Words To Live By via Dorotheanthus bellidiformis ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’

Feb 18, 2017 | Love This!

Imagine: Sara had too much on her plate. Her in-laws were coming for dinner over the weekend, her boss had just assigned her the campaign he was supposed to be running, and she was hosting a fairy-theme birthday party for her daughter in two weeks. This on top of the normal car-pooling, laundry, house/yard maintenance, and meal planning.

Today, Sara decided, she needed to cross off the birthday party plans. Her daughter’s friends were invited, the cake was ordered, and all that remained was an activity. One of Sara’s coworkers had mentioned that the local garden center offered fairy garden parties, but Sara felt that she might be able to save money and put it all together herself. So she sat down with her laptop and started searching for ideas.

As the minutes and hours ticked by, and her work, laundry, and in-law dinner plans remained undone, she compiled information about good plants for fairy gardens. As she read about Dorotheanthus bellidiformis ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’ one phrase made her drop the mouse and sit up straight: “be sure to avoid plants that look exhausted” it read.

Sara turned away from the computer and picked up the phone. First she called the local garden center and arranged for fairy garden kits to be delivered the morning of her daughter’s party. Next she scheduled a meeting with her boss so that he could bring her up to speed on the campaign. And finally, she called her father-in-law and asked him if he’d pick up the take-out food on their way over for dinner this weekend.

“Thanks, Mezoo Red,” Sara thought as she loaded the washing machine. Avoid exhausted plants? #WordsToLiveBy

Name: Dorotheanthus bellidiformis ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’ aka Livingston daisy, although no one calls it that…you’re more likely to hear it called Dorotheanthus mezoo red.

Type of Plant:  A trailing annual in the Northeast, and easy to grow houseplant in the winter. Native to South Africa, this variegated succulent plant thrives in full to part sun.

Why I love this: This plant brings a lot to the party. Bright, green and white leaves, small red tassel flowers, and heat or drought tolerance. Dorotheanthus mezzo red plays well with others – it’s the perfect annual to plant in small containers and have it trail over the side while other plants mound up above. This annual doesn’t mind drying out between waterings, and it looks perfectly at home with a wide range of succulents.

This plant is perfect for planting up recycled containers, hypertufa pots or rock gardens.

A Word to the Wise: Water this once a week or more – just because it has succulent leaves doesn’t mean you can ignore it for weeks on end. Be sure to have this in a container with drainage holes and if that’s not possible, don’t over or under water.

Take cuttings of Dorotheanthus bellidiformis ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’ in the summer and once they are rooted, plant them in a pot to over-winter in a sunny window.

Dorotheanthus bellidiformis ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’ is the perfect plant for small containers such as wall planters.

Cheerful, not overwhelming, and easy to grow. How can you NOT want this plant in your life? For those of us who have too much on our plates, this plant is a perfect match with our needs. It lifts spirits while not adding to work loads. #AvoidExhaustion

24 Comments

  1. Anna Sebastian

    Mine looked really pretty over the summer. But now the leaves started to turn brown. What can I do to prevent it from drying? Or dying? Ty

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Anna,
      If you live where it gets cold bring it inside and put it in front of a sunny window in a pot for the winter.

      Reply
  2. Joan

    Have had mine in the house ,,, some of the leaves are turning brown and drying up. Is this normal..the plant is growing…

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Yes that’s normal, Joan. They lose leaves in the house because there is less light – especially the older leaves. This plant is easy to propagate from cuttings too – you can take pieces about 5 inches long, remove lower leaves, dust with rooting hormone and put them in a pot of damp, fresh potting soil.

      Reply
  3. Marilyn Shabbick

    Mine is gorgeous, trailing down the side of pot but it is not flowering??
    I have feed it and it looks really healthy just no flowers?. Is there something I am doing wrong?

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Marilyn,
      Is the plant getting at least 6 hours of dead on sun? If so, it should flower eventually. Know, however, that these only make a few flowers – mine has never been covered with blooms.

      Reply
      • Courtney Emanuel

        The leaves on my plant are all of a sudden getting darker in color and kind of squishy? What is wrong with it??

        Reply
        • CL Fornari

          Hard to diagnose without seeing the plant, Courtney. Be sure you’re not overwatering.

          Reply
      • Cherie Nelson

        I’ve had mine as a houseplant for a few years. It bloomed the first year, but every year after that it hasn’t. I was living in a place without full sun for part of that time, but have since moved into a better apartment where my plant can get much more sun. Do you have any ideas of why it still might not be blooming?

        Reply
        • CL Fornari

          Cherie,
          Maybe too early – in my experience these bloom later in the summer.

          Reply
  4. Robin Jackson

    Mine is indoors and i need help as to my leave are drooping. Like there getting to much water but i am not watering them too much. What should i do about this. I can not find anything as to why the leaves on the lower danging branches are doing this. Top portion is fine. Please help

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Robin,
      Without seeing the plant it’s a bit difficult knowing what might be going on, but here are a few things for you to consider: 1. Are the lower leaves and branches near a cold window or closer to a heater? Either of those situations might cause those leaves to droop. 2. Might the lower part of the plant have been hit with something such as window cleaner or another household product? 3. Are the lower leaves getting light? If all the light is falling on the upper part of the plant the lower stems might be dropping leaves because they aren’t in the light – plants don’t usually hold onto leaves where no photosynthesis can happen.

      Check too to be sure you’re watering the plant enough – although this is a succulent and doesn’t need to be constantly moist, if you’re only watering it a little bit at a time it could be that the root ball is drying up, and the plant will drop leaves if that is the case. Be sure that when you water you do so well, so that plenty of water comes out of the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot into the saucer below. If there is still water in the saucer after an hour or two, empty it out so that the plant isn’t too wet – but be sure that when you water the entire root ball is well saturated, then wait to water again until the soil starts to feel dry to the touch. I usually water my indoor plants once a week.

      Reply
  5. Patricia Mancil

    What should i expect when i bring my plant in for the winter? Will it completely die off?

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Patricia,
      No, they don’t die off in the winter. If you have them in a sunny window, and water them when dry, they stay in pretty good shape through the winter.

      Reply
  6. Carol Fisch

    My five year old mezoo happily spends May thru September outside in full sun. Then I pull it in for cold weather months where it survives but gets a bit sadder. It is back outside again this year and looking perky but I am seeing new branches of it with solid green leaves for the first time. Not all the new branches , just some. What is happening?

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Carol,
      It’s typical for some variegated plants to revert to all green. Cut off those all green branches, or cut off stems of the variegated and root them in new soil to “start fresh.” If the plant has been in the same pot for all 5 years it’s likely stressed, and a stressed plant is more apt to revert to the unvariegated state.

      Reply
  7. Debbie McKeown

    where can I buy this plant for inside? Mezoo trailing red

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Debbie,
      Where I live, on Cape Cod, you can buy it at Hyannis Country Garden. If you live elsewhere call your local garden centers. (Not box stores.)

      Reply
  8. Pam

    When you propagate, do you place stems in water or soil first?

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Pam – I use seed starting mix. So get new seed starting mix and get it damp – put cuttings right in that and keep in a bright place but out of direct sun.

      Reply
  9. Laura Gerstner

    I unfortunately didn’t bring my plant in soon enough and it froze last night 🙁 Is there hope for it??

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      If it froze through, no. But try and see….what have you got to lose at this point?

      Reply
  10. Lily A

    hello, my plant is also having some trouble. Some leaves are browning and dry, some look more soggy. A number of the branches are bare now. I have been watering it about once a week. The top is dry but there is moisture about two inches down. I’m not sure if I’m over or underwatering or how to make it a little healthier. Any help would be much appreciated – thanks!

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Lily,
      If the plant has been in the same pot for awhile that might be your problem. As potting soil breaks down the drainage degrades as well. So if it’s been in the same pot for more than three years, repot it using a cactus mix. If it’s in a container without a drainage hole, repot it into one with a hole – and no rocks or anything else in the bottom of the pot. And you might take some cuttings off the ends of older plant, dip into rooting hormone powder, and put them in a new pot of fresh cactus mix potting soil. It’s easy to root this plant and start fresh! Unfortunately I can’t take photos – I’m overwhelmed with email as it is.

      Reply

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