Albuca spiralis (frizzle sizzle) is an herbaceous plant commonly known as corkscrew albuca, which belongs directly to a species of flowering plant in the asparagus family. In the wild, it can be found in South Africa. The unusual name comes from its ability to produce a flowering stem containing white flowers. Thus, “albicare” means “white” in Latin. The plant can be recognized by its distinctive leaves, narrow and spirally tipped with glandular hairs. It bears nodding green flowers with yellowish edges. The flowers are sweetly scented and have a vanilla-like aroma.
A perennial succulent such as Albuca spiralis is a bulbous plant. The round, slightly flattened bulb is white in color and reaches 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. It has a fibrous, white root system. It has 15 to 20 leaflets arranged on a rosette of roots. The leaves do not exceed 6 inches (15 cm) in height. These fleshy, thread-like leaflets are greenish-gray in color and they grow in a spiral pattern to 12-14 inches (30-35 cm) long when upright.
When the weather is too hot, the leaves curl up like streamers. This is a natural mechanism that prevents the plant from losing too much liquid. The fleshy, fairly thick flower stems are 24 inches (60 cm) long and have a blue hue. The loose racemes contain 10 to 20 dripping flowers that are 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Each flower has a 2 inch (5 cm) pedicel. There are pointed bracteoles. The pale green or yellowish corolla is bell-shaped. The flowers have six petal-like lobes arranged in two circles. Thus, three lobes rise up in the air and bend almost horizontally, while the remaining three lower down to cover the pistil and the three rather long stamens. The petals have a broad green band, as well as a yellowish border. There are some varieties of small flowers that are very fragrant, with a scent reminiscent of creamy vanilla. When the plant blooms, the fruit appears, in the form of a capsule with glossy black seeds.
CARING FOR ALBUCA SPIRALIS AT HOME
This plant is very fond of sunlight. In order for it to grow intensively, develop properly and bloom profusely, you should choose the brightest window possible to place it.
This succulent plant also likes heat very much. It should be kept at 77-82 °F (25-28°C) in summer and 55-59 °F (13-15°C) in winter. For Albuca spiralis to bloom in the last days of November and the first days of December in spring, it should be kept in a cool environment, so it should not exceed 50-59 °F (10-15 °C) during the day and 42-50 °F (6-10 °C) at night.
How to water
During periods of vigorous growth and flowering, watering should be heavy, but fairly infrequent. Water only after the top layer of substrate has dried out. Watering should be reduced after the birch tree has started to prepare for its dormant period. At this time, the leaves will start to droop. Do not water during the resting period.
Fertilize during intensive growth and flowering. For this purpose, use a mineral fertilizer complex for succulents.
Transplanting Albuca spiralis
Transplanting is done in autumn after the end of the dormant period. A suitable soil should be light, with good permeability to water and air, well-drained, and containing coarse sand. You can use commercially available soil for succulents. Remember to make a good drainage layer at the bottom of the container.
Flowering and Dormancy Periods
The plant will bloom from April to May, and the resting period will last for about 2.5 months. Once the plant has finished flowering, it will need to be fertilized and watering reduced for the last time. Once all the leaves have wilted, do not water the plant until late fall. During this time, keep the bulbs in a place with normal room temperature. During the last few weeks of fall, transplant the plant into new soil and gradually return to a normal watering regime. The plant should be kept in a bright and cool place.
ALBUCA SPIRALIS PROPAGATION METHOD
It can be propagated by seed balls as well as by seeds.
Use fresh seeds for sowing. Should sow the seed on top of the purchased succulent soil. Cover the container with glass or film and germinate the seeds in a well-lit and warm place at 78-82 °F (26-28 °C). The first seedlings will appear in about half a month. Water very carefully and do not allow over-watering. The leaves are initially straight but will curl up in a few months of strong light. By the end of the first year, the plant will form a small bulb. However, it will not flower for the first time until the third year after sowing.
When replanting, the small bulbs need to be carefully separated from the mother plant. They should then be planted in a separate container with a diameter of 2.7-3.2 inches (7-8 cm). With this method of propagation, the new plants will retain all the basic characteristics of the mother plant (odor and curly leaves).
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