Conophytum pageae are found in Namibia, Angola, Zambia, and Malawi. They can be identified by their dull purplish-brown color with a white or cream stripe along the center of each triangular leaf. Conophytums grow at an average rate of about one inch per year. Conophytums do not produce flowers and are therefore classified as a non-flowering plants.
They prefer to grow in well-drained soil that is sandy or loamy, with an acid pH between five and seven. Conophytum pageae requires protection from direct sun for more than four hours per day and should be watered when the soil surface is dry to the touch. Conophytum pageae produce offsets which can be removed from the parent plant and potted separately.
Origin of conophytum pageae
Conophytum pageae are native to the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. They originated in a region that includes parts or all of Malmesbury, Somerset East, and Graaff-Reinet. The poor quality soil found there is characterized by sandy loam on limestone bedrock with high salt content; this area experiences hot summers from November to March and dry winters.
Conophytums grow in a region with winter rainfall between 250-600mm per year, summer temperatures from 20°C to 30°C, and plant heights of up to 0.75 meters.
These conditions are found on the margins of hot semi-desert areas or south-facing slopes below hills that protect them from the cold northerly winds. Conophytums are found in a variety of habitats, from open savanna to scrubland and dunes but they rarely grow on flat ground or along watercourses. Conophytum pageae is one of only two coniferous species that have evolved into regular leaf production; these leaves provide protection and shade for Conophytums during the hot summer months.
A Conophytum genus is a group of small, succulent plants which grow in dense clumps to form ‘cups’ or rosettes. The name Conophytum derives from two Greek words: konos meaning “cone” and phyton meaning “plant”. Conophytum pageae, also known as the ‘page Conophytum’, is a relatively small species of Conophytums with a height usually under 20 cm.
The leaves are short and light green in color which helps them to remain cool during hot summers. They flower from November through March on pendulous stalks that grow from the center of Conophytum rosettes.
Conophytum pageae are a type of succulent that usually grows in clusters, forming small mounds. The bodies have a conical shape and grow up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall, with a diameter of up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm). They consist of two fused leaves which almost entirely cover. These plants are pale green to bright yellow.
They never have spots and often wrinkle when they mature. The leaves have a red band around the entrance, which can be raised as if it were a doughnut. Flowers appear at night and sometimes smell like perfume with yellow petals that turn almost white or pinkish in color.
Propagation of conophytum pageae
Conophytums are propagated from leaf cuttings. Conophytum leaves can be removed at any time of the year with no adverse effects on plant health or flowering. Detach a single mature leaf from its base and remove all but two to three pairs of leaflets around the perimeter, then insert in a pot with a well-draining soil mix.
Conophytum pageae can also be propagated from seed, but this method is not as reliable and takes much more time to produce plants.
Care for conophytum pageae
Conophytum pageae needs a bright, sunny location to thrive. Conophyts are able to grow in relatively shady places so long as it is not too dark and there is sufficient airflow.
Conophytum pageae require a well-draining soil mix that has been amended with sand, gravel, and/or perlite. Potting Conophyts in a cactus potting medium is recommended because it provides excellent drainage to prevent root rot.
Conophytum pageae are cold hardy to about 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Conophyts need a winter rest period, which is typically accomplished by placing them outside during the summer months when nighttime lows don’t dip below 50 degrees and daytime highs stay above 75 degrees.
Temperature and humidity
Conophytum pageae do well in an environment that ranges from cool to warm. Conophyts prefer a temperature range of 55-70 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity levels between 30 and 50%.
Conophytum pageae will need to be watered thoroughly and then allowed to dry out before watering again. Conophytums should never be left in the rain, as their succulent leaves can become waterlogged and rot quickly.
Conophytum pageae Conophyts should be fertilized in the spring and summer with a weak liquid fertilizer.
Conophytum pageae should be repotted every year or two to provide them with fresh soil. Remove the conophyt from its pot and gently tap off any adhering soil. The roots can then be trimmed back by a third before placing it in an appropriately sized container using your selected mix.
Conophytum pageae are toxic to cats and dogs.