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Consulta Plantas

Gardening and plant care since 2001

Care of the plant Encephalartos altensteinii or Eastern Cape giant cycad.

Care of the plant Encephalartos altensteinii or Eastern Cape giant cycad

The genus Encephalartos, family Zamiaceae, comprises 60 species of cycads native to Africa. Some species are: Encephalartos altensteinii, Encephalartos senticosus, Encephalartos natalensis, Encephalartos ferox, Encephalartos horridus, Encephalartos villosus, Encephalartos lebomboensis.

Common names: Eastern Cape giant cycad, Broodboom, Breadtree. This species is native to Eastern Cape Province and Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.

They are very slow growing cycads that can branch out and reach 5-7 meters in height. The leaves are 3 meters long (shorter in full sun) and have light green leaflets with few spines on the edge. They produce male and female cones on separate plants; these cones reach 50 cm in length.

These easy-to-grow plants are used in large gardens as single specimens or in pots when the plants are young. They are ideal for Mediterranean coastal gardens due to their resistance to wind.

Encephalartos altensteinii can grow in full sun, shade, or semi-shade exposures in warm or temperate climates. They resist light and occasional frosts.

The soil must be well drained and contain organic matter to retain moisture. In the case of a pot transplant (in spring) it is possible to cut all the leaves to avoid thorns; the leaves will grow back.

Water regularly, waiting for the substrate to dry completely.

Fertilize with mineral fertilizer in early spring; use a slow release granular compost.

They can be pruned to remove dry leaves.

The worst enemy of these plants is the excess of watering that can rot the roots.

They propagate from suckers that can sprout (not always) at the base of the plant or from seeds sown in spring; they take several months to germinate.

Images of the plant Encephalartos altensteinii or Eastern Cape giant cycad

Encephalartos altensteinii
Encephalartos altensteinii
Encephalartos altensteinii
Encephalartos altensteinii
Encephalartos altensteinii
 

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