Gasteraloe is a rare type of succulent that strongly resembles an Aloe Vera plant. Its resemblance can be attributed to the fact that Gasteraloe is a hybrid plant and is usually a mix of Aloe Vera/Aristaloe and Gasteria genera. They are native to South Africa and are also known as xGasteraloe.
Gasteraloe has thick leaves with gray spots and toothed margins. It grows 12 inches (or 30 cm) tall and wide. This plant can bloom and produce tubular flowers that can be red or green in color.
It is recommended that Gasteraloe be grown indoors. It requires a lot of sun, and an outdoor garden is the best place where it can thrive. In the case that you do not have access to a garden, you may grow Gasteraloe indoors as a houseplant. But you will need to ensure that it receives the proper amount of sun every day.
Sunlight Requirements for Gasteraloe
Gasteraloe requires plenty of sunlight to grow properly. They should be grown in the full sun or in partial shade. The ideal time for them to be in the sun is in the mornings. Even though Gasteraloe loves the sun, intense sunlight, especially the hot afternoon sun, can cause sunburns. If you are growing the plant indoors, place it next to a window with plenty of natural sunlight coming in. Insufficient sunlight can stunt your plant’s growth, so make sure to supplement with a grow light, mostly during winters.
If you’re in an area with extreme heat, make sure that you protect your plant. If your plant is growing outdoors, cover it with a sunshade. Gasteraloe is being grown in a pot should be brought to a shaded area during afternoons.
Gasteraloe does not do well with cold temperatures. If you live in a colder locality, you should only grow the plant indoors. Freezing temperatures and frost can damage the plant, so make sure to care for it properly during winters.
Soil Requirements for Gasteraloe
Gasteraloe, like other succulents, needs to be potted in well-draining soil. Cactus potting mixes that are available in the market are a good option when mixed with coarse sand/pumice/perlite for better drainage. The ratio they should be mixed in depends on the climate you are in. The drier climate will not need extra drainage. Therefore the ratio can be 1:1. More humid places will need a soil mix that will enable better drainage, so make sure that you add more coarse sand/pumice/perlite to the mix.
The watering requirements of Gasteraloe will vary according to the weather and humidity. They will need to be watered every 7 to 10 days during summers. The ideal way of watering them by using the ‘soak and dry method, where you water the soil till it is damp and only re-water it once the top layer starts to feel dry.
During winters, they can be watered once every fortnight or even once a month, depending on how dry the soil feels. You will not need to water Gasteraloe during rainfall if it is being kept outside. The rainwater will be more than enough, and watering it further will only damage the plant.
Those living in humid climates should not water their plant as often. The water in the pot will not evaporate as fast it does in drier climates, and as long as the soil is damp, your plant will be getting its watering needs met.
This plant’s growing season is spring; you should feed it with a slow-release fertilizer. It is a vigorous grower; thus, the need for additional nutrients as the substrate in the pot may not adequately support it.
It can withstand temperatures of up to 70oF and relatively cold temperatures. However, it can quickly die if it stays under temperatures below 40oF for too long. If your area experiences temperatures below the abovementioned threshold, you need to move it indoors to protect it from the cold.
Gasteraloe thrives; thus, it needs to be repotted every two years. If your plant has overgrown its current pot and you are looking for a pot to repot it, go for the next available size. A huge pot would not be a good idea as it would mean more soil than is necessary, leading to more water being retained. Thus the new pot should not be more than 10% bigger than the previous one. The increase of moisture in the soil will cause the roots to rot, and eventually, the plant will die.
As with other succulents, the soil needs to be porous and well-draining to allow a good flow of water and air. A typical cactus mix that you can buy in local stores would work. You could also make your mix by adding grit and perlite. Take two portions of your soil and add a portion each of grit and perlite. Grit and perlite will make your soil more porous.
Well-draining soil is vital when growing this plant to avoid stagnant water and too much moisture, which causes root rot and, consequently, death of the plant.
When repotting your plant, you will need the below items
- A bigger pot with drainage holes
- Fresh soil that is porous
- Sterilized cutting tool
Follow the below steps when you are repotting:
- Prepare your pot by putting soil about halfway
- Slide the plant from its old pot carefully so you don’t damage its roots and leaves.
- Shake off old soil from the plant.
- Using your sterilized cutting tool, trim any dead roots and unhealthy stems.
- Place the plant in the new pot and fill it with the remaining soil.
- Water the plant adequately.
- Place the plant outside under a partial shade or inside near a window where it can access adequate light.
How To Propagate Gasteraloe
Gasteraloe can be propagated through offsets or leaf cuttings. It may take your plant several years to produce an offset; therefore, the best way to propagate it is through leaves.
Before cutting off a leaf from the plant, ensure that it is healthy. Cut the leaf as close to the stem as possible. The leaf-cutting needs to be replanted, but you need to let it dry for a couple of days before you can do that. After the leaf is dry and has formed callouses, place it in a pot with a well-draining potting mix. Make sure that you keep watering the plant as the soil dries out. Over the next few weeks, the leaf-cutting will see new growth.
If you have a plant that has produced an offshoot, you can use the offshoot for propagation. The propagation method using an offshoot is the same as propagation using leaves. The offshoot will need to dry out before it can be planted in well-draining soil. It needs to be watered when the soil dries out. It may take a while, but you will have a new plant growing from the offshoot.
Common Problems Associated With Gasteraloe
One of the most common problems is root rot, and it is usually caused by over-watering. When the plant is watered more often than required, it develops dark and mushy spots on the leaves and at the base. This means that it has developed root rot. It is usually impossible to save the plant after it has developed rot, but you can propagate the plant by cutting off healthy leaves and potting them. To prevent rot, you must ensure that you do not over-water the plant and only water it after the soil has dried out.
Another problem common in Gasteraloe is that it develops black spots. They are a sign that the plant is injured or is infected by a fungus. You can help the plant by placing it in an area with low humidity, sufficient sunlight, and decent air circulation.
Pests on Gasteraloe
Gasteraloe is very resistant to pests, but certain bugs can still become an issue. They are most likely to get infested by mealybugs. Usually, a mealybug infestation can be removed with the help of alcohol. If you see your plant infested, you can dip a Q-Tip or cloth in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe off the site where it is infested.
Gasteraloe has no toxins in it and is safe for pets and humans.
Gasteraloe is an exciting plant that does not require much from you to grow. It is a perfect succulent for those who have an outdoor garden and are looking for a low-maintenance plant. Plant it in a porous substrate, water it sparingly, and keep it away from the cold. You will have the best of this plant.
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Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!