How To Care For Lewisia Cotyledon


Lewisia Cotyledon (loo-ISS-ee-ah, kot-EE-lee-don) is a flowering plant species and belongs to the Montiaceae family (purslane). 

The evergreen perennial is indigenous to Southern Oregon and Northern California, where it grows in the subalpine ecosystem.

Flowering Lewisia CotyledonFlowering Lewisia Cotyledon

Other than its widely-recognized scientific name, this native plant of North America has a few common names as follows:

  • Cliff Maids
  • Siskiyou Lewisia
  • Cotyledon Var

Lewisia Cotyledon Care

Size and Growth

Lewisia Cotyledon grows from a sturdy taproot and caudex unit (a basal stem structure), reaching a height of 18″ inches and a spread of 5” to 11” inches. 

This evergreen perennial features cup-shaped dark green leaves, of up to 4” inches long, in a thick basal rosette. 

Each leaf has almost the same length and forms a circle at the plant’s base.  

Flowering and Fragrance

Usually, in late spring or early summer, the lovely cliff maids produce attractive sprays of widely opened conical flowers. 

These inflorescences bloom on stems of 4” – 12” inches tall. 

Each of these stems produces approximately fifty colorful flowers, with each petal of about 0.1” inches long. 

These funnel-shaped flowers come in a range of flower colors such as pale pink, bright yellow, deep magenta, and vibrant orange.

Light and Temperature

Cliff maids prefer full sun in cold climates while light shade in warm climates. 

If growing indoors, the evergreen succulent enjoys bright light or full sun.

The USDA zone or hardiness zone of the evergreen perennial is from 3a to 8b and prefers temperature from – 20° to 40° degrees Fahrenheit (-7° to 4° C).

Watering and Feeding

During the growing season, the plant species prefers regular watering. 

However, once the plant is well-established, it requires a minimum amount of watering. 

In winter, Lewisia cotyledon requires excellent drainage around its crown to prevent it from rotting. 

The ideal time to feed the flowering plant is during its growing season. 

Apply an all-purpose fertilizer once a month to offer the plant with essential nutrients.

Soil and Transplanting

  • Lewisia cotyledon thrives in fertile, loamy, sandy, and well-drained soil with acidic or neutral as a suitable soil pH value. 
  • For the plant to be well-established, the soil needs to drain quickly as it does not withstand muddy, water-logged soil. 
  • Once established, the plant is drought-tolerant. 
  • Siskiyou Lewisia also performs well in organically rich soil, sprinkled with humus. 
  • The preferred season for transplanting Lewisia cotyledon is in spring. 
  • Make sure to transplant it outdoors. 
  • The small plant rarely grows to the size needed for transplanting into a large container and therefore must be moved to a compact hypertufa container.

Grooming and Maintenance

Lewisia contyledon is a low-maintenance plant and does not require pruning. 

For effective, long-lasting growth, always sow the seeds in sharply-drained and humus-packed soil. 

Keep the plant in full sun or part shade.

During the growing season, provide the plant with regular or frequent watering. 

This will help the root system to become strong and sturdy. 

However, in the winter season, make sure not to offer too much water as the plant may freeze to death. 

Also, make sure to protect the plant from winter moisture. 

Consider deep watering only in the hot season to keep the plant from intense heat and dryness.

How to Propagate Broadleaf Siskiyou Lewisia

Since Lewisia cotyledon is an evergreen species, it is easily propagated by offsets. 

Remove the roots with offsets using a sharp scissors, hand pruners or a knife in the early summer or after the flowering period.

Don’t plant the offsets immediately after the cutting as the wounds caused by the separation may introduce life-threatening bacteria or infections to the perennial. 

Allow the offsets to heal in a dry, cool region before planting them.

Broadleaf Siskiyou Lewisia Pests and Diseases

Lewisia cotyledon is susceptible to a few insects such as aphids, slugs, and snails. 

These pests usually attack when the plant is overwatered. 

If not treated with slug pellets or nematodes, the plant may suffer from root rot or neck rot. 

Stagnant moisture also causes the plant to suffer from damaged roots, discoloration, withering of leaves and shoots.  

Lewisia Cotyledon Uses

This lovely perennial is preferably used for decorative purposes in outdoor spaces including crevice gardens, rock gardens, and other good-drained sites. 

These garden plants are usually planted in groups, often along with other Lewisia varieties such as Lewisia Rediviva (bitterroot), Lewisia Tweedyi, to provide a spectacular sight.

In addition to these outdoor areas, the evergreen plant is also used to enhance indoor beauty. 

As a beautiful houseplant, cliff maids elevate an otherwise simple interior with its bright colorful wildflowers.

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