Botanical name: Gasteria brachyphylla
Gasteria brachyphylla is a small succulent plant whose strap-shaped leaves, arranged in two rows forming a fan-like shape are very shiny and smooth. The leaves are green and have white spots arranged in irregular transverse bands.
The name "Brachyphylla" means "wide and short leaves" which is in reference its wide and short leaves. The plant is a profuse bloomer and the flowers are pink.
The Gasteria brachyphylla very closely resembles its two relatives, Gasteria pillansii and Gasteria disticha but the leaves its two relatives are rough with tiny tubercles.
Gasteria brachyphylla is native to the Little Karoo of Western Cape, South Africa where is is found growing under shrubs in the Succulent Karoo vegetation.
Gasteria brachyphylla grow best under bright light with some direct sunshine. A few feet away from a south- or west-facing window is ideal.
Avoid exposing your Gasteria brachyphylla to too hot sunlight before acclimatizing it, as it can get sun burned. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water your Gasteria brachyphylla thoroughly during the growing season, when the soil begins to dry out.
Water your Gasteria brachyphylla very infrequently during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.
Ensure that the pot for your Gasteria brachyphylla has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot.
Avoiding wetting the center of the rosette as it can lead to rotting of your Gasteria brachyphylla. Watering from the bottom is a better option.
Water your Gasteria brachyphylla with water that is at room temperature water to avoid plant shock. Read more on how to water houseplants.
Average warmth temperatures from 18-290C) are ideal for your Gasteria brachyphylla. The sudden change in temperature between day and night is excellent for the growth of this succulent.
Gasteria brachyphylla has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for your Gasteria brachyphylla.
Feed your Gasteria brachyphylla monthly during the growing period with a water soluble fertilizer as they are slow growing and therefore do not need frequent feeding.
Withhold feeding for your Gasteria brachyphylla during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot your Gasteria brachyphylla at the beginning of the growing season only when the plant becomes pot-bound. Use a shallow rather than a deep pot for your Gasteria brachyphylla as they have shallow roots.
The pot for your Gasteria brachyphylla should be only 1 size larger than the previous one. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot.
The best soil for your Gasteria brachyphylla should be sandy or rocky soil as it drains easily inorder to avoid soggy soil which can lead to rotting of your plant.
Pruning your Gasteria brachyphylla involves removal of dead or diseased leaves.
Cut the leaf at the base with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors to detach it from the stem. Avoid excessive injury to your Gasteria brachyphylla to minimise fungal and bacterial infections.
Gasteria brachyphylla can be propagated from offsets (pups) which form at the base of the plant.
Select an offset which has several leaves and carefully seperate the offset from the mother Gasteria brachyphylla by cutting with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.
Allow the Gasteria brachyphylla offsets to dry for 1-3 days before potting to prevent rotting.
Plant the Gasteria brachyphylla offset in free-draining soil and ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.
Water your Gasteria brachyphylla sparingly, only when the soil is dry to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot.
Underwatering is the cause of wilted and droopy leaves your in Gasteria brachyphylla
Immediately water your Gasteria brachyphylla thoroughly and it should perk up. Never allow the soil to dry our completely, maintain it moderately moist.
Leaf spot disease is the cause of brown soft spots in your Gasteria brachyphylla.
The occurence of the disease is enhanced by poor air circulation. Ensure that there is proper air circulation for your Gasteria brachyphylla.
Overwatering during the cold season is the cause of wilted and discolored leaves in your Gasteria brachyphylla.
Water your Gasteria brachyphylla sparingly during the cold season and always allow the soil to almost dry out between waterings.
Basal stem rot disease due to overwet conditions is the cause of base rot followed by yellowing and shriveled leaves in your Gasteria brachyphylla.
Avoid overwatering your Gasteria brachyphylla during the cold season and reduce watering significantly to maintain the soil slightly moist.
Also, use a fungicidal solution ocassionally to water your Gasteria brachyphylla to prevent infection.
Remove and discard the infected parts of your Gasteria brachyphylla to prevent spread to the rest of the plant.
Isolate the affected Gasteria brachyphylla to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.
Gasteria brachyphylla are non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are safe to grow in the home.