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Home » Tiger Jaws

Tiger Jaws

by Elyssa Goins
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

The Tiger jaws is a unique looking species displaying fleshy jaw like toothed leaves. These teeth (spines) are harmless and have another purpose rather than defense.


Native to the Eastern Cape province (South Africa), the Faucaria Tigrina grows between rocks – delighting in the moisture available within its sub-tropical climate. This region also has cooler periods that makes it easier for growers in temperate regions to mimic their natural habitat.

Flowering: The Tiger jaws displays bright yellow arching long slim petals. These bloom from fall – early winter and require at least 3 hours or more direct sun to bloom. Flowers will open up around midday then close up before the evening.

Foliage: This is one of those species that you can love for its attractive flower and for its foliage. The thick fleshy leaves are kind of triangular in shape that grow in pairs and look similar to a jaw. The edges of the leaves produce spines that look like teeth. These teeth collect moisture for the inner part of the plant to take water down to the roots.

Each plant produces a rosette of up to approximately 10 leaves and they’re clump forming, naturally. The speckled patterned leaves are rough to the touch


Origin:South africa.
Names:Tiger Jaws (common). Faucaria Tigrina (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx):Diameter 8in – 20cm approx. Leaves 6in – 15 long.
Poisonous for pets:Not known.

Tiger Jaws Care

Temperature:Temperatures averaging 70°F/21°C – 90°F/32°C are very good and not below 50°F/10°C.
Light:This species is a sun lover and requires 3 hours or more sun to encourage blooms during Fall. During winter shade and less light is fine but, don’t make the mistake of watering too much.
Watering:A thorough watering is needed when the top soil is becoming slightly dry to the touch. During winter cut watering down and let the soil dry out much more. A sure way to kill this plant is to overwater it during the winter. Never leave the plant standing in water.
Soil:A cactus potting mix will do the trick and already has the essential nutrients within the soil needed. Your own mix will need to be a non peat based compost, one part course sand – 2 parts soil.
Fertilizer:From April – August I would use a weak liquid feed diluted only.
Re-Potting:Repot every two years or when the current pot becomes too small. Only move to a pot slightly bigger and use a shallow container because of the small root system. Also make sure the pot has decent drainage holes.
Air Humidity:Normal house humidity is fine. Open windows and doors to provide enough air within the room.
Propagation:One method is to remove pups (offsets) by hand that are attached to the parent plant. Great if you find roots attached because they will begin growing quickly. If there are no roots I would pot up the plant after two days to allow the wound to begin to heal then place in moist soil. After planting offsets I would water once (just to make the soil moist – not wet) then wait to see a slight bit of new growth before watering again and keep the plant away from direct sunlight until this new growth has appeared. This plant can also be propagated with seeds and for the germination process to begin you will temperatures to be between 70°F/21°C – 80°F/26°C (not always easy and successful for the average grower).

Common Problems

  • Sudden wilting and leaves becoming pale in color: This is likely to be caused when a grower overwaters during winter or even during spring when temperatures change dramatically. The leaves can also turn brown. The leaves affected must be removed to prevent the whole plant from becoming diseased. Its worth spraying the plant with a fungicide after removing the leaves to in case you have pest damage (this can also be the cause of wilting and pale leaves).
  • Leaves become mushy: Sorry to say but this could be the end of this plant. The plant has been overwatered (possibly in the wrong type of soil) and leaves have become affected. You can try and remove as much of the affected plant as possible then keep the plant out of a pot for a couple of days to dry out. Repot in slightly moist soil that drains well…and do not water until the soil becomes dry to the touch or even better when you see new growth.

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