Magical Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis)

There are many varieties of succulents. These spectacular plants never cease to amaze even the most discriminating gardeners. Some succulents, such as the Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis) are fairy-tale-looking with cute stems and colorful flowers.

The Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis) is the most captivating plant to look at. It grows upright and straight yet has many twists and turns in it’s various vertical patterns to grow upwards. It’s not the easiest of Cacti to grow – but well worth the extra effort.

How to Grow Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis)

It needs a lot of care, attention, and effort to grow the Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis) as compared to other succulents. It is not only a rare and unique plant, but it is also a delicate one.

Soil Requirements

The more drainage you can provide for this succulent plant, the better. You can keep its roots healthy and rot-free by using a rich, succulent potting mix along with sand perlite, rocks, and some natural materials.

The soil mix should always have good airflow and ventilation, as well as ideal drainage. This succulent does not like its roots to remain wet. Thus, it should be planted in well-draining soil.

• Light Conditions

This succulent plant requires plenty of sunlight. It likes to have at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight per day. Placing it by a windowsill is your best option if you ensure it is not hit by direct sunlight because its leaves are sensitive and can quickly burn.

• Temperature Requirements

This succulent plant grows well indoors. It grows well in temperatures ranging from 410F to 590F (50C to 150C.

This is not a cold-hardy plant, so it can withstand extremely high temperatures and humidity. When grown indoors, it should be planted in a pot with good air circulation.

• Water Requirements

This succulent plant does not need to be watered often. It is enough to dampen it every two weeks during the fall and spring.

It should be watered once or twice a month when it is dormant during summer.

While most plants need to be watered more during the summer, typically the growing season and less during the winter, the Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis) is the opposite. It grows during winter and is dormant during summer.

You mustn’t overwater this succulent. Overwatering can harm the plant’s roots and make it prone to diseases and pests.

The “soak and dry” method of watering is the ideal way to water this succulent plant – completely soak the soil and wait until it has completely dried out before watering again.

• Fertilizer Requirements

If your Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis) has just been repotted, you do not need to fertilize it because fresh soil contains a lot of nutrients.

If you need to apply fertilizer to add in some nutrients, use organic fertilizer. Use one-half strength during the plant’s growing season (winter).

• Propagating

Being expensive and rare, you may want to propagate this succulent plant. Propagation can be done from leaf cuttings and seeds.

• Propagating from Leaf Cuttings

It is important that you choose healthy leaves to ensure you achieve a higher success rate.

Choose plump and full leaves and not flat and dehydrated ones. Make sure, too that the leaves have a uniform color, have no discolorations, marks, or spots.

1. Cut off a leaf from the mother plant with a sharp and sterile pair of scissors.

2. Remove the entire leaf including its base that is attached to the stem. This will ensure the newly propagated plant will survive.

3. Place the leaf on a piece of paper towel for a few days to allow it to callous (allowing a wounded cut plant surface to heal).

4. When the leaf has dried, dip its ends into a rooting hormone (comes in liquid, gel, or powder forms) to encourage stronger and faster root development.

5. Stick the leaf-cutting (cut-side down) into a well-draining succulent potting mix.

6. Keep the pot in a shaded place.

Within a month, you will notice small roots growing. You may now transfer the leaf-cutting into a well-draining potting mixture.

Water only the new plant when the soil feels dry.

• Propagating from Seeds

This method can take a very long time, sometimes a few years. This is not a recommended propagation method for this succulent plant, but if you are not in a rush, you can try this method.

Place the succulent seeds in well-draining soil. Water your new plant only when the soil is dry.

How to Maintain Magical Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis)

As mentioned earlier the Trachyandra is a delicate succulent that needs more care as compared to other succulents.

Transplant your new Trachyandra as soon as you get home. You can transplant it in a plastic container, a clay pot, or a terracotta pot. Make sure the pot or container has drain holes.

Clay or terracotta pots with drainage holes to prevent overwatering that may cause the roots to rot. These types of pots provide an ideal environment for the healthy growth of your plant.

Clay pots are porous allowing moisture and air to penetrate their sides.

First, make sure you’re wearing your proper gardening gloves.

Remove the plant from the plastic pot and tap off the old soil. Repot the plant in a well-draining potting mix. Make sure you spread its roots. Place your succulent plant in a room with good air circulation and away from direct sunlight.

Trachyandras are typically disease and pest-resistant, but it still is not spared from occasional insect infestation, especially from mealybugs.

The spiral-shaped leaves of this succulent are a good hiding place for these small pests. If your succulent plant has suddenly stopped growing, most likely it may have been attacked by pests.

Trachyandras have protective covers those common pesticides cannot penetrate. You can drive away mealybugs from your Trachyandra by spraying the plant multiple times with 70% isopropyl or rubbing alcohol.

It is necessary that you wash off the plant and kill every piece of insect to protect your plant.

Origin and Common Names: Magical Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis)      

Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis) is native to Madagascar and South Africa. It belongs to the Asphodelaceae family, subfamily Asphodeloideae. This is the Trachyandra genus and was  first described as a genus in 1843.

It was discovered and described by botanists and described in 1843 as a succulent. It is native to eastern and southern Africa, as well as to Yemen and Madagascar. Many of the species are endemic to South Africa. Species Trachyandra acocksii Oberm.

Other Interesting Facts

This succulent is a naturally occurring plant. It comes with coiled or curly and tuberous leaves that resemble Medusa’s hair and feels like leather. It also comes with pale pink and small flowers.

While this succulent plant has a long lifespan with adequate care, its flowers only last for a day. Its flowers bloom in late spring and early spring on a flower stalk at the base of the plant.

This succulent can grow up to 24 inches tall on a bulb that is 4 inches long and 1-inch in diameter.

The unique shape of the Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis) makes it a great decorative plant that thrives indoors.

This succulent is hard to find in cultivation so if you are lucky to find one, it is an excellent addition to your succulent collection.

Final Thoughts

The Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis) is an amazing houseplant. This ornamental succulent plant can enhance the beauty of your coffee table, desk, or counter.

With proper care and a lot of pampering this magical succulent plant can last for a very long time.

While it may be rare, sensitive, and quite expensive it can be one of the best unique gifts for succulent plant collectors.

This succulent plant is not quite ideal for beginner succulent plant growers because it requires a lot of care and attention. But if you carefully read and study everything there is to know about this succulent, you can successfully grow the Trachyandra.

The time you invest in your Cactus Jungle (Trachyandra Tortilis) will pay off when you see this magical and beautiful succulent grow in full glory.

Jenny Marie,
Tribal Writer

Edited By
Patricia Godwin


Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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