All About Graptoveria Opalina Care, Cultivation & More …

Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ is a hybrid succulent plant that produces clusters of tight rosettes of smooth, upright, thick leaves of a pale bluish-green color, which, when grown on the direct bright light, blush with a soft pink at the tips and the margins of the leaves. This succulent spreads like a small shrub as it grows, reaching a size of up to 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide. In late spring, this plant produces short branches of yellow flowers with an orange center. It has typical characteristics of succulents, from the need for dry soils to resistance to cold climates. Because it is a non-toxic decorative plant, it is safe to have it in homes with pets or small children without any danger.

Graptoveria Opalina-SC
Hybrid Succulent

The Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ can be cultivated both in partial shade and in the direct Sun easily. This second option is the best to highlight the pinkish color it can present in its leaves. Interestingly, this coloration on the plates can vary over a broad spectrum depending on the amount of direct light provided. If we keep this plant in the shade, its leaves will take on a powdery bluish-green appearance. This succulent plant is hardy in temperatures up to 30 °F.

Graptoveria Opalina Care

The irrigation that this plant requires is relatively scarce, being moderate, approximately every two weeks in the summer, spring, and autumn, and more reduced during the winter. This method is to avoid damage due to low temperatures. Some important aspects to consider when watering are that we must allow the soil to dry completely before watering. This plant is very susceptible to water, and to avoid possible damage, infestation, root rot, and killing our plant, we must be careful in the amount of irrigation.

If we have our Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ in a pot, we must allow total humidity drainage before watering again. It is also important to avoid spraying the leaves directly since if it is in direct Sun, they could suffer burns and, if the temperature is shallow, damage by freezing. Being very tolerant in poor soils does not require much fertilization; a little at the beginning of each growing season will be enough to keep it healthy and with solid growth.

Cultivation of Opalina

Depending on the cultivation site, be it direct soil or a pot, the soil quality that this succulent requires can vary. In natural soil, Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ can withstand lower, sandy, and porous conditions. In contrast, plants of this species grown in pots can survive with a mixture of sandy soil and topsoil. It is essential to mention that, in both cases, the ground must have excellent drainage to prevent diseases in the root of the plant. Suppose it is cultivated in direct soil, in those seasons where the temperatures are very low or even hailstorms. In that case, it should be considered to cover it and protect it since Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ is resistant to low temperatures, but only for short periods. In being in a pot, we should only move it inside when these freezing seasons begin.

Growth of Opalina

If this succulent Opalina is grown in a place with direct bright light, it requires little maintenance; however, if it develops in partial light or shade, it can begin to create long legs and need extra care. Besides, if grown in the shade, the plant would not count with the particular pink coloration in its leaves; instead, these would only be bluish-green. We must be careful since the major diseases that this plant can present are due to excess water, either by irrigation or by being located in a humid, poorly ventilated, and cold environment. Extra shade, dryness, or heat can also be a problem, so we must be attentive to the signs of any of these cases.
The Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ growth is usually more active and accelerated during the cold and winter seasons. Later in the hot and summer seasons, this is a curious characteristic since it is a subtropical succulent. It grows, dispersing well below and around the mother rosette, usually creating numerous suckers in its growing seasons.

Pests And Diseases

Like many succulents, this plant is pest resistant for the most part, although it can be attacked by sap-sapping insects such as the mealy bugs. Using neem oil on the leaves is recommended to get rid of these tiny pests. If you use an insecticide, ensure you dilute it to half the recommended concentration to avoid damaging the plant. The chemicals used in the insecticide can scorch the leaves if applied directly.

You can reduce the possibility of your plant being infested with pests by keeping it healthy. Healthy plants can repel the pests more effectively, but hungry plants are usually vulnerable to these pests. Isolate any plant in your Mediterranean garden infested by any pest to keep it from infecting others.

Besides using chemical pesticides, you can cure your infested Peperomia prostrata as follows. You can rub the infected parts with alcohol with 70% concentration. Take a piece of cotton wool, dip it into the alcohol, and dab the part of the plant with the infestation. You can also use chemical pesticides, but it is better to use organic pesticides.

If you notice an infestation, you could apply the following organic pesticides.

  • Neem oil: Unlike the other pesticides listed below, neem oil is a systemic pesticide. It gets into the plant and poisons it against the bugs so that they don’t survive or reproduce when they attack the plant. Pure Neem Oil is made from the neem plant. Therefore, it is entirely natural and not harmful to humans.
  • Hot pepper spray: Hot pepper is quite irritating when it gets on your skin and eyes, and it has the same effects on the bugs infesting your succulents. Spray it carefully on the affected parts to protect your skin and eyes.
  • Garlic spray: A concentrated garlic spray can have the same effects on the bugs as pepper spray. You can manufacture the garlic spray by crushing garlic cloves and putting them in hot water. Put just a little hot water, so the end product is concentrated enough to destroy the pests. Remove the garlic residue, put the pesticide in a sprayer, and spray away on the infected parts of the plant.

Always spray a small part of the plant with the pesticide you want to use before spraying on the whole plant. This precaution applies when using contact pesticides, i.e., hot pepper and garlic. It would help if you saw the plant’s reaction before you spray it all. You can reduce concentration if the test shows the plant’s reacting adverse effects on the pesticide

Propagation

This succulent plant is easy to propagate using cuttings, seeds, or offsets. To grow it through cuttings, you only need to cut a leaf from the main floor, then, you must let the cutting rest for a few days and place it on a bed, be it direct soil or a pot, but it must have good drainage. Finally, You only have to water the plant when it needs it, and it will begin to grow as a mother rosette as the days go by, and voila, a new Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ would enter the family.

If you want to use seeds, we must make sure that the temperature is warmer. Find a place that we consider suitable, and plant them, only watering when the soil is dry and always making sure that it has good drainage. Depending on the ground and temperature, germination can vary in speed but shouldn’t take more than a few weeks. When germination is ready, the plant will begin to produce small rosette offsets. If we want to propagate it more, we have to cut these offsets. Let them dry for one or two days, and plant them in suitable soil with moderate irrigation.

In order to perform the propagation, you will need a sharp tool, such as a knife. You will need to cut a piece of the plant’s leaves, above the stem. Just leave it to dry for a few days and put it in the appropriate soil mix.

Now, all you need to do is wait and water it according to the appropriate schedule. The new Graptoveria Opalina will thrive soon.

Repoting

Graptoveria Opalina needs repotting every few years. It is a slow-growing plant; thus, it doesn’t outgrow its pots often. You need to separate the plant from its current pot if you find it being root bound or if you notice the plant becoming top-heavy. These are the classic indicators that your Opalina needs repotting.

You can remove the substrate and replace it with a fresh one. Sometimes repotting is necessary if you notice the substrate has become less porous or it has lost its nutrients so that the plant lacks the necessary nutrients to the growth of the plant. Ensure you don’t injure the roots when removing the substrate. However, if you find parts of the roots affected by root rot, you can clip them before repotting. The pot in which you repot your Graptoveria Opalina should be at least 10% more than the previous one.

Conclusion

To Conclude, the primary way to propagate this plant is through a leaf, although this is a slightly slower process. We need to select a plate and gently tear it off the stem, ensuring that no part of the leaf remains on the branch. We leave it for a day or so and plant it where we want, and it will begin to grow and slowly become a rosette.
When selecting a place to plant it, we must take into account that if we sow it in a pot, we must change it every two years to a larger one until it reaches its maximum size so that its roots have enough space and it continues its growth in a stable and healthy.

If we plant it in direct soil, we should not do this. But we will have to be careful when watering and infestations. A Graptoveria ‘Opalina,’ when well cared for, tends to stay relatively healthy. But sometimes, it is inevitable to attract the attention of some pests, such as aphids and mealybugs; if the plant begins to show signs of these pests’ presence, we must act immediately to eliminate them. All this to help keep it healthy and beautiful in our garden or inside our house.

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Posted in Succulents