The trachyandra is an exotic plant that you would love to own. Its spiral leaves are attractive and make anyone fall in love with the plant instantly. Its origin can be traced to a genus of plants similar to Albuca. The albuca genus has over 100 species, most of which can be found in South Africa. However, the majority of the trachyandra species are from the Western Cape of Africa.
Trachyandras are perennials and have very fleshy leaves which are sometimes hairy. They are mainly small and shrub-like. Their leaves are springy and very unique. Sometimes, they have white star-shaped flowers, All these unique features make them a desirable option for collectors.
Caring for a trachyandra can be a daunting task for the average gardener and because they are rare, they ought to be cared for appropriately. You should pamper them if you have them. In this article, I will be showing you how you can care for the trachyandra and where you can buy a few if you would love to own them.
Tips on Caring for A Trachyandra
Use the Right Potting Mix
When caring for a trachyandra, you should be mindful of the potting mix used in planting these lovely plants. Trachyandra grows naturally in scrublands and dry grasslands. They are used to the soil type in these places and struggle outside their natural habitat most of the time. However, you can easily solve this problem with the right potting mix.
The right potting mix for the trachyandra is a well-drained soil. They detest excess moisture because they are succulents and succulents fare well with little moisture. They have their fleshy leaves and stems to store enough water to last for a while. Planting them in a water-logged or moisture absorbing mix can cause their roots to rot. When the roots rot, they can no longer transport the necessary nutrients to the plants and this will cause the plants to die.
On the plus side, this makes it easier for you to grow trachyandra plants indoors as they survive indoors than most plants. They also blossom in cold seasons which is a stressful period for most plants.
Thus, the first step in caring for your trachyandra is getting the potting mix right. You can purchase well-drained soil from a gardening shop or make the mix yourself. It is an easy and fun process and very inexpensive also. If you don’t find the perfect mix, you can try and mix one yourself.
Watering the Trachyandra.
Trachyandra plants survive without water for a long time. They were typically found in dry areas with little access to water. Thus, their water needs differ from most plants. While you may water your plants regularly, you should create a different schedule for watering your trachyandra plant.
Too much water can cause the roots of your trachyandra to rot. However, if you fail to provide them with sufficient moisture, the foliage will dry out and wither and you will be left with unhealthy looking succulents. The key is to find a balance between the plants need for water and the need for the soil to be well-drained. Using the right potting mix will help ameliorate this problem but there are other ways you can control the amount of water that the trachyandra plant gets.
One important way is to water the plants according to the season. The moisture requirements of plants differ in each season.Most plants need more moisture during the summer than in the winter. They are winter growers Thus, you should only provide minimal water and keep them in a well-ventilated area during the summer. When the temperature goes down, the plants will bloom and the leaves will begin to regrow.
However, trachyandra requires regular watering throughout its active growth. Therefore, it is recommended that you water the trachyandra every few weeks but ensure that the plant dries out before watering. You can do this by dipping your finger in the soil to check if the soil is moist. If the soil is not moist, then you may need to water again. However, if the soil is moist, you can skip watering for a while.
Also, when watering a trachyandra, ensure that you water the soil directly. You can put it under a tap and allow water to run through. Then, drain the water and repeat the process until the soil becomes moist. Do not water the leaves or plants so that they don’t end up with moldy leaves.
Exposure to Sunlight
All Succulents love light and they need the right exposure to sunlight to thrive. One good way of caring for a trachyandra is by ensuring that it gets just enough sunlight exposure. This ultimately depends on where you live and where you keep your plants. If you live in a sunny zone or area, you should limit exposure to sunlight as much as possible. However, if you live in a cold region, you should ensure that the plant gets exposed to sunlight at every opportunity you get.
It is recommended that your plants get at least 3 hours of direct sun every day. This could be an outdoor sun or positioning them close to a window. It is also advisable to place them under the morning sun. When the trachyandra plant is still growing, you should control their exposure to sunlight so that you do not scar the leaves.
Your gorgeous plant can begin to wilt in a couple of days or weeks if they are exposed to more sunlight than they can handle. They should be transitioned over a period of time before you expose them directly to sunlight. You can easily do this by starting with an area that is partially shaded. When your plant is ready for more sunlight, you will know.
Feed The Trachyandra
All plants need some form of food or nutrients to grow and blossom. The trachyandra is no exception. In caring for a trachyandra, you should feed the plants often. I am sure you know that by feeding, I am referring to fertilizer. Fertilizer or composts are good sources of nutrients for plants.
Although succulents thrive in low nutrient environments, it is still important to feed them once in a while. The perfect soil for trachyandra plants is loose and well-drained soil. Thus, fertilizers should be added sparingly and in little quantities to maintain the soil texture. It is recommended that you add fertilizers to the soil once or twice in a year.
The reward is that your plants will remain healthy and beautiful. Of course, succulents can get some nutrients from the soil but fertilizers will help them grow better. Therefore, if you want your trachyandra to maintain its fleshy, springy, and coily nature, you should feed them with the right nutrients and in the right quantity.
Use the Right Pot
After you buy your trachyandra, you should repot them. Succulents need a good pot to grow properly and the small plastic pots that come with most succulents are not ideal for this lovely plant. The soil in these pots retains moisture because the pots do not come with any sort of drainage.
Therefore, you should repot this plant to a pot with drainage holes. This will enable the soil to dry quickly and ensure it remains well-drained. If you don’t do this, your trachyandra plant will sit in wet soil and the roots of the plant may begin to rot.
A terra-cotta pot is a good option for trachyandra plants because they dry quickly. Terra cotta pots prevent water from building up and they are breathable. Another good option is ceramic pots. There are other good pots but you should ensure that whichever pot you settle for has a good drainage. This is more important than the type of pot used.
Clean Your Plant
When you leave your plant indoors, they tend to become dusty after a while. This is especially tricky for the trachyandra plant because of its coily nature. Dust may stick to the hidden parts of the trachyandra plants. Dust affects plants because it clogs the areolas and makes it difficult for the plants to breathe or transpire. It also affects you in the long run by affecting the air that you breathe.
Thus, you should endeavor to keep your trachyandra plant and your indoor plants clean at all times. You can use a paintbrush and little water to clean your plant. Gently dip the paintbrush in water and wipe the surface of the plant. You will be able to clean all the hidden parts of the plant with a paintbrush. You should make this a regular thing so that your trachyandra plants are sparkling green all the time.
Get Rid of Pests
Pests are not common with indoor plants but if you neglect your plant, you can expose them to pests. Pests are attracted to succulents because of their juicy leaves and stems. The trachyandra can be a good habitat for pests because of its springy and coily nature. Pests have a lot of places to hide in a trachyandra.
Common pests that attack trachyandra plants and most succulents are gnats and bugs. They are attracted to succulents and thrive in wet soil. This is why you should ensure to keep your soil well-drained all the time. Also, you should spray the leaves and succulents with an insecticide frequently to get rid of eggs and larvae of pests.
Another major attraction for pests is fertilizer. As explained above, trachyandra plants do not need much fertilizer. Thus you should do this sparingly.
Where to Buy Trachyandra Plants
Trachyandra plants are a rare species. They are unique and this has contributed to their scarcity in a way. Most collectors buy and preserve them. Therefore, it may be difficult to find a trachyandra plant. Unlike most succulents that can be found in roadside garden shops, trachyandra plants are hard to come by. However, here are a few places you can purchase a trachyandra plant.
When looking for trachyandra plants, popular online stores like Amazon, eBay and Aliexpress are good places to start searching from. These online stores list exotic plants for sale occasionally and trachyandra plants have been listed on these stores several. Thus, it would not hurt to check popular online stores for this plant.
You can also contact the sellers and ask them to put you on a waiting list if they are no longer available. They will contact you whenever they have one to sell or source for them for you depending on the quantity you want to buy. Alternatively, they may refer you to other vendors to purchase from.
Trade Fairs and Exhibitions
A plant trade fair or exhibition is always very exciting. You get to see different exotic plants displayed for your viewing and buying pleasure. Thus, if you have not had any luck with finding a trachyandra, you should attend the next plant’s trade fair in your city. Apart from a trachyandra, you will also see different exotic plants to buy. If you do not find the trachyandra plant, you can approach an exhibitor to help you get one. They will most likely know where to buy a trachyandra plant and refer you or help you buy one and deliver it to you.
The trachyandra is no doubt an exotic plant but it is your responsibility to ensure that it remains so. You will definitely enjoy owning one if you take care of it to maintain its fine features and I hope the tips shared in this article will help you care for your plant the right way. I can definitely vouch that it is a good place to start. Plant care is very essential for rare species and trachyandra is gradually becoming a rare plant. Thus, if you own one, it is advisable that you protect diligently take care of your plant.