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Titanopsis – Cool plants with dinosaur skin

Titanopsis are small colorful succulents. Their leaf surface looks like the skin of a dinosaur. The most important species of Titanopsis are Titanopsis calcarea, Titanopsis schwantesii (syn. primosii), Titanopsis hugo-schlechteri and Titanopsis fulleri.

The plants are native to South Africa. Titanopsis plants form little clusters. The flowers are usually yellow or orange/pink.

Titanopsis Care – How do I grow and care for Titanopsis?

Titanopsis plants need plenty of warmth and as much sunlight as possible. They require a soil mixture with good drainage. You can grow them in pure pumice (Bims) or in a special Lithops soil mix. A greenhouse or windowsill facing the south are good spots to place your Titanopsis plants.

Like other succulents and mesembs (Lithops, Frithia, Argyroderma etc.), Titanopsis should be kept dry in winter. We normally start waterings in early spring. Start with very little water and only water on sunny days when temperatures are above 15C.

In summer we water less than in spring and autumn. An occasional misting on hot summer evenings is appreciated by these plants.

Repotting Titanopsis can best be done in early spring or autumn. Make sure you trim the roots a bit before you place them in their new container. Do not water the first 2 weeks after replanting.

Titanopsis Propagation

Titanopsis are propagated from seeds. The seeds can best be sown in spring or autumn. Titanopsis seeds germinate fine at temperatures of 18-22C. Cover the seeds with a very fine layer of split, pumice or lava with particle size 1-2 mm.

To germinate the Titanopsis seeds, use a fine soil mix with good drainage. Cover the seed tray with a transparent lid or foil to achieve higher air humidity. The seeds germinate after 2-4 weeks, depending on temperature conditions and seed quality. Very fresh seeds and old seeds may need more time to germinate.

Remove the lid from the trays when most seeds have germinated. Good ventilation is very important to prevent fungal infections.

The soil should stay moist at all times until the seedlings are big enough (4-5 months) to handle the swings in humidity. When the seed trays and containers are getting growdy, little plants start pushing eachother out of the pot, then it is time to repot the Titanopsis seedlings. Best do this in early spring.

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