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One of the aspects of gardening that I love is the diversity in plants.
I find it fascinating how different and unique plants are.
I guess that’s why I never get bored with them.
There is always something new to learn or to try.
Such is the case with Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’®.
It’s a succulent that I recently added to my indoor houseplant collection.
It’s one of those plants that you have to smile when you see it.
Or at least do a double-take.
The leaves are grass-like strips that emerge from a bulb.
What makes it unique is that the ends of the leaves curl and spiral into a corkscrew.
This curlicue at the leaf tips gives the plant a whimsical, almost artificial appearance.
It reminds me of a plant that would be in a Dr. Seuss story.
Even the variety name ‘Frizzle Sizzle’® would make great fodder for a Seuss rhyme.
About Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’®
Since Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’® is quite a mouthful, the plant is commonly referred to as the corkscrew Albuca or the frizzle sizzle plant.
It’s native to the dry regions of South Africa.
To endure periods of drought, it has thick leaves to store moisture.
Unlike most plants, it has a growth period in the winter months.
During this time it prepares to flower in the early spring.
The flowers are yellow and green and dangle from a tall spike.
The scent resembles vanilla and butter and has been described as the faint smell of a bakery!
Photo Courtesy 阿橋 HQ
Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’® Care
As a succulent, it’s primary care requirement is not to be overwatered.
This can cause the bulb to rot.
Allow the plant to dry out between watering, but the soil should not become hard and compacted.
Unlike most plants, the corkscrew Albuca produces new growth in the winter season.
Therefore, it will generally require more water in the winter and less in the summer.
Light is very important to the care of corkscrew Albuca.
Bright light is one of the key components to achieving the curls on the leaf tips.
In low-light conditions, the leaves may straighten and lose their spiral.
When growing indoors, south-facing windows that receive sun are ideal for this plant.
A grow light is a great option to add supplemental light for low-light rooms.
I have placed mine outside for the summer, but I have kept it in the shade as extremely hot conditions may burn or scorch the leaves.
Temperature and Humidity
The corkscrew Albuca prefers temperatures between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fortunately, this is easily achievable for most indoor environments.
Since this plant stores water in its leaves and is native to a dry climate, it does not require humidity.
Another positive attribute for growing indoors.
It can be grown outside in zones that do not go below 30 degrees Fahrenheit (U.S. zone 10).
Soil and Repotting
As with most succulents, Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’® thrives in a soil mix that is quick-draining and does not hold excess moisture.
When repotting, use an indoor mix that is designed specifically for succulents and cacti.
It may not appear to be an important step, but it will keep the plant healthy with little effort.
It’s always wise to use pots that have multiple drain holes to facilitate drainage.
Unglazed clay pots are porous and are ideal for succulents.
If you tend to overwater, these will provide oxygen for the roots and keep the plants healthier.
When replanting, plant the bulb high in the pot so that a small portion is visible.
This will promote water draining from the bulb and prevent rot.
Since corkscrew Albuca is actively growing in the winter, it’s only necessary to fertilize then.
They are not heavy feeders, so a diluted rate of water-soluble fertilizer applied once per month is sufficient.
Fertilizing isn’t necessary after it blooms in spring.
You can resume again in late fall or early winter.
Pests and Diseases
One of the most amazing benefits of growing a corkscrew Albuca is that it has no known pests or diseases!
There are very few plants that can claim that!
Frizzle sizzle is easy to maintain.
Remove any leaves that become yellow or brown.
Discolored tips can be clipped with clean pruners.
Note that the plant may have quite a bit of leaf discoloration during flowering.
This is because it puts so much energy into the flower that the leaves suffer.
It will recover, it just may take time until new leaves emerge to replace the discolored ones.
If you are growing the plant just for the foliage, remove the flower stalk when it begins to form and it will prevent the problem.
Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’® Frequently Asked Questions
How tall does it get?
Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’® will grow to 6-8 inches high.
This makes it perfect for small spaces, provided it has adequate light.
Does it always go dormant in the summer?
No, it may not go dormant to the point that it appears dead, but it probably won’t be actively growing new leaves in the summer.
Where can I get one?
Since succulents and houseplants have become more popular, most local garden centers and online retailers carry Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’®.
Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’® has many qualities that make it a great houseplant.
Its disease and pest resistance are incredibly rare in the indoor plant world.
As a small plant it sits nicely on a desk or other small space.
However, the curly leaf-tips are its signature distinguishing look that will be a converstation starter!