When it comes to cute plants, no others wear the crown of cuteness quite like a succulent.
Within this expansive group of adorable types of succulent plants, one is especially worth mentioning for its charm: the baby toes succulent.
Baby toes succulent plants are named for a very obvious reason; the fact that the stalks resemble the tiny yet chubby toes of an infant.
As well as being cute, they’re easy to grow and make a great project for beginner gardeners, children, and even those who have extensive nurseries.
What are the best growing conditions for a baby toes succulent?
These plants are native to subtropical areas and require a lot of sun with moderate water. They’re tolerant of extreme weather conditions which makes them low maintenance to look after, and most people find them incredibly hard to damage.
If you’ve been searching for a succulent to start your garden with, the baby toes might be the one for you.
This plant looks beautiful, is easy to grow, and requires nothing to maintain, making it the perfect choice for any gardener who wants to dive right into the world of succulents.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Baby Toes Succulent Plants?
- 2 Appearance of Fenestraria Rhopalophylla
- 3 Taking Care of This Special Succulent
- 4 Flowering Baby Toes Succulents
- 5 The Perfect Growing Conditions
- 6 Propagating Baby Toes
- 7 Growing Tips for a Healthy Baby Toes Succulent
- 8 A Cute But Hardy Succulent
- 9 Related Questions
- 10 Can You Crowd Succulents?
What Are Baby Toes Succulent Plants?
Baby toes succulent plants are also known as Fenestraria rhopalophylla, and they’re native to subtropical areas.
As a living stone plant in the same family as the Lithops, it produces leaves that are more rock or stone-like in their appearance, making it a standout in the world of succulents.
The plant was named after the translucency of the tips of its leaves, as its botanical name, Fenestraria, comes from the Latin word fenestra which means window.
The transparent tip of the plant is like a window that allows the light to pass through and feed the succulent, making it very unique in its structure.
Appearance of Fenestraria Rhopalophylla
The leaves of this perennial succulent are made up of thick columns with flat tops, giving them the appearance of small toes.
On these tops is a translucent membrane that sits over the leaf, which allows the light to penetrate through the plant, making the leaves sometimes appear like stems.
The baby toes is a smaller plant and won’t grow to be very tall even in ideal conditions, and will usually be 1 inch in diameter with leaves about 1.5 inches each.
The finger-like leaves of the plant can grow as tall as six inches and usually grow in a cluster with other leaves.
You can’t spot the stem as it’s underneath the soil but instead, all of the leaves will grow together in groups, looking like cylindrical toes with flat tops.
This succulent’s color can vary dramatically and might look brown, grey, and green, depending on their variety, size, and growing conditions.
Due to their cute appearance and hardy nature, they’re one of the most popular plants available today and you’ll find them widely available at nurseries with instructions for care that are easy for even beginner gardeners to follow, so helping them thrive is easy.
Taking Care of This Special Succulent
The Fenestraria is native to Coastal South Africa and is tolerant of warmer conditions, doing especially well in extreme heat.
When you have one at home, it’s best to place it somewhere there’s full sun for the entire day, but if you’re only able to find a spot with six hours of direct sun, it will still thrive.
For indoor baby toes succulents, you’ll want to keep it in as much bright but indirect light as possible.
As with most succulents, you’ll want a well-draining soil for the best chance of a healthy baby toes.
The pot that it’s housed in should allow for proper drainage as well, so if it’s not set up for this, you can easily drill a few holes in the bottom that prevent the roots from staying moist and developing conditions like root rot.
The best temperature for the Fenestraria is warmer conditions, and it’s not known as a cold-hardy plant.
You’ll want to ensure its environment never gets below 20 degrees Fahrenheit to keep it healthy.
If you live somewhere the temperature dips lower than this, keeping them indoors but in a well-lit area can keep them warm enough to survive, even in the colder months.
Flowering Baby Toes Succulents
The baby toes is a flowering succulent and if you’re lucky enough to own one you’ll spot them growing flowers during late summer through early spring, although they won’t produce any fragrance.
There are two main types of baby toes succulent, and depending on which one you have, you’ll get to witness a unique blossoming effect.
The Fenestraria Aurantiaca will produce daisy-like flowers that are orange colored and grow to be around three inches.
They’ll be a lot wider than the leaves of the plant, and will spread out to take over most of the succulent.
If you have a Fenestraria Rhopalophylla, the leaves will be small and white, and the leaves will have a harsher blunt tip compared to the softer round shape.
The Perfect Growing Conditions
Known as one of the easiest plants to care for, there’s very little you have to do once you have the right position for your Fenestraria.
To ensure your plant grows as large and healthy as possible, you’ll want to make sure it’s potted correctly, has the right soil, and is watered on a set schedule.
How Often Should They Be Watered?
If you’re someone who forgets to water their plants often, the Fenestraria is a good choice.
These plants can handle drought conditions and usually won’t die off fast without water but you should keep up an active watering schedule where possible.
During their growth phase, water them regularly so that the soil has enough time to dry out in between without getting too arid, and ease off the watering during summer.
The Best Pots for Optimal Growth
Succulents are prone to rotting and dying when they’re overwatered, and if there’s a lot of water sitting in the bottom of the pot this is disastrous for them as well.
The best pot is one that allows for drainage so the water runs through the soil and the plant roots and then out through the bottom, so make sure you choose one with at least one hole.
Choosing the Right Soil
The baby toes succulent is like most other succulents in that it needs a soil that drains well.
This means choosing either a sandy or calciferous soil to put into the pot, or even making up your own potting mixture.
This can be done with a standard potting soil mixed with fertilizer, and then with pumice stones mixed through it.
Propagating Baby Toes
If you love your baby toes succulent so much that you want more, there are two options for propagation.
The Fenestraria is known as being very slow-growing and the seeds are one of the hardest to germinate, making them not ideal for this type of purpose.
If you do want to attempt to start from a seed, you need well-draining soil and warm weather to grow them outside.
The best approach for growing new plants is to use offsets which will grow directly out of the main plant.
Use a sharp and sterile knife to make the cut, or if there’s a small start growing at the base of the plant, you can take it from here.
Give them a couple of days to dry before you replant them for the best results.
Growing Tips for a Healthy Baby Toes Succulent
Owning a baby toes succulent is a treat, as they always give you something adorable to look at, but don’t require a lot of hard work to keep them that way.
Here are some tips to keep in mind if you own a Fenestraria yourself and want to ensure it stays happy and healthy for years to come:
- Keep an eye out for leaves turning yellow with this plant, which usually means the plant has been overwatered and needs time to dry out.
- There’s no need to worry about pests and disease with a baby toes succulent so you won’t require any products to keep them away.
- Keep your pets and small children away from this plant and other succulents you have as they can be toxic to animals when eaten.
- Succulents are prone to root rot so if you suspect something is wrong, remove it from the pot and dry the roots out before rehoming it.
- During summer, you can usually leave this succulent on its own without much water. As a subtropical species, it survives in extreme weather conditions and will do well when it’s hot.
- Your baby toes can be kept on its own or added to a landscaped garden outside or in a container with other succulents if you have this type of setup.
- When the temperature drops, move your baby toes succulent to a windowsill that gets a lot of bright light to keep it warm and away from harsh outdoor conditions.
A Cute But Hardy Succulent
There are few plants out there that combine the adorable looks of the baby toes succulent with the absolute hardiness of it, and with these two together it’s no wonder this is one of the most popular succulents out there.
The Fenestraria Rhopalophylla is an ideal choice for beginner and expert gardeners alike, and especially those who are fond of succulents.
Whether you choose to grow yours indoors where you can control the conditions to its liking, or let it flourish outdoors and with the extreme heat and brightness that it prefers, you’ll find that they’re an easy plant to grow.
If you’ve been looking for a new succulent to plant or want to get your kids involved with your love for plants, there’s no better way to start than with a baby toes.
This endearing and hardy plant will be around for years and let you enjoy all of the best parts of owning a succulent without any of the hard work that other plants require.
Baby toes succulents are just one of many wonderful plants in the succulent family, and one of the most adorable plants without question.
If you want to learn more about succulents and how to take care of these unique plants at home, we’ve answered some FAQs that can give you a push in the right direction.
Can You Touch Succulents?
Although their leaves look plump and inviting to touch, you should avoid touching a succulent as much as possible.
The most delicate part of this plant is it leaves and even if they look tougher than other plants, they can still become damaged when you touch them.
The roots of a succulent are hardy so even if all of the leaves fall off, they should be able to grow new ones.
Can You Crowd Succulents?
If you plan on adding baby toes succulent to another garden, make sure you’ve given them enough space of their own to grow.
Although succulents do well grouped with others, you increase the chance of mold and insect infestations when they’re overcrowded, as well as reduce their ability to get food and water, so don’t put them too close together.
Do Succulents Need Direct Sunlight?
There are many types of succulents that each require different things from the sun, but in general, you should try to keep them out of direct sunlight when they’re young.
A freshly planted or rehomed succulent will become scorched in direct sunlight so it’s better to introduce them to these conditions slowly with just a few hours a day at first.
Last Updated on April 28, 2021 by Chloe Nguyen
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.