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PlantFiles: Dorstenia
Dorstenia gigas

Family: Moraceae (mor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dorstenia (dor-STEN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: gigas (JY-gas) (Info)

12 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
By grafting

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 28 photos.
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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral mike178792 On Apr 8, 2013, mike178792 from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA wrote:

I just purchased a Dorstenia gigas.. I had noticed a few of the leaves are curling up -- An idea what does this mean?

Thank you

Positive youngbotanist On Dec 9, 2011, youngbotanist from Houston, TX wrote:

Very cool plant pretty easy to grow.I have been growing it in morning sun has done well. When I put it in full sun the leaves would turn dark brown but were not burning. It Can take it in the mid 30s in houston

Positive BayAreaTropics On Oct 7, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

update: The in ground was for a short period. The spot didnt have enough winter sun,and D.gigas quickly began to rot. Since then its been repotted and made a nice comeback.
Just night and day between how hardy its been in a pot and in ground. Touchy.

EDIT:After seeing this plant take everything thrown at it since 2004-except for a few winter days in 07- I have planted mine now in 2009. D.gigas might be rare,or expensive,or hard to propagate,but its an easy plant to grow outdoors in Z10b,10a,POSSIBLY 9b in those special inland soucal areas where a dip to below freezing is followed by 70f in winter.
Plant in a fast draining loose mix as D.gigas has a fine network of roots. In habitat it's spongelike root system must be greater than say a Ficus like brute strength banyon root for collecting and storing water..
It does go dormant in winter in California dropping leaves-yet,it takes rainfall just fine. I have never had a problem with rot and temperatures of 32F have not done a thing. Although I have been told that one in soucal was killed by 2007's mid 20's freeze. If covered, they just might even survive that.
Beautiful plant, with glossy corrugated dark green leaves in the growing season, also as exotic as anything,long lived.
I like it.
2013: I still have it in the same pot as 2007. Its not much larger..just bulkier. And it took the Jan 2013 cold just fine with lightest cover outdoors.

Positive palmbob On Apr 24, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a massive caudiciform plant native to an island off northern Africa (Socotra)... develops a fat trunk up to 2' in diameter in nature, but usually kept as a potted bonsai in the US and rarely gets even close to that size. Usually loses its leaves in winter when it should be kept really dry... water once leaves start coming back. Has weird, firm green flowers that are relatively small for a Dorstenia.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Hayward, California
Bartow, Florida
Houston, Texas

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