This is a short article showing how easy it is to propagate and grow pigface (Carpobrotus), even if you have a black thumb! Pig face is super tough!
Most varieties of pigface are found in South Africa, however there are 4 species that occur naturally here in Australia.
Until a recently i was unaware that the entire plant is edible. It has also been used medicinally like aloe vera as an ointment fo burnt skin.
It has very attractive foliage but even prettier flowers. The flowers are produced from mid-late spring into summer in mass. Sporadic flowerings will occur throughout the year.
Pigface will require almost no maintenance once it’s established. You’ve probably noticed it planted near children playgrounds. Thats how tough it is!
In the wild it’s found on sand dunes where it acts as a stabiliser. Needless to say it can also tolerate salt spray!
If you kill this plant by accident you shouldn’t be allowed to spray the weed killer! You’re obviously a bad shot;)
Its only real requirement is a well draining soil.
Propagating pigface is really easy. Using stem cuttings is the quickest and easiest method.
- The best time of year to take pigface cuttings is summer.
- Simply pinch off a tip cutting about 10cm (4″) long.
- Remove the 2 lowest leaves. (see picture)
- Plant the cutting directly into a pot with quality potting mix.
- Water thoroughly.
- Store in a sheltered area. (Out of direct sunlight and wind)
- Keep the potting mix moist!
- A good strong root system should be established within 6 weeks.
You’ve no doubt seen all the awesome photos on instagram of people propagating succulents using leaf cuttings. This is a really fun method of propagation and does also work for pig face it just takes longer.
Stem cuttings will establish a larger plant much faster. The cutting in the above picture had a strong root system and had doubled in plant size in 6 weeks!
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Pigface propagation video
Pigface quick information
Pigface is an attractive evergreen, succulent ground cover. There are quite a number of varieties available.
You’ll find differences is foliage colour and size. Also a wide range of flower colours. Flowering occurs most prolifically from mid spring into summer.
Pigface is an excellent choice for rockeries, cascading over retaining walls, adding soft foliage around playgrounds, on steep banks and costal gardens.
Its only real requirement is that soil is free draining. It will tolerate incredibly hot and dry conditions as well as sea spray. For best flowering displays plant in full sun.
Botanical name: Carpobrotus, Mesembryanthemum
Common name: pigface, ice plant, sour fig, hottentot fig and stone plants
Native to: Australia, Africa, South America
Position: Full sun, part shade
Height: 10cm (4′)