Ornamental plants have been a popular trend in the past year. Being confined in their home for most of the day, people are looking for ways to spend their time. Last year as reported from Kompas.com, one ornamental plant’s business in Pontianak finds that their income has increased up to 300 percent as of last year. Other ornamental plant businesses have also felt that they are selling more plants than before.
Plants such as Monstera or Janda Bolong, Aglaonema or Sri Rejeki, and Caladium or Keladi Hias are just a few popular exotic ornamental plants that sold the most as of last year. Monstera or Janda Bolong even made headlines for the outrageous cost of owning it. Some of its species like the Monstera obliqua can go up to Rp 120 million. But owning exotic plants doesn’t have to be costly, especially if you’re new to tending ornamental plants and still learning.
If you’re familiar with succulents, you’ll know that it has leaves, roots, or stems that are thickened and fleshy that retain water in dry climates or soil conditions. Or simply have cacti-like characteristics of storing water in dry conditions. This kind of ornamental plant is also on the rise, known for its relatively easy to maintain and exotic shapes and colors. One of the more unique succulents on the market is the Donkey/Burro’s Tail or better known as Air Mata Ibu.
Air Mata Ibu plant
Air Mata Ibu or Sedum morganianum is a succulent native to southern Mexico. This plant’s name of Donkey/Burro’s Tail comes from the long, tail-like shape they grow into, while the name Air Mata Ibu comes from the crescent-shaped and sometimes more rounded or beaded that resembles the shape of teardrops. Its leaves are fleshy and thick for storing water with a blue-green coloring. Let’s learn more about what makes this plant so unique and popular among ornamental plants lovers.
- Can grow up to 1,5 meters. This plant is a great addition to a hanging plant, the stems and leaves will grow downward draping down the sides of the pot. Taken care of properly, Air Mata Ibu can grow up to 1,5 meters in about 6 years as it matures, making it a very long-lasting houseplant.
- Low maintenance. As with any succulent, Air Mata Ibu doesn’t necessarily need to be watered every day due to its nature of storing moisture. While they thrive in warm weather as any other succulent is, Air Mata Ibu stands up better to cooler temperatures than other succulents. Making it a perfect first plant for a novice gardener.
- Produces pink flowers. Taken care of properly, a thriving Air Mata Ibu can produce small, pink unscented flowers during the spring and summer.
- Each leaf can be propagated to make new plants. Leaf of Air Mata Ibu can easily fall off when it’s being moved or accidentally brushed over. The good news is that the leaf that falls off can be propagated and turned into a new Air Mata Ibu.
Taking care of Air Mata Ibu
Air Mata Ibu is a pretty forgiving plant, like most succulents they do well if left slightly neglected. In the case of Air Mata Ibu, some are even recommending leaving it in a sunny space and leaving them alone. This is because its tiny leaves are quite fragile and can easily fall off if touched accidentally or moved. They also require less water than most plants due to their succulent characteristics. Here are a few tips for taking care of this hassle-free exotic plant.
Light. As Spruce.com pointed out, Air Mata Ibu thrives in lots of warm sunlight. Whether indoor or outdoor, make sure to put them where they can get the most sunlight. But be careful of the harsh afternoon sun that can turn the plant leaf to gray or dull-colored greed. For outdoor planting, Air Mata Ibu is best placed where it can get more morning sun than the afternoon sun.
Water. When it comes to watering Air Mata Ibu or any succulent, less is more. So between watering, make sure that the soil has dried out completely. This ensures that the plant doesn’t get over water that can cause a rotten root. Generally, Air Mata Ibu can be watered once a month depending on the climate, drainage, and size of the plant.
Temperature. Air Mata Ibu thrives in warm weather but can survive temperatures as low as 23 celsius. So this plant can survive weather being planted indoors or outdoors. Keep in mind that Indonesia tends to have a period of long rainy periods, during that time try to move the plant into shadier or indoor areas to ensure that it does not expose itself to too much water. While it can survive the drought, Air Mata Ibu is not one to overwater.
Fertilizer. Fertilizing for Air Mata Ibu is not totally necessary to its growth. But a few additions of fertilizer with an equal ratio of 20-20-20 now and then wouldn’t hurt. Try and test out a small amount before applying too much. The fertilizer should also be diluted to reduce its strength as to avoid shocks to the roots.
Now that we know more about this unique succulent, ready to try out your planting skills? Happy planting!
Written by: Safaanah