Without a doubt, nature will never cease to surprise us through its shapes and colours. Fenestraria aurantiaca is one of the absolutely amazing exotic plants. ‘Fenestraria’ (from the Latin ‘fenestra’ – ‘window’) means ‘multiple windows’ and refers to the cylindrical shape of the succulent leaves (like buttons), which are rounded at the top, covered with a transparent tissue, like a window. Grouped as they grow, they have a grey-green colour with opal shimmering.
In their natural habitat in South-West Africa (Atlantic coast, a desert strip of about 400 km, belonging to Namibia), it grows in the sand, on the surface being able to see only the rounded extremity. It has contractile roots (which can forgather) and each bouquet develops a single flower, white or yellow, at the end of a long stem.
The Fenestraria genus includes only two species: Fenestraria rhopalophylla (with white flowers) and Fenestraria aurantiaca (with yellow flowers), which in time have gained various hybrids, with very beautiful flowers (red and orange).
Growing and caring
As in its regions of origin, the houseplant – Fenestraria aurantiaca needs a strong sun exposure, the transparent tissue of the ‘window’ is the one that absorbs the sunlight, providing photosynthesis. To put the plant in value (to have the appearance of ‘eyes’ spying on the ‘window’), it has to be grown in small pots and in poor soil. Do not simply use sand, but rather garden soil mixed with gravel or crushed pumice.
A quantity of nitrogen (even low) in the soil, makes for the leaves of the Fenestraria aurantiaca houseplant to grow riotous, over-stretched, so avoid using a nitrogen fertilizer. There are other types of fertilizer on the market, especially for these kinds of plants. The amount of water for watering will be minimal (once a month), as it causes leaf splitting. Fleshy roots make their water supplies and food so the best would be that the watering to be done by putting a little bit of water in the plate under the pot, for several hours, then you discard the excess. In the cold season, the ambient temperature must not fall below 6 degrees Celsius.
The flowers the Fenestraria aurantiaca houseplant will appear in the fall season. With a diameter of about 50 millimetres they are white, yellow or orange. A single hybrid – the Fireworth- obtained by mistake, has a beautiful red colour. Once the flowers are past, watering should be reduced even more, to maintain the quality of the roots. Winter you do not water it at all.
The Fenestraria aurantiaca houseplant is multiplied by seeds, which are placed in the soil, spring or summer, at a depth of no more than 1 centimetre. Another relatively simple method is the bush division, but only when the plant is sufficiently strong and well developed. Normally, an adult Fenestraria is about 5 cm high and may occupy a surface of a about 30 centimetres.
Pests and crop failures
There are no known diseases or parasites to attack the Fenestraria aurantiaca houseplant, except for funguses, which can be tackled with a fungicide. The one big concern is related to water excess. Fenestraria aurantiaca can grow inside the house, in a heated greenhouse or when temperatures are above 15 degrees Celsius, it will develop really nice even outdoors. In any place it will surely become the centre of attention.1,520 views | Article category Home / Garden