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Kalahari Cactus 'Hoodia gordonii'

$4.35 USD

Get ready for a wild adventure through the scorching Kalahari Desert as we delve into the incredible world of the Kalahari Cactus, also known as Hoodia Gordonii, which is a vibrant member of the genus

While this hoodia is sometimes referred to as thecactus of the Kalahari" due to its spiky appearance and ability to store water, which are traits that are commonly associated with cacti. The Kalahari is the name of a desert located primarily in southern Africa, covering parts of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. 

However, Kalahari is not a true cactus and belongs to the succulent family Apocynaceae. This leafless and spiny succulent can grow up to 3 feet tall, also known as Bushman's hat or xhoba, and is like no other wonder plant you've ever seen. 

Its flowers may make your nose wrinkle with their putrid smell resembling rotten meat but fear not because these blooms are pollinated by an unusual ally - flies! Even though these features might seem unappealing to you, fear not, because hidden within this succulent lies a secret power: appetite suppression.  

Early in the 2000s, anecdotal evidence suggested that the Khoisan people of South Africa and Namibia, a nomadic hunter-gatherer group, had been eating small pieces of the stems to stave off hunger during protracted hunts since the 1930s. Because it contains a compound called P57 hoodia, which is thought to work by mimicking the effects of glucose on the brain and signaling to the body that it is full. This can help to reduce hunger and promote weight loss. 

With its clumps of upright stems adorned with tan flowers and thorns acting as nature's warning signpost, there's no way this vibrant plant will go unnoticed in your desert landscape. 

Watering Needs 

Hoodia gordonii is a succulent plant that can survive with minimal water, but it still needs some water to grow and stay healthy. If the plant is underwatered, it may start to wilt or develop brown spots on its leaves. It may also stop growing or flowering.

On the other hand, if the plant is overwatered, it can develop root rot, which can be fatal. Often, people worry they aren't giving their plants enough water when in reality, they are over-watering them. This is especially the case with Hoodia, as they don't do well in moist soil, which can result in root rot.

To avoid both underwatering and overwatering, it is important to water the plant only when the soil is completely dry. When you do water the plant, make sure to soak the soil thoroughly, but then allow it to dry out completely before watering again. This will help prevent both underwatering and overwatering and keep your plant healthy. 

Light Requirement  

To keep your Hoodia gordonii plant healthy, it is important to provide it with bright, direct sunlight for at least six hours each day. This will help prevent leggy growth and ensure that the plant receives the nutrients it needs to thrive. It can produce more chlorophyll, which is essential for photosynthesis. This can help your adorable Namib hoodia to grow more quickly and produce more flowers. 

When the plant is exposed to low light conditions, it may start to grow more slowly and become leggy or stretched out. The leaves may also become pale or yellowed, and the plant may stop growing or flowering. 

If the hoodia is exposed to low light for extended periods, it can become stressed and weakened, which can make it more susceptible to pests and diseases. The succulent may also become more prone to developing root rot, as the soil will stay moist for longer periods of time. 

If you are growing gordonii hoodia indoors, it is important to place it near a south-facing window, where it will receive the most sunlight. If your home does not receive a lot of direct sunlight, you can also use a grow light to provide the plant with the light it needs to grow and thrive. A full spectrum LED grow light is a good option, as it will provide the succulent with the wavelengths of light, it needs for photosynthesis. 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs

When it comes to choosing the right soil for your adorable Namib desert plant, you need to be careful! It's like picking out the perfect outfit for a date - you want to make sure everything is just right so there no surprises later on. You see, the amount of moisture in the soil can literally make or break your little green friend. Too much water and BAM! You've got root and stem rot faster than you can say "Cactus." 

Ideally, you want to use our that contains 5 natural substrates and organic mycorrhizae to promote the development of a strong root system that helps your succulent to thrive. 

When it comes to fertilizing, remember that less is more. In fact, it is best to avoid over-fertilizing the hoodia, as this can cause it to become leggy and weak. A small amount of fertilizer once a year in spring will do wonders for your plant's health and growth. Ideally, you should look for a natural fertilizer with an approximate blend of 5-10-5 that is higher in phosphorus than nitrogen. 

Hardiness Zones & More

Hoodia gordonii is native to the desert of Namibia, where it has adapted to living in hot, dry conditions and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. This succulent is hardy to USDA zones 9-11, which means that it can tolerate temperatures as low as 35 F. If you live in a colder region, you can still grow the plant indoors as long as you provide it with the right growing conditions, such as bright, direct sunlight and well-draining soil. 

Hoodia prefers dry air and does not do well in humid conditions. It is important to make sure that the plant is not overwatered, as this can cause the soil to become waterlogged and lead to root rot. If you live in a humid area, it is best to place it in a well-ventilated area or use a dehumidifier to help keep the air dry.

Add Hoodia Gordonii to your home or garden to enjoy its low-maintenance care while admiring its spectacular display year after year. 

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