Graptopetalum mirinae variegata (variegated mirinae) is an indoor plant that can bring life and color to any dull interior space. While this plant may look like a common houseplant, its variegated leaf pattern sets it apart from others of its kind.
Mirinae is a small variegated hybrid Graptopetalum that flowers from late spring to early summer.
A couple of years ago, I bought some graptopetalum mirinae variegata plants from the local nursery and they’ve finally flowered! They’re really quite beautiful and make a perfect addition to any houseplant enthusiast’s collection.
Variegated mirinae (Graptopetalum mirinae variegata) is often used as ground cover in gardens, but they are also beautiful indoors. If you’re interested in bringing these stunning plants into your home, here’s what you need to know about them and how to care for them properly.
Origin and distribution
Native to Mexico, Graptopetalum mirinae variegata was named by a Mexican botanist named Martius. This flowering plant is found in Arizona and throughout Texas. The variegated mirinae variety of graptopetalum is often seen in bright yellows, oranges, pinks, and whites.
However, it can also be found in other colors and may sometimes even have brown or green variegation. Graptopetalum’s flower petals are typically white with purple spots on them. Its leaves are usually purple-colored and its stems grow up to 6 inches tall.
Its flowers grow in clusters that bloom from spring through fall. Graptopetalum grows best when planted in full sun, but partial shade will do as well if you live in an area where temperatures get very hot during the summer months.
Graptopetalum mirinae variegata propagation
Graptopetalum mirinae variegata plants are easy to grow, versatile, and fascinating. They are not fussy like some other succulents and can be grown in both sun and shade, although they do tend to be more colorful in full sun. They require little water once established; once or twice a month will suffice unless your plant has just been repotted.
If your plant becomes too pot-bound, you can easily divide it into several smaller plants. Simply cut off pieces of the root ball with a sharp knife and replant each section separately. It is important that each section have at least one eye on it so that new roots can develop. In time, new shoots will appear from these eyes and you’ll have multiple plants from one original!
Graptopetalums can also be propagated by leaf cuttings. Simply place them on top of moist soil and keep them warm, but not hot. As long as they stay moist, leaves will soon begin to sprout roots which should then be planted individually in pots. Keep an eye out for seedlings as well! Graptopetalums typically self-seed freely when given proper conditions.
Graptopetalum mirinae variegata care information
Graptopetalum mirinae variegata plants are one of the easiest succulents to grow. They do best in full sun but will take part in the shade as well. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to touch, no more than once a week, and never let it sit in water. Add a small amount of liquid plant food every time you water if your plant has large leaves or lots of long-stretchy growth; if your plant has short bushy growth, it’s probably fine without additional fertilizer.
Graptopetalum mirinae variegata does not require direct sunlight but will benefit from it. It will lose its variegation in strong sunlight. In low light conditions, you may expect plants to remain variegated for a short period of time. Eventually, they will lose their variegation and become green.
Graptopetalums are succulents native to Mexico and have tough, brittle foliage that makes them more susceptible to rot. For best results, start with a well-draining, coarse soil that’s heavy on the gravel and sand.
Ensure your pot has proper drainage by using either holes or extra perlite in your soil. If you’re starting from seed, mist once a day until germination occurs; seeds should sprout within a week at 70°F/21°C. Once they’ve sprouted, water only when soil is dry to touch—never let pots sit in water.
Once plants are established, they can tolerate full sun and temperatures down to 20°F/-7°C. As an added bonus, variegated varieties will grow more slowly than their solid-colored counterparts because of increased susceptibility to sunburn.
It is critical to not overwater your plant, which can cause root rot. Allow soil to dry between waterings, and use a watering can rather than a hose. It’s easier to keep track of how much you are watering. Allow your plant to sit in a small pool of water for about an hour after planting before giving it its first drink. Graptopetalums need less water in winter than they do in summer when temperatures rise and more plants are in full sun.
When growing graptopetalum mirinae variegata in containers, it’s important to fertilize them occasionally. Fertilizers provide plants with nutrients essential for healthy growth. While your local grocery store may carry a wide variety of fertilizers, many of these are too strong and can burn your plants. Using ingredients from your kitchen makes for easy DIY fertilizer that nourishes your potted flowers but doesn’t damage them.
This plant thrives best in warm temperatures. The room temperature is ideal, but you can also put it in a warm, sunny window. This houseplant will survive at temperatures as low as 45 degrees, but you may need to supply it with additional water and fertilizer to compensate for its more limited access to water. Keeping your variegated mirinae plant too cool will result in the browning of leaves and stems.
If you have a green thumb but live in an arid climate, your succulents may need a little extra TLC. They prefer slightly more humidity than cacti. One way to do that is by placing them on top of a dish or shallow bowl of pebbles that are filled with water. Keep in mind: Too much water can be just as bad as too little. The roots could rot if they’re kept constantly wet, so only add enough water to keep them slightly moist.
The ideal humidity range is between 40 and 60 percent. You can measure it with a hygrometer, which you can buy at a hardware store or online. If your home’s air is dry, you can also create an area of higher humidity by placing your plants on top of a tray filled with pebbles and water.
Place graptopetalum mirinae variegata near a heat source, like in front of a heater or fireplace, to help raise their temperature slightly. This will make them more comfortable and encourage growth.
If you live in a climate where pruning is necessary, be sure to cut away dead or damaged stems at their point of origin. Don’t let them spread over large areas; that can lead to problems with rot and disease.
Prune your graptopetalum mirinae variegata in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. You may also want to consider dividing your plants every few years, particularly if they become crowded in their containers.
Use a sharp knife or shears to divide them into pieces with one healthy stem and several growing points. Replant these divisions immediately so they don’t dry out. Remember that even though Graptopetalum mirinae variegata are drought-resistant, they still need regular watering when actively growing in the summer months.
When to repot
You can repot your graptopetalum mirinae variegata plant as soon as it fills out its current pot. For best results, choose a container with a drainage hole and fill it with soil that drains freely and airily. If you’re unsure about how much to water your plants, poke your finger into the soil until you can feel at least an inch or two of space between plant roots and potting mix.
Water until water begins to seep from the bottom of your pot. Allow excess moisture to drain from holes in the bottom of your pot before returning it to its spot on a bright windowsill.
Some say that graptopetalum mirinae variegata will die if they are kept in dormancy, but I have found that mine has had great success when I moved it outdoors for summer and brought it back indoors for winter. When I brought it back indoors, I did not immediately place it where I had originally grown it.
Instead, I waited a few days to give my plant time to get acclimated to its new environment. This allowed me to use more space as my original place was already crowded with other plants.
Once acclimated, I placed my graptopetalum mirinae variegata in a pot by itself so that it could grow freely without being disturbed by another plant. Since then, it has done well through many winters and summers!
Graptopetalum mirinae variegata flower & fragrance
The flowers are white with a yellow center, with an orange outer ring of petals. Each flower lasts only one day and does not open until it is ready to be pollinated. The fragrant flowers attract bees and butterflies for pollination. The name mirinae refers to its fragrance which resembles that of orange blossoms. It grows best in full sun or partial shade in well-drained soil with regular watering.
This plant grows at an average rate. As it has a moderate growth rate, more frequent watering will not be required when compared to other plants. This is because it only takes in water when needed. However, do not allow for over-watering as too much water may lead to root rot and other forms of damage to your plant.
This plant is toxic if ingested. Skin irritation may also occur if you handle it, though it’s not common. In general, it’s best to keep your hands off these plants unless you want a rare orchid plant in your garden.
USDA hardiness zones
Graptopetalum mirinae variegata thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 8-10. In colder climates, it can be grown as a houseplant. It is also tolerant of heat and humidity, making it a good choice for growing outdoors in summer. This plant does not like to be moved, so it’s best to purchase plants that are already mature rather than trying to grow from seed or from cuttings.
Pests and diseases
Graptopetalum mirinae variegata have been known to suffer from a variety of pests and diseases. When planting them in your yard, avoid their natural habitats in regions where they are often susceptible to spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs. Regular monitoring of your plants is a must as well. If you notice any signs of disease or pest infestation, use insecticidal soap or an organic pesticide such as rotenone on hard-to-reach areas of leaves or stems.
The petals of a graptopetalum mirinae variegata flower actually consist of two parts—the inner standard and outer wings. These are generally closed for many months, but when night temperatures drop to between fifty-five and sixty degrees F, they open into what can best be described as petal shapes. Just after opening is when you get your best views of these flowers.