Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’

Family: Commelinaceae

Countries: Africa, Somalia

Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ is from Northern Somalia where it grows in the desert biome and dry shrub-land biomes.  These plants have a bushy, trailing habit and long, lance-shaped leaves that have a fine covering of long hairs that look very attractive, especially when viewed by certain angles in the sunlight.

This plant makes a superb houseplant for a light and bright room.  It’s an ideal choice to grow as a houseplant inside conservatories and any really light, bright spaces with glass ceilings or skylights.  Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ will be content to grow in light rooms and rooms with moderately bright lighting; give this plant the brightest space you can offer.  If your home is shaded it would be best to grow a different houseplant, but you could try growing Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ on your lightest, brightest window sill.

If you want to group plants together with Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’, choose plants that will flourish in the same growing conditions, like Aloe vera, Ceropegia linearis subsp. woodii, Curio rowleyanus, cacti, succulents, or Tradescantia.

Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ flourish in a dry atmosphere.  These plants don’t want to be misted or grown in wet or humid environments – if you have a humid environment and you’re looking for a houseplant, opt for humidity loving ferns, or Fittonias, Goeppertia roseopicta ‘Surprise Star’, Goeppertia orbifolia, Goeppertia rufibarba, Goeppertia veitchiana ‘Medaillon’, or Alocasia × amazonica ‘Polly’, or other Alocasias, or instead.  Keep Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ in a light and bright, arid environment.

Many people kill their houseplants with good intentions; overwatering kills many more houseplants than under-watering.  Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ do not want to sit in wet compost.  There’s no need to water Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ plants until water runs out of the base of the pot, just a small quantity of water will surfice and then the plant won’t need watering for a considerable period of time.  I barely water my plants more than once every couple of months in summertime, and during autumn and winter I may not water them more than once.  Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ will quickly decline and then rot or die if they are watered too frequently.  These plants thrive in free-draining, peat-free growing mediums.  Wait until springtime to re-pot your plant.  I find that it’s better to under-pot than over-pot your Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ plants.

I’ve not tested how hardy Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ plants are – I’d recommend you keep your plants in a warm room where the temperatures won’t drop below a minimum night time, winter temperature of 13C (56F).  This isn’t a tall plant, the plants soon start to cascade over the side of their planters and only grow about 20cm (8inches) tall.  Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ is a naturally trailing plant that’s related to Tradescantia.  Plants are frequently miss-labelled as Tradescantia – I purchased this Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ plant as Tradescantia sillamontana.

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