Hasteriais a succulent of the Asphodel family, native to the arid regions of South Africa. The plant gets this strange name because of the peculiar swell that is present at the bottom of the perianth tube. The Latin word "gasltron", which means "hollow vessel", is the basis for the name of this plant.
The sharply shortened stem of the gasteria is covered with rigid leaves, which may have both a two-row and a multi-row arrangement. The leaves can be variously shaped, being dark green in color with a scattering of various spots and stripes across the surface of the fleshy base.
Some species have a rough surface, but mostly they are smooth leaves, ranging in length from 3.8 to 25cm, with the leaves having the same width and a pointed or rounded apex. The leaves can have either a flat or slightly concave surface. Gasteria blooms surprisingly beautifully, and the flower stems can reach a length of 40 to 70 cm. On non-younger plants, it forms after each row of leaves.
The inflorescences are gathered in compact, brush-like peduncles, in rather bright shades of yellow, green or orange. The flowers themselves have an original shape and resemble amphorae, which dangle enticingly on short stalks. They bloom alternately, one after the other for one month.
Brief description of cultivation
- Temperature regime. About +24°C in warm seasons, +10-+15°C in winter.
- Humidity. Reduced, no need to spray.
- Lightness. Bright diffuse. The plant also tolerates keeping in the shade, but develops poorly if there is not enough light.
- Pouring. Moderate during active vegetation (once a week), rare and sparing in winter (once every 1-2 months).
- Ground. Purchased for succulents or prepared from sod and leaf soil with the addition of sand and loosening material. It is not recommended to add peat to the substrate.
- Feeding and fertilizing. Once every 1-2 months with a weak solution of cactus fertilizer or any complex indoor plant product.
- Repotting. Every 2-3 years or less frequently as it grows out of the old pot.
By seeds, leaf cuttings, babies.
- Cultivation features. As it grows, it dries out its lower leaves - this is a natural process, but the wilted parts of the plant should be removed in time to prevent pests from getting into them.
Gasteria care at home
Gasteria develops and grows well in shade, but in summer it prefers places where there is plenty of light, but no direct sunlight reaches it, especially during peak sunlight. Eastern or western windows are more suitable for it at this time.
It can also grow and develop in a northern window, with a proper care, but it will hardly flower.
In summer when it is warm it can be taken outside, but you have to find a suitable place for it where there are no draughts, precipitation and sun rays. If there is no such a possibility, the room, where the gasteria is, should be regularly aired.
Before the beginning of the autumn-winter period for it should be arranged a good artificial light, and the shade of the flower is not necessary. For lighting it is better to use daylight lamps located at a distance of 30-50cm from the flower.
The duration of light baths can continue for 8 hours. At the same time, you can keep the hasteria in artificial light for 16 hours.
Hasteria is great at moderate temperatures that are between +18-25°C. This is what applies in spring and summer, but in winter, when it has a dormant period, the temperature regime can be between +6-12°C. Such a temperature regime will ensure a long and abundant flowering.
If the gasteria is not exposed to such fluctuations, it is unlikely to bloom. If this plant is kept in winter, at higher (+15°C) temperatures, the inflorescences may wither without leaving the rosette.
Hasteria does not need any additional measures to maintain proper air humidity and will tolerate the microclimate of modern apartments without problems.
From early spring to late fall, Hasteria needs abundant watering. This is done if the soil in the pot begins to dry out, and care should be taken not to allow too much, as the Gasteria is painfully susceptible to excessive moisture.
During the autumn-winter period, watering is reduced to a minimum, especially when kept in colder conditions (below +12°C).
From about May to September, when the plant is actively developing, it needs fertilizing sessions with a frequency of once every 2 weeks. Complex mineral fertilisers for cacti and succulents are used, with lower concentrations. Before the cold period, when the plant begins its dormancy period, the fertilizers are cancelled.
With proper care, Gasteria can bloom at home, but it never blooms if it is on northern windows.
Flowers may appear in spring or summer, with the appearance of an elongated, irregularly shaped bell, pink or reddish in color, about 2 cm long. The flowers grow on long stalks, up to 1 meter long. This flower stalk can hold up to 50 flowers in a single flower stalk which give the trees a unique character."
To transplant the plant, prepare a substrate that is air- and water permeable and has a Ph value of 5.5-7.
Such a mixture is prepared from leaf (2 parts) soil, peat (1 part) and sand (0.5 part) with the addition of brick granules, of various shapes. A cactus mix is excellent.
Like all other types of indoor decorative plants, Hasteria need regular (after 1-2 years) transplanting, which is done in the spring or summer. Well developed plants are simply transferred to another, wider pot, separating the offspring at the same time.
In the presence of offspring, it is always possible to promptly resolve the issue of growing a new plant. At the same time, you should know that gasteria develops better in tight pots. At the bottom of the pot, drainage should always be present.
Gravel or peat? Transplanting Hasteria and comparing the root system developed in different substrates
Propagation of Hasteria
Hasteria is propagated by seeds or by separating the daughter plants (daughter rosettes). To have seeds, you have to work hard and manipulate the pollination of gasteria flowers.
To do this, you need to shake the plant so that the pollen settles on the stigmas of the flowers, otherwise you can not see the seeds if you hope for various insects, which are almost absent in the apartment. Sometime in mid-summer the seeds will begin to ripen. If you do not plan to collect seeds, then after flowering the flower stalk can be cut off, so that the flower does not waste energy on ripening seeds. Gasteria and aloe are close to each other not only in form but also in content. Some aloe species are able to pollinate Gasteria, which has made it possible to obtain unique hybrids.
Since seedlings of Gasteria develop quite slowly, preference is given to propagation by offspring. This is done either at the end of spring or at the beginning of summer, when the young plants strengthen without problems.
After rooting, the plant is watered somewhat more frequently than other specimens. The young gasteria develops very slowly at first, but it can bloom in its 2nd or 3rd year if care is correct.
Diseases and pests
With proper care and proper conditions, there may be no problems in growing a gasteria. Generally, problems occur when its growing guidelines are violated.
Overwatering can result in souring of the soil, which can certainly lead to rotting of the root system and other fungal diseases, and bacterial infections. Too much water causes the leaves to lose their color and become less plump.
The appearance of soft brown spots on the leaves of the plant indicates bacterial damage to the flower.
The leaves change color during the summer time if there is not enough moisture on the leaves: they become pale and are not decorative.
Hasteria can be damaged by pests such as mealybugs, scale, aphids, etc.
Species of Gasteria with photos and names
Gasteria verrucosa (Gasteria verrucosa)
This is a stemless perennial with leaves gathered in a rosette immediately near the root system, which has many daughter rosettes. The leaves can grow up to 20cm in length, are elongate-tongue shaped and covered with small white warts.
Each leaf has a stiff point at the end, which fades into a tongue-shaped leaf.
In the axil of one of the upper leaves, a cyst-shaped inflorescence forms with a height of 40 to 80 cm. The flowers themselves are not large, about 2-2.5 cm long, and grow as if drooping downwards. The perianth is cylindrical, slightly swollen at the base, pink or red, the tip of the lobes greenish.
Gasteria maculata (Gasteria maculata)
It has a small stem up to 30cm long, studded with smooth, triangular leaves 16 to 20cm long and about 4-5cm wide with a gristle-like spike on top. On the surface of the leaves, there are faintly visible spots of various shapes that have an abstract arrangement. The leaves on the stem have a double-row arrangement, with a transition to a spiral arrangement. They have a dense structure or slightly convex shape. The flowers are gathered in a compact brush and are funnel-shaped in a bright red hue with a green border around the outline.
Gasteria keeled (Gasteria carinata)
A stemless succulent with spirally arranged leaves that have a sharp oblique keel on the lower side. The lanceolate leaves of this plant are 12-15cm long and 5-7cm wide. They are dirty green in color with white dots on the surface, with a rough, warty coating on the edges and keel.
Gasteria tiny (Gasteria liliputana)
This is a miniature stemless perennial that has many shoots coming from the base. The lanceolate leaves, dark green in color, grow 3.
5 to 6 cm long and have a glossy surface with white spots. The rosette can be up to 10cm in diameter. At the base of the rosette, shoots grow. The flower stems can reach a height of 30cm. The flowers are attractively shaped, up to 1.
5cm long, green above and pink below.
Gasteria saber-shaped (Gasteria acinacifolia)
The leaves of this stemless succulent plant grow from a large rosette. The lower, broadly sword-shaped leaves, up to 30cm long and up to 7cm wide, are ribbon-like. The leaf surface has a glossy green base with large dots. The peduncle is up to 1 meter long with bright red, curved flowers up to 5cm long.
Gasteria armstrongii (Gasteria armstrongii)
A unique plant of very small size, having thick, stiff leaves of non-standard shape about 3cm long. It has blunted, rounded wrinkles on the ends of the leaves, the surface of which is covered with small warts. The plant is also unique in that the young plants first grow strictly upward and then gradually take a horizontal position, parallel to the preceding, older leaves. This species of Gasteria blooms very quickly with small flowers rarely arranged on a flower stalk.
Gasteria bicolor (Gasteria bicolor)
A herbaceous perennial up to 30cm tall with tongue-shaped leaves that have irregular ribs.
These leaves may be between 15-20cm long and 4-5cm wide. The leaves have an upright, but oblique direction. The color of the leaves is dark green, with large white spots located on both sides of the leaf. This species has a more developed rosette of leaves than the other species.
Gasteria caespitosa (Gasteria caespitosa)
This is a stemless succulent with leaves arranged in transverse rows, 10-14cm long and up to 2cm wide.
The leaves are dark green in color, slightly convex in shape and have greenish-white spots scattered all over the surface. This species of Gasteria blooms with red or pink flowers, about 2 cm in size.
Gasteria candicans (Gasteria candicans)
The plant has no stem, with the leaves forming in a large rosette and having a honeycomb shape. The leaves can be up to 30 cm long and about 7 cm wide. The flower produces a flower stalk up to 1 meter high, which is weakly branched.
The flower stalk produces flowers that are bright red in color and curved in shape.
Gasteria marble (Gasteria marmorata)
This plant also has no stem, but has tongue-like, broad, marbled green leaves covered with white, silvery spots.
Gasteria trigona (Gasteria trigona)
Succulent rosette plant with double rows of leaves. The leaves can be up to 20cm long with a width of 3-4cm. There are sharp spines on the leaf tips, 2-3mm long.
There are light green spots on the surface of the leaves, which have a peculiar elongation and which have a parallel arrangement. The edges of the leaves are gristly toothed, with a light tint.
Hasteria. Hasteria succulent, how to care for and propagate