Gasteria maculata or Gasteria bicolor is a succulent native to South Africa. It has a fan-like cluster of leaves that are dark green in color with yellowish-white spots on their surface.
These leaves usually grow from multiple stems, with some leaf clusters occasionally forming a rosette. These leaves are long, narrow and pointed at the tips.
When the flowers bloom, they appear on a separate 12-inch long stem and are usually pink and orange in color and bell-like in shape.
8 Types of Gasteria Succulents With Pictures
How to Care for Gasteria maculata
These plants are quite easy to grow and care for. They are excellent potting plants.
Gasteria maculata supports shade better than other succulents, making it ideal for growing indoors. Of course, if you are going to have it inside your home, place it in a well-lit place.
If you are going to grow it outdoors make sure it does not get direct sunlight all day. Place it in semi-shade.
You should also avoid immediately exposing them to bright sunlight. Once their dormancy period ends, you can introduce them to sunlight slowly so that they do not burn.
Gasteria maculata can be acclimated to full sun, but they generally require bright light, not direct sun.
Gasteria maculata does not require you to water them too often. Moderate levels of water should be enough every few days, depending on how fast the soil dries up.
However, make sure you do not overwater these plants as this could lead to root rot. You should wait for the soil to become dry before you water the plant again.
In the summer, Gasteria maculata requires water about every 10-15 days. In the winter, water only once a month at most.
Gasteria maculata requires porous and well-draining soil that can quickly get rid of excess water without retaining it or letting it collect. You can easily find a soil mix that is made for growing succulents in a local or online store.
You can also make this soil mix on your own by combining some potting soil with peat, sand, perlite and limestone.
To add to the draining element, you can place this soil in a large well-draining pot or one that has holes to prevent water from pooling in the soil.
Gasteria maculata supports heat and humidity very well. The minimum temperature is 40ºF (4ºC).
In warmer weather, Gasteria maculata leaves may turn lighter and brighter in color or the plant may bloom with small, colorful sack-shaped flowers.
Fertilize Gasteria maculata every 2-3 weeks with fertilizer for cacti and succulents.
Add a fertilizer that contains plenty of potassium and low levels of nitrogen. It would be enough if you add this during the growing season. You can also dilute it with water to ensure a slow release and to reduce its intensity.
Transplant your Gasteria maculata every year in spring. Why every year? Because this succulent generates new roots every year, while the old ones die.
As the new roots emerge, they become entangled with the old ones. This prevents water and food from reaching the Gasteria maculata well. That is why I recommend pruning old roots and transplanting them every year.
Pests and Diseases
Overall, you might not face too many issues with this plant in terms of pests and diseases. However, there are still some chances of pests like mealybugs which you can get rid of using a pesticide or insecticide. You can also try using rubbing alcohol.
These succulents also suffer from small black spots. But do not worry. They are not contagious nor do they harm the plant. These spots appear to come out of nowhere, even in the healthiest plants.
Of course, if your plants are in shade and you are overwatering them, they may suffer from a harmful fungus. In that case, treat them with a fungicide.
In addition, they can suffer from pests common to succulents, such as mealybugs and aphids. The problem with these insects is a sign that your plant is not receiving enough light.
How to Propagate Gasteria maculata
Gasteria maculata gives many pups, which you can separate from the mother plant. It is better to do this process in spring. Use a sharp, sanitized knife to separate the pup from the mother plant. Make sure it has roots. Plant the pup in cactus and succulents soil.