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Callisia Repens Plant Care — Must-Have Gardener’s Guide

Callisia Repens Plant Care — Must-Have Gardener’s Guide

Callisia Repens is low creeping, perennial and herbaceous succulent

Beautiful areas of dreamy baby-pink leaves appear among the green or creamy-yellow foliage, which are accented by the purple undersides of the leaves.

Callisia Repens is indigenous to Cuba, South Africa, and China. The succulent belongs to the family of Commelinaceae and genus Callisia. 

Other names for this succulent are Pink Lady, Bianca, Sweet Bubbles, Pink Turtle, Tricolor, and Tangle.

 

 

Callisia Repens Plant Care

The succulent likes well-draining soil hence add perlite to improve drainage. Water the plant only when the top inch feels dry and place it 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from the window. Maintain temperature between 59 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (15-30 degrees Celsius) with 40-50 %humidity level.

 

Soil

Callisia Repens is not very picky about what soil you grow it in. The succulent only prefers a soil mix that is well-draining to help it grow perfectly.

You can add peat moss to the regular soil mix to improve the drainage of the soil for the succulent. Adding perlite to your soil mix will also be a great idea. 

You can use the following measurements to make an ideal potting mix for your Callisia Repens:

  • For good drainage, take potting mix and perlite in equal parts. You can also use succulent mix instead of perlite.
  • In case you are not good at remembering when to water, you can use ¼ of the draining mix along with ¾ potting mix to keep the soil moist for your succulent.

 

Water

Watering the Callisia Repens in the right time and quantity is very important. The succulent is susceptible to problems caused due to overwatering and underwatering.

Callisia Repens is a succulent plant and thus requires very little water compared to other houseplants. However, never let the soil of your succulents get completely dry.

Underwatering will cause the inner foliage of the succulent to shed, which is the reason for the bulkiness of the plant. Water your soil thoroughly and let the top 1 inch of the soil get dry before you rewater it.

If you notice the soil shrinking and compacting around the edges, then you have taken a very long break from watering the succulent. 

Use a fork and lightly aerate the top layer to increase air circulation for the succulent.

 

Light

Callisia Repens loves a spot that is bright but away from the exposure of direct sunlight. You should not place this plant in a very bright window along with other succulents as it won’t endure.

An ideal spot for Callisia Repens is placing it 6 feet away from the window that gets bright light all day. During its active growth season that is from March till October, allow it to receive a bit more light.

Although Callisia Repens can thrive in little light, you won’t be rewarded with a beautiful plant as there are few leaves and short stems.

 

Temperature

Callisia Repens does not like a very cold environment. It will develop and grow just fine in temperatures between 59 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 30 degrees Celsius).

Keep in mind that Callisia Repens is not very resistant to cold weather. You must take special care of your succulent during the frost season and provide them with a warm environment it likes.

One way is to water it more as it will keep the soil moist and prevent the plant from dying.

 

Humidity

Callisia Repens loves a humid environment. You can maintain a 40 to 50 percent humidity around this succulent.

You can frequently mist the leaves to boost the humidity. If you live in a region with a dry climate, try placing a humidifier near the succulent or placing the pot on a pebble tray.

 

Fertilizer

Callisia Repens is not a heavy feeder and does not require fertilizer frequently. 

You need to apply fertilizer to your succulents to make sure it has all the necessary nutrients it needs to prosper and stay healthy.

You can apply fertilizer every month or two during the succulent’s active growth season. Use well-balanced organic liquid fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 8-8-8 to boost nutrients in the soil.

A plant that has been recently bought will not need fertilizer for at least the first year of the growth. After a year, you can start feeding it every month with organic fertilizer.

Various fertilizer types are available in the market. It ranges from fast release to slow release and organic to synthetic. 

You must investigate your Callisia Repens condition and choose the fertilizer that best suits it. 

In my opinion, a slow-release organic fertilizer will be perfect for your leafy succulent. This is because a single feed will provide the plant with a balanced amount of nutrients for a very long time.

Avoid adding too much fertilizer to Callisia Repens as it will only cause harm to it. Read the package instruction to know the application guidelines.

 

Repotting

Callisia Repens is a very slow-growing succulent. You will not have to repot the succulent for a very long time.

However, when the plant grows very big, and there is no room for further expansion, it will be good to change the container. 

If the roots do not get enough room to expand, your plant will not grow the way you want it to.

Hence get a container that is double the size of the current pot so that the roots do not suffocate and the plant keeps thriving.

 

Pruning

You should now and then pinch the growing tips to keep the compact shape of the Callisia Repens.  If the succulent has become very untidy, prune it into a tight ball, and it will re-grow. 

If you do not trim it regularly, the succulent will look very untidy and start to trail. And Callisia Repens is not famous as a trailing plant but rather a ball-shaped compact succulent.

Always disinfect the pruning tools with a disinfectant. Also, do wear gloves since the plant contains a chemical that can possibly trigger irritation.

 

Propagation

You can propagate Callisia Repens either from offsets, cuttings, or seeds. 

You can propagate your Callisia Repens in a small pot, and then once it has established itself transfer it to a bigger pot.

 

Propagation Through Offsets

You can propagate the Callisia Repens from the offsets. Since it grows very slowly, you will have to wait for several years before getting an offset from the mother plant for propagation.

However, it will be very quick and easy to start the propagation once you notice the offsets. To begin the process, cut an offset using scissors or a sharp knife from the mother plant.

Once you have removed the offset, using a brush or piece of cloth, clean the extra soil. Prior to planting the offset, give it a few days to harden. 

Then, use well-draining soil to plant your tiny offsets in. Water it thoroughly, and do not let the soil get dry.

 

Propagation Through Cuttings

Cuttings is yet another method of increasing your gorgeous Callisia Repens. Take the mother plant cuttings to propagate this plant.

You can cut off a stem that has about 4 to 5 leaves attached to it. If you want your cuttings to grow a lot of roots, allow the stem to sit in water for almost a week.

After it has established a root system, you can plant it into a soil mix that drains well. Do not put these cuttings in direct sun as it will do no good to it.

 

Propagation Through Seeds

Callisia Repens is a slow grower, and although you can propagate it through seeds, it is a method not recommended by gardeners. 

To propagate using seeds, buy seeds of the succulent from a nursery and place them in well-draining, moist soil.

Propagation through seeds is recommended when you are cultivating it outdoors. However, if you’re in a region that’s often cold, plant it indoors.

 

Blooms

Callisia Repens blooms throughout the summer season until autumn arrives. It grows stunning small white flowers that sprout in clusters on the upper leaves. 

These bisexual bloom clusters have no odor and appear in the form of pairs.

The flower appears to have three petals in white along with six stamens and smooth filaments. The flowers emerge after fertilization from the tiny oblong seed capsules containing four brown-colored seeds.

 

Growth

Callisia Repens, when allowed to the trail, will grow to an overall height of 0.3 to 1 foot (0.1 to 3.7 meters). At the same time, the low-growing creeping stems can stretch up to 0.2 feet (0.06 meters).

You will notice the stems get frequent branches from where the roots grow. The small, rotting leaves of Callisia Repens are tightly packed. 

They shrink in size as they move away from the center of the succulent.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Common Problems for Callisia Repens

Callisia Repens is not susceptible to any pest or disease. 

The only problems it faces are due to improper care.

 

Loss of Variegated and Pink Foliage

When you start to notice green stems, trim them off regularly. This allows the Callisia Repens to focus on developing its cream, pink and variegated stems.

Even if you are trimming it regularly, those green will come back again, and now you must check the light it is receiving. 

If there is less light reaching the succulent, it will begin to grow green stems rather than pink and creamy.

You can give the Callisia Repens some direct sun during winter but remember leaving it sun during the summer season will burn the leaves. 

No matter what caused this problem, it is important that you trim where the stem variegates. 

 

Leggy Growth

There are two reasons for the leggy growth of your Callisia Repens. Leggy growth happens when the plant’s stems are growing longer between the leaves.

The first reason for leggy growth is insufficient light, which causes the plant to stretch beyond the limit. The second reason is not pruning the succulent regularly.

Do regular pruning to allow the plant to grow double from the stems closer to roots. This will contribute to a lovely and bushy Callisia Repens.

If you want your succulent to have its natural round shape, do not allow it to the trail. 

 

Brown Stem and Leaves

There are three reasons for the browning of the leaves and stem of your Callisia Repens. Either the plant is receiving too much water, too little water, or is placed in a very bright spot.

When you underwater the succulent, the edges of the leaves begin to shrink and eventually turn brown. 

Whereas if the plant sits in water for a very long time, it becomes mushy due to root rot. This leads to dry and brown leaves, which eventually die.

 

Spots on the Pink Part

When you notice that the pink part of the Callisia Repens begins to turn yellow or freckles appear, it is because of extreme light. These are symptoms of early sunburns.

Even though Callisia Repens is succulent, it cannot survive in direct sun, and the leaves will surely burn due to harsh light. 

Hence when you notice yellow spots appearing on the foliage, change the location of the succulent. 

 

Mushy Black Stems

When you apply too much water to your Callisia Repens, you will notice the stems become brown and mushy. 

When there is an excess amount of water, the roots start to turn brown, further moving to stems, causing a black and mushy appearance.

 

Small and Dull Leaves

Small leaves and dull, yellowish-brown leaves are the symptoms of underwatering. This will also happen if the leaf is facing sunburn. 

Whatever the cause is, to save your plant, either water it less or change the location. If you don’t know what the cause is, do try both these techniques together.

 

Tips for Growing Callisia Repens

  • Place the succulent in a place that is bright but away from direct sunlight.
  • Prune the plant regularly to keep the compact shape.
  • Only water it when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Callisia Repens Plant Care

 

How do I keep Callisia Repens’ leaves pink?

To keep the creamy pink color of the leaves, place the succulent in bright indirect light. Do not place it in a spot with direct exposure to the sun, or the leaves will burn. Only give it a few hours of direct sun in winter.

 

Is Callisia Repens poisonous?

The plant is not toxic or poisonous despite calcium oxalate’s presence. However, it can cause irritation, so keep it away from pets and children.

 

Conclusion

Callisia Repens is a succulent that will make a wonderful hanging plant in your balcony, patio, or anywhere inside your home. 

This fantastic and easy to care succulent can be grown indoors as a houseplant or outdoors as a thick mat-like cover for the ground.

Callisia Repens can also be used in fairy gardens to enhance the beauty, from the pink and creamy leaves it possesses. 

The stunning color of its leaves is something that won’t go unnoticed no matter where the plant is placed.