Graptopetalum Bellum is a hybrid, and it has no hybrids.
- Sunlight: does well under full sun and can grow outdoors.
- Watering: can quickly die due to overwatering.
- Temperature: It is not cold hardy (5oC – 35oC).
- Propagation: easily propagated from leaves, cuttings, seeds, and offsets.
- Fertilizer: doesn’t require too many nutrients, feed it a little fertilizer once in a while.
Physical Attributes Of Graptopetalum Bellum
Graptopetalum Bellum is a native of the mountainous regions of Northern Mexico. It grows mainly on cliffs but under the shade. It belongs to the family Crassulaceae, and it is characterized by dense rosettes that have the lotus. Its botanical name, Bellum, is derived from its lotus shape.
The physical attributes of this plant include large, thick rosettes. The leaves branch at the base of the stem and produce the well-arranged rosette. The rosette is pale greyish; reddish leaves characterize the edge of individual leaves.
This plant is relatively short, growing to about three inches tall, and a rosette can reach ten centimeters in diameter. This succulent produces a flower every year towards the end of spring or summer. The flower grows on a woody stalk. The bloom itself is star-shaped, and it usually has five-pointed petals that make the flower appear like a star. This shape of the flower is typical of the genus Graptopetalum.
The following are some tips on the growth and care of Graptopetalum Bellum.
Lighting and Placement
Sufficient sunlight is vital for the proper growth of this plant. It does well under direct sunlight, and it only blooms when there is adequate sunlight. It needs to be exposed to the sun throughout the year, and this is why it is advisable to plant Graptopetalum Bellum outdoors. Whether you grow it outdoors or not depends on whether your area experienced freezing temperatures in winter. If you experience such, you should have the option to take the succulent indoors during winter as it will die.
Planting Graptopetalum Bellum indoors requires you to keep you next to the western and southern windows that allow sunlight into the house. This way, the plant will be exposed to the sun, which is necessary for its health. If there is no light, like in the event you are experiencing deep winter, you can expose the succulent to grow lights for about eight hours every day. It does best in temperatures between 5oC and 35oC, and it can’t survive under sustained temperatures of below 0oC.
You should always ensure the plant sometimes gets away from the lights, which allows it to grow.
Well-draining soil is the best for this plant. It is succulent and, therefore, doesn’t do well in waterlogged soil. The ground you use should be part loamy, part sandy. If you are using commercial pottage, buy the best cactus mix and add some pumice to make the soil easier to drain. This soil should also have the necessary nutrients to keep the plant healthy.
While soil fertility is a factor for the plant’s health, watering is the most critical aspect of its diet. It would help if you always waited until the soil was dry to water again. By sticking your finger into the soil, you check if the ground is ready for the next drink. You can water the plant if the first two inches of the earth are dry.
Watering this plant can be challenging since it has a short stem, and its rosette covers a wide area over the soil. Putting water directly into the ground becomes a challenge since getting water without wetting the rosettes is difficult. You should avoid water lodging on the rosettes; it leads to leaf rot.
The best way to water Graptopetalum Bellum is either from below by soaking the pot in a tub of water and allowing the water to seep slowly through the pot’s breathers or drainage holes. If the plants are grown directly in a garden, drip irrigation can deliver water directly to the soil. Allow the water to dry after watering and repeat the cycle.
You will find the need to water more in summer, spring and autumn; summer because of the heat; and in spring and autumn, those are the succulent growth seasons.
Where To Plant Graptopetalum Bellum?
It is essential to talk about the pots in which you should grow this plant. The types and quality of pots have a great significance because they determine how well the soil will be drained. The pot where you should plant these succulents should have drainage openings to allow excess water to flow through so that the ground can remain sufficiently dry.
The best spot is a terracotta pot because its openings allow water to evaporate to remove moisture from the soil. This reduced moisture ensures that your succulent never gets to sit on waterlogged soil, and it, therefore, doesn’t get root rot.
Best Fertilizer For Graptopetalum Bellum
Graptopetalum Bellum doesn’t require too many nutrients. You ought to feed it a little fertilizer once in a while. It would help to start this additional feeding when the soil has been depleted. Feed it with half-strength succulent fertilizers. You should only feed the plant in autumn and spring since these are growing seasons.
Pests and Diseases
Pests are not a significant concern for this plant. The most likely pests are mealybugs that primarily attack the plant when you plant is outside. You can take care of mealybugs by spraying the infested leaves with neem or pyrethrum-based pesticides.
Root rot is the most common disease with this succulent. If left untreated, the infection can get to the base of the stem to cause basal stem rot. It is difficult for an infected plant to come back from this infestation.
This plant requires little maintenance by the grower. You should be on the lookout for dead flower stalks, which you should pinch out immediately, as they do not have a purpose when the flower is not in bloom. When the plant starts aging, and its rosette starts to trail off, you should take some care to maintain its beauty.
How To Propagate Graptopetalum Bellum
There are three propagation methods for Graptopetalum Bellum; leaf cuttings, offsets, and seeds. The following is how you propagate each.
Propagation by Leaf Cuttings
Follow the following steps:
- Cut a healthy, mature leaf from the plant. The best leaves for propagation are always the ones on the lower side of the plant. Make sure they aren’t dried up with age, as some of the leaves in the rosette are wont to do from time to time.
- Allow the leaf to be calloused under a shade for about three or four days.
- Put the leaf-cutting in the potting soil. The soil should be suitable for the growth of Aeonium according to the characteristics we shall discuss later.
- Keep the soil moist but not too wet, as this is the ideal watering condition for the plant.
Please note that this succulent can take some time to root. Be patient; you might have to take care of it for up to a month before rooting occurs.
Propagation by Offsets
Like many other succulents in this genus, this plant produces offsets as an evolutionary way of keeping the plant alive after the mother’s short life. Balances form when the mother plant sends roots out into the soil, and other plants develop from the edges of these roots.
You can let the offset grow into an independent plant in the same pot with enough space or move it into a different pot for a new plant. If the mother plant is near its life cycle, leave the offset in the pot as a standby replacement.
If you want to move the offset, allow it to grow until it takes the plant form. It is advisable to transplant it just before the table begins to form. Put the baby plant in a moist, well-drained soil pot and allow it to grow. An offset roots faster than a leaf, becoming a plant more quickly since it is already relatively well-formed.
Propagation by Seeds
Buy certified seeds for these succulents. Certified seeds ensure more outstanding production than any seeds you might produce at home unless you are an expert. Plant the seeds one inch deep in a pot or bed and water gently occasionally. The seeds can germinate up to a month, after which little rosettes will start emerging.
Transplant them into their pots and continue with the care routine.
Graptopetalum Bellum gives your space, whether an outdoor or indoor garden, an exotic appearance. It is not difficult to maintain and will thrive if you give it enough sunlight and the right amount of water. More reads about the Graptopetalum genus are below:
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