Native to South Africa, Dinteranthus is a specie of stemless succulent belonging to the Aizoaceae family. It is closely related to lithops such as the split rock plant with which it shares its appearance.
Dinteranthus succulents consist of two thick smooth leaves separated by a deep cleft from which the flower arises. The flower blooms in the fall and is bright yellow.
These succulents are popular among enthusiasts and firs time plant owners alike. Their unusual appearance and low maintenance nature make them great houseplants.
In this guide well go over everything there is to know about caring for these plants correctly.
As mentioned earlier these plants are native to South Africa, more specifically, to the country’s’ semi-arid terrain. This makes split rocks best suited to survive hot weather with plenty of sunshine. Infact, the plants can’t handle the cold at all and should be brought indoors as temperatures begin to fall. It’s a good thing these plants are small and can be easily grown in containers.
In general, these plants can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b (temperature ranging from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
Dinteranthuses love light and can handle the sun’s glaring rays head-on. To grow a healthy Dinteranthus, plant it in an area in your garden that receives the most amount of direct sunlight or a decent amount of partial sunlight.
If you’re planning on growing these plants indoors, choose a room with the most natural light. The best spot to place them indoors would be near a south-facing window, especially in the winters.
If your house is dimly lit, you can consider using a few grow lights to supplements its needs. Make sure to do your research to discover the best grow light for your grow light.
This plant requires even less water than the average succulent, which is surprising given the fact that succulents are already among the least water needy plants around.
Water these plants sparingly, according to the climate you’re growing them in, as well as the time of year. Watering should be avoided in spring when the plant grows new leaves. In the winter, water only once a month.
Also, when you do water them, follow the soak and dry method. This involves letting the soil dry before each watering session and make sure the water reaches the draining holes at the bottom of the pot.
Overwatering is the most common cause of death among succulents and should be avoided at all costs. Their roots aren’t designed to hold excess water and will rot in soil that is wet for too long.
The Bottom line is that these are extremely drought resistant plants. You’re better off leaving them without water than accidentally giving them too much.
Succulents don’t just grow in any soil. They require a type that is well-draining and provides good aeration. Luckily, there is a wide range of succulent soils available to purchase online, so finding one for your Dinteranthus should be easy.
You can also make your succulent soil mix right at home using sand, potting soil, and perlite. Remember, if the soil you use for your split rock isn’t well-draining even following the right watering schedule risks killing it.
Feeding your Dinteranthus isn’t necessary but if you going to do it, be sure to use a light fertilizer specifically formulated for succulents/cactus.
Apply fertilizer directly to the soil and only once during its active growth period in the spring and fall.
Disease and Pests
Dinteranthus are generally pest-resistant plants but may fall victim to a mealybug infestation.
The most common reason for these pests is overwatering your succulent. Excess water can cause root rot which mealybugs are attracted to.
Mealybugs usually hide in crevices and areas of the plant which are a little hard to reach. With, Dinteranthus hiding can be hard due to the plant’s simple round design.
Even if you don’t see the bugs directly, you’ll know that they’re there if you notice a cottony web-like substance on your plant.
Before attempting to deal with a pest infection, make sure to quarantine the affected plant. You don’t want it spreading to your other plants.
To get rid of these pests, simply spray your plant with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Alcohol is fast-acting and will kill the bug pretty fast. After spraying, keep an eye out for the bugs to ensure they don’t return. If they do, just spray your plant again.
Alcohol evaporates within a few minutes so it’s unlikely to damage your Dinteranthus. However, if you do notice burns, consider using a more diluted solution.
You can also use diluted neem oil to kill the bugs. The oil is known to mess with the mealybugs’ hormones and prevent them from reproducing.
A plant insecticide can also be used but it may also end up killing beneficial insects that may be nearby.
Once your plant is pest-free, you can return it to its original spot next to your other household plants.
How to Propagate Dinteranthus
Dinteranthus can be propagated easily via division or seeds. Seed propagation is the easiest way to grow more of these plants. Just follow the steps given below.
Propagation Through Seeds
- Prepare a small-medium sized pot with a good well-draining soil mix.
- Spray the soil with water to keep it moist
- Spread the seeds over the soil. Do not bury them, just let them lay above the soil.
- Cover the pot with a clear plastic or glass sheet.
- wait for the seedlings to appear. This shouldn’t take more than 2 weeks.
- Once the seedlings appear, remove the sheet and care for the plants as discussed in this guide.
Propagation Through Division
This method isn’t as simple as seed propagation but it may work if done right.
- Obtain a cutting from the mother plant using a sharp sterilized blade.
- Lay the cutting on a bed of fresh, well-draining succulent soil
- Keep the soil moist and wait for the cuttings to take root.
Dinteranthus is not considered toxic to humans or pets so it’s safe to keep them around the house unsupervised.