This Unique Succulent Houseplant Has the Most Amazing Spiraled Leaves
Whether you have a large collection of houseplants or just a few plant babies, you can always find an excuse to add one more. This is especially true when you come across a quirky variety that makes you do a double take, like I did with Albuca spiralis 'Frizzle Sizzle'. Also called spiral or corkscrew albuca because its leaves look like little green curlicues, this succulent resembles something out of a Dr. Seuss story book. It's an adorable, small-size plant that will fit in just about anywhere with lots of bright light, and is perfect for complementing trendy squiggly decor.
How to Grow Corkscrew Albuca
Native to South Africa, Albuca spiralis is a type of succulent that sprouts its distinctive, coiled leaves from a bulb-like base that sticks out a little from the soil. Like most succulents, this plant prefers things on the warm and dry side. It will be happiest in a clay pot with a drainage hole and in temperatures above 60°F. If you set it outdoors, you'll need to bring it in whenever the weather gets colder than that. Corkscrew albuca also needs plenty of light, but if it's moved suddenly into direct sun, this can burn the leaves. Indirect, bright light from a south- or west-facing window is best.
If you're into starting from scratch, get some Albuca spiralis 'Frizzle Sizzle' seeds. You can buy a pack of 5 seeds on Etsy for $13 or a 5-pack on Unusual Seeds for $15. Place your seeds in a clay pot with a sandy, well-draining potting soil mix ($5, Lowe's). It takes about 12 weeks to get a full-grown plant from seed. At first, it will sprout straight leaves, but they'll curl as your corkscrew albuca matures. If you'd like a less intensive process or want instant gratification, you can just buy an already grown plant.
Corkscrew albuca does most of its growing during the winter months. This is when it needs light watering about once every week or two, whenever the soil feels dry. If you see the leaf tips turning brown and dry, that usually means you need to water more frequently. As those leaves completely turn brown, you can carefully trim them off. Give your plant a shot of cactus and succulent liquid fertilizer ($5, Lowe's) once per month.
If your corkscrew albuca is getting enough light, water, and nutrients, it will produce spikes of small yellow flowers that have a buttery vanilla fragrance. The blooms will last until mid-spring, right before your plant enters its dormant period. The leaves will naturally turn brown and fall off at this point, but the bulb remains alive. During dormancy over the summer, water less often and skip the fertilizer. Once you see new leaves starting to grow in late fall or early winter, you can start watering your albuca more and fertilizing again.