenovia is one of those hard to find specimens that many of us would give our eye teeth to own. If you are lucky, you might find them at a specialty online nursery or a friend’s plant may have pups you can acquire. Caring for greenovia is very similar to the maintenance for other succulents. As with all these sun-loving plants, water usage is the main issue.
Greenovia are tiny little plants, only about 6 inches tall at maturity. They are found in the eastern and western parts of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The wild plants are in danger due to over collection and tourist activities. They are squat bodied, grayish green plants that often have a rose tinge at the edges of the leaves. The leaves are fleshy, smooth, oval to paddle shaped and layered upon another, just as rose petals nestle against themselves. By the time rose-shaped greenovia is mature, the lowest older petals pull away from the main body a bit and develop a soft sandy, pink tone. Over time, the plant can produce pups, or offsets, which you can divide away from the mother for easy new plants.
How to grow Greenovia
Greenovia is an infrequent flowering plant and there is evidence that it is monocarpic. This means it will flower once, eventually, and then die after it sets seed. If your plant flowers and doesn’t have pups, this is bad news. You may certainly collect and plant the seed, but as with most succulents, you will have to wait years for any identifiable form. The rose-shaped succulent called Greenovia dodrentalis does bloom more frequently than other greenovia without dying. Bag the heads to catch seed and sow indoors in shallow trays. Use a spray bottle to water the tiny seedlings initially. Transplant them to larger containers when you can identify several sets of leaves. Use a gritty potting soil and a well-drained pot. A faster, more immediate way to enjoy new greenovia is to use a sharp knife and divide away the pups at the base of the plant. Install them in clean soil and treat them as you would the adult.
Caring for Greenovia
Keep these succulents in a warm, brightly lit location. Water when the top surface of soil is dry. In winter, reduce water by half. Resume watering in spring when new growth commences. This is the best time to fertilize, as well. You can move your greenovia outside onto the patio or other bright location in summer but make sure to gradually adjust the plant to the outdoors. It is best to choose a location where there is protection from the highest light of the day to avoid scorching the little plants. Watch for any insect pests and combat immediately. This is especially important when the season is closing and it is time to move the plants back indoors. You don’t want any hitchhiking insects to infest your houseplants. Repot greenovia every few years. They like to be crowded so it may just be necessary to replace the soil with more fertile medium. Share the pups of these unique little plants whenever you can, so more gardeners can enjoy the little rose-shaped greenovia plant.