Last updated on October 19th, 2023 at 02:55 pm
Gasteria maculata is one of the few gasterias that will tolerate full sun. They grow in clumps and have small, pointed leaves which give them a lacy appearance when grown in shade. The leaf margins on gasteria maculata tend to be wavy or slightly undulating, unlike gasteria batesiana from South Africa whose margin is more straight-edged.
In time, gasteria maculata can form individual plants with multiple rosettes forming long, trailing stems covered by their own weight. Gasterias produce bright red flowers during the winter months (October – November) but look best if given some protection from frost during this period so they don’t dry out.
Origin and description
Gasteria is a genus of succulent plants native to South Africa. The name was derived from the Greek word gaster, meaning “stomach”, and refers to the shape of these plants’ leaves which resemble those on an animal’s abdomen.
Gasterias are popular as houseplants due to their resilience compared with other types of plants. Their low height makes them suitable for dish gardens or terrariums. They typically grow in clusters that clump together at intervals along creeping stems bearing short, triangular leaves arranged around a central rosette; all three parts may be flattened against the ground or erect depending on soil conditions and amount of sun exposure.
The gasteria genus is one of the largest in succulent plant taxonomy, with about 300 species.
Gasteria flowers’ colors range from white to red-orange (often becoming more reddish as they age).
Gasteria maculata propagation
Gasterias can be propagated from seeds, leaf cuttings, or root cuttings. The gasteria plant eventually outgrows its pot and the old roots must either spread themselves outside of the pot (which is why gasteria plants like nesting in their pots) or they will rot within it. They are usually grown as annuals because once they reached about six inches round at full maturity; it’s time to remove them before new leaves become too tough for handling.
- To propagate by seed, take fresh seeds that have been dried on paper towels overnight and sow under light cover indoors where temperatures remain between 70°F and 80°F until sprouts appear which may take up to two months.
- To propagate by leaf cuttings, take a clean sharp knife with fresh leaves on the gasteria plant and insert it into moist potting soil about halfway up to make sure that you are cutting through both of the leaf stems (petiole) which will then attach themselves in their new location. These can be planted indoors or out depending on your climate zone but they must be watered every day until they become established.
Gasteria plants may also be propagated from root cuttings from mature plants in late winter or early spring, as these roots have started to go dormant for the season when there is still enough moisture in the ground so they won’t dry out.
- In order to propagate by root cutting, take a clean sharp knife with the gasteria plant and cut off a chunk of roots that is about an inch thick. Make sure it has at least one or two sets of new leaves on it so you can identify which side is the top (or pointy) end if you are not sure.
The gasteria plants will eventually outgrow their pots and need either more space or they’ll rot in there – this is why many people believe gasterias like nesting in the pot because it’s easier than trying to find something bigger for them as these are slow-growing plants. In any case, once grown large enough, remove from the pot before new leaf growth becomes too tough for handling.
Gasteria maculata care
The gasteria maculata does not need direct sun exposure, but it will thrive with morning light. Gasterias also require protection from midday and afternoon sunlight because they can be scorched by too much heat and light. Gardeners should take gasteria maculata plants inside during winter months when there is less natural sunlight available anyway.”
The gasteria maculata needs well-draining soil that is not too wet. The plant does not need acidic or alkaline soil to grow, so it can do well in a variety of environments and conditions.
Gardeners should avoid placing gasteria maculata plants near drafty entrances as they are susceptible to dry air caused by drafts from these entranceways.
Gardeners should water gasteria plants less in the winter than they do during warmer months. In general, gasterias need to be watered once every week or two and can handle periods of drought as well. Gardeners who live in humid environments may have to water gasteria more frequently so that it does not dry out from too much humidity.”
Gardeners should fertilize gasteria maculata plants in the spring and summer with a water-soluble fertilizer that is diluted to half strength. Gardeners can use time-release granular or liquid fertilizer once per month during other periods of the year.”
“It has been estimated that gasterias have been used by humans for over 200 years, but they became popular ornamental plants after 1817 when seeds were imported from South Africa into Europe. Gasterias are still endemic only to southern Africa and parts of Madagascar today.”
Temperature and humidity
Gasteria maculata can tolerate lower than average humidity, but they will thrive when the daytime temperature is above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The gasteria plant does not need a winter dormancy period.”
Gasteria plants can be propagated by either removing a leaf from an existing gasterum plant or taking cuttings from healthy gasteria branches.”
Gasterias can be pruned any time of the year for aesthetic purposes. Gardeners should use a sharp, clean blade to cut gasterias and avoid damaging their tissue.”
Gasteria maculata plants are not toxic to humans or pets, but gasterias should be kept away from children and animals.”
Pests and diseases
They are susceptible to scale insects. They congregate on stems and leaves. These bugs secrete honeydew which encourages the growth of sooty mold that clogs up pores on their skin to prevent them from breathing properly.”
“The gasteria plant is an evergreen succulent that has a tuberous root system. The plant can grow up to twelve inches tall with some varieties being smaller than others. Gardeners will see showy leaves on the plant which may come out of a wide variety of colors including green, blue-green, grayish-white, greenish-brown and even variegated combinations thereof.”