The exotic Rohea succulent has appeared on our shelves as an alternative to the annoying Kalanchoe. And it turned out to be more interesting than many succulents. Despite some similarities in flowering, comparing Rochea with similar plants would be a big mistake. Bizarre shoots with leaves overlapping in a criss-cross manner fascinate with their beauty. Bright bushes grow slowly, but the snake shoots become more and more beautiful over time, and the scarlet flowering is more and more abundant. Rohea requires minimal maintenance and is very durable. It is enough just to take care of its pruning and find the optimal conditions.
Rohea is a non-standard succulent worthy of your attention. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com rareplant
Description of the plant
The modest Rohei family of the Tolstyankovy family has always claimed the title of one of the most special. And although all the species of Rochea used as an ornamental plant are today transferred to the Tolstyanka genus, they are still easy to recognize and “separate”. Rochea have the same fleshy leaves, but the density and nature of their location distinguish Rochea from any relative. And her flowering is the most dazzling.
Among the rochas, there are both ground cover and dwarf shrubs, shoots woody only in very old plants. Rochea grow slowly, adding several centimeters per year and maintaining a stable decorative effect. Unlike many relatives, Rochei can retain their decorative effect from 5 to 10 years, and sometimes even longer.
Opposite fleshy leaves grow together at the base, creating a bizarre symmetrical pattern of shoots, reminiscent of shingles due to the unusual cruciform overlay of the leaves. On average, the length of the slightly pointed leaves of Rochea is up to 2,5 cm. They can be either oval-ovate or lanceolate.
Rohei are associated with dazzling bright and rich reds, but some species have white and watercolor varieties. Tubular flowers are collected in spreading, often loose umbrellas of inflorescences. Elongated buds with straight, lanceolate, fleshy bracts are transformed into graceful five-petal stars of flowers with a narrow tube. Most Rohei are fragrant.
Types of indoor rochas
In a room format, only 3 species of Rohea are grown. Only one can be called popular – Rohea, or Purple Fat Woman (Crassula coccinea, Rochea coccinea). It is a compact succulent with unbranched, densely leafy shoots, bright red inflorescences and small ovoid leaves.
Three other species are rarer, but true connoisseurs of exotic succulents consider them to be the pearls of the collections.
Rohea jasmine (Rochea jasminea, synonym – Crassula obtusa) Is a graceful shrub with densely branching, drooping shoots, beautiful narrow leaves and loose inflorescences resembling jasmine in shape. The unique reddish fringe and ciliated edge of the spatulate leaves look charming.
Rohea is the most fragrant (Very fragrant dress, synonym – Crassula fascicularis) – undersized, strict shrub with straight shoots, medium grooved-lanceolate leaves and very dense umbels of inflorescences.
Most varieties and forms are of hybrid origin, such as the famous multi-flowered ‘Versicolor’ (Rochea x versicolor, also included today in the view Crassula fascicularis) with different shades of white and red on each flower.
There are several varieties with original shades – ‘Midsummer bonfire ‘ with a scarlet shade, ‘Grasers Rot’ with fee, ‘Bicolor’ with white-red flowers and an old German cultivar ‘Flore Or ‘ with the purest white tone of flowers.
Growing conditions for indoor rochea
This is a light-loving and hardy plant, which, in addition to pruning, will need one important condition for flowering – a cool wintering. It cannot be replaced and compensated.
Lighting and placement
Despite its origin, Rohea cannot stand direct rays. Too intense illumination of the southern windows at noon is dangerous for both flowering and leaves. But from the available diffused lighting options, it is worth choosing the brightest places. For the winter, it is better to increase the lighting by slightly moving the containers closer to the glass or placing them on the brightest windows.
Additional lighting is also suitable for Rohei, which can completely or partially replace natural lighting.
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Temperature control and ventilation
Roheya surprises with her love of coolness. In a ventilated, cool place, she enjoys freshness, looks brighter, and grows faster. This plant can withstand the heat, but it affects the appearance and flowering negatively. The temperature is from 18 to 21 degrees in summer and the content in winter at rates from 8 to 12 degrees is ideal.
If temperatures are higher in summer, the plant is simply provided with access to fresh air and watering is increased. It will not be possible to compensate for the lack of a cool wintering by leaving, because the Rohei will not bloom for the rest period without a drop in temperatures.
Rohei love fresh air, regular ventilation, are resistant to drafts (except for cold ones, with strong temperature fluctuations). For the summer, the bushes can be placed outdoors, protected from direct sun and precipitation.
Rochea care at home
Watering and feeding for Rohea is carried out so rarely that caring for it cannot be called anything other than the simplest. Even pruning, which will have to be done annually, is one of the easiest indoor plants.
Watering and air humidity
At any time of the year, Rohei do not welcome too abundant and frequent watering. Even in summer, the plant is sparsely watered, allowing up to a third of the soil to dry out, but not completely drying it out. Light humidity should be maintained in winter, reducing watering depending on the air temperature to extremely poor or minimal. The approximate frequency of watering is once a week in summer and once a month in winter.
For rohea, you can use only warm, several degrees warmer than the air in the room, soft water. Rain, melt, distilled water, or in extreme cases, boiled water is best suited.
Rohei grow well in dry air and, with good care, do not suffer from the proximity of air conditioners or heating devices. Dust from the leaves must be removed regularly, gently, with a soft brush.
Top dressing and composition of fertilizers
Rohea begins to be fed with the start of growth in the spring, limited to 1 top dressing per month until autumn. For this, plants use only special fertilizers for cacti and succulents.
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Trimming and shaping the rochea
Rohei require the rapid removal of fading peduncles, which are cut or broken off at the base.
The main pruning is carried out annually, before the start of active growth and moving to heat, in February or the first week of March. All Rochea shoots are shortened by ⅔ of the length, stimulating the active growth of new branches and allowing the bush to maintain a compact shape. Without pruning, rochea deform more often and faster, with pruning, they retain their decorative effect for up to 15 years.
Transplant, containers and substrate
Rochea are transplanted as they grow, no more than 1 time in 2 years (the root system develops as slowly as shoots). The transplant is carried out in early spring, focusing on the signs of the beginning of growth.
For rohea, high containers are often used to compensate for hanging shoots, but it is better to choose stands and shallow, wide bowls and pots with good drainage holes corresponding to its compact surface roots. A drainage layer of 4-6 cm is placed on the bottom of the container.
Any soil for Rochea needs to be additionally loosened. An additional portion of coarse sand and at least one handful of loosening additives – perlite, stone chips, fine expanded clay, large coconut fiber, vermiculite, etc.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Scabbard, aphids and mealybugs are frequent guests on the Rocheis, which are taken out into the garden and suffering from dust accumulation. Fight insects with insecticide treatment. But much more often Rohei lose their decorative effect due to improper care. When the soil dries out, the leaves wrinkle, the stems wither, with insufficient lighting, they grow more and more slowly, and overflows quickly lead to the spread of rot.
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Reproduction of Rochea
The main breeding method for indoor rochas of any kind is cuttings, although large bushes can be simply divided into 2-3 parts. The strongest shoots are chosen from the plant either in February-April, or from the end of August to the end of September. In the spring, you can cut the plant and stem cuttings, in the summer – only the tops.
Cuttings are rooted immediately in containers where they plan to grow young bushes, 2-5 shoots each, in a light sandy substrate (a mixture of 2 parts of sand and 1 part of universal soil for succulents is ideal). It is not necessary to cover the containers with a cap, but the light humidity should be constant, and this way it is much easier to achieve it.
Rohei root at a temperature of 20 to 32 degrees (the higher the temperature, the faster the rooting takes place). As they grow up, the tops are pinched to thicken, improve rooting and form bushes.