Botanical name: Cotyledon campanulata
Common names: Bell-flowered Cotyledon, Wonderful Bells Cotyledon
Cotyledon campanulata commonly called Bell-flowered Cotyledon or Wonderful Bells Cotyledon is a small succulent shrub with elongated, upright, fleshy, light-green, finger-like leaves which are covered with fine hairs.
Bell-flowered Cotyledon leaves are borne on a thick, woody stem in a rosette pattern. They have a serrated margin and they turn red at the tips in bright light.
Bell-flowered Cotyledon Succulent blooms in late spring to early summer with yellow, bell-shaped, pendulous flowers which are borne on a stem at the center of the rosette.
This characteristic of bell-shaped flowers gives this plant the common names, 'Bell-flowered Cotyledon' and 'Wonderful Bells Cotyledon'. The flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies.
Wonderful Bells Cotyledon can grow to a height of 1 ft and a spread of about 1 ft.
Cotyledon campanulata is native to South Africa in Eastern Cape where it is found growing in clumps in arid areas.
Cotyledon campanulata (Bell-flowered Cotyledon) thrives in bright light with direct sunlight of at least 4-6 hours, average warmth and loose, fast-draining soil that is low in organic matter coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Bell-flowered Cotyledon has no need for extra humidity. Repotting is only needed when it becomes pot-bound or when the potting medium is completely broken down. Pruning is necessary to keep the plant neat, to control growth and to minimize pest and disease infestations. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to provide them.
Cotyledon campanulata requires bright light with at least 4-6 hours of morning or afternoon sunlight. Keep it away or shield it from hot direct sunshine to prevent scorching of the leaves.
Bell-flowered Cotyledon Succulent can be grown outdoors, however, gradually acclimate it and place it in a shaded place first to prevent scorching of the leaves.
Regularly rotate the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.
Wonderful Bells Cotyledon can also be grown under a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.
Like all succulents, Bell-flowered Cotyledon does not like overwatering and soggy soil. It is best watered by the 'soak and dry' method.
Water Cotyledon campanulata deeply during the growing season until water comes out through the drainage hole and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Decrease watering in the cold period as growth is reduced at this time, thus, the plant does not need much water for growth.
Only use water that is at room temperature to water the Wonderful Bells Cotyledon to avoid plant shock as it can result in leaf drop and reduced growth.
Confirm that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is fast-draining to prevent the Cotyledon campanulata from sitting in soggy soil which can result in rotting and death of the plant.
Take care not to wet the foliage to avoid fungal diseases or water from the bottom instead and always empty the bottom saucer (plate) once the plant has absorbed enough water.
Cotyledon campanulata requires an average warmth between 16-250C during the growing season and a minimum of 100C in the cold season.
Keep the Bell-flowered Cotyledon away from frost and cold drafts like windy doors and windows, air conditioning units among others as prolonged exposure can cause leaf drop and the death of the plant.
Cotyledon campanulata has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for this plant. Clean the leaves with a soft brush to get rid of dust and also discourage pest infestations.
Ascertain that there is good air circulation for the Bell-flowered Cotyledon and do not mist it to prevent fungal disease infestations which are prevalent in damp, poorly ventillated conditions.
Feed Cotyledon campanulata monthly during the growing season with a Cactus and Succulents Fertilizer to promote a lush growth.
Do not feed the Bell-flowered Cotyledon in the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can result in fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant.
Repot Cotyledon campanulata at the beginning of the growing season only when it has become pot-bound or when the potting medium has completely broken down. Use a pot that is 1 size larger than the current one to avoid overpotting and retention of excess moisture.
Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy to prevent root-rot and eventual loss of the plant.
Select a clay pot rather than a plastic or ceramic pot as a clay pot is porous and allows the soil to dry out faster to keep it from staying wet for too long.
Ensure that the soil is dry before repotting. Take the Cotyledon campanulata out of its pot and brush off soil from the roots. Snip off any dead or dry roots and treat the wounds with a fungicidal solution.
Place the plant in the center of its new pot and back fill with fresh, loose, fast-draining soil while spreading the roots as you fill the pot.
Do not fill the pot completely but allow a space of about 1 in. unfilled for watering purposes.
Put back the plant to its display position and keep it dry for about 5-7 days to minimize the risk of rot-root disease.
The best soil for Cotyledon campanulata should be coarse, low in organic matter and one that drains easily to prevent it from holding excess water. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out quickly.
Cactus and Succulents soils like these Cactus and Succulents Mixes available online at Etsy are ideal for the Bell-flowered Cotyledon.
Pruning Cotyledon campanulata involves removal of any dead or diseased leaves to keep it neat and also discourage pest and disease infestations.
Snip the leaves at the base with a sterilized knife or pair of scissors to prevent diseases transmission.
Cut back the stems if they become straggly to rejuvenate growth and encourage a compact, bushy growth.
Minimize the number of cuts as much as possible to avoid unnecessary injuries to discourage fungal disease infestations.
Cotyledon campanulata (Bell-flowered Cotyledon) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings or leaf cuttings.
Take 3-5 in. stem cuttings from a healthy Cotyledon campanulata and allow the cutting to dry out (callus) for a few days to prevent rotting.
Once callused, insert the lower cut end of the stem cuttings in moist, fast-draining, rooting soil.
Place the set up in a well-lit, warm place away from direct sunlight and ensure that there is good air circulation to discourage fungal diseases.
Maintain the soil slightly moist until the stem cuttings have rooted. Rooting may take upto 4 weeks.
Allow substancial growth before transplanting the new Bell-flowered Cotyledon after which routine care can begin.
Take leaf cuttings complete with the petiole from a healthy Cotyledon campanulata. Allow the leaf cutting to dry out (callus) for a few days to prevent rotting.
When calloussed, lay the leaf cutting on moist, fast-draining, rooting mix while ensuring that the cut end does not come into contact with the soil to prevent rotting.
Postion the set up in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight to prevent scorching of the leaf cuttings.
Maintain the soil slightly moist through out. Ensure that there is good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases.
With time, the leaf cutting will form roots and eventually a small rosette will form at the base of the leaf cutting. This may take from 4-6 weeks.
Allow substancial growth of the rosette before transplanting the new Bell-flowered Cotyledon into its own pot after which routine care can begin.
Cotyledon campanulata (Bell-flowered Cotyledon) problems indoors include leaf drop, wilting and droopy leaves, leaf spots, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.
Wilted (wrinkled) and drooping leaves in Cotyledon campanulata are caused by underwatering which results in too little moisture in the soil.
Therefore, the plant cannot get enough water to take up to the leaves which loss their turgidity and begin to wilt.
To prevent wilting and wrinkled leaves, water the plant liberally during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Reduce watering in the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely for a long periods of time.
Dropping leaves in Cotyledon campanulata are due to a number of reasons. If accompanied by mushy stems the cause is overwatering or soggy soil which results in too much water in the soil.
Take care not to overwater this succulent by allowing the soil to dry out between waterings and ensuring that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.
The second reason for leaf drop in Bell-flowered Cotyledon is underwatering if the leaves are shrivelled (wrinkled) and droopy.
Water the plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Lessen watering in the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely for a prolonged period of time.
The third reason for leaf drop in Wonderful Bells Cotyledon is too little light (inadequate light).
Place the plant in bright light with at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight during the growing season or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not sufficient.
The fourth reason for leaf drop in Bell-flowered Cotyledon is too low temperature due to cold drafts. Keep the plant away from windy windows and doors, air conditioning units among others.
The fifth reason for leaf drop in Bell-flowered Cotyledon is watering the plant with too cold water which causes plant shock.
Water the tropical succulent plant with water that is at room temperature to prevent plant shock.
The sixth reason for leaf drop in Wonderful Bells Cotyledon is pest infestations. The plant is prone to sap-sucking pests like scale insects, mealy bugs and spider mites.
Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the rest of houseplants and treat it with appropriate products to get rid of these pests.
Brown soft leaf spots in Cotyledon campanulata are caused by leaf spot disease which is prevalent in poorly aerated, overdamp conditions.
Improve the ventilation and ensure that there is good air circulation at all times. In addition, water the Bell-flowered Cotyledon from the bottom to avoid wetting the leaves.
Cotyledon campanulata is also prone to powdery mildew which is prevalent in overwet conditions coupled with poor air circulation and is characterized by spotting or coating of the leaf surface with a white powdery deposit.
Isolate the affected plant to minimize spread to other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil. Improve ventilation and make sure that there is good air circulation for the plant.
Water the Bell-flowered Cotyledon from the bottom to avoid wetting the foliage and always allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Do not allow the plant to sit in soggy soil; always empty the bottom saucer (plate) once the plant has absorbed enough water.
Ascertain that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil drains easily to prevent it from getting soggy.
Common pests in Cotyledon campanulata are scale insects, mealy bugs and spider mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the rest of houseplants.
Spray the plant with an Insecticidal soap to get rid of the pests. Make sure to cover the entire plant.
Cotyledon campanulata (Bell-flowered Cotyledon) like other Cotyledon plants is considered toxic to both humans and pets. As outlined by Wikipedia, some plants in the Cotyledon Genus have been found to cause stock losses among goats, pigs and poultry.