Frithia pulchra succulents aren’t commonly known as ‘fairy elephant’s feet’ for nothing: their green leaves with transparent tips do look like tiny elephant feet. Like baby toes succulents, Frithia pulchra is a window succulent that has adapted perfectly to the harsh grasslands it naturally grows in. It’s not the easiest succulent to grow, but keep its care requirements in mind and you shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping it alive.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about growing Frithia pulchra (fairy elephant’s feet)!
|Moderate||Full sun||During summer||Very coarse|
Frithia pulchra care
As with other houseplants, the best way to figure out how to care for Frithia pulchra is to have a look at how it naturally grows. This succulent is found in a very limited area in South Africa. Here, it inhabits rocky grasslands that can get rather toasty during summer and cool and dry during winter.
To survive in this harsh climate, Frithia pulchra has evolved to be partly underground for most of the time. The translucent leaf tips are sometimes the only part sticking out; they allow light to reach deep into the sections of the leaf that don’t receive any direct sun.
Frithia pulchra light, location & temperature
- Light. This succulent’s natural habitat is quite sunny. In your home, it can probably take any light you offer it. Even direct sun should be no problem, although you might have to place the plant a little deeper in the substrate to avoid it getting scorched.
- Location. As you have probably gathered from the previous section, Frithia pulchra should be placed in the lightest location you can find in your home. It’s worth noting that dry air is preferable during wintertime so you might want to avoid humid spots like your bathroom.
- Temperature. As to be expected from such a hardy little succulent, Frithia pulchra can take a very wide range of temperatures. In fact, if it’s buried in the substrate so only its leaf tips stick out it should probably be able to survive even the hottest summers. Cool winters aren’t much of an issue either. Even light frost won’t cause problems as long as you take care to keep the soil completely dry.
Planting Frithia pulchra
As with its other careguidelines, all you need to do to figure out how to plant Frithia pulchra is look at how it naturally grows.
In its natural habitat, this succulent can be found in rocky areas, clinging to cracks between rocks or rooting in the small amounts of loose material that might be present. This means this plant is not adapted to growing in dense, moisture-retaining soil types. Instead, you should choose something that’s very coarse and well-draining. In fact, a mixture that contains no potting soil at all but consists of nothing but grit probably works best. This mixture is a good example!
When it comes to choosing a planter, again, look for something very well-draining. A terracotta pot is a good option, as it allows excess water to flow out and evaporate through its walls. A large planter is not needed because this succulent stays pretty small.
Watering Frithia pulchra
Frithia pulchra is a summer grower. In its natural growth area it receives plenty of water during the hot months, while it stays quite dry during winter. Try to mimic this in your home by watering generously every week or so during summer. After watering, make sure all the moisture drains quickly. Don’t water again until the soil has gone completely dry.
During wintertime it’s best to stop watering completely, as rot might set in if you keep this succulent too wet during the cold months. Don’t worry: it’s adapted to the drought! Do keep in mind that it has to be able to feel the cold or it might not go into dormancy succesfully.
Buying Frithia pulchra
If you’re looking to buy one of these adorable succulents, you’re probably best off heading to the nearest nursery. After all, this is not a common variety in most areas. Regular garden centers and plant stores might get a few in now and then, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to find it there.
Is Frithia pulchra toxic to cats and dogs?
Although all plants will cause an upset tummy in pets, based on the sources I’ve found this one seems non-toxic. It should be safe for cats, dogs and humans. Yay!