7 Essential Tips for Growing Adromischus Maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’: A Comprehensive Guide

Adromischus maculatus, commonly known as ‘Calico Hearts’, is a small succulent plant that belongs to the Crassulaceae family. The plant features fleshy, spoon-shaped leaves that are green with reddish-purple spots or markings, giving it a unique and attractive appearance. The leaves grow up to 2 inches long and are arranged in a rosette shape, forming a compact clump. The plant may produce small, white, or pink flowers on a long, thin stem, but this is relatively rare.

Origin/Native Habitat

Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ is native to South Africa, where it can be found growing in rocky outcrops and gravelly soil. The plant prefers a warm, dry climate and can tolerate drought and high temperatures.

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How to Water and Fertilize

Proper watering is crucial to the health of your Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’. These succulents are adapted to survive in arid environments with infrequent rainfall, so overwatering can quickly lead to root rot and other issues. Therefore, it’s important to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. One way to check if it needs water is by inserting a wooden skewer or your finger into the soil. If it comes out dry, it’s time to water.

During the growing season, which typically lasts from spring to fall, you should water your Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ deeply once a week. This means thoroughly saturating the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. In winter, when the plant is dormant and not actively growing, you should reduce watering to once every two to three weeks.

Fertilizing your Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ plant is also essential for healthy growth. During the growing season, you should fertilize the plant once a month using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength. This will provide the plant with the nutrients it needs without risking fertilizer burn or other problems. It’s important to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package and avoid overfertilizing, as this can also harm the plant.

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The right soil mix is crucial for the health and survival of your Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ plant. These succulents prefer well-draining soil that allows water to flow through quickly and prevents the roots from sitting in damp soil, which can lead to root rot and other issues. The ideal soil pH for Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ is slightly acidic, ranging from 6.0 to 6.5.

A good soil mix for Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ is a blend of Turface, pumice, perlite, and coarse sand. Turface is a type of calcined clay that helps to improve drainage and aeration, while pumice and perlite are lightweight materials that also aid in drainage and prevent soil compaction. Coarse sand helps to provide additional drainage and also helps to anchor the plant in the soil. These materials can be mixed in equal parts to create a well-draining soil mix that is perfect for Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’.

When planting your Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’, it is recommended to use a terracotta pot. Terracotta pots are porous and allow the soil to dry out more quickly, which is important for preventing root rot and other issues. The porous nature of terracotta pots also allows for air exchange between the roots and the surrounding soil, which can help promote healthy root growth. Additionally, terracotta pots are heavy and can help to stabilize the plant, preventing it from toppling over in strong winds or other conditions.

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How to Propagate Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’

Propagating Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ is a great way to expand your collection or share your plant with others. There are two main methods for propagating Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’: leaf cuttings and stem cuttings.

To propagate Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ from leaf cuttings, select a healthy leaf and gently twist it off the stem. Allow the leaf to dry and callus over for a few days before planting it in well-draining soil. Plant the leaf cutting about half an inch deep, making sure the callused end is facing downward. Water the cutting sparingly to avoid overwatering and place it in bright, indirect sunlight. After a few weeks, new roots should begin to form and the leaf will start to grow.

Stem cuttings can also be used to propagate Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’. To take a stem cutting, select a healthy stem with a few leaves and use a sharp, clean pair of scissors or shears to make a clean cut just below a leaf node. Allow the cutting to dry and callus over for a few days before planting it in well-draining soil. Plant the stem cutting about an inch deep, making sure the callused end is facing downward. Water the cutting sparingly and place it in bright, indirect sunlight. After a few weeks, new roots should begin to form and the stem cutting will start to grow.

Regardless of which propagation method you choose, it’s important to make sure the soil is well-draining and that the cutting is planted at the appropriate depth. Avoid overwatering and provide plenty of bright, indirect sunlight to encourage healthy growth. With a little patience and care, you can successfully propagate Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ and enjoy this beautiful succulent in multiple locations throughout your home or garden.

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Light Requirements

Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ prefers bright, indirect light, but can also tolerate some direct sunlight. A few hours of morning sun or filtered light are ideal, as too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. Grow lights can also be used to supplement natural light.

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Hardiness Zone and Temperature

Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ is a frost-tender plant and is only suitable for outdoor growing in hardiness zones 9-11. It prefers warm temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C) and can be damaged or killed by frost.

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Common Pests, Problems and Solutions

Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ is relatively pest and disease-resistant, but it may be susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. To prevent pests, ensure that the plant has good air circulation, and avoid overwatering. If pests are present, use an insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat the plant.

In addition to pests, Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ can also face problems such as root rot and leaf drop. Overwatering is the main cause of root rot, which can lead to the plant’s death. To prevent this, allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings and ensure that the pot has proper drainage. If the plant is already affected by root rot, remove the damaged roots and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.

Leaf drop can occur due to various reasons, such as overwatering, underwatering, poor lighting, or sudden temperature changes. To prevent this, ensure that the plant is getting the right amount of water, sunlight, and temperature, and avoid moving the plant around too much. If the plant is already experiencing leaf drop, identify the underlying cause and adjust its care accordingly.

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Is it Poisonous or Toxic?

There is no evidence that Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ is toxic or harmful to humans or pets. However, it’s always best to keep plants out of reach of children and pets.

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Additional Facts About 

Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ is a slow-growing plant that can take several years to reach its full size. It’s a popular choice for succulent collectors and can be grown in containers or as a part of a rock garden. The plant’s unique appearance makes it an excellent addition to any succulent collection.

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Learn how to propagate succulents and share them with your friends
Learn how to propagate succulents and share them with your friends

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