Gasteria Pulchra Care And Growing Tips

gasteria pulchra
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Gasteria pulchra, also known as the “tough little gasteria,” is a tough plant that can handle some of the harshest conditions. It has an interesting history which started out in South Africa and then spread to Europe. This gasteria can withstand heat, drought, and even neglect!

Gasteria pulchra is a tough little South African plant that can withstand temperatures as low as 13 degrees Fahrenheit. These plants are hardy and grow in the ground, so they are perfect for those who don’t have much of an interest in gardening or who just want to try something new!

This post will teach you all about gasteria pulchra, including how to care for this beautiful plant.

Origin and description

gasteria pulchra

Gasteria pulchra is a small succulent plant that originates from the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It grows in rocky outcrops and grasslands where it gets no more than three hours of direct sunlight per day, but also can cope with some shade as well. This means it’s a great plant for low light levels and many homes. It also tends to flower in autumn, winter, or spring.

The leaves of the gasteria pulchra are thick and rubbery with white spots on them that give it its common name – spekboom (fat-tree). This is because these plants tend to look like a little forest of fat leaves with the ends being very spiky. The spekboom is also often used by people to decorate their homes or offices because it’s so easy to maintain and take care of.

Gasteria pulchra propagation

gasteria pulchra

This plant is really easy to grow from cuttings. Just take a cutting and place it in the soil (or sand, or whatever medium you’re using). You can try rooting them directly in water as well; it will only work if you wait until the roots are at least an inch long though. If they get too long before you plant them in the soil, they will go into shock when transplanted.

This plant can also be propagated from leaf cuttings as well. Just remove the leaves and place them in the sand, soil, or even water until they have rooted themselves. You can also try to propagate by seed but it is very slow to start this way so you’re much better off just taking a cutting for now.

Gasteria pulchra care

gasteria pulchra

Gasteria pulchra is one of the easiest succulents to care for. It requires very little water, especially in winter when it should be almost completely ignored (just keep them away from cold and drafty areas).

Light requirements

Gasteria pulchra is a plant that will grow in medium light conditions, but if you want it to look its best then put it in bright sunlight. It is not a good idea to place it in full sun however, this is because it does not like direct sunlight so it is best to keep the plant in bright, indirect light.

There is no need for any type of full-spectrum fluorescent grow lights. This is because Gasteria pulchra can survive in low levels of lighting just fine and actually prefers this setup.

Soil/potting mix

You should put the plant in a well-draining soil mix, which means that you will need to use either cactus potting mix or add sand and grit into your regular potting mix. Make sure that there is plenty of drainage holes at the bottom of whatever container you choose for this species because it does not like having its roots in water.

The soil should be dry when you are watering it, and then afterward make sure that there is no standing water in the tray because this plant will rot if left in stagnant wet conditions. If your leaves start turning yellow or curling downwards then you need to increase ventilation around the plant by opening up the windows or putting it in a place where air can circulate better.

This is because this plant does not like humidity, so if you leave it in an area that has high levels of moisture then its leaves will start to rot and fall off.

Watering

Gasteria pulchra is a species that likes to have its soil completely dry out before it gets watered again, and if you want your plant to look its best then never leave the soil waterlogged. You should only ever allow the top centimeter of soil to get wet before letting it drain off because this will avoid rot.

It is best to water this plant once every two weeks, but if you are growing it in a hot or dry climate then you may need to water more frequently because the leaves will be drooping. If your plant starts looking very withered and thin with no new growth occurring, then give it some liquid fertilizer that has iron added into it.

Fertilizer

Gasteria pulchra is a plant that only needs to be fertilized once every two months. You should use some slow-release fertilizer such as Osmocote and then mix it into the soil when you do your regular watering of the plant so that it gets washed down evenly through all of its roots.

You can also opt for a liquid fertilizer which will give your plant an extra boost of nutrients and make it look very healthy and green. If you want to do this, then choose one with iron in it because if the leaves have rust patches on them, or they start turning yellow then that is a sign that it needs more iron content in its diet.

Now when you are choosing a fertilizer, you should make sure that it has an NPK ratio that reads 12-12-14. This is because this plant does not need much nitrogen to survive and thrive but instead needs more phosphorus and potassium in order for the leaves to stay healthy.

If you are going to use liquid fertilizers, then go with one which has phosphorus and potassium in it, but if you are using slow-release fertilizer, then go with one which has magnesium added into the mixture. If your leaves start turning yellow or brown at their edges while growing outwards from a central point, this is another sign that the plant needs more nutrients.

Temperature

Gasteria pulchra is a plant that prefers warmer conditions, and if you want your Gasteria to grow quickly, then it should be kept in some warm spots. The ideal temperature range for this species of succulents is around 21-26°C (70-80˚F) but make sure that there are no cold drafts around it because this can damage the leaves.

If you have a greenhouse or live in a warmer climate, then your plant will be able to grow outside, but if not, then keep it indoors on a sunny windowsill. This is because direct sunlight should only ever be given to this species for short periods of time and never when there are cold drafts around the leaves.

Humidity

Gasteria pulchra is a species that does not like humidity, and this plant will rot if it gets too much moisture around its leaves. You should ventilate the area where your Gasteria is growing to prevent stagnant air from forming because high levels of humidity can cause leaf spots or rust on your succulent’s foliage.

An ideal humidity range is 30-35%, but if you live in a humid climate, then it is best to keep your Gasteria on a windowsill where there are lots of breezes. This way, the air around its leaves will get dried out and replaced with fresh, dry air so that the humidity levels stay at acceptable ranges for this plant species.

Pruning

Gasteria pulchra can be pruned in order to control its height, and you should always use a sharp pair of shears so that your plant doesn’t get torn or ripped. You also need to sterilize the scissors between cuts by dipping them into alcohol because this will prevent any fungal infections from spreading around the Gasteria’s roots.

When you prune your succulents, make sure that each cut is made at a 45-degree angle and that it goes all the way to where the leaf meets its stem. This will encourage new growth from this area if any of these leaves have died because then, they won’t be taking energy away from the rest of the plant.

When to repot

Gasteria pulchra is a plant that will need repotting when its roots have filled up the pot that it is in. You should do this around once every two years, and if you notice any root circling at all, then it’s time to replant your Gasteria into a larger container.

You can tell how big your Gasteria is getting by looking at its leaves, because if they are only half the length of the pot then this means that it has filled up all available spaces. If you want to repot into a larger container, then always go with one which is just slightly bigger than what was in there before so that your succulent doesn’t get too cramped and unhappy.

The best time to repot your Gasteria is in the Spring, but you can also do it at any point during the Summer before the flowering season starts up again. Just make sure that you water well after replanting, because this will help with root establishment if there was any damage done when removing old soil from around the plant.

Dormancy

Gasteria pulchra is an evergreen species that will stay green all year round, but it will go dormant during the Winter. This means that your succulent’s leaves and stems might start to turn brown if they get too cold or dry out for prolonged periods of time because dormancy helps with water conservation.

If this happens, then you should stop watering your Gasteria completely and allow the soil to dry out until its leaves plump up again. You can then resume regular watering, but just stick to this regime for a month or two before things get back to normal because that will help with acclimatization after dormancy has finished.

Flowers & Fragrance

gasteria pulchra

Gasteria pulchra is a plant that will only flower after it has been mature for at least five years, and this can sometimes take up to ten. However, if you want your Gasteria to flower, then all that’s necessary is patience because this succulent species does not need any special treatment in order to produce its flowers.

This plant will only bloom once every spring, but you can look forward to seeing up to ten flowers coming out on a single stem. The petals are usually white with pinkish tips and the center of each flower is made from yellow stamens which are covered in pollen. When your Gasteria is flowering, it needs lots of sun and a temperature around 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once your Gasteria is done flowering, then you should cut the stem down to about half its height with sharp shears in order to promote new growth from the center of this plant species’ rosette.

Growth rate

Gasteria pulchra is a plant that will grow slowly and steadily, but due to its size, you should expect it to get between 12 and 18 inches tall every year. This means that if your Gasteria was originally around six inches high, then after one year of growth it might be at about nine inches in height.

This plant is slow to offset and sometimes, it will take up to two years for any babies to sprout from the base of its mother plant. The offsets which grow at this time are usually pink or red instead of green, but they do eventually turn into regular gasteria pulchra plants themselves.

Toxicity

Gasteria pulchra is non-toxic to people and pets, but it might cause skin irritation when handled because the sap in this plant has irritant properties. This succulent species also produce oxalates which are poisonous to cats so if you have a cat, then make sure that your gasteria isn’t within reach of your cat’s claws.

Some people also say that this plant can cause an allergic reaction in pets, but there is no scientific research backing up these claims so you should take the time to do your own research before making any assumptions about whether or not gasteria pulchra is safe for use around animals.

USDA Hardiness Zones

Gasteria pulchra is a plant that can survive in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 and 10, but that doesn’t mean that it will be able to flower or grow as well as those plants that are native to these areas.

Pests and diseases

Gasteria pulchra is a tough little succulent that can withstand most pest and disease infestations, but if you see any signs of mold or rot, then it might be best to discard this plant in order to prevent the spread of fungus.

If your gasteria starts wilting for no apparent reason during hot weather when there is no risk of it drying out, then the problem might be root rot. Fungus can often spread from other plants which are kept in high humidity environments, and this is one reason why you should always allow your succulents to dry out between waterings.

If you see any signs of mealybugs or spider mites on your gasteria, then you will need to remove these pests with tweezers or a cotton swab dipped in some isopropyl alcohol.

Conclusion

Gasteria pulchra is an attractive little succulent that can be kept outdoors in temperate climates, but it should only be brought inside when the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.


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