Aloinopsis rubrolineata-Mimicry Plant

Aloinopsis rubrolineata on 2-17-13, #139-13.

Mimicry Plant

Aloinopsis rubrolineata

al-low-in-OP-sis roo-bro-lin-ee-AY-tuh

Synonyms of Aloinopsis rubrolineata (7) (Updated 11-7-22): Aloinopsis dyeri (L.Bolus) L.Bolus, Aloinopsis jamesii L.Bolus, Mesembryanthemum rubrolineatum N.E.Br., Nananthus cradockensis L.Bolus, Nananthus dyeri L.Bolus, Nananthus jamesii (L.Bolus) L.Bolus, Nananthus rubrolineatus (N.E.Br.) Schwantes

Aloinopsis rubrolineata (N.E.Br.) Schwantes is the accepted scientific name for this species of Aloinopsis. It was described as such by Martin Heinrich Gustav Schwantes in Zeitschrift für Sukkulentenkunde in 1926. It was first described by Nicholas Edward Brown as Mesembryanthemum rubrolineatum N.E.Br. in the Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information (Royal Gardens, Kew) in 1911.

The genus, Aloinopsis Schwantes, was named and described by Martin Heinrich Gustav Schwantes  Zeitschrift für Sukkulentenkunde in 1926.

Plants of the World online lists 8 species in the Aloinopsis genus (as of 11-7-22 when this page was last updated). It is a member of the plant family Aizoaceae with 120 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.

I bought this plant in October 2012. It did OK, growing just fine until I moved back to Missouri. It absolutely did not appreciate the 8-hour trip in a 30-degree trailer. SO, unfortunately, it died… But while it was alive, I had no problems with it and it grew very well. It was supposed to have formed a nice, thick caudex and have nice Mesembryanthemum-type flowers… Maybe someday I will try it again.

Family: Aizoaceae
Origin: South Africa S.E. of Graff Renet
Zones: Supposedly cold hardy in zones 8a-10b (10-40° F)
Size: Clumps up to 2” tall x 10” wide.
*Light: Sun to part shade.
**Soil: Very well-draining potting soil amended with additional grit and perlite.
***Water: Regular water during the growing season, very little during the winter.
Flowers: Golden with red mid-stripe at the end of winter

*During the summer, I keep most of my cactus on the back deck where they receive full sun. During the winter most cactus aren’t picky about the light because they are basically dormant. For several winters, mine were in front of the east-facing sliding door in the dining room so they didn’t get much light but they did great. I built a new shelf for the bedroom so now they are in front of a west-facing window. Most of the succulents are on a shelf in a south-facing window in a cool bedroom but a few are in my bedroom.

**When it comes to potting soil, finding the “sweet spot” is not exactly that easy when materials are limited. Cactus and succulent enthusiasts (and experts) do not recommend using peat-based commercial mixes but what choice is there for most of us. They say to use a loam-based mix… Hmmm… Our soil is loam, so do I just use dirt? Well, no because “dirt” is heavy and you need a “light” material. There is A LOT of cactus and succulent recipes online and some get pretty elaborate. Many say to use sand as an ingredient, but if you do that, it needs to be very coarse, like builders sand, because “ordinary” sand, like for sandboxes, is too fine and it clogs up the air space between the coarser ingredients. For MANY years I used 2 parts Miracle Grow or Schultz Potting amended with an additional 1 part of perlite and 1 part chicken grit. Schultz doesn’t seem to have as many large pieces of bark. Cactus and succulent enthusiasts recommended using pumice instead of perlite and grit so I checked it out… The “guy” at General Pumice (online) recommended using a 50/50 mix of potting soil and pumice. General Pumice has 3 different sizes to choose from depending on the size of the pot. SO, in 2018 I bought a bag of 1/8″ and mixed it 50/50 with Miracle Grow Potting Soil. I liked it pretty well. Then in 2020, since most of the cactus were in larger pots, I ordered the 1/4″ size. Pumice has a lot of benefits over perlite and has nutrients that are added to the soil when watering. Pumice is also heavier so it stays mixed in the soil instead of “floating” to the top. Still, there is the issue of the mix getting very hard once you stop watering the plants during the winter when you stop watering. I think this is because of the peat in the potting soil… SO, instead of re-potting the cactus and succulents in the spring, I started doing it during the fall and winter so their soil would be loose. Since you don’t water as frequently during the winter if at all, the timed-release fertilizer does not activate. I have not tried coir, but I am looking into it… 

You have to sort of mimic the soil where species grow in their native habitat. For that, you almost have to go see for yourself… Typically, they grow in fairly rocky soil.

***I water my cactus and succulents on a regular basis during the summer but barely ever in the winter (maybe a little in January) until close to time to take them back outside. 

You can read my Cactus Talk & Update and Cactus & Succulent Tips to get my opinion about growing cacti and succulents.

When you bring your new plants home from the store, you need to check their roots and the soil to see if they are wet. If so, you may want to re-pot it right away. It is advisable to re-pot them in a better potting soil more suitable for cacti and succulents.

I found online where they are supposedly cold-hardy down to 10 degrees F. The same website then said they can tolerate temperatures down to 23 degrees F… They also say that Aloinopsis can tolerate a light frost… Hmmm.

The Aloinopsis genus is classed as a winter dormant succulent although some websites say they are summer dormant. This means, either way, most of their growth from late spring through early summer and again from late summer through autumn. Either way, they do grow some during the hotter months and maybe a little during the winter.

There are some very interesting photos of the Aloinopsis rubrolineata online and they can grow a very thick and interesting caudex.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading.


2 comments on “Aloinopsis rubrolineata-Mimicry Plant

  1. Mary says:

    How long do Aloinopsis rubrolineata blooms last? This is a great article. Very helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

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