Growing and Caring for Baby Toes Succulents
Fenestraria rhopalophylla (baby toes succulents) are native to subtropical desert zones. They require full sun and moderate water in well-drained soil with lots of grit. Mother Nature designed them to be extremely tolerant of low-nutrient soils and extreme weather conditions.
These adorable succulents live up to their moniker: Succulents with baby toes (Fenestraria rhopalophylla) are small, clump-forming succulents native to Namibia and South Africa.
Window-leafed succulents are so named because the tops of their tube-shaped leaves are transparent due to a lack of green pigment, allowing light to pass through the thick, fleshy tubes. In the spring and fall, these succulents produce delicate white or yellow flowers, which add to their allure.
|Botanical Name||Fenestraria rhopalophylla|
|Common Name||Baby Toes, Baby’s Toes, Window Plant|
|Mature Size||3 inches tall|
|Soil Type||Sandy, well-drained|
|Bloom Time||Spring, fall|
|Flower Color||Yellow, white|
|Hardiness Zones||10a, 10b, 11a, 11b|
|Native Area||Namibia and South Africa|
|Toxicity||Toxicity to pets is widely debated; exercise caution|
How to Grow a Baby Toes Succulent
Window-leafed succulents are so named because the tops of their tube-shaped leaves are transparent due to a lack of green pigment, allowing light to pass through the thick, fleshy tubes.
The plant’s finger-like leaves can grow up to six inches tall and are usually found in a cluster with other leaves.
Starting baby toes from seed can be rewarding, but a few key elements are required for a successful venture. First and foremost, the container must be shallow and well-draining.
Mix equal parts coir potting soil, sand, fine gravel, and perlite to make a growing medium. Lightly moisten the mixture in the pot and scatter the seeds evenly on the soil’s surface. Sprinkle the seeds with a light dusting of sand. As the seedlings emerge, they will push the sand out of their way.
Place the pot in a low-light area and cover it with clear plastic until germination occurs. To prevent fungal growth, mist the plants after they emerge and remove the cover for half an hour daily.
Fenestraria Baby Toes Ideal Growing Conditions Fenestraria Baby Toes grow in sandy soil and dry climates in their natural habitats. (sublimesucculents.com)
These soils retain moisture, and Baby Toes will most likely develop root rot due to sitting in water for an extended period of time. Instead, for your Baby Toes, use a succulent/cactus soil mix.
Baby Toes shouldn’t use soil that has been mixed with humus, loam, or peat moss.
You can also make your own well-drained soil by combining equal parts potting soil, pumice, perlite, and coarse sand to allow it to dry faster.
Temperature and Humidity
These desert succulents can be grown in USDA zones 10a to 11b. They prefer hot, dry climates and are not fond of frost. If you are growing these succulents outside in a climate with cold winters, it is best to grow them in containers to move indoors for the winter.
When grown indoors or outdoors, baby toes succulents require full sun/bright light. They should ideally receive at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day to promote healthy growth and prevent legginess. If you’re growing baby toes succulents indoors, a grow light may be necessary to ensure they get enough light throughout the day.
It’s simple to figure out when to water your Baby Toes! If the soil feels completely dry to the touch, or if the tips of the leaves appear wrinkled or slightly shrunken, it is the moment to water your baby toes succulents by gently pouring it over and around your Baby Toes until it drips off from the bottom of the pot.
Another sign is when the “window”—the area at the tip of the leaves—becomes wrinkled. That is when you should get your baby toes.
Fenestraria, like most succulents, can survive in the absence of their owner because they can store water in their leaves. They do, however, require occasional but thorough watering to replenish their water storage and remain adorable.
An overwatered Baby Toe succulent is also easy to spot. If given too much water, baby toes’ leaves are prone to cracking or splitting. You can alleviate this issue by locating it somewhere dry and well-lit, controlling the water intake.
Baby Toes plants require direct sunlight because they are adapted to subtropical desert conditions. So, if you’re growing them outside, make sure they get at least 6 hours of sunlight per day and that they’re protected from heavy rains and the scorching hot afternoon sun, or they’ll get sunburned.
If you want to grow inside your home, place it in a location with plenty of bright indirect sunlight, such as a southern-facing window. Your Baby Toes will become leggy if they are exposed to too much shade, and the leaves may fall on their side.
Because baby toe succulents are sensitive to fertilizer burn, don’t over-fertilize them. These succulents can grow in poor soil and don’t need to be fertilized regularly. To encourage strong growth, you can lightly fertilize them at the start of the growing season with a low-strength, balanced fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing baby toe succulents while they are dormant.
Potting and Repotting Baby Toes Succulents
Baby toes succulents grow slowly and do not require reporting regularly. Only repot a plant when it has outgrown its container. When looking for a new container with drainage holes, keep in mind that the pot should have enough drainage to prevent root rot. Remember that baby toes succulents have shallow root systems and do not require a deep container.
When repotting a baby toes succulent, take care not to break any of the delicate roots or separate the plant accidentally. Gently loosen any compacted soil around the roots and fill the new container with succulent-specific potting soil. Water the newly repotted baby toes succulent thoroughly.
You can take your Baby Toes Succulent to the next level with the right conditions, as they produce a stunning picture-perfect flower with lots of narrow petals in late summer, usually in yellow or white shades. Just make sure they get enough water and at least 6 hours of sunlight per day so they can grow strong roots.
Furthermore, allowing your Baby Toes Succulents to bloom will allow you to enjoy the pleasure of watching its flower react to light, as they frequently open and close their petals and even move throughout the day.
Common Pests and Diseases
Baby toes succulents, like most succulents, are not bothered by many pests or diseases. Common pests such as mealybugs, scale aphids, and aphids can be problems for these fleshy-leaved succulents. Baby toe succulents are susceptible to root rot, making sure the soil drains well and that the containers have adequate drainage to keep the roots from becoming waterlogged.
Propagating Baby Toes Succulents
These succulents, like haworthias and aloe veras, produce pups and can be easily propagated by division. Baby toes succulents can also be grown from seed, but the seed is tough to find from a reputable seller, so propagating from an established plant is preferable.
It is best to divide baby toe succulents while repotting them because the roots will need to be divided. Gently separate offsets from the mother plant by teasing the roots away from the root ball once the roots are exposed. The offsets should have their own set of established roots, allowing you to replant them right away.
Care Of Baby Toes Succulent
Place pots in a fully sunlit area with temperatures of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit (19 C.). The most common issue with succulent plants is over or under-watering. While baby toes are drought-tolerant, they require moisture to be stored in their leaves to survive the growing season.
Baby toes have few pest or disease problems, but keep an eye out for rot if plants are overwatered or in poorly draining pots.
Fertilize with a half-dilution of cactus and succulent food in early spring. It would help if you avoided watering during the dormant season, which lasts from November to February. Aside from that, caring for baby toes is so simple that the infant whose toes resemble could almost grow these great little succulents.
Baby Toes is one of South Africa’s most beautiful specimens. Their adorable tube-like leaves, which resemble the tiny toes of an infant, would make an excellent addition to your succulent collection. Just don’t forget to follow the above-mentioned care guidelines, or you might end up killing them with kindness.
“Baby Toes Succulent” has windowed leaves, similar to Lithops.
This “window-leaf” succulent grows tubes instead of rosettes, with only the tips of its leaves growing above ground in the wild.
Baby toes succulents require typical succulent care: full sun and infrequent watering.
It’s best to use the “soak and dry” method , and allow the soil to dry out completely between watering.
These succulents are susceptible to overwatering and should be planted in a well-draining, sandy soil mixture to help control moisture around the roots.
Although Fenestraria rhopalophylla “Baby Toes” can be propagated from seed and offsets, offsets are preferred as the primary source.
Full sun to partial shade Typical water needs for a succulent.
Because Fenestraria is not cold hardy, it is best to grow it in a container that can be brought indoors if you live in a zone that gets colder than 30° F (-1.1° C).