I have this plant for 2 or 3 years now and as it was growing I have been showing the pretty leaves from time to time. But I never got the chance to show the blooms. It did bloom once before, but I was postponing taking the pics until it was don't looming :p
This time I almost missed it too even though I did see the stem growing and the flowers opening one by one. Just always had something else to do until today. There was the very last flower at the tip of the stem open. Last one!
How to grow
The plant comes from a mountain part of South Africa. It generally prefers to stay dry, though needs to be watered regularly from string til fall. If kept outside over the winter time in lower temperatures, it needs to be completely dry, or it might rot and die. I lost one like that and I am very careful with it now. It is funny to look how they will shrivel the leaves during the winter and then in spring the pump back like balloons. Especially on this one since the leaves are round like eggs.
It needs fast draining, gritty soil (I use my cactus mix) and more shaded spot. It might get some sunburn if exposed to hot summer sun for too long. It does much better protected by some taller plants and receiving just some dappled sun in the morning.
Yes... the leaves are the most attractive part of this plant. It will stay rather small and compact. Might (I hope it will) branch later on with more of those cute leaves. They are round, silvery-blue with those dark burgundy spots. The spots can be more green or more dark when exposed to more sun. Beautiful thing!
Flowers are not so special and this is not why I grow the plant. But it blooms, so I take it as a sign that it is happy.
They also do not last very long - just a few days, but since they bloom one after another the show lasts a little longer.
The flower is super tiny, maybe 0.5 cm across and less than 1 cm long. They do look pretty cool in macro though :p I haven't seen this this good before.
The easiest way is though a leaf cutting and I have done that before with my other type. Just snap one of the mature and healhy leaves and place it on top of a soil. Let the wound dry up for a few days and then mist it every few days until it starts growing roots. Not long after new tiny leaves will start growing too.
Another method is though stem cuttings - that is easier when the plant grows bigger and there is something to cut actually.
And lastly though seeds which I haven't tried, because I never had any seeds from my plants. Of course I will be curious to give it a go and see. Just need to get some seed pods first.
Shot with Nikon D5500 + Sigma 105mm lens
All photos and text are my own.