Lapidaria margaretae (Karoo Rose Succulent)

Lapidaria margaretae

Last updated on August 10th, 2022 at 09:50 am

The lapidaria margaretae, also known as the Karoo rose succulent, hails from the arid and semi-arid regions of South Africa’s central plateau, such as the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape provinces, as well as some surrounding areas.

The plant also inhabits the drier parts of South Africa’s Highveld, in places like Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and North West Province. Karoo rose succulents are often cultivated indoors around the world due to their stunning red coloration and long leaves, which can grow up to 12 inches in length.

The karoo rose is a succulent indigenous to the karoo region of South Africa, which covers the Northern Cape and Western Cape Provinces. The plant gets its name from its rose-like appearance, which is due to the round shape of its leaves, as well as its pink color.

While this particular species prefers hot, dry weather conditions and grows best in full sun with little water, it can survive under low-light conditions or with slightly wetter soil in shade or partial shade if the temperature does not drop below freezing at night.

Origin and distribution

Lapidaria margaretae originates from South Africa and Namibia. It is endemic to a small area between Sodwana Bay and Tsitsikamma, in KwaZulu-Natal, where it occurs on hillsides with poor sandy soils derived from Table Mountain Sandstone.

The Karoo rose succulent was first discovered by botanist Margaret Levyns in 1955 when she was collecting specimens for her husband, Arnold Levyns, who was writing his book The succulents of southern Africa. The plant has been named after Margaret.

Lapidaria margaretae is considered an endangered species due to its limited distribution and habitat destruction by mining activities. Its conservation status was listed as vulnerable in 2010 by IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The genus name ‘’Lapidaria’’ comes from Latin lapis meaning stone and darium meaning hard.

This refers to one of its common names, stonelily, which describes its extremely hard leaves that are almost like rock.

Lapidaria margaretae propagation

Lapidaria margaretae

Lapidaria margaretae can be propagated in several ways. It is a cactus-like plant and requires very little water and care, which makes it a great choice for novice gardeners.

For propagation, take offshoots of new growth and remove any leaves that are already present. Plant these offshoots in soil with a mixture of 50 percent coarse sand and 50 percent pumice or perlite and water regularly while they establish themselves.

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These plants should begin to flower within two years. A mature karoo rose will produce pink flowers about 3 inches wide and has thorns on its stems to deter predators. The karoo rose grows best in full sun but can tolerate some shade as well as cold temperatures.

These plants are not drought tolerant, so make sure to keep them watered throughout the summer months when temperatures rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to being grown from cuttings, you can also grow them from seed.

Lapidaria margaretae care information

Lapidaria margaretae

Lapidaria margaretae are desert plants that require good drainage and very little water. Be sure to provide them with ample sunlight, but do not allow them to burn; a little morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal. These plants grow best in sandy soil that has a low pH level and should never be fertilized.

Light requirement

Lapidaria margaretae does best in partial shade or full sun. If grown in full sun, it should be shaded from afternoon sunlight. It is happiest with ample water and soil that is well-drained but moist.

Soil/potting mix

When planting a succulent, make sure that you choose the appropriate soil for it. While most succulents do not require any special soil, Lapidaria margaretae plants prefer sandy soil that is well-draining.

This means that you should use light and sandy mix of topsoil and peat when potting your Karoo rose. It’s also important to note that these types of succulents are prone to root rot if they’re planted in overly wet soil.


It’s best to water Karoo Roses in summer once a week, or when they need it. If you’re keeping them outdoors in full sun then they’ll need more regular watering, around every 2–3 days during hot weather. They love rainwater too!

Let their soil dry out between waterings, but never let it completely dry out before giving them a drink. The roots will rot if left sitting in wet soil for long periods of time.

Watering can be done from above with a watering can or from below with an irrigation system. Be careful not to over-water, as succulents do not like soggy roots and can easily rot if kept damp for long periods of time.

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When watering your plant, do so as needed to keep your soil lightly moist, not drenched, which can cause root rot.


Use a balanced fertilizer during times of growth and use a fertilizer with high nitrogen content during times of rest. We recommend Miracid Fertilizer. One 2-pound bag is enough to fertilize up to 25 plants for up to six months.

It’s available in 50 percent and 20 percent solutions, which are both suitable for lapidaria margaretae karoo rose succulents.


Lapidaria margaretae enjoy high temperatures, but not too much direct sunlight. In fact, they do better with a little bit of shade. Temperatures ranging from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for karoo rose succulents. If you have particularly cold winters in your area, it’s best to keep your plants indoors until spring.

If you live in an area that sees mild winters and hot summers, you can leave them outside year-round. You’ll also want to make sure that your plants get plenty of water during their growing season, they need at least one inch per week!


Many succulents thrive in humid conditions, with soil that is constantly moist. Lapidaria margaretae and karoo rose plants are no exception. To keep these succulents happy and healthy in your garden, create a planter box filled with dirt and rocks.

Water once every few days and place it in an area that receives plenty of sunlight. This kind of arrangement will encourage roots to grow and will help promote new growth for your karoo rose plant as well as prevent moisture loss.

The ideal humidity range is between 40 and 80 percent. If your plant’s leaves start to wilt, it may be too dry. On the other hand, if your plant starts to rot or shrivel up, it may be too wet. A good way to test for moisture levels is by sticking your finger in a few inches of soil.


Removing unwanted branches can help you shape your Lapidaria margaretae, but it’s important to only remove branches during the winter months. Once they’ve gone dormant in summer, they won’t be able to re-sprout until spring rolls around again.

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The ideal time for pruning is during a cold snap in early March, so do what you can to keep your plant alive until then, an unheated garage or shed will do. If you don’t have anywhere indoors that stays below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, try wrapping your plant in burlap and covering it with a blanket.

This will protect it from frost damage while still allowing enough light through to sustain photosynthesis.

When to repot

Lapidaria margaretae karoo rose succulents like to be repotted in spring when they’re starting to sprout their new growth. It’s vital to remember that, once planted, they shouldn’t be repotted again for at least two years. If you don’t do it right, you can actually harm your plant or inhibit future growth.

Repotting should only be done if there is a significant amount of roots showing through and growing out of the bottom of your pot. This may seem obvious, but many people make mistakes when repotting plants because they are unaware of what’s happening with their roots, and these mistakes can cause significant damage to plants over time.

Repotting is also a good time to prune any dead or damaged roots away from living ones and remove any old soil, if there is any left, from around root balls.

Dormancy/Winter rest

Like most other types of succulents, Lapidaria margaretae will need to go through dormancy or winter rest. This means not watering them at all and allowing them to endure colder temperatures. During their dormant period, they should be kept in a cool dry place with no light.

They may be watered lightly every couple of months during their dormant period, but make sure you are using distilled water as well as a very weak fertilizer solution if you choose to do so. It is best to allow them to go completely without water for 6-8 weeks than it is to give them too much water and cause root rot which can kill your plant.

Lapidaria margaretae flower & fragrance

Lapidaria margaretae

With rosy pink flowers in spring and summer, Lapidaria margaretae is one of two species in its genus native to South Africa. The Karoo rose succulent also has a delicious scent described as perfume-like, which may be produced by an ingredient called beta-damascenone, the same compound found in popular perfumes such as Opium or Coco Mademoiselle.

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Growth rate

The Lapidaria grows to approximately 3 inches in diameter. It is slow-growing and may take several years to reach maturity. The small, brownish leaves that grow with each season are hairless and resemble those of a cactus plant.

Lapidarias are often grown in clusters or clumps to increase their aesthetic appeal and easy identification. They prefer bright but indirect sunlight, so avoid direct sunlight when possible.


There are no known reports of toxicity associated with Lapidaria margaretae. The plant may be considered poisonous if ingested in large quantities, but toxic amounts are unknown. Contact your veterinarian if your pet experiences side effects after consumption.

USDA hardiness zones

Lapidaria margaretae grow best in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11. In these areas, they can be planted outside during any season. In other areas, they should be grown as houseplants or outdoors during warm months only.

Pests and diseases

As succulents are typically low-maintenance plants, they’re also very resistant to pests and diseases. Some pests to be aware of include aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs, and thrips.

Since they don’t attract as many insects due to their lack of odor and dense foliage, karoo rose succulents aren’t at high risk for infestation from such nuisances. However, if you notice any signs of an infestation or infection on your plant, it’s best to contact a professional immediately.


Karoo rose lapidaria margaretae is not a plant for everyone. If you are a novice or looking for an easy plant to take care of, it’s not for you. But if you have some experience with gardening and understand the needs of plants, then it can be a very rewarding addition to your garden or houseplant collection.

These plants are hardy and drought tolerant, making them ideal choices for landscapes in areas that receive low rainfall but high winds.