HouseplantsDecorative

Petal Leaf Succulent: Growing and Caring

petal leaf succulent

Petal Leaf Succulent (Portulaca molokiniensis) is a unique-looking succulent that is native to Molokini islands. It has thick green petal-shaped leaves, which grow in a rose shape, and its blooms are beautiful yellow flowers! Petal leaf succulent is easy to care for and is a beautiful addition to your home.

This easy-to-grow plant also cleans air pollutants indoors, isn’t that great? However, it is toxic when ingested by pets or people, so keep it away from toddlers and four-legged friends. In this article, you will find a detailed guide on how to grow Petal leaf succulents.

Basic Care

petal leaf succulent
Petal leaf succulent growing outdoors Source: David

Use an appropriate size pot for your petal leaf succulent. If the pot is too big, root rot can happen more easily. If the pot is too small, the plant will not grow. Generally, you should repot the Petal leaf every two years into a slightly bigger pot. Find a location with several hours of bright sunlight and water it as infrequently as possible. Portulaca molokiniensis is quite a drought-resistant plant. 

Soil

A very important aspect of growing a succulent is the soil. Plant the petal leaf in a succulent or cactus mix; if you do not have any available, you can make your own mix out of the sand, perlite, and potting soil. Just mix up equal parts of the previously mentioned soils, and your petal leaf will thrive. Since you are probably growing it indoors in a pot, use a pot with drainage holes. Root rot can happen easily with this plant, but more about that in the next chapter.

Watering

You should water your rose-shaped petal succulent deeply but not often. Probably every other day, but depending on the humidity level in the room or if the plant gets a lot of sunlight. Notice the dryness of the soil; in some conditions watering once a week could be enough. You should allow the soil to almost dry out completely before watering it again.

Portulaca molokiniensis, petal leaf succulent
Flowering Portulaca molokiniensis Source: Starr

Fertilizer

Portulaca molokiniensis does not need much fertilizer, but it might be a good idea to fertilize it every two weeks in the spring if you want to ensure growth. Remember, less is better for this type of plant; when leaves start to turn yellow, it needs more nutrients. Giving the petal leaf too much fertilizer will burn the roots of this beautiful plant.

Pruning

The petal leaf can be pruned back if you want a bushier growth. Be careful not to prune too much (more than 1/3 of the whole plant). Doing so will stress the plant and will stunt its growth for a long period. Use sharp tools and make clean cuts, making sure the plant does not get hurt.

Light

Petal Leaf Succulent thrives in the sun; ensure the plant gets bright direct sunlight. Windowsill might be a great location unless there are cold drafts from an open window. Although, if the leaves start to turn purple or red, they might be getting too much sunlight.

Propagating by Stem Cuttings

Petal leaf succulent produces offsets, which you can use to create new plants. Succulent can be propagated from old leaves too, watch how.

  • Use sharp scissors to take a stem cutting, which has several leaves growing off it.
  • Remove the leaves from the lower part (if it has any).
  • Dip the lower half of the stem into the rooting hormone
  • Place the clear half of the stem cutting into well-draining soil
  • Give it some water and place it in a warm, sunny spot
  • New roots should be established in about two weeks’ time

Propagating by Seeds

  • Place the seeds in well-draining soil
  • Find a warm, sunny spot for the pot with new seeds
  • A new petal leaf should develop in two weeks

Common Problems

Petal leaf succulents can be infested by whiteflies, mealybugs, or aphids. Use neem oil or insecticidal soaps to remove the infestation.

Root rot can happen easily with the wrong care, make sure the pots have drainage holes and the soil is well-draining. If root rot still happens, overwatering is the most likely cause.

Powdery mildew can happen if humidity levels are very high; try to find a less humid spot for your Portulaca molokiniensis. Rust is also a disease that can affect this plant. Both diseases cause the plant to turn yellow, and the leaves will start dropping.

Brown leaves are probably caused by root rot; dig up your plant to check the roots. If the roots are healthy, the plant requires more sunlight. If the roots or rotting, you can try drying the roots and cutting off unhealthy parts, but the plant will likely die.

Conclusion

Petal leaf succulent is a terrific plant for starting indoor gardeners. It does not need much but adds a lot of beauty. As a bonus, it is rewarding and pleasing to watch it grow!

Petal leaf succulent is a good test for overthinkers or people who tend to overly care for plants since most of the time it thrives without any help.

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