Gasteria Rawlinsonii Care “Baviaanskloof Cliff Gasteria”

Gasteria rawlinsonii
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Gasteria rawlinsonii is a succulent plant that belongs to the Asphodelaceae family. It has been given its scientific name in honor of John Rawlinson who was a botanical collector and donated his collection to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

The plant can be found growing on gneiss rocks, granite outcrops, or quartzite near streams. The plants are often seen with their roots exposed due to erosion caused by water flow, which gives them an appearance of being “strangled” by stones.

Gasteria rawlinsonii is a gasteria, a type of succulent plant that is native to South Africa, it can be found in the Eastern Cape province and on some of the offshore islands. Gasterias are low-growing plants that produce clumps or rosettes as they grow.

Gasteria rawlinsonii produces deep green leaves that have white spots along their margins and tips. The flowers are yellow with red stripes and held high above the foliage during the blooming season from October through December.

This article discusses gasteria rawlinsonii plants care and some interesting facts about them!

Origin and descriptions

Gasteria rawlinsonii

Gasteria rawlinsonii is a species of succulent plant that consists of approximately 20 subspecies. This species derives from the south-western Cape region of South Africa and has been described by John Gilbert Baker in 1874, who named it after Rawlins Jameson Henry Spencer Churchill (1845–1927). The leaves are lanceolate, slender, and a dark green color. The leaves are covered with sharp white tubercles.

The flowers of this species, which appear in the winter and spring, form on a peduncle that is about 50 cm long. The short racemes bear 40-50 florets per umbellet, each one being pinkish purple or pale to bright red (or rarely yellow). The flowers are very small, about 20 mm in diameter.

Gasteria rawlinsonii is a variable species that forms large clumps with time and may grow up to 40 cm tall by 50 cm wide (they start out smaller). It has thick stems with tubercles, which become almost smooth towards the top of the plant.

Gasteria rawlinsonii propagation

Gasteria rawlinsonii

Propagation is the simplest method of multiplication. The offsets which form at the base of a rosette can be carefully cut off and potted in suitable compost such as rotted pine bark or leaf mold. These rooted offsets may then either be further divided into new plants or grown on to provide more material for propagation. Gasterias can be grown from seed but this is not often attempted.

Gasteria rawlinsonii propagation will result in a larger number of plants for your garden or collection, and offsets are usually easy to obtain from healthy mature specimens. Its reproduction has been achieved by collecting seeds after flowering and sowing them in a sandy medium. However, seedlings of Gasteria rawlinsonii may take five years to flower and it is generally considered easier to propagate from offsets or by leaf cuttings

Gasteria rawlinsonii propagation requires some patience as young plants grow very slowly, but there are few more rewarding things than being able eventually to remove a young offset from its parent and pot it up in an individual container.

Gasteria rawlinsonii care

Gasteria rawlinsonii

Gasteria rawlinsonii care is moderate to easy. They need little attention other than the removal of dead leaves, usually done in spring after flowering has finished or at any time if they look unsightly. The plants often shed their lower leaves in late winter but this does not matter too much so long as it doesn’t leave ugly scars on the stems. If this happens, small pieces of the leaf may be stuck back onto their bases with a little superglue or grafting wax and will soon root and heal over.

Light requirements

Gasteria rawlinsonii is a small succulent that can grow in full sun or partial shade. It prefers bright light but will tolerate some direct sunlight as well. If the plant begins to turn red on its leaves, it needs more light and less water.

Soil/potting mix

Gasteria rawlinsonii plants prefer a well-drained, slightly acidic soil mix. It is best to use a cactus and succulent potting mix as your base. You can also add sand or perlite for extra drainage if needed.

Watering

When watering, it is best to use room temperature water. Water the soil and then don’t water again until about half of the soil has dried out or mostly dry areas are present at the top layer of soil.

Watering should be done every couple of weeks during the summer months but can be reduced in the winter months when growth slows down. The appearance of the leaves is a good indicator of how long it has been since you last watered.

If this plant becomes too wet, it will develop root rot and die within weeks.

Fertilizer

Gasteria rawlinsonii is not a heavy feeder and does not need much fertilizer. An application of slow-release cactus food should be enough to sustain it throughout the growing season, but if you want faster growth or flowering, an acidic plant fertilizer like Dyna Gro (14-14-14) can be used during active growth.

It is important to not fertilize when the plant has gone dormant, which can happen during winter months in colder climates. If you are growing plants indoors under lights it will be best to switch over to a balanced fertilizer like 20-20-20 for continuous growth while your outside plants go through their natural cycle of dormancy and regrowth.

Temperature

Gasteria rawlinsonii is a subtropical plant and prefers mild climates. If you live in an area that gets below 32 degrees F, it will need to be brought indoors or at least kept under glass during the winter months.

It can be grown outdoors year-round with protection from direct frost and cold winds above 35 degrees F.

Gasteria rawlinsonii is a small succulent that can grow in full sun or partial shade. It prefers bright light but will tolerate some direct sunlight as well. If the plant begins to turn red on its leaves, it needs more light and less water.

When watering, it is best to use room temperature water.

Humidity

Gasteria rawlinsonii is a desert plant and therefore, it prefers dry conditions.

It does not need to be misted or watered from beneath very often. Once every few weeks should be sufficient in the summer months while once a month during winter would suffice.

An ideal humidity range for this plant would be between 20-30%.

This succulent likes to dry out thoroughly in the summer months but stays fairly moist during winter.

Pruning

Although pruning is not necessary with this plant, you can trim off the dead leaves to make room for new growth, but avoid cutting into healthy parts of the stem itself or it will die back faster than usual.

This plant has a tendency to grow in clumps and then slowly spread out over time with its rhizomatous root system.

As such, it is best to divide the plant every few years for propagation and then place some of those new plants into pots with fresh soil as well.

When to repot

Gasteria rawlinsonii is a slow-growing plant and it requires repotting every few years to provide fresh soil with ample drainage.

If the roots become visible through the bottom of its pot, then you know that your succulent has outgrown this container and needs a larger one as soon as possible.

The best time for repotting is in the early spring.

Dormancy

Gasteria rawlinsonii is a succulent and will therefore go through dormant periods throughout the year.

This plant normally grows in its natural habitat during the spring, summer, and autumn months when temperatures are milder.

During winter, it tends to lose some of its leaves as well as store energy from photosynthesis into the roots for later use.

As a result, you will see your plant slowly growing smaller and fewer leaves or none at all during the winter months. This is perfectly normal for this type of plant!

When the weather starts to warm up again in spring, it will start producing new leaves as well as grow much larger than before until summer when temperatures increase once more.

Flowers & Fragrance

Gasteria rawlinsonii

Gasteria rawlinsonii does not flower often and when it does, the flowers are fairly small.

These plants also do not have a strong fragrance like other types of succulents or cacti either.

The leaves themselves will sometimes emit a scent similar to garlic if you crush them between your fingers!

Growth rate

Gasteria rawlinsonii is a slow-growing plant, but it will grow larger over time.

It may take several years before you notice the substantial differences in size between new growth and mature leaves though.

The roots can be fairly long as well, which allows this succulent to spread out easily when given enough space.

Toxicity

Gasteria rawlinsonii, like many succulent plants, is toxic to pets and humans.

If ingested accidentally or on purpose (especially cats), it can cause vomiting and gastrointestinal issues such as cramping and diarrhea among other things.

Be sure that your pet does not have access to this plant if you are worried about its well-being.

USDA Hardiness Zones

Gasteria rawlinsonii is suitable for growing in USDA hardiness zones of 11-12.

This means that it can flourish in temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit during winter and 50 degrees or higher during the summer months without too much trouble.

Pests and diseases

Gasteria rawlinsonii is a very resilient plant that does not seem to be affected by many types of pests or diseases in normal conditions.

If you notice any signs of insects such as ants, mealybugs, and scale on the leaves, then it means your succulent may have been attacked by an infestation when your back was turned.

As such, you should take steps to remove these pests as soon as possible before they become a problem and potentially damage your plant more than it already is!

Conclusion

Gasteria rawlinsonii is an excellent houseplant for beginners due to how low maintenance it can be.

It requires little watering, tolerates poor soil conditions, and has few pest or disease issues to speak of in normal settings.

The only downside that this plant has is its tendency to slowly die back over time until you are left with just a root system. However, this problem can be partially negated by trimming off dead leaves and allowing new ones to grow in their place as needed!

As long as the plant is kept safe from pets or children that may want to snack on it, however, then you should have an easy time growing Gasteria rawlinson.


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