Gasteria Indoors (Gasteria species)

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Features

Gasterias are a fun group of succulents native to South Africa. Their smooth, strappy leaves come with a variety of spots and speckles and textures, depending on the species. The thick, fleshy leaves create a fan of foliage giving the plant a sculptural quality. This is a slow-grower that requires very little care. Perfect for anyone new to houseplants, or who wants the joy of live plants indoors but without a lot of work.

Uses

Makes a nice windowsill plant. Perfect for all kinds of containers and a nice choice for a desert-themed terrarium. May be displayed outdoors in warmer weather.

Plant Feed

Once every month during growing season.

Watering

Allow soil to dry between thorough waterings.

Soil

Light, well-drained soil.

Basic Care Summary

Performs best in gritty well-drained soil. Allow soil to dry out between waterings. Avoid overwatering and limit water during winter months. Prefers warmer temperatures.

Planting Instructions

Repot every 2 years. Unless the roots are pot-bound the same container can be used. If a larger pot is needed choose one not more than 1-2” (3-5cm) larger in diameter than the existing pot.

Watering Instructions

Apply water at the soil level if possible to avoid wetting the plant. Water the entire soil area until water runs out the base of the pot. This indicates that the soil is thoroughly wet. Discard any excess water that has accumulated in the pot’s saucer.

Don’t water again until the top 1-2” (3-5cm) of soil is completely dry. Check the soil moisture with your finger. Plant may require less water during the winter months when it’s growing more slowly because of lower light levels. Some species may even go dormant for a few months in winter.

Fertilizing Instructions

Cactus and succulent plants can be pruned to remove dead or damaged parts or to maintain a specific size or shape. Pruning encourages new growth, branching, and provides plant pieces that can be used for propagating more plants. Keeping the plant trimmed also encourages more side-shoots and reduces the demand for the plant to develop a larger root system. This is important since the roots are in a confined space.

Depending on the growth habit of the plant: long succulent leaves can be cut back to the base of the plant. Side stems can be cut back to the main trunk. If trimming to shape, cut off smaller segments just above a joint.

Baby cacti that grow on the main plant are known as “pups”. They can get very thick on some types of cacti. Pups can be cut off with a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle. Allow the cut area on the pups to air dry until a callous forms and they can be set in moist sand to root and eventually form new plants.

Some cacti and succulents produce “offsets”. These are plants that grow next to the mother plant by short rhizomes. These can be cut off at the rhizome and used to start new plants just like pups.

Pruning Instructions

Cactus and succulent plants can be pruned to remove dead or damaged parts or to maintain a specific size or shape. Pruning encourages new growth, branching, and provides plant pieces that can be used for propagating more plants. Keeping the plant trimmed also encourages more side-shoots and reduces the demand for the plant to develop a larger root system. This is important since the roots are in a confined space.

Depending on the growth habit of the plant: long succulent leaves can be cut back to the base of the plant. Side stems can be cut back to the main trunk. If trimming to shape, cut off smaller segments just above a joint.

Baby cacti that grow on the main plant are known as “pups”. They can get very thick on some types of cacti. Pups can be cut off with a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle. Allow the cut area on the pups to air dry until a callous forms and they can be set in moist sand to root and eventually form new plants.

Some cacti and succulents produce “offsets”. These are plants that grow next to the mother plant by short rhizomes. These can be cut off at the rhizome and used to start new plants just like pups.

Plant Details
Category: Houseplants
Available Colors: Grown for foliage
Bloom Time: Grown for foliage
Height Range: 3-12" (8-30cm)
Space Range: 10-12" (25-30cm)
Lowest Temperature: 40° to 80°F (4° to 27°C)
Plant Light: Bright Light
Companion Plants: Kalanchoe, Crassula, Echeveria
USDA Zone: 11-12

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