Hoodia gordonii, despite its spiky appearance, is not a cactus. It is the most popular of several species of succulents that were eaten by indigenous people of southern Africa to ward off hunger during long hunting excursions. The plant’s association with appetite suppression has been exploited by diet pill companies in recent years. This newfound interest in the plant has led to overharvesting of wild specimens. Plant’s are also threatened where they coexist with diamond hoards. However, in recent years, the plant has become common in cultivation by succulent collectors and for commercial production. These seeds are nursery-grown and have not contributed to the exploitation of wild species.
Growing Information: Hoodia is easy to grow. Make sure to use a sandy well-draining soil. A commercial cactus potting soil with some perlite added is ideal. Sterilizing the soil is recommended, although not entirely necessary. Fill small pots with soil and pat it down lightly. Place your seeds on top and cover with a thin layer of soil. It should be just enough to hide the seeds. Sit the pot in water and allow the water to wick up through to bottom or spray the soil with a mister. Keep warm and in bright light. A sunny window should be fine. Maintain soil dampness for about a month while the root systems are developing. Over time, gradually increase the amount of light and heat and decrease the amount of water. Hoodia is extremely drought tolerant. Be sure to repot as the plant grows because hoodia likes to develop large root systems.
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