Gasteria nitida is a succulent plant that has a thick stone-like appearance. It grows in clusters and is typically found in the Cape Province of South Africa or in other parts of southern Africa.
Stone plants are one of the most popular succulents, and Gasteria Nitida is no exception. Gasteria Nitida is a type of Gasteria that grows in the shape of an inverted cone, which it has earned its nickname. It can grow up to six inches tall with gray-green leaves that are covered in white spots or lines.
This plant does well in low light but can also survive outside during the summer months as long as they have enough water and shade from direct sunlight. Gasteria Nitida’s small size makes them perfect for desktops or windowsills where space is limited!
Gasteria Nitida plants are most commonly found in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, where they grow abundantly on rocky outcrops and cliffsides near the coastlines. Gasteria Nitida leaves are often green with red or purple tips, depending on light exposure levels. Their flowers range from yellow to orange-red with age and can be seen between November and March in their natural habitat.
Gasteria Nitida can be propagated by cutting off pieces from an established plant, which will eventually grow roots on their own.
Origin and description
Gasteria nitida is a succulent plant native to South Africa. It grows in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal, typically along forest margins or on rocky outcrops at higher altitudes (up to 1200 m). It has fleshy leaves with attractive white markings that resemble stars.
The Stone Flower is from South Africa. Despite its name, it does not flower or grow stones! It’s also known as the “Dumpling Aloe” because of its short grayish-green leaves that look like little mounds of dumplings.
Another fun fact is that the Stone Flower does not grow into a tree like other succulents. Instead, it keeps its mounding shape and stays small! It’s perfect for terrariums because of its slow growth rate. Additionally, it will survive in both humid or arid climates throughout most of the United States with little to no maintenance.
Gasteria nitida propagation
Gasteria nitida is easily propagated from leaf cuttings. This seems to be the easiest method for propagation, but there are other possibilities. During spring and summer, cuttings can be taken from the stone flower succulent by placing a clean cutting into an equal part of sand and crushed pumice.
They can also be propagated by seed or division of the plants (when small-sized). The seeds should germinate in two weeks after sowing them at about 20°C. The best would be if they will grow on naturally compost (humus) and sand. If you do not have such compost, it is good to mix the soil with peat or leaf mold (decaying leaves).
Root division should be done in spring after the old leaves have died away. The best time for this is April or August, but sometimes it can happen at any other time of the year when you see that one branch has just detached from another and there are no young roots near to each other so they will not die because of lack of water.
Gasteria nitida likes water so much, but it should not be wet all the time. It is good to spray them with cold soft tap-water at least once a week because they are exposed to full sun and wind which dries out their leaves quickly.
Gasteria nitida care
Gasteria nitida is not very hardy. It can survive in places where the annual average temperature does not drop below 12°C (53°F). The minimum winter temperatures should be between -0.50 and +0.20°C. If they are outside their optimum conditions for a too long time, leaves will develop spots that are brown or blackish.
The plant is a typical xerophyte plant, so it does not like humid places and too much water in wintertime. Wetness should be avoided at the roots because moisture will cause rot diseases of leaves which are very sensitive to humidity when they are still young.
Gasteria Nitida will grow in full sun, indoors or outdoors. However, they are not tolerant of extreme heat. If grown indoors during the summer months, provide them with plenty of bright light and mist occasionally to keep their leaves from drying out too much between waterings.
Make sure that you place them near an east-facing window or under a grow light.
Gasteria Nitida will do best if it is given as much bright, indirect sunlight as possible and does not receive full sun all day long. If you keep your plant on a covered patio for the summer months, make sure that no direct sunlight reaches its leaves. This could scorch them easily and cause them to lose their variegated color.
Plant it into a well-drained container filled with commercial cactus/succulent potting mix or add 50% sand to good potting soil.
Like most succulents, Gasteria Nitida will benefit from being watered thoroughly and allowed to dry out before watering again. However, it is important not to allow the soil of your plant to become too dry or risk losing its variegated color.
Water when the top inch of soil feels almost completely dry. Water sparingly throughout the winter to keep the soil from completely drying out.
If you’re growing a Gasteria Nitida in a container, make sure that it has adequate drainage and water about once per week during its active growth period (April through September).
Gasteria Nitida does not need to be fertilized very often as it will grow new leaves throughout the growing season. However, since this plant has such slow growth you should only give your succulent a light dose of cactus fertilizer once or twice during its active growing period (April through September).
Apply a weak solution of house plant fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.
Gasteria Nitidas prefers temperatures that do not dip below 60˚F. If you’re growing the stone flower succulent indoors, place it in a location away from drafts and hot direct sunlight as this plant does not like extreme changes in temperature.
If your Gasteria Nitida’s leaves begin turning yellow and brown, or if they start dropping off then it is likely that there are problems with temperature or humidity. You may need to move the succulents out of direct sunlight into a cooler location that does not have any drafts.
Gasteria Nitida need moderate humidity levels to thrive, so if you live in a dry climate make sure that your stone flower is placed on a pebble tray filled with water. The most important thing for this succulent is consistent moisture and it will not survive long periods of drought due to its slow growth rate.
If the Gasteria Nitida succulent is not sitting on a pebble tray it will need to be watered two times per week and misted once daily.
An ideal humidity range is between 30-50%. If you are growing your stone flower in an enclosed terrarium then this is the humidity that it will be exposed to naturally.
The Gasteria Nitida will not need to be pruned for aesthetic reasons, but if you do wish to shape or trim your succulents, then it is best done during its active growth period.
When to repot
Gasteria Nitida is a resilient plant that can survive years in small pots, but it will eventually need to be repotted into a larger container. A good rule of thumb is to move them up one pot size every two or three years until they reach the desired sized planter box.
When you notice that the Gasteria Nitida’s leaves are shriveling or curling upwards, it is time to plant the succulent into a larger container.
Gasteria Nitida will not need to hibernate, but they may go dormant if exposed to a period of low light and cold temperatures. If your plant does lose its leaves, it needs time for the roots to rest so reduce watering during this time.
As long as your succulent is kept in moderate humidity levels, you do not need to worry about dormancy.
Flowers & Fragrance
Gasteria Nitida is not known for its flowers, but if the plant does bloom it will produce white stalks with small pink or yellow bell-shaped blooms.
If your stone flower succulent begins to sprout new leaves throughout the year, then this means that you are growing it in an environment that is too hot and dry.
Gasteria Nitida is a relatively slow grower, but if you give them the proper care and conditions, they will eventually reach 12 inches in height.
The Gasteria Nitida is toxic to both humans and animals, so this succulent should be kept away from pets and children.
USDA Hardiness Zones
The plant is hardy to USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 11, 12, and 13.
Pests and diseases
Gasteria Nitidas are susceptible to mealybugs, aphids, and red spiders. If you notice any pests on your succulents, then treat them immediately with an insecticide specifically made for house plants.
Gasteria Nitidas are a great plant for any home and they will bring life to your office or indoor space. If you follow these simple steps then this succulent should be able to survive in most moderate climates as long as it is given the proper care.