How to Grow and Care for Gasteraloe (xGasteraloe)

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Gasteraloe is a hybrid succulent that has interesting markings and colorings. It’s a succulent that is easy to care for and quite unusual in its appearance. This succulent has thick leaves that are designed to store water and have toothed edges. 

Each plant produces offsets quite readily and these can be used to propagate new plants. Gasteraloe also produces lovely tubular flowers on a long stalk that can be up to 2 feet (60 cm) long. This is in direct contrast to the plant itself as it only grows to about 12 inches (30 cm) in height.

These succulents make excellent houseplants as they require minimal care and look great both as part of an indoor succulent collection or for a potted garden on a balcony or patio. In warmer, frost-free climates, these succulents can even be grown outdoors in a succulent or rock garden.

History

It’s believed that these plants originated in South Africa. They’re a hybrid between Gasteria and Aloe, hence their name.  

Plant Facts

Scientific namexGasteraloe
Common namesNone
GenusGasteraloe
FamilyAsphodelaceae
Height12 inches
Width12 inches
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone9 to 12
OriginSouth Africa
Flower colorsRed or green
Blooming seasonSummer
Plant/Flower special featuresThe flower stalks are quite long and produce multiple tubular flowers in summer.

How to Plant and Grow Gasteraloe

Gasteraloe is very easy to grow. In warm climates, you can plant it outside where it will receive only morning sun. In colder climates, it’s best to grow your succulent in a pot indoors. You can move it outside during the warmer months for a few hours daily so that it gets enough sunlight.

Choose a nice container that has plenty of drainage holes because you want to ensure that the roots of your succulent are never allowed to sit in water.

How to Propagate Gasteraloe

It’s possible to propagate this plant by using either offsets or leaf cuttings. If your plant hasn’t started producing offsets yet, you can easily use just the leaves to propagate new plants.

Here’s what to do:

  • Cut off a few healthy leaves from the plant as close to the stem as possible. Make sure that you don’t damage the main stem when you do this.
  • Leave your cuttings in a cool, dry spot for a few days until you see a callous starting to form on the cut end.
  • Fill some small pots or a seedling tray with a succulent mix.
  • Pop the leaves, cut end down, into the mix and water.
  • Continue to water your cuttings so that the soil doesn’t remain dry for any length of time.
  • After a few weeks, you should see evidence of new growth on your cuttings. At this time, you can either replant into their own pots or treat them as you would the mother plant and only water when the soil has become dry.

You can follow the same method to propagate new plants using offsets. Just cut these from the mother plant, let them dry for a few days, and then plant them into some succulent mix. It shouldn’t take too long before you start to see new growth.

Care and Maintenance

This is one of those succulents that tends to thrive on neglect. It only needs water when the soil is dry and an application of slow-release fertilizer in spring.

Soil

Like most succulents, Gasteraloe prefers an open mix that drains well. Any proprietary cactus or succulent mix is ideal when growing in a pot. 

Water

When grown outdoors, the plant should not need to be watered unless your area is going through a dry spell and you haven’t had any rain for a while. It’s important that you don’t overwater this plant due to its succulent characteristics.

If grown in a pot, your plant only needs to be watered when the soil is completely dry. In wintertime, this means that you generally only have to water once a month. However, in summer, your plant may require water every 7 to 10 days. Using the ‘soak and dry’ method is ideal for these plants.

Fertilizer

One of the best ways to provide your plant with adequate nutrition is to feed it with a slow-release fertilizer in spring. This should give the plant enough nutrients for the growing season.

Sunlight

These succulents prefer to grow in dappled or partial sunlight and should be protected from the harsh afternoon sun, especially in summer. Therefore, if you live in a warmer zone that doesn’t receive frost, this is a great plant to grow in those shady areas in your garden that don’t receive sun all day long but will still allow dappled sunlight to shine through. 

Remember that your plant should receive some sunlight every day (6 hours), preferably in the morning. If you’re growing your Gasteraloe indoors, place it near a bright window with filtered sunlight. If the plant doesn’t receive enough light, it can become stunted in growth.

For people with dark interiors during winter, it might be worth investing in a grow light to ensure that your plant gets the amount of light that it needs to grow happily.

Temperature and Humidity

Gasteraloe prefers warmer temperatures and is not cold tolerant. The plant should not be exposed to frost or freezing temperatures. If you do live in a cold climate, it’s best to grow this plant indoors.

Pruning

This is only required to tidy up the plant to remove any dead leaves and to cut off the flower stalk once it’s finished blooming.

Pest and diseases

The most common problem that people have with these plants is root rot. This can easily be avoided by not overwatering your plant. However, once root rot has set in, your plant will not survive. The best thing you can do is cut off some healthy leaves, if there are any, and use these to propagate new plants.

Some people also experience a fungal disease called black spot. This is usually prevalent in areas with high humidity where the plant does not have enough airflow around it. If this happens to your plant, consider using an organic fungicide and move the plant to a spot where it receives plenty of morning sun and air circulation.

This succulent is fairly pest-resistant, however, you might sometimes notice an infestation of mealybugs. These can easily be treated with a cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Uses of Gasteraloe

This plant is grown for its ornamental value only. The striking markings on the leaves add some interest and color to your indoor plant collection.

Common Varieties and Cultivars

As this is a hybrid plant, there are not too many cultivars available. Here are just a few Gasteraloe types that you might be able to find to add to your collection.

  • Gasteraloe ‘Flow’
  • Gasteraloe beguinii (Lizard Tail)
  • Gasteraloe ‘Tarantula’
  • Gasteraloe ‘Royal Highness’
  • Gasteraloe ‘Silver Swirls’
  • Gasteraloe ‘Cosmo’
  • Gasteraloe ‘Twilight Zone’
  • Gasteraloe ‘Green Ice’
  • Gasteraloe ‘Pale Brother’

Conclusion

Gasteraloe is one of those succulents that thrive on neglect. As long as you don’t overwater the plant, it will live happily in your home or your warm-climate rock garden.