Hottentot Fig

Hottentot Fig

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Question: my fig tree collapsed

good morning, in two words: fig in pot in the summer outside "beautiful" withdrawn into the house near a French window rivota to the west slowly "collapsed" regular watering every 15 days. how can i go about giving it back some life?

Hottentot Fig: Answer: the carpobrotus

Gentile Umberto,
the Hottentot fig, the botanical name Carpobrotus, is a succulent plant belonging to the Aizoaceae family, which in Italy also lives in its natural state, in many Mediterranean areas, starting from Tuscany to Sicily. It is an easy plant to grow, especially due to the fact that, in a large part of our peninsula, it can easily live outdoors, all year round, even in the middle of winter. Not knowing where you live but it is difficult to tell you if you can leave it in the garden or not, as it fears frost, especially if prolonged, while it can easily live outdoors in areas where frosts are only episodic and mild; or you can leave it outdoors, but in a sheltered place: a south-facing terrace may suffice, with the vase kept near the walls of the house. Moving in the home for plants of this type is not always necessary, and indeed may be fatal: first of all the light in the house is often very poor, and these plants that love very sunny positions suffer already at the start, if moved to an area of home where they cannot enjoy direct sunlight. In addition to this, in winter it would be advisable to avoid watering; even when the plant is left in the open, it is usually tried to position it sheltered from the weather, so that it does not even receive the rain water. The behavior of your carpobrotus specimen is almost certainly due to rots, which are spreading in the plant; or in any case, to the cultivation conditions, which are completely incorrect. When a succulent begins to lose turgor, the only intervention to do is to save the savable: that is, remove all the fleshy and turgid leaves with a scissor, and place them in a new vase, with dry and clean earth, possibly mixed with sand and not fertilized. Hoping that the leaves germinate. If the plant was now doomed, if you wanted to buy another, consider that the species widespread in Italy are native to South Africa or the Mediterranean areas, where they usually grow on the sunny dunes near the sea; therefore the climate they love is similar to what you can find on a Sicilian beach (for example), that is a mild climate in winter, very hot in summer; little water, almost nothing in winter; scarce fertilizations, and above all with fertilizers lacking low nitrogen content; very direct sun, all year round. Then place it in a nice large vase, and place the vase in the full sun, on the terrace or in the garden; in winter it avoids watering, and leaves the plant outdoors, possibly covered with tissue, if you live in an area subject to intense frost, or snowfall.