Tips for caring for gastria at home: how to water the plant, what the room temperature should be, transplanting and reproduction. Gasteria is a perennial plant, mainly found in the territories of Namibia and South Africa (there are about 70 species).
Gasteria is a succulent, that is, it can collect water in its leaves and has surfaces strewn with needles. In common parlance, this plant has many synonyms - they call it a common noun "the language of a lawyer", we know that in this profession it is important to narrate a lot and fluidly, as well as in cow or bovine language - well, here we recall the appearance of this organ in ruminants. Sounds like it, doesn't it? Well, if you take the literal translation from Latin (Gasteria), then Gasteria, it turns out, is a “pot-bellied vessel”. In appearance, it is possible that it is that the flower is similar to a container of liquids - wide at its base and thinning upwards. This cactus is especially attractive during the blooming of flowers.
Types of gastria
In total, there are about 70 species, but the most popular of the bottom for growing in an apartment are:
- Gasteria warty (Gasteria verrocosa) - the flower has no stem. The leaves of a plant of this species take the form of a narrow triangle, which is covered with white growths, like warts, ending in a small tip. The plant itself looks like a rosette from the root. Since there are many "warts" on the leaves, the surface is rough to the touch and has grooves. The length to which the leaves grow reaches 20 cm. The peduncle of the plant emerges from the leaf sinus, and the inflorescence itself has the shape of a brush. Bright pink or bright red perianth, below which there is a small bulge. The peduncle grows to a length of 40–80 cm. The buds have a bent-like appearance of 2–2.5 cm in size, ridiculously reminiscent of unopened or underdeveloped bells.
- Gasteria spotted (Gasteria maculate) - usually has a helical (rather in a double row) arrangement of leaves that form a rosette. The leaf itself is flat and hard, as if triangular, there are no warty growths on it. The pattern on very dark emerald leaves is vague and indistinct. It usually forms light, elongated white spots. The length of the leaves can vary within 16–20 cm with a width of 4–5 cm. At the very tip there is a cartilaginous apical spine. The trunk of this type of gastria reaches about 30 cm in height. A flower disheveled tassel consists of buds. The buds look like funnels with an inflated base, their tone is deep red, the edging is green.
- Gasteria is tiny (Gasteria liliputana) - this plant has no stem, is growing for many years, herbaceous, small. A large number of shoots depart from its base. The leaf plate is lanceolate, reaching a length of 3, 5–6 cm. It has a shiny appearance with whitish spots of a deep dense green color. In diameter, the rosette can grow up to 10 cm. Young growth grows in two rows, but older leaves have a spiral shape. In the outlets, baby shoots usually grow. The stalk extends up to 30 cm in length. The flowers themselves are very sophisticated, and have the usual color for hysteria (red on top, green on the bottom), reaching up to 1.5 cm in length. This flower is the smallest of the entire species.
- Gasteria saber-like (Gastreia acinacifolia) - just like the previous flower, this species does not have a stem. Leaf blades are collected in a rather voluminous outlet. The leaves on the extreme tier are arranged like ribbons, look like broad swords, the size of which reaches 30 cm in length and 7 cm in width, keeled, glossy, the color of summer grass with white blotches and bulges on both sides. The peduncle reaches a height of 1 meter, not very articulate. Flowers can grow up to 5 cm, are curved and have bright red hues.
- Gasteria Armstrong (Gasteria armstrongii) is a very miniature plant. The leaves have a very hard twisted incomprehensible shape, which reach 3 cm during development. The end of the leaves is rounded, as if dull, completely covered with small white "warts", like small humps. It seems that it is a small scarlet, especially when the plant is not yet very developed. Young shoots at the beginning of growth stretch vertically, but later begin to bend over to old and sufficiently grown leaves, which grow parallel to the ground. Flowering begins very early, the flowers themselves are a rare brush, pink or salmon shade and are very small, in comparison with other types of gastria, only 2 cm long.
- Gasteria bicolor (Gasteria bicolor) is a perennial plant that stretches up to 30 cm in height. The leaves resemble long tongues with three uneven ribs. The length varies from 15 to 20 cm, and the width is from 4 to 5 cm. They have a very dark green color with multiple bright white spotted lines on the sides of the petal. In young representatives of this species, the leaves are arranged in two rows, and the older the flower is, they are arranged in a screw way. This variety of Gasteria has the largest rosette.
- Gasteria soddy (Gasteria caespitoca) is a stemless succulent plant. The leaves form transverse rows. The size of the leaves is usually from 10-14 cm in length and up to 2 cm in width. They have a slight bulge and a rich green color, light green spots on all petals. Flowers can be pink or red and reach up to 2 cm in diameter.
- Gasteria is whitish (Gasteria candicans) - like the previous species, this cactus also lacks a stem. Its leaf appearance is simple, powerful and in length, much more than in width, with a pointed apex. The leaf grows up to 30 cm in length and 4 cm in width. The leaf plate has a keeled shape, with a glossy sheen, juicy green and all in white specks, has bulges on both sides. Very long, up to 1 m peduncle, without branching. The flowers measure 5 cm in length, have a slight swelling and are bright red in color.
- Gasteria marble (Gasteria marmorata) - This plant has a pronounced rosette. Young leaves have a two-row structure, but over time they change to a spiral one. The form of the processes is quite wide, very similar to tongues, watery with a wide and rounded apex, rich green, with silvery blotches, like marble.
- Gasteria triangular (Gasteria trigona) is a perennial succulent cactus, which arranges its young leaves in two rows, and over time it creates a rosette from them. The size of the leaf plate at the base of the rosette reaches a dimension of 20 cm in length and 3-4 cm in width, gradually narrowing, the plate decreases in width and ends with a tip 2-3 cm in length. Pale green spots are located along the leaf plate, which converge into diametrical stripes. The edges and midline of the reverse side of the leaf are paler and dentate-cartilaginous. The flowers are mostly pink in color.
Due to the fact that the plant itself, no matter what variety, looks like green clusters, it was not bypassed by the masters of landscape design.
Watering and caring for Gasteria at home
The plant is, although it is unpretentious, and a novice florist can take care of it, but sometimes it can even be ruined. Due to the fact that Gasteria collects water in the leaves, there is a misconception that it is not necessary to water it. This often leads to her death. In the warm season, the flower needs to be watered abundantly and the ground should be sufficiently moist, but not to the point of being dirty in the pot - this is also destructive and can lead to the loss of the flower.
In winter, it is preferable to water very little, allowing the earth to dry out, but again, make sure that the soil does not dry out at all. Gasteria is not well-disposed to spraying. Although it seems she would love it. But if you spray the flower and put it in the sun's rays, then sunburn will certainly happen. The best solution is to take a shower to get rid of the dust on the leaves.
Gasteria lighting also requires gentle. Place it in bright sunlight and the leaf pattern will fade. Windows facing south-west or south-east are suitable for its maintenance. It is desirable that the light is not direct for her, therefore, artificial lighting of Gasteria prefers more natural light. Therefore, she lives well in apartments and loves the shade. Although it is preferable that in the summer it was taken out into the fresh air (a balcony or a street will do, but remember that you need to place it under scattered sunlight).
Flower maintenance temperature
Although Gasteria is a desert plant, the optimal temperature at which it feels at ease is 23-25 degrees. At low temperatures (18 degrees) flowering and growth are significantly slowed down. She also does not like drafts, and in order not to destroy the flower - keep away from cold windows and drafts. Hot city heating batteries are a disaster for the well-being of a flower. In general, this unassuming representative of the desert is not so easy to care for.
Top dressing of gastria
At the time when Gasteria starts to grow actively, it needs fertilization, this happens in the warm months (May-September). It is best to buy food for cacti and succulents. But, it is advisable to make the concentration not the one indicated by the manufacturer, but half as much. In the cold season, it is recommended not to disturb the plant with fertilizers.
When does Gasteria bloom?
Being not in natural conditions, Gasteria does not often produce flower stalks. The time at which this succulent can please with the appearance of buds is mainly the warm months of spring and summer. The shades found in flowers are red, pink and salmon. The buds themselves look like long bells. On the stalk of the peduncle, they are collected in groups of 40-50 pcs.
Soil for Gasteria
You can buy land for cacti and succulents, which is sold with the acidity and air permeability that these plants already need: the acidity is low - 5, 5–7 Ph and the soil should have good absorbency. But you can also make up a soil mixture yourself, based on the parameters 2: 1: 1: 0, 5. Where does it include:
- semi-decomposed leaves (they have many useful elements);
- light turf soil (from meadows and pastures, rich in nutrients);
- peat land (which will absorb moisture);
- crushed brick.
Gasteria transplant should be repeated every 1-2 years as needed and only in the spring and summer months. But to preserve large and sufficiently overgrown plants, it is better to simply transfer more to the pots, while removing the young shoots. Only under such conditions is the growth of a succulent to an impressive size guaranteed. It is necessary to take a pot only a little larger in diameter, since with the slow development of gastria there is a risk of flooding the plant. At the bottom of the flowerpot, it is necessary to pour a layer of drainage - expanded clay.
Reproduction of gastria
Since during growth, many children, daughter processes appear in gastria, it can be propagated using this young growth. You can also grow the seeds yourself. When blooming, it is necessary to shake the flowers so that the pollen gets on the stigmas. When seeds are formed, their seed fruit will stick out in an upward bend, not like a flower bud. By July, the seeds will ripen. If there is no need for seeds, then the brush of flowers is simply removed. You can also pollinate Gasteria with the help of aloe succulent - their pollen is similar and you can bring out a combination of these cacti.
To make seedlings of gastria, wet sand is needed and, without covering it, seeds are sown on the surface. The pot with seedlings is covered to create a greenhouse effect (you can use a glass plate). With further care, the required temperature is 15–20 degrees, as well as regular splashing with water and airing. The term for sprouting from seeds is 1, 5–2 months. At the next stage, the sprouts are divided according to the volume of the pots, into which the young are planted. The next pot change is done after 12 months.
Since this type of cactus grows very slowly, their breeding is simplified by using young shoots, which periodically need to be removed from an adult plant. The best time is the phase of active growth in May or June, then new plants will be able to postpone planting and go into growth. Such young shoots are separated and kept for 1 day to dry in the normal temperature of the apartment. Choose the soil mixture in accordance with the proportion:
- turf - 2 parts;
- ripe leaves - 2 parts;
- sand - 2 parts;
- charcoal - 1 part.
After planting, the main thing is not to pour the seedlings, it is necessary that the water leaves the soil, the substrate must dry well. Only when the gasteria is well rooted, watering is increased. With a slow growth of a cactus, after 2-3 years, the possibility of flowering comes.
Diseases and pests in gastria
As usual with cacti, difficulties are rare. The biggest problem is waterlogging of the soil when there is an excess of watering. Then root disease (decay) may occur or gastria is affected by infectious and fungal bacteria.
- When the plant is flooded with water, the leaves lose their color, elasticity, firmness.
- The leaves are infected with bacteria - brown soft marks have appeared.
- If the plant has not been watered for a long time, and the soil is dry (especially in summer), dry brown marks appear.
- The leaves turned pale and began to droop - in the cold season the plants were flooded with water.
- Insect damage or overfeeding - the leaves turn yellow.
- There are big pests for gastria - all kinds of putrefactive diseases, various insects (scale insects, aphids, spider mites, mealy worms).
Learn more about Gastria from this video: