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Hoodia gordonii (Bushman’s Hat) Growing Guide

Here’s another interesting succulent. Hoodia gordonii is a native slow-growing plant of South Africa which bears large flowers that smell really bad. This is to attract flies which are the pollinators of this type of plant.


Hoodia gordonii Plant Details

Hoodia is not a genuine cactus, although it certainly looks like one. It’s actually a species of succulent which grows wild predominantly in South Africa but has also been found in Namibia and is often referred to as the Queen of the Namib.

They don’t like full sun, preferring to laze the day away in the shade after enjoying the morning sun. Hoodia gordonii is only a small growing plant usually reaching 30 cm (12 in) high and covering approx. 80 cm (30 in) wide.

There is a lot of press about this plant because of its apparent diet suppression qualities. Hoodia is dried and then marketed as a diet suppressant with very little medical proof yet as to whether it actually works.

How to Grow Hoodia gordonii in Australia

Hoodia gordonii, commonly known as Bushman's hat

Ideal Conditions for Growing Bushman's Hat

Watering Requirements

Hoodia is a succulent, so it doesn’t require a lot of water. However, it hates drying out and requires continual moisture.

Soil Type

Hoodia gordonii prefers a fast-draining soil. It dislikes acidic or clay soils and if you plan to mulch around them use a dry mulch such as pebbles or pea gravel.

Where to Grow Hoodia gordonii

This succulent needs to be located in a position that receives only morning sun but is kept in light shade for most of the day. Possibly the best location would be in its own xeriscape garden amongst other succulent plants.

Can Bushman's hat Grow in Pots?

Yes. In fact, they grow very well in pots as long as you ensure that the potting medium is also fast-draining and that the pot is located in an area that is kept in the shade. To aid in drainage, fill the bottom of the pot with some pea gravel or broken clay tiles.

How to Propagate Hoodia gordonii

Like most cacti and succulents, branches of the Hoodia can be broken off and replanted in a good draining potting mix. It is best to leave the broken branch until the cut has calloused over before planting.

Last Updated on February 14, 2024

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About the author 

Gary Clarke

Hi, I'm Gary Clarke, gardening enthusiast and former landscaper. I have had privilege of sharing my gardening knowledge at Aussie Green Thumb since early 2020.

I have a passion for using native Australian plants in Aussie gardens and I always try to promote growing fruit trees and vegetable gardens whenever possible.

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