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Origin and Habitat: NAM, NC
Altitude: 500-1100 meters above sea level.
AFRIKAANS (Afrikaans): Ghaap
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) G. J. H. Grubben "Vegetables" PROTA, 2004
Cultivation and Propagation: Hoodia alstonii is one of easiest species to grow but prone to root rot due to overwaterings and lack of fresh air.
Esposure: Indoors only in brightest position.
Watering: Water normally in the growing season, sparsely in the winter.
Hardiness: It is usually recommended to over-winter them in warm conditions (at 10° C), but despite their African origins they seem to grow well and flower without the extra heat which one might have thought necessary, and occasional temperatures near 0°C (or less) are tolerated, if kept dry.
Spring: In the spring leaving them out in the rain may provide them with the water they need.
Summer: In the summer months they will grow well in full sun or partial shade and tolerate heavy rain, but will be just as happy if the season is dry.
Potting medium: Since roots are quite shallow, a gritty, very free-draining compost with extra perlite or pumiceis suitable, and clay pots help the plants to dry out between watering.
Edible uses: Commonly known as: “ghaap” the young pods are liked for their sweetniss.
Propagation: Propagation is done mainly from seed. Cuttings are not really an option, as the severed ends very rarely form a callus from where roots will eventually form. Seeds are produced in March and April of each year (Europe). The seed horns must be semi-dry and starting to split down the middle before seed can be collected. If you try to take a cutting allows it to dry several days before planting.
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