An Introduction To Graptopetalum – A Genus of Tender Succulent

Ever thought of trying a new hobby? Have you ever considered learning how to plant? Planting and gardening require much skill, patience, and motivation. You will need to dedicate effort and time for your plant to bloom and survive. Having a home plant is not already new. There are a variety of benefits why people decide on having plants. Their beauty added life to every corner of our house. Succulent is a type of plant known for its unique features and beautiful color. Its appearance varies from each kind and natural habitat. This article will learn more about Graptopetalum beautiful type of succulent with its silver-gray to pink leaves. We will also talk about some care and propagation tips to ensure that your Graptopetalum is blooming healthy and beautiful.

Origin and Features

Graptopetalum is native to Mexico and the Southwestern United States. It belongs to the Crassulaceae succulent family. Graptopetalum’s name comes from the Greek “gaps,” meaning “marked” or “inscribed.” It is a small genus of succulent and has a silver-gray to pink color. Graptopetalum has small white to pink flowers that grow in long stems. Graptopetalum primary growth occurs during the fall and spring seasons and slowly grows during the winter season. It grows up to 5-6 cm tall and 3-8cm in diameter. Graptopetalum can last a long life span as long as you give it enough sunlight, water it moderately, and plant it in a cooler place.

yellow flowers of graptopetalum plant
Photo by BARBARA808 via Pixabay

Common Graptopetalum Species

The most common succulent from this genus is probably Graptopetalum Paraguayense or also known as Ghost Plant or Mother of Pearl plant. This plant has pale-colored leaves. It has a small rosette of about 4 inches but can grow multiple rosettes on one plant as it is a branching plant. Ghost Plant is native to Mexico. However, make sure not to confuse it with Monotropa Uniflora. Other common Graptopetalum species are Graptopetalum Filiferum, Graptopetalum Frank Reinelt, and Graptopetalum Suberbum.

Water and Soil Requirements

Like most succulents, let your Graptopetalum grow in well-draining soil. Plant it on a mixture of peat, sand, or other grit, topsoil, and a little bit of compost. Make sure that it has proper drainage and you can water it moderately. Stick your finger on the soil to check if your Graptopetalum is ready for watering. If the soil is dry up to inches down, you may water it already. Avoid overwatering to avoid root rot and any pest infestation. Water your Graptopetalum regularly from spring to fall. Make sure that you are letting the soil dry out in between watering.

Ideal Sunlight and Temperature

Graptopetalum will bloom beautifully and will enhance its color under full sunlight. It will still grow in partial sunlight with a slightly rangy result. This genus of succulent prefers a cooler temperature at around below 20 degrees Fahrenheit to actively grow.

two reddish graptopetalum plants
Photo by BARBARA808 via Pixabay

Fertilizer

You may feed your Graptopetalum during its growing season, up to every 2-3 weeks, but it is honestly not necessarily to use fertilizer as it will get more nutrition from sunlight.

Pest Infestation

  • Mealybugs – This type of pest is usually found on the stems. You may use insecticidal soap to eliminate mealybugs
  • Aphids – Since this type of pest is small and might not be visible, you may dab it with cotton or use chemical pesticides; just make sure that it is not harmful

Propagation

How to Propagate by Seeds

  • You will need to allow the plant to grow for 2-3 years before harvesting your seeds
  • Allow the seeds to dry out for some days and make sure that it is no longer color green before planting
  • Soak your dried Graptopetalum seed overnight before germinating them with your seed starting mix
  • You may use your hand to sow the seeds in pots
  • Allow it to grow for 6-8 weeks until they have fully rooted
  • You may now transfer your baby Graptopetalum in a bigger pot to let it grow

How to Propagate by Leaves

  • Cut ing soil the leaves off just about an inch or two above where it connects with the stem
  • Allow the leaf cuttings to callous for two to three days before planting
  • Choose a well-draining soil and water it a bit before plating the leaf cuttings
  • Allow it to grow for 6-8 weeks until they have the first batch of fully rooted Graptopetalum
  • Remove your newly planted Graptopetalum and place it on a bigger pot to grow

How to Propagate by Offsets

  • You may use your hand or garden shears to remove the offsets attached to the mother plant
  • Let the baby Graptopetalum callous for two to three days before planting them on a pot with well-draining soil
sour graptopetalum succulent with damaged leaves
Photo by BARBARA808 via Pixabay

Final Words

By reading this article, we learned what type of succulent is Graptopetalum. Its beautiful silver-gray to pink color added life to many plant enthusiasts. This unique succulent with small white-pink flowers blooms and enhances its color under full sunlight. The sun was its primary source of nutrition, but it is also okay to feed it fertilizer during its growing season. Even though it prefers full sunlight, it can also survive an environment with partial sunlight, maybe on a window sill where the sun shines. Graptopetalum also grows actively with cooler temperatures and slows down its growth during the winter season.

It is not surprising to find Graptopetalum in gardens and succulent collections with beautiful leaves and flowers. It attracts a lot of plant enthusiasts. Another wonderful thing about Graptopetalum is that it can quickly propagate through its stems/ leaves cuttings, offsets, and seeds. However, keep in mind that propagation through offsets and grains is not advisable as it requires more time before showing the result. Aside from the propagation method, Graptopetalum also needs a healthy mother plant to ensure that the propagation will be successful.

If you are looking for a beautiful, eye-catching, and easy-to-grow succulent, Graptopetalum might be for you. This beautiful succulent is native from Mexico and the Southwestern part of the United States, really captured the eyes and hearts of many plant enthusiasts and new plant lovers. Once you see Graptopetalum, we are sure that you will find it difficult to take off your eyes from this succulent. If you are someone new in getting to know plants and want to get your own now, may you consider Graptopetalum, our new plant baby?

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Posted in Succulents