By Doug Rowland (Seeds), UK
Ceraria namaquensis belongs to Family Portulacaceae and has a fairly widespread habitat in South Africa and Namibia. I have had plants of this grafted on to stems of Portulacaria afra for many years. This species is of easy cultivation, and seems to want to grow all the year round here. It stands dry in winter and develops into a smallish woody stemmed desert shrub with many short, spiky succulent leaves.
I had heard it said many times that C. namaquensis is impossible to root and so is usually grafted on to stems of Portulacaria afra. On several occasions, I have propagated this species in this way using somewhat unorthodox grafting methods with suitable small-bore split tubes to unite the stems. Sometimes also I used a V graft.
This year, I have been using commercial peat blocks for rooting more difficult items such as rarer euphorbias, Madagascan thorn bushes and stems of Pachypodium succulentum. While I was at it, I put some of the ‘unrootable’ stems of C. namaquensis into the blocks. The cuttings survived well in the moist peat blocks and after about three months began to root and grow.
The moral of this story is not to always believe what you sometimes hear. Give it a go for yourself and it is quite surprising what you can root and grow on from stems, leaves and stolons with peat blocks, a good summer, care and positive thinking.
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