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Huernia insigniflora

Pronunciation: hew-ERN-ee-uh in-sig-NIF-flor-uh
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Synonym: Huernia zebrina subs. insigniflora
Common Name: Lifesaver cactus
Plant Type:
  • perennial
  • succulent and cactus
Height to: 5 in
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
Bloom Season:
  • mid summer
Bloom Description: Lifesaver Cactus (Huernia insigniflora) produce coral to apricot flowers, resembling the candy lifesavers
Soil Type: Under glass, grow in standard cactus potting mix with added leaf mold. Outdoors, grow in poor to moderately fertile, preferably sandy, sharply drained soil
  • Yes
Plant Perks:
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Container Gardening
  • Drought Tolerant
Pests and Diseases: Diseases: Rhizoctonia solani (Rhizoctonia solani) Root rot (Botrytis, Rhizoctonia, Phytophthora) Black root rot (Helminthosporium sp) Black Root Rot (Thielaviopsis basicola) Pests: Mealybugs are the most serious threat to plant health. These insects suck the sap from the plant stems and roots and can seriously weaken or kill the lifesaver plants. Control the mealybugs with systemic insecticides. Examine plants weekly for signs of infestation and treat promptly. Keep plants from becoming too crowded so stems can be easily seen.
Propagation: Sow Lifesaver Cactus (Huernia insigniflora) seed at 66-75ºF in spring. Root cuttings of stem sections in spring or summer.
Native to: S Africa
Winter Sowing Zones: None
Notes for Identification:

Lifesaver cactus (huernia insigniflora) is a perennial succulent with greyish green stems branching near the basethe 1" blooms of this trailing succulent appear to have a grape lifesaver stuck perfectly in the center of the deep burgundy and tan star shaped blooms. Propagation: cut off a lifesaver cactus stem where it joins the parent plant. Dip the cut end into antifungal powder or powder of sulfur. Leave it to dry out for two days. Lay it on damp sand with any roots buried. Keep the sand damp until the cutting produces roots and then transplant. Lifesaver cactus can also be propagated from seed. It is quite resistant to the balck spot disease of asclepiads

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Succulents | Perennials
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