Oscularia Deltoides or the Deltoid-leaved dew plant is a great ground cover plant for all settings. Belonging to the ice plant family, the Oscularia Deltoides is a blooming succulent. Oscularia Deltoides or the Pink Ice succulent is a flowering succulent belonging to the Aizoaceae or the ice plant family. It is native to the south-western Cape of South Africa. Follow our care guide to learn all about the beautiful succulent and how to care for it the right way.
- What Is Oscularia Deltoides?
- Oscularia Deltoides Care
What Is Oscularia Deltoides?
The word ‘osculum’ in Latin means ‘small mouth’. Oscularia refers to a group of small mouths and are the toothed leaves of the succulent. Some of its other names are the Lampranthus Deltoides, the Deltoid Leaved Dew plant, Tooth-leaf Rock Vygie, Dassievygie and Sandsteenvygie.
Oscularia Deltoides Care
Oscularia Deltoides is a low-maintenance succulent requiring hardly much care. However, it has some basic requirements which if maintained, the plant can grow quite well. Read on to find out all about them.
– Water Requirements
There is no right way to water Oscularia Deltoides. Since these plants are adapted to live in dry weather conditions, they tend to live well without much water. Nonetheless, this does not mean they do not need water at all, hence provide sufficient water by noticing the growth patterns of your plant.
The watering frequency will depend on other factors in your area. Keep in mind that the higher the temperatures, the higher will be your watering frequency and vice versa, waterless frequently in the winter months as compared to the summer months. For example, water every week in summers and every two to three weeks in winters.
If you live in a tropical area where humidity levels are quite high, you do not need to water as much, remember to water only when the soil feels dry to touch. The top few inches of the soil should have dried up before watering again.
To check whether the soil has dried, insert a finger till the second knuckle. If the soil feels moist and sticks to your finger, wait and check again after a few days to see if the plant needs to be watered. Too much water with little light leads to soggy soil conditions and makes the plant susceptible to root rot.
You can use tools like hygrometers and moisture meters to exactly know the moisture level in the soil and air. These tools are helpful when you are unsure of whether or not to water the plant.
– Light Requirements
Oscularia Deltoides thrives in bright direct sunlight. Moreover, it can be grown indoors too where it can get a sufficient amount of indirect light. An optimal level of light is the one that keeps the plant healthy with bright-colored leaves.
You can grow Oscularia Deltoides in a spot where it can receive lots of bright light and some sunlight if possible. Try to give them sunlight during the active growing season from spring to summer so that they can bloom properly.
An east or south-facing window would be a great spot to keep the plant, south and west-facing windows also work equally well. Move your plant around the house to find the perfect spot for its proper growth.
If your house does not receive enough light, try growing the plant under grow lights as they can also help meet the light requirements in the winter months.
Keeping Oscularia Deltoides in outdoor spaces helps in leading the plant to bloom more. During the winter months, bring your plant indoors to keep it warm and away from frost. Freezing temperatures with frost can be detrimental to the growth of Oscularia Deltoides.
Five to six hours of direct sunlight during the day is the ideal case where your plant will be happy. If your plant was kept indoors and you want to take it outside, it’s crucial to do it gradually as it is important for the plant to acclimatize to the bright-light conditions.
When the temperatures go beyond 80 degrees Fahrenheit, protect your plant from direct sunlight as it is prone to get sunburnt due to the heatwave. Younger plants are more susceptible to getting burned, so keep them under sunshades.
– Soil Mix
Oscularia Deltoides soil should be airy and loose such that as soon as you water it, the water drains out of the bottom drainage holes. Since it lives on the rocks in its native environment, try to prepare a coarse soil mix by mixing two parts of cactus mix with one part perlite.
You can also mix equal parts of cactus soil mix, coarse sand, and perlite to prepare an airy potting medium. The purpose of adding coarse sand, grit, and perlite to the mix is to make it airy so that even if you overwater it, the water drains out quickly preventing root rot issues.
When it comes to soil pH levels, Oscularia Deltoides is quite forgiving. It grows well in the pH range of 6.1 to 6.8. A good soil mix ensures the long health of the plant.
Repotting is only required when the plant roots start to grow out of the bottom drainage holes or the plant stops growing and looks pale.
When you are repotting a plant, it is crucial to pick a pot that is able to fit the plant perfectly. Always choose a pot that is slightly bigger than the older one so that the plant can grow comfortably. Usually, two to three inches bigger than the previous pot works well.
The pot should have adequate drainage holes at the bottom as lack of drainage can kill the plant faster than any pest or disease could.
– Temperature Requirements
Oscularia Deltoides grows well in temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to produce flowers, it needs a significant difference between the daytime and nighttime temperatures in summers and winters.
They prefer to grow in 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit nighttime temperatures and 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit daytime temperatures in outdoor spaces. This difference between the day and nighttime temperatures helps the plant bloom more.
It can tolerate mild frost but avoid keeping it in cooler temperatures for too long otherwise its growth will be negatively affected. If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, it is better to grow the plant in containers so that you can move it indoors in harsh weather.
– Humidity Requirements
Oscularia Deltoides does not have very high humidity requirements. The regular humidity levels in the homes work well enough for its growth, however, if the humidity levels are high in your area, water less frequently and vice versa.
Too much water with high humidity blocks the oxygen flow to the root system and causes withering in the plant, which may eventually lead to the death of the plant.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Oscularia Deltoides has low fertilizer needs. Lower fertilizer doses are recommended to keep the plant healthy as over-fertilization does more harm than good.
To ensure healthy growth and encourage flowering, feed Oscularia Deltoides with a balanced fertilizer during the active growing season and flowering season. Apply one-fourth or one-half of the recommended dose mentioned on the label, as you can also use fertilizer blends for cacti and succulents.
Since the Ice plant spreads horizontally quite fast, regular pruning and trimming become necessary. It helps in preventing the plant from taking over the smaller garden spaces, furthermore, pruning helps in keeping the plant bushier.
Propagate Oscularia Deltoides easily from stem cuttings in soil and water. Seed and leaf propagation is also possible but it is difficult and more time-consuming as compared to stem cutting propagation. The Oscularia Deltoides seeds can be propagated from autumn to winter.
Choose a healthy cutting from the succulent and cut it using clean shears. Do not take cuttings from dehydrated or stressed plants. Let it dry for a day or two and once it callouses, you can plant it in a rich, well-draining soil mix.
You can dip the cutting in a rooting hormone to speed up the rooting process but it is optional. The cuttings root the best in the sand and coarse soil medium, moreover, you can place them directly in the final location too.
Once the cuttings have fully rooted, resume regular watering and increase the sun exposure gradually as the plant matures. Keep the cuttings away from direct sunlight. It will take four to six weeks for the cuttings to fully root.
– Flowers After Propagation
Oscularia Deltoides flowers intensely in spring and early summer. The blooms are magenta-pink or lavender with an almond-like fragrance, moreover, the plant blooms so intensely that the flowers cover the entire plant during the flowering season.
The flowers remain closed during the morning hours and open up to soak in the sun later during the day in the spring and summer months.
Oscularia Deltoides is fairly problem-free but can sometimes face issues such as root rot and pests such as aphids and mealybugs. Let us discuss them in detail.
– Root Rot
Root rot is the most common problem faced by almost all gardeners while growing the Ice plant. If the plant is allowed to become waterlogged for too long, its roots become mushy and black, and rot.
If you notice mushy leaves and stems, check your plant’s roots by removing them from the soil, additionally remove the dead roots and replant them in a fresh soil mix. To prevent the problem, water your plant only when the soil has dried out.
– Aphids and Mealybugs
Aphids and mealybugs attack the new growth on the plant and suck the sap out of it. If you spot them early, treat the infestation by blasting water or rubbing alcohol solution on the leaves, stem joints, and other affected areas. You can also use insecticidal soap to treat heavy infestations.
Here are some commonly asked questions about Oscularia Deltoides.
– How do I make my Oscularia Deltoides bloom more?
If you want your Oscularia Deltoides to produce more blooms, then overwintering the plant is the key. Keep the temperatures lower at night to provide a slight cold period to the plant.
During the winter months, keep your plant cool with temperatures between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If your plant is kept indoors, keep it in a non-heated room to maintain a difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures.
Ensure that your plant is mature enough to bloom before taking such stems, as a young plant cannot reproduce and would not be able to produce blooms. Hence make sure you keep your plant in a bright location where it can receive bright sunlight.
– How Does my Oscularia Deltoides Growth?
Oscularia Deltoides grows among the sandstone rocks in the mountains of South Africa. It is a low-growing succulent that can grow up to 12 inches tall and up to two to three feet wide. Its stems have a greenish-purple tinge and their color intensifies with an increase in light exposure.
The spreading succulent also attracts butterflies. The low-growing succulent sprawls as it grows. You can grow them as both ground cover in gardens or in pots. In containers, they tend to spread and fall out which makes them look quite attractive.
Oscularia Deltoides has silver-blue foliage with the plump and thick succulent-like leaves being three-sided, in addition, they have red teeth on the margin. In Latin, deltoides mean ‘triangular’ referring to the triangular leaves of this succulent.
The sickle-shaped leaves are gray-green and turn slightly red during dry weather. It is the reddish tinge on the leaf edges that makes the succulent easily distinguishable from the others.
The jagged teeth on the edges of the leaves are not sharp and do not feel prickly when touched. The pink and red on the leaf margins give the plant an aesthetic look.
– How Do I Repot Oscularia Deltoides?
Loosen the soil around the plant and remove it from the older pot. Be gentle while handling the roots as they tend to break off if the soil around them is not removed properly. Prune the old and damaged roots that look rotten.
In the new pot, pour soil at the bottom and place the root ball a few inches under the edge of the pot. Do not place it too high as otherwise, there will be an overflow of water while watering.
Add soil and gently tap it with your fingers. Ensure that there is enough soil around the roots. Water the plant until it drains out of the drainage holes. Keep the plant in a bright spot away from direct sunlight until it fully recovers from repotting shock.
– Why Is My Ice Plant Turning Pink?
Oscularia Deltoides turns pink when the plant matures under increased sun exposure. Bright light conditions make the stems go pink.
– Where can I plant Oscularia Deltoides?
Oscularia Deltoides can be grown both as a ground cover and in pots or containers. When planted in the ground, it spreads rapidly and needs little care, and faces less overwatering-related problems.
You can also grow it in hanging baskets, pots, and containers. The stems cascade out and fall from the sides of the planters making them look quite attractive.
– How Can I Know That My Plant Is Not Receiving Enough Light?
If Oscularia Deltoides starts to stretch out and shows a leggy growth pattern, it indicates that your plant is not receiving enough light. The plant becomes leggy in search of more light and the process of seeking more light is called etiolation.
A distorted and discolored succulent is another indication of insufficient light. Notice the color of your plant’s leaves and if it feels off, then consider changing the location.
Oscularia Deltoides is easy to miss initially because it is hard to spot but once you notice it spilling out of a hanging basket, you would surely want one of these. Let us sum up all the points you must remember before growing it.
- Oscularia Deltoides is a hardy, trailing, perennial shrublet with reddish stems and blueish-green leaves. It is native to South Africa.
- It has beautiful pink flowers that make the plant look quite attractive when in bloom.
- Provide your plant with a well-draining soil mix and appropriate sun exposure for best growth results.
- Water your succulents only when the top few inches of the soil dry out. It is better to underwater the plant than overwater it. It prefers hot, dry, and bright light settings to grow well. It has very high heat tolerance.
- Repot the plant every few years and propagate it from stem cuttings. As it can face problems such as root rot, aphids, and mealybugs.
Now that you have learned all about this pretty plant, it is time for you to get your hands on it.
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