18 Mar

Unusual Caudiciform Plants – Fat Plants

Caudiciform plants is a large group of plants that form caudex – a fat stem or root. The caudex in most Caudiciform plants is prominent and gives these plants a uniquely unusual shape and character.

Caudiciform plants make excellent specimen plants. Take the example of Adenium obesum, Beaucarnea gracilis, Cycas revoluta, most Cyphostemmas, and Dioscorea elephantipes. Like other Caudiciform plants, these attractive plants form caudex to store water and food so that they can survive long spells of drought therefore these are generally low-maintenance plants.

How to take care of Caudiciform Plants / Fat Plants

Caudiciform plants do not require much maintenance. Because they are able to store water for dry periods, you do not need to water them regularly. During the months of active growth, water sufficiently only when the soil is completely dry. Avoid watering when the plant is hibernating.

Grow your plants is a well-drained soil and feed them when they show active sign of growth. With a little experience with caudex forming plants, you will understand that most of these plants quick adopt to the surrounding climate. You can grow them outdoors as specimen plants, indoor on a window sill, or in a greenhouse (if you live in a colder region). Generally, they prefer dry conditions and good exposure to the sunlight.

Types of Caudiciform Plants / Fat Plants

Caudiciform plants come in all sizes. Some grow into tall trees, some have shrubby growth, some of them are vines and some of them are small succulents. The size, location, and shape of caudex in most plants vary greatly. Therefore, these caudex forming plants are further grouped in four categories.

  • Phanerophytes: These Caudiciform plants form succulent base which appears prominently above the soil level. Most Adenias, Beaucarneas, and some Pachypodiums are good examples of Phanerophytes.
  • Chamaephytes are Caudiciform plants that form caudex at their base. The caudex in these plants may or may not be prominently visible. Dioscoreas belong to this group of caudex forming plants.
  • The caudex in Hemicryptophytes is usually formed below the ground but the growth is usually above the soil level.
  • Geophytes are caudex forming plants that form both their caudex and the growing point underground. Ibervillea is a good representative of this group.

Popular Caudiciform Plants / Fat Plants

Some popular species of caudex forming plants include:

Adenium obesum /Desert Rose (Buy seeds online)
Adenium obesum

Jatropha berlandieri (Buy seeds online)

Jatropha berlandieri

Jatropha podagrica (Buy seeds online)
Jatropha podagrica

Pachypodium brevicaule
Pachypodium brevicaule

Dioscorea elephantipes (Buy seeds online)

Caudiciform Plants, Dioscorea elephantipes

Gerrardanthus macrorhizus
Gerrardanthus macrorhizus (Bigfoot)

Euphorbia cylindrifolia (Buy seeds online)
Euphorbia cylindrifolia ssp. tuberifera Rauh

Yucca rostrata
Yucca rostrata-Beaked Yucca

Tylecodon paniculata
Tylecodon paniculata

13 Nov

Garden Dispatch # 3

The Garden Dispatch is a weekly compilation of useful and interesting resources for gardeners and landscape designers.

The 101 of Growing Hedges for Big & Small Gardens

No matter what the size of your gardens is, hedges make a good choice when it comes to mark borders of your heaven. Hedges have many benefits when compared to stock fence panels. Hedges are beautiful and environmental-friendly. They attract birds by providing them safe perching places. They also act as wind barriers and crime-deterrents. Check out this comprehensive guide on growing and maintaining evergreen hedges.

Featured Plants: Yucca rostrata, Washingtonia filifera,  Pellaea mucronata

Yucca rostrata is a drought-tolerant and low-maintenance plant suitable for xeriscaping projects. The plant is characterized by spiky blue-grey leaves that form a nice symmetrical rosette.

Washingtonia filifera is an evergreen palm tree and is known for its beautiful large fronds. This drought-tolerant plant makes a nice specimen tree in gardens and landscapes.

Pellaea mucronata makes a good low-growing plant that can be used in garden landscapes as filler as well as attractive foliage plant. Pellaea is equally good for hanging baskets because of its delicate stems that are usually covered with small and fresh-green leaves.

Pellaea Mucronata

Pellaea mucronata

Article: Mulch or No Mulch

To mulch or not to mulch – Read this interesting article on pros and cons of mulching.

How to…

How to make clay containers

Brittni Mehlhoff gives step-by-step guide to making your own clay pots and containers to hold small plants.

DIY Clay Planter

DIY Clay Planter

How to make moss checkerboard

Follow these simple tips on making a nice moss checkerboard by Janell Hobart.

How to grow moisture loving plants in a dry climate

If you are living in a region where summer is long, hot and dry, growing moisture loving plants like ferns or air plants can be a bit tricky. However, there are several quick and easy ways to maintain appropriate level of humidity for your plants and keep them healthy and happy in hot and dry summer. Discover some simple and practical tips for growing moisture-loving plants in a dry climate.

Featured Garden: Garden of Designer Chris Moss

Designer Chris Moss has used his own garden in Stockwell, south London, as a mood board. A dark and bright combination works so well here that he shows clients round to persuade them of the logic of black. Have a look at Chris’s garden.

chris moss garden

Beautiful combination of black and green