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The lapidaria margaretae [lap-ih-DAY-ree-uh, mar-GAR-et-tay] is closely related to the Aizoaceae family and resembles succulent plants like Schwantesia and Lithops plants.
The main point of difference is while these plants usually have 1 pair of leaves, the margaretae has 2-4 pairs of leaves.
It is native to areas of South Africa such as southern Namibia around Warmbad and Northern Cape areas and is associated with dry, arid regions which receive minimal to no rainfall throughout the year.
Common names of this rare succulent include:
- Karoo Rose
- Kangaroo Rose
Botanical names of the lapidaria margaretae include:
- Mesembryanthemum margaretae
- Argyroderma margaretae
- Argyroderma roseatum
- Dinteranthus margaretae
- Lapidaria margaretae Dinter & Schwantes
Lapidaria Margaretae Care
Size & Growth
The leaves are around 0.8” inches long and 0.4” inches wide and are stone-shaped with short internodes growing in leaf pairs resulting in compact heads.
This type of growth is why the plant often called a living stone.
They are greyish white or pinkish and the colors become paler towards the base of the leaf paler.
The plant grows during spring and autumn with flowering occurring only in autumn and during early winter.
There is no growth during summer and winter.
The plant itself grows quite close to the ground.
Flowering and Fragrance
It flowers in a somewhat unique way, it sprouts a single yellow flower around 2” inches wide and is big enough to eclipse the entire plant.
It has 6-8 sepals and may have up to 100 petals (as long as they’re in a multiple of 3).
The flower has 300-500 stamens.
Occasionally, it may be accompanied by 1-2 more flowers.
These flowers bloom and open up during the day.
As the succulent matures, the flowers clump together into a rosette.
Light & Temperature
The lapidaria thrives in full sun throughout the year and will grow very well at any time of the year in warm sunny light conditions.
The plant is quite hardy and has a tolerance to frost to a temperature of 25° degrees Fahrenheit (−4° C) for short periods but their preferred temperature is around 59° degrees Fahrenheit (15° C).
The USDA hardiness zone for margaretae is from 9b to 11b.
Watering and Feeding
Although it doesn’t require too much water, it requires a small amount of rainfall, around 10″ inches annually.
Scarce and seasonal rainfall stunts the plant’s growth and you may need to apply fertilizer.
Light watering is recommended, but only after the old leaves have shriveled up completely and the new growth hasn’t started.
If you are using fertilizer, a loam-based compost is recommended.
Soil & Transplanting
The lapidaria grows in white quartz, red sand, and loose stone or even perlite.
It grows best when grown at a northeast-facing angle and may be planted in tandem with other succulents such as the Lithops.
Well-drained soil is best.
Grooming and Maintenance
Like most succulents, the lapidaria is pretty low maintenance.
You only need to prune it to keep its shape and this may be done during winter when the plant is dormant or in autumn after flowering.
How to Propagate Karoo Rose
Karoo Rose Lapidaria Margaretae may be propagated through its succulent seeds or cuttings.
This must either be done during growing seasons such as autumn or fall unless you are growing the succulents indoors and creating an artificial climate conducive to their growth.
In fact, even a fallen seed, stem or rosette may start rooting where it has fallen.
It will feed off the existing plant until it is strong enough to survive on its own.
Here is what you need to do if you want to propagate Lapidaria:
- Obtain some leaves or cut off some plant heads.
- Arrange them in the container filled with well-drained soil.
- Leave this for three days to allow the cuttings to callus over.
- Once this happens, spray the soil with a spray bottle until it is damp.
- Continue watering in such a way the soil stays moist but not too wet and within 3-4 weeks, the succulent will start rooting.
- 6-7 weeks later, new leaves may start to show above the surface of the soil.
- At this point, transfer your margaretae to a larger container.
Karoo Rose Pest or Disease Problems
The margaretae is susceptible to a number of problems such as root rot (due to overwatering), mealybugs (succulent) and even spiders.
In such cases, apply insecticide designed for use with cacti and succulents.
Is The Margaretae Lapidaria Plant Toxic Or Poisonous?
Although the toxicity of lapidaria is unconfirmed, succulents, in general, have some poisonous varieties.
In any case, it is best to keep it out of reach from small children and pets.
Suggested Lapidaria Margaretae Uses
The lapidaria’s main use is as a beautiful plant ornamental and it doesn’t offer any commercial or medicinal benefits.
It may be kept on your window sill to brighten up the room.