Graptopetalum glassii: The Perfect Houseplant

Last updated on September 3rd, 2022 at 05:11 pm

Graptopetalum glassii is not only one of the easiest plants to grow but also one of the most beautiful houseplants you can buy. It’s light gray and nearly translucent leaves give off another worldly aura that makes it seem as if your plant was touched by the heavens themselves.

You don’t have to have an amazing green thumb to keep your houseplants alive and looking beautiful. If you have Graptopetalum glassii, you’ll find that it’s remarkably easy to care for and one of the most elegant houseplants around. With just some minimal maintenance and these simple tips, you can learn how to make sure your Graptopetalum glassii thrives and grows without any problems at all!

These days, you can’t walk into your local big box store without seeing houseplants on display. This surge in popularity has made it easier than ever to bring greenery into your home, but if you’re looking for something with character and personality, the Graptopetalum glassii may be just what you’re looking for. Learn more about this unique succulent below!

Origin and distribution

Graptopetalum glassii is native to south-central Mexico. It has only been in cultivation since 2001 and was featured in an Aztec-themed exhibition at Missouri Botanical Garden in 2010. Since then it has become widely grown as a houseplant, due to its low maintenance needs and easy propagation from stem cuttings. This succulent can grow up to 1 foot tall and spreads easily through the rooting of stems.

It prefers temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees C) but will tolerate much cooler conditions with less light, making it perfect for people who work long hours or travel frequently. Its stiff upright form makes it great for growing on patios or decks where you might not have much space for other plants, but you still want something that adds some life to your surroundings.

Graptopetalum glassii propagation

Graptopetalum glassii

Graptopetalum glassii seedlings can be grown in sterilized soil, but a faster option is to let them sprout on their own. Place your Graptopetalum leaf on top of some dampened peat moss, and place it near a window with indirect sunlight. It should start to sprout within two weeks. Once your plant has some roots, you can transfer them into the soil and grow them.

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If you’re worried about overwatering or under-watering, there are several easy ways to check if your plant needs water. For example, stick a finger into the soil, if it feels dry at least one inch down, then it’s time for water. You can also stick a pencil into the potting mix; if no moisture appears on its surface within five seconds, then it’s time for water.

Don’t ever give your Graptopetalum glassii more than one inch of water per week. A good way to test how much light your plant gets is by holding a white piece of paper up to it; if it turns light green, then it gets enough light. Don’t worry too much about getting these things exactly right, your new friend will tell you what it likes best!

Graptopetalum glassii care information

Graptopetalum glassii

Graptopetalum glassii requires very little care, but there are a few things you should know about their needs. First and foremost, these plants thrive in bright indirect light; direct sunlight will scorch their leaves. Second, they prefer moderate water levels; over-watering them is just as bad as under-watering them.

Light requirement

Place Graptopetalum glassii in a location that receives bright, indirect light year-round. You can place it outdoors from late April to early October; remember to bring it back indoors before night temperatures drop below 55 degrees F. Indoors, though, it should be placed near a sunny window or under a grow light.

Soil/potting mix

Graptopetalum glassii thrives in well-draining soil. Add a handful of peat moss to your potting mix or use a cactus and succulent potting mix. Avoid adding fertilizer to your potted Graptopetalum; most cacti and succulents don’t need it, as they store extra energy in their leaves.

If you have nutrient deficiencies, try using an organic solution such as fish emulsion or compost tea instead of water. You can also repot your plant into fresh soil every year to give it new nutrients.


Graptopetalum glassii, like most succulents, needs to be watered regularly. Water them twice a week in spring and summer, and once a week in fall and winter. Use room-temperature water rather than cold water to prevent rot.

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Make sure each container has drainage holes for excess water to escape. If you’re unsure about how much or how often to water your plant, check its soil with your finger; if it feels dry an inch below ground level, it’s time to give it some more water.


Regular fertilization is recommended, but be careful not to overdo it. Give your plant a quarter-strength dose of fertilizer once a month in spring and summer. In fall and winter, feed it half-strength fertilizer every two months.

(Note that these are general recommendations; check with your plant’s care sheet for more specific guidelines). If you use slow-release pellets or granules, they’ll last six months or longer; liquid concentrates should be mixed into water monthly.


Most people think of succulents as desert plants, but graptopetalum glassii are native to coastal regions. These plants can’t handle temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above 95 degrees.

Most experts recommend keeping them between 70 and 80 degrees F. If you live in a warm climate, you may want to consider moving your plant outside during the summer months; if you live in a cold climate, you may want to move it inside during winter months.


Although Graptopetalum glassii are naturally desert plants, it’s important to maintain humidity levels near 50 percent. Mist your plant once or twice a day and be sure to water thoroughly.

On average, water Graptopetalums when their soil feels dry 1 inch below their surface. It’s better to err on the side of too little than too much here—if you overwater your plants they may suffer from root rot.


It’s important to prune often, especially when your plant is young. Simply cut off any dead stems or brown growth with clean, sharp scissors or shears. These can be planted or placed in a compost bin for use later on.

Make sure to dig up your Graptopetalum glassii before you throw them away; you never know what might grow! Be careful not to cut off more than 30 percent of your plant at once; it needs its leaves and stems for nutrients and photosynthesis.

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If you don’t plan on repotting right away, trim back so that there are two or three sets of leaves left per stem. If you plan to repot immediately, take just one set of leaves per stem, leaving too many will stress out your plant and make it harder for it to acclimate properly into its new home. You can also pinch off tips if they seem long and leggy, this will encourage new growth from lower down on the stem.

When to repot

Graptopetalum glassii

Repot every spring or fall, depending on your potting schedule. If you keep your Graptopetalum in a container year-round, repot it in early spring. If you bring it indoors for winter and then replant it outside in summer, repot it in late summer or early fall.

This plant has small roots that are easy to overpot if you’re not careful. Make sure your new pot is only slightly larger than its current one; otherwise, it will likely grow out of its new home too quickly.


During cooler months, Graptopetalum glassii goes dormant. It is normal for leaves to turn black and drop off of plants. This is not a sign that something is wrong with your plant, it’s simply a response to lower light and temperature.

Since they are dormant now, they should not be fertilized or watered at all during these months; any fertilizer will just run right through them (literally) since they aren’t absorbing nutrients.

If you have an established plant, keep an eye on its leaves and wait until new growth appears before watering again. If you have a new plant, don’t worry too much about watering, just make sure you water thoroughly when new growth appears in springtime.

Graptopetalum glassii flower & fragrance

The flowers are small, but many of them bloom on a single stem at one time. They also only last for about a day before disappearing and being replaced by new blooms. This means that every couple of days, you’ll have to enjoy a whole new bouquet from your Graptopetalum glassii.

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Growth rate

This succulent will grow between 1 and 2 inches per year. That’s on average, so some plants will grow more slowly, while others may grow much faster.


Graptopetalum glassii are not toxic to humans, pets, or other wildlife. They are safe for home and office use and can be used in homes with small children. Their thick leaves add interest to a wide variety of environments while they do not appear to cause allergies or other respiratory issues in most people.

If you’re sensitive to plants, it’s a good idea to spot-test your Graptopetalum before purchasing one for your house or business.

USDA hardiness zones

Graptopetalum glassii thrives in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 11. This succulent can be grown indoors in areas that are colder than these, but it will need to be brought inside for winter.

Pests and diseases

When you bring a new plant into your home, there’s always a chance that it might be carrying pests or diseases. That’s why we recommend keeping an eye out for signs of pests or disease as you’re caring for your Graptopetalum and making sure to keep it in clean, healthy soil.

Pests may include spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects; some common diseases include root rot, stem rot, and leaf spot. If you notice any of these problems on your Graptopetalum, cut off affected parts immediately (don’t wait until they spread) and remove affected plants from your collection.


Graptopetalum glassii plants are carefree plants that require little maintenance. They only need to be watered about once every 1-2 weeks, with the watering frequency depending on how warm your home is and how much light it gets. If you’re looking for a great houseplant, Graptopetalum glassii is definitely worth considering!