Native to tropical Africa, Monadenium rubellum, or Red Monadenium, is a small, frost-tender plant that reaches heights of 2-5 feet, with a caudex, or swollen stem base. This stem helps to store water for hot, dry times and also helps to hold the plant upright. The stems have green stripes, and the leaves are green with tinges of red, and have an acute apex. This caudex-forming succulent prefers semi-shade, while regular watering is recommended. For best results, the soil should be well-drained, as poor drainage can lead to root rot. Red Monadenium is generally hardy in USDA zones 9-11 and grows best when kept above 60°F.
In colder regions, winter protection is essential. Red Monadenium is best grown in a pot and can be brought indoors or covered up during winter. When bringing indoors, be sure to choose a spot with enough natural light and maintain a moderate temperature. During the summer, the plant can be placed outside, but choose a spot with indirect sunlight and appropriate temperature. Water regularly, allow the soil to partially dry out between watering, and keep the leaves dry. Adding organic matter to the soil will help to keep the plant healthy, and fertilize once or twice a year for even more vigor.
With its red-tinged leaves and caudex-forming habit, Red Monadenium is a unique and interesting addition to any garden. With its simple care requirements, this plant is perfect for novice gardeners, as well as experienced ones looking for something new to add to their space.