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Witch fingers: cultivation and care of the exotic plant

Witch fingers: cultivation and care of the exotic plant

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Do you have a witch finger in the garden? This is not a joke, this plant really exists! Read here about what it is and how it is grown and cared for.

The witch finger actually comes from South Africa

The witch finger, often referred to as an edible midday flower, actually comes from South Africa. But because of its unpretentiousness, it is no problem to grow it in our gardens. Although you have to pay special attention to its rapid spread, because after all, a witch finger plant should only conquer the domestic flora in a very targeted manner.

Already in spring the first yellow flowers form on the plant, whose flowering period usually lasts all summer. However, the older the flower gets, the more it changes color to a bright pink. Cultivated hybrid plants now even have white, purple, red and orange flowers.

The witch finger doesn't just look interesting. This plant also produces sweet and sour tasting fruits that look like a fig and can be processed into jam. In addition, the leaf juice of the witch's finger is also said to have a healing effect for ear and toothache. So grow your witch finger and benefit from the appearance, taste and healing properties of the plant.

Cultivation of the witch finger

The witch finger, which grows up to 40 centimeters, sometimes referred to as “Hottentot fig”, multiplies all by itself due to its extreme seed formation in the garden beds. And hundreds of seeds can form in just one fruit.

A first cultivation takes place in late spring by spreading seeds in the garden bed (you can also prefer it on the windowsill). A location in full sun where the soil is low in nutrients is best suited. Small gardening perennials of witch fingers are also often offered in gardening stores, which you can plant directly in the open in late spring.

The witch finger is also suitable for pot keeping, whereby you prefer to plant the plant in nutrient-poor, sandy soil such as Plant cactus soil.


The witch finger plant has extremely sharp-edged leaves. It is therefore best to always handle the plant with thick gardening gloves.

Caring for witch fingers properly

As already mentioned, the witch finger is considered to be absolutely undemanding and grows almost by itself in the garden bed. Even additional watering of the plants or fertilizers are usually not necessary. Nevertheless, the plant needs a little bit of care. The care instructions are now available here.

➤ Winter witch fingers:

The witch finger is only considered to be partially hardy. Many garden centers therefore offer it as an annual plant. Otherwise you can plant the witch finger in winter and e.g. Spend the winter in the basement, or leave it in the garden and cover it properly with brushwood and possibly a burlap sack. If you are lucky, the plant will survive the winter.

➤ Ensure fruit formation:

If you want to be sure that the witch finger will continue to produce fruit in the coming spring, you should cut off part of the perennial in autumn and spend the winter in a cool but bright room. During this time, you should keep the plant as dry as possible.