The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Gasteria

Family: Liliaceae.

Gasteria verrucosa Haw.
Gasteria Genus of about 80 species of stemless or very short-stemmed, perennial succulents, usually offsetting freely to form clumps, found in the lowlands, and sometimes hillsides, if Namibia and South Africa. Their curious fleshy, spotted leaves and tubular flowers with swollen middles earned them their common name, as well as the Latin name, from gaster, or belly. The leaves arc out in two opposite rows when young, later forming a spiral rosette. In spring, slender flower stalks bear long-lasting blossoms, pink to vermilion with yellow-green tips. Established plants may flower right into winter. Seedpods ripen from green to brown. They like dry conditions, but unlike Aloes, need shade from midday sun, or their leaves will scorch. Plant in loose, fertile soil and water infrequently, with a thorough soaking only when the soil has dried out. Keep nearly dry in cool seasons, and during their semi-dormant period from mid-June to August. Outdoor plants will tolerate only brief frost. Grow more from offsets or cuttings.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth from spring to autumn - minimum 50F in winter.Semi-shade or bright light. Some shade in summer may be necessary. Grow in standard cactus potting mix. Keep compost moist at all time. In winter water very infrequently, once every 1-2 months. No need to mist the leaves. Cuttings root easily. Take stem cuttings, offsets or leaf cuttings in spring or summer. It is vital to let the cuttings dry for a few days before inserting in compost. Water very sparingly and do not cover with polythene or glass. Another propagation method is seed sowing - germination temperature 70-80 F.
Gasteria maculata Haw.
Gasteria maculata Haw.

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