The conophytum pageae, otherwise dubbed as the Lips plant, is one of the most unique plants out there. It is most notable for its feature that resembles a pair of lips. With that said, it’s surely an interesting plant to take care of.
The conophytum pageae is quite a hardy plant that doesn’t need much care to survive. It only needs misting once every two weeks and exposure to sunlight for a few hours a day when it’s no longer too hot outside.
With its interesting features and easy-to-care-for nature, you might be interested in keeping one for yourself. And if so, this article will prepare you for owning and taking care of a conophytum pageae.
What Is Conophytum Pageae?
The conophytum pageae is a small plant belonging to the succulent family. Otherwise dubbed as the Lip plant, the conophytum pageae’s most distinguishing feature is its flesh-colored leaves with a dimple at the base, giving it the appearance of lips.
While the conophytum pageae is a small plant, it tends to grow in clusters. And when given enough space to grow, these clusters can grow up to three feet wide.
What’s interesting about the conophytum pageae is that it is quite a hardy plant. It doesn’t need much attention to survive, but it will need enough time to bask in the sun. But even then, it is generally an indoor plant that thrives during the cool fall season.
- Scientific Name and Common Names: Conophytum Pageae
- Appearance: The conophytum pageae has a round stone-like shape that’s of light green color. At the center of the plant is a pair of pale pink-colored lips that resemble human lips.
- Origin: South Africa and Southern Namibia
- Indoor or Outdoor plant: Indoor plants
Is Conophytum Pageae Toxic?
The conophytum pageae is not toxic. It does not contain any poisonous plant material that could trigger an adverse reaction when it is touched or ingested. As such, it is a suitable indoor plant if you have curious kids and pets around.
When to Plant Conophytum Pageae?
The conophytum pageae thrives in a cool environment with medium to low humidity levels. With that said, the ideal season to plant it would be around the end of summer to the end of fall. During this season, the conophytum pageae seeds grow enough roots to keep them planted in the soil and thereby survive through the colder season ahead.
Requirements for Growing Conophytum Pageae
The conophytum pageae is quite a hardy plant. As previously established, it doesn’t need much attention to survive, which makes it a great indoor plant.
But even then, it still needs enough water, sunlight, and humidity to survive. You should also consider the right soil and pot size to plant them in. Fortunately, these will be discussed in detail below:
Since the conophytum pageae belongs to the succulent plant family, there’s no doubt that it needs bright light to thrive. Interestingly, it does not like being exposed to direct sunlight when it’s too hot outside. Also, if it gets too much sunlight, it might dry up and die eventually.
As a tip, it’s best to give your conophytum pageae around four to five hours of direct sunlight. Ideally, you can place it outside in the early morning or late afternoon. This way, it gets enough sunlight but without the heat of the noontime sun.
The conophytum pageae, like all other plants, need water to survive. It all depends on how much water they need to grow.
In the case of succulents like the Lips plant, it only needs light misting once a week. It doesn’t like being soaked in too much water and may die because of it.
While misting once a week is ideal, you should also observe if it gets wrinkly. Once it does, that’s a sign that it’s not getting enough water and may dry out and die eventually. In this case, you may want to mist them more than once a week until they start to look plump and healthy.
To make sure you’re neither over-watering nor giving too little water to your succulent, you may want to invest in a plant spritzer like the OFFIDIX Plant Mister Glass Spray Bottle. It is both easy to use and has a high capacity, which makes it a great choice if you have plenty of indoor plants at home.
Temperature and Humidity
As earlier established, the conophytum pageae thrives in low-humidity areas with cool temperatures. Specifically, this plant grows well if the temperature is around 55 to 70° Fahrenheit with humidity levels between 30 and 50%.
The conophytum pageae, like all succulents, prefer porous soil. This is because they are plants that survive with minimal moisture, so the soil they have to be planted on allows the smooth passage of water between its particles. This way, it does not retain water and prevents the over-watering of the plant. A good soil mix you can try is the Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm, & Citrus Potting Mix.
The minimum pot size for the conophytum pageae should have a diameter of around four to eight inches. This plant is known for growing in clusters that can grow up to three feet wide, so you can have a bigger pot if you have enough space indoors. Consider a pot like the Farielyn-X 8-inch Marble Pattern Succulent Planter Pot for your Lips plant – spacious, classy, and a true head-turner.
How to Take Care of Conophytum Pageae?
Bear in mind that the conophytum pageae grows horizontally. As such, there should be enough spacing between each plant to keep their roots from overlapping with each other. With that said, each plant should be at least six inches apart.
Fortunately, the conophytum pageae is quite a hardy plant. It can survive cold temperatures of up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, once the temperature drops to the freezing point, make sure that it stays indoors so it doesn’t freeze up.
The Lips plant are considered light feeders and may not depend on fertilizers to grow. But if you want your plant to grow faster, you may feed it with a balanced fertilizer at the beginning of its growing period. From there, you only need to feed it with diluted fertilizer once every two to four years.
Like all plants, the conophytum pageae also needs repotting from time to time. Repotting allows you to get rid of unhealthy or rotten parts so the plant continues to grow. But since the Lips plant is slow-growing, you only have to do repotting once every two years.
Trimming and Pruning
The conophytum pageae also needs regular trimming and pruning. Fortunately, because of its slow-growing pace, regular pruning takes place once every year or much later.
Also, trimming and pruning the Lips plant only means carefully separating the leaf parts. This prevents the clusters from spreading too much and fighting over the nutrients found in the soil. As a result, each conophytum pageae plant can maximize all the nutrients and minerals available to grow healthy.
How to Propagate Conophytum Pageae?
There are two ways to successfully propagate the conophytum pageae plant. You can do so either through the division of an already existing conophytum pageae plant or through planting its seeds.
Since the conophytum pageae grows in clusters, one of the fastest ways to propagate it is through division. Through this process, you will carefully separate rooted leaf clusters and replant them into a new pot. Here are some tips to ensure the successful propagation of the Lips plant through division:
- It is best to separate and replant leaf clusters by pair – ideally around two to four pairs. This ensures enough roots in the plants to ensure their survival. This way, the two separate clusters can grow independently from one another.
- To ensure a faster growth rate, make sure to do so during the late summer or fall. During this time, the temperature and humidity levels are ideal for the growth of the conophytum pageae.
If you have access to conophytum pageae seeds, you also have the option to plant them instead. However, this takes longer to grow since you will be growing it from scratch, and seed germination alone takes a week or two.
- Before planting the seeds, make sure you plant them in a pot that’s around eight inches in diameter. This ensures enough space for it to grow, even once it grows clusters.
- Make sure that the soil is porous and well-drained. This prevents the soil from maintaining too much moisture, thus resulting in the slow growth of the plant.
- For faster plant growth, you may opt to use soil mix or grass soil covered in a layer of fine sand. This allows the seed to take in nutrients without drowning it in too much moisture, thanks to the dry layer of sand on top of the pot.
Common Problems With Conophytum Pageae
While the conophytum pageae is a great indoor plant that requires minimal attention, it is not without issues. To prepare you, here are some of the common problems you might face when growing a conophytum pageae:
- Unlike other succulents like cacti, the conophytum pageae does not retain a lot of moisture in its body. As a result, it cannot be exposed to the sun for long hours. Otherwise, it will start to wrinkle and eventually dry up.
- Since it grows in clusters, it needs a lot of space to grow. You will need a lot of space to ensure their healthy growth.
- They do not do well in areas that are hot and very humid. With that said, they thrive in the cool autumn season and have to take extra measures to ensure they don’t end up damaged during the hot summer and freezing winters.
Without a doubt, the conophytum pageae is truly an interesting plant. Aside from its distinct lips-like feature, it’s also one of the easiest plants to care for. It’s also non-toxic, making it a safe choice for pets and kids. And the fact that it makes a great conversation starter makes it a great addition to your home.
List of Sources
The Morphology and Evolution of the Genus Conophytum N.E. BR. (Aizoaceae)