Ok I know this is probably in every collector's number 1 wishlist.
It was mine too until I bought two back in July 2019. So it means they have been with me for 4 seasons and it's time to share my growing experience. I have been getting many inquiries about this unicorn poops (yes that's the nickname given by James and I'm sticking to that!)
According to ICN this cutie is originated from Richtersveld, South Africa. I couldn't trace the genius whom created this and if you know who please let me know because he/she definitely deserves an award for creating this ultimate dream succulent that's basically making everyone lose the savings. (fyi the Orbiculata families are simply too messy to 100% ID them).
She is not cheap honestly probably one of the most expensive one I have bought for myself. Allow me to analyse why she's costing an arm and leg
Got them back in May 2019
1. Unfortunately like any Cotyledon, they DO NOT PROPAGATE BY LEAF. So don't bother try to buy any leave as they wouldn't work.
2. She's Variegated baby- duh. Any Variegated succies are usually expensive as they don't come across very often
3. They only grow during specified seasons and root quite slow. As mentioned earlier, I got them back in Jan when the weather was cold so it took forever to root- I think for almost 3-4 months. However I have seen from IG that they root much quicker during late spring til early summer.
4. Be mentally prepared to they will drain few leaves during rooting. Yes. This is not a myth.
However on a bright side, once they have rooted, they just keep pupping non-stop. I found them pupping non-stop when the weather starts to be warmer between 15-25 degrees. I don't think they have winter hibernation, just grow very slowly but apparently they do have summer hibernation when the weather is over 30 degrees. And yes just like precious princess, a shading and windy area would be ideal.
Also they tend to be slow grower during winter and early spring too.
Nov 19 (before and after beheading)
if you have experience growing Graptopetalum Amethystinum and have been doing good job growing them round and chubby then congratulations you are ready to grow this unicorn poops. I find both have almost same growing conditions, in fact I find unicorn poops tend to be little more hardy.
She loves shaded full sun, ideally not more than 75,000 lux
Soil & pot
Depending on your desires, I have seen others grow them in half compost half substrates however the leaves are not very rounded but again it really depends on your preference. Personally I like to keep them very round and compact therefore if you do want that, please stick to almost no compost at all, in fact please refer to my potting mix ratio, they would definitely prefer super high air circulation so a fan would be super handy. Again pot with drainage is a must.
Honestly I can't give you a right answer. Good thing about this unicorn poops is she will definitely show signs if she needs water. Once you have noticed that she has gone deflated and that's when you know you have to water her. I water them based on how deflated they are and by squeezing them. Lol it's a sin if you have such cutie and don't squeeze them. lol. Again you have to wait until they are completely dry before you water them next. I find them more needy during growing seasons so I water them almost every 10 days and to once a month during winter.
I don't tend to use any fertilizer as succulents don't generally need any.
May 2020. As you can see she recovered well and start to pup non-stop. The new growth is obviously more round and compact.
May 2020. She is officially moved to another pot.
Let's have a throwback on they look before and after
Well, although they are quite expensive, they are considered one of the easiest to look after once the root is established. It takes time for the new growth to be round and chubby but the result is extremely satisfying. They are not too fussy with the sun although I would recommend growing them in well ventilated area.
Updated 11/3/21: I have received many enquiries about this plant so if you decided to purchase the Unicorn poops from my store, please note that they are pre-ordered plant and come unrooted due to the custom rules that all imported plants must be shipped without soil and disinfected. Therefore I would usually keep them until they are rooted prior to sending out to customers. I would definitely NOT recommend her if you are newbie as you would need to master the sunlight/ growth light, air circulation, humidity, soil mix, weather, watering frequency, pots. Please go through my other blogs on how to grow succulents. I would say this plant is suitable for experienced succulent growers.
Update November 2021: just a few update on some collection. I recently bought a super active unicorn poops and the transformation has been amazing!
Got her back in Feb/ March 21. Yes cost me alot....
Oh by the way they have sisters too? This is the elongated version, slightly cheaper but the cuteness is so OTT too. The full name is Cotyledon Orbiculata Oblonga Variegata.