Lady Fingers Care Guide: What Is A Fingertips Succulent

Lady Fingers Care Guide: What Is A Fingertips Succulent

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Image by Stan Shebs

Lady fingers plant (Dudleya edulis) is a succulent plant with delicate, rounded leaves about the width of a pencil. The plant bears clusters of white blooms in summer. The fleshy, pointed leaves often turn red or orange during the heat of summer. Thanks to its finger-like appearance, this plant has garnered a number of unusual and interesting names, including string bean plant, fingertips succulent, San Diego dudleya, liveforever and dead man’s fingers.

In the past, fingertips succulent, native to northern Baja California and southern California, was known as mission lettuce or chalk lettuce because the edible leaves were considered to be a delicacy. If this bit of information has piqued your curiosity, read on and we’ll provide a few tips on growing fingertips succulents.

How to Grow Fingertips

Lady fingers care is easy and growing fingertips plants is suitable in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 10.

Look for lady fingers plant at nurseries and greenhouses that specialize in native plants, or cacti and succulents. You can choose from a number of species and cultivars, including Candleholder dudleya and Canyon dudleya and Britton dudleya.

Like all dudleya succulents, lady fingers plant requires well-drained soil. Although the plant grows in a variety of soil types, it performs best in sandy soil.

Select a sunny spot for growing fingertip succulents. Lady fingers plant won’t grow in the shade.

Once established, fingertip succulent plants are drought-tolerant and require very little supplemental water. Avoid overwatering, which can easily rot the plant. Moist conditions may also result in powdery mildew and other moisture-related diseases.

Cut back watering in late summer when lady fingers plant enters a state of semi-dormancy. At this point, the soil should be kept fairly dry.

Watch for pests such as mealybugs and aphids. Both are easily controlled with insecticidal soap spray. Slugs can also be a problem for fingertips succulents.

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