Edithcolea grandis care infographicEdithcolea grandis or Persian carpet flowers have a very beautiful flower that can radiate the beauty of your home, since they mostly live inside. This plant is easy to grow when grown in the right conditions.

Continue reading to learn how to plant, care for, and propagate edithcolea grandis.

What is Edithcolea Grandis?

Edithcolea grandis is a succulent that can also be called “Persian Carpet Flowers” due to the appearance of the flowers it produces. Moreover, this very beautiful succulent plant is a must-have for lovers of exotic succulents.

The plant gives your home an exotic look and when it flowers, you will feel a sense of fulfillment from the beauty it exudes.

Edithcolea Grandis Care

Growing and caring for edithcolea grandis needs your effort. Even though this plant is a succulent plant, it originates from the tropical regions of Africa, so you must be very careful when growing it in a temperate region. What’s more, Edithcolea grandis indoor care is the same as caring for it outdoors.

Persian carpet flowers can grow in USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b. With much more effort, you can grow the plant in zone 9b, but it is hardier in 10b to 11b. 

– Getting Your Edithcolea Grandis

Close Up of Edithcolea Grandis Cactus PlantsYou can start your Persian carpet flowers by seeds, cutting, or seedling. For first-time growers, you should purchase edithcolea grandis seedlings from a nursery or garden shop.

Seedlings are easier to care for than seeds and cuttings, and the process of transplanting seedlings is very easy.

When your edithcolea grandis seedlings become large enough, you can get cuttings from them. After successful pollination, your Persian carpet flowers will produce seeds that you can start other plants with.

– Potting

You should provide a well-drained potting mix for your Persian carpet flower. The substrate of this plant should be more porous than the regular succulent potting mix. You can buy a regular cactus mix and add grit or river-washed sand to it.

The potting mix of edithcolea grandis should not hold water for more than six hours if you want your plant to thrive. It should have good drainage abilities.

When you have purchased edithcolea grandis seedlings from the shop, you should carefully remove them from their pots and leave them exposed for 24 hours before you plant them in their new pots. After planting the seedlings, you should wait a day or two before watering them.

– Light

Edithcolea grandis needs as much light as you can provide. Give your Persian carpet flowers access to more than six hours of direct sunlight daily. Edithcolea grandis can also grow in partial sun, which means that they should be exposed to sunlight for four to six hours, but you should make sure that your plant is not showing any sign of light deficiency.

As an indoor plant, you should place your edithcolea grandis pot on the south or east-facing windowsills of your home. In winter, you can grow your edithcolea grandis plants by placing them under 12 or more hours of grow lights. 

– Water

Water your edithcolea grandis just like other succulents, so only water it when the soil is dry. Make sure that you planted your edithcolea grandis in well-drained soil.

You should water your plant in the morning so that any droplets remaining in the stem or topsoil evaporate because of the heat of the sun that it gets during the day. In the growing season (spring and summer), water your Persian carpet flower weekly or when the soil is dry completely. You do not need to water the plant in the fall or winter.

– Nutrient

Fertilize your edithcolea grandis monthly during the growing season. You can also use diluted (to half strength) succulent fertilizer. Another thing you can do is use organic materials to boost the nutrients in the potting mix. Eggshell and other dry organic materials are suitable for edithcolea grandis.

If you must use compost or other organic fertilizer such as rotted manure, make sure that you do not use too much of it so that it does not change the properties of the potting mix (i.e. the mix starts to hold water instead of draining water quickly).

 

Propagation

If you have some Persian carpet flowers, you do not have to go back to the nursery for more. All you have to do is propagate the ones that you have. There are several ways to propagate edithcolea grandis.

– Stem (Cutting)

You can use pruning scissors to cut at least three inches of stem from the plant. When you cut the stem, place it on the new potting mix and continue to mist it with water daily for 10-15 days. In time, you will notice that the cutting is rooting from the bottom. When the stem starts growing, water it just like matured plants. so once weekly.

This method of propagation is the easiest, but there are other methods that you can try.

– Seeds

The fruit of edithcolea grandis has a lot of seeds that you can plant. Simply spread the seeds (not too many) on the potting mix and cover them with a thin layer of potting mix or pre-washed river sand. In 15-25 days, you should see that some edithcolea grandis have germinated.

You should re-pot some seedlings if you feel that they are too many for their pot.

– Offsets

This method of propagation is the least common method as edithcolea grandis rarely produce offsets or shoots. If your edithcolea grandis produces offsets, brush off the top layer of the potting mix to reveal the point where the offset is attached to the mother plant. Carefully twist the offset and pull it from the mother plant.

Keep the offset exposed for one to two days before planting. Remember that you should wear your garden gloves to prevent the plant spines from harming you. 

Problems

Here are some common challenges that you can face when growing edithcolea grandis:

– Rot

Rot is caused by overwatering. When you give your edithcolea grandis too much water, it becomes susceptible to fungal attacks. Fungi and other microbes acting on the roots of your edithcolea grandis cause the plant to rot.

You should wait until the soil is dry completely before watering your plant again. Also, cut off healthy parts of the plant, wait for a few days, and then plant them into a well-drained potting mix, if rot is starting to appear on it.

– Winter

As a tropical plant, the Persian carpet flower is not winter-hardy. Edithcolea grandis requires a temperature of 71-80 F. If the temperature is too low, your plant may die. You should take the pots indoors and give them 12 or more hours of grow light daily to sustain them during the winter.

– Pests

The flower of edithcolea grandis has a smell that attracts flies and other insects. These insects may be pests for you, but they help to pollinate the plant. Aside from flies, aphids and mealybugs can be disastrous to your Persian carpet flowers too.

Some Useful Information

– History of Edithcolea Grandis

Edithcolea grandis is named after Edith Cole who collected the plant during a botanical expedition in 1857-1944 in Eastern Africa. “Edithcolea” which is the genus of the Persian carpet flower is a monotypic genus. This means that the Persian carpet flower is the only plant in the genus “Edithcolea”.

– Identifying

There is no way that you’d see a Persian carpet flower without recognizing it. The beauty and splendor of this plant are second to none. Here are some easy ways to identify the plant:

  • Plant physiology: Edithcolea grandis plants are richly-branched succulents with decumbent stems. This means that the stem of this plant is mostly lying along the ground, but curving upwards. The stem can be one and a half inches in diameter and can grow 11 inches tall.
  • Leaves: Edithcolea grandis has no leaves. Instead, the stem is spinelike just like most cactus species.
  • Flower: This is the most distinct feature of the edithcolea grandis. The flower is bisexual (meaning it has both anther and stamen) and is found in the apex of its branches. Persian carpet flowers have five petals with purple-reddish spot patterns that become smaller as they get closer to the corolla lobe. The flower smells like decaying meat and attracts a lot of flies.
  • Fruit and Seeds: After successful pollination, edithcolea grandis produces fruits that contain a lot of seeds. Edithcolea grandis seeds have a lot of hairs that aid them in dispersal by wind.

Growing the Persian carpet plant is both fun yet challenging, so people continue to grow it. Ever wondered what do they use it for? Let’s find out!

– Uses

The most popular use of edithcolea grandis is as an ornamental plant. Persian carpet flowers are very beautiful when planted in colorful pots or close to other succulents in your succulent garden.

Asides from its use as an ornamental plant, edithcolea grandis is eaten as a vegetable in African countries such as Ethiopia. East Africans enjoy the delicious taste of the starch-rich stem of Edithcolea grandis.

Would you like to grow edithcolea grandis? It can be a bit challenging, but you surely can. Continue reading to learn how to take care of it properly.

Conclusion

Our article is your helping hand in growing and taking care of your edithcolea grandis. Here are some useful reminders for you:

  • Edithcolea grandis is only hardy in USDA zones 10b-11b but can grow in 9b
  • You can propagate the Persian carpet flower by cutting, seeds, and offset
  • Make sure that the potting mix for your plant is well-drained
  • Wait for the soil to dry completely before watering the plant again
  • Your edithcolea grandis needs full sun but can thrive in partial sun

Edithcolea grandis is a unique succulent that is guaranteed to brighten up your space. Just keep our guide close for whenever you need a reminder of your plant’s needs, and you’ll be good to go!

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