Tylecodon paniculatus - 20 seeds
Tylecodon paniculatus can reach heights of 2 m, making it the largest of the tylecodons. It is summer deciduous. The plants conserve energy by photosynthesizing through their greenish stems during the hot dry summer months. The yellowish-green, papery bark is a very attractive feature of this plant and has given rise to the common name. During the winter, plants are covered with long, obovate, succulent leaves clustered around the apex of the growing tip.
Tylecodon paniculatus makes a wonderful pot plant. They are striking feature plants, ideal subjects for sunny, dry courtyards and water-wise gardens.
This species can be cultivated either by seed or by cuttings. Growing from seed (sexual propagation) is a long process and it will be many years before one has plants of any size.
The seed is very fine and light brown in color. The seed takes about 4 months to mature. The easiest way of harvesting seed is to cut the branched fruiting bodies in late March (autumn in the southern hemisphere). Allow the seed capsules to open in a closed paper bag. This will ensure the seed is not lost through wind or other means.
Sow the seed in a seedbox. DO NOT cover the seeds. Simply sow the seeds in a coarse sand topping, with a well-drained substrate underneath. Water with a fine mister or a fogger once a week during winter and once a month in summer. The seeds will germinate readily during the cooler period of the year. After about two years, the young plants will be about 2-3 cm in height and can be pricked out and planted in bags. Always ensure that plants are grown in a well-drained medium.
To grow from cuttings (asexual propagation), select cutting material at least 3 cm in diameter. Place cuttings in a sharp quartzite substrate and use bottom heat if the winters are very cold. The cuttings usually take about one year to form a strong root system. Plant these cuttings in well-drained soil. Give them a sunny position.