Botanical name: Gasteria disticha
Gasteria disticha is a dwarf succulent plant whose strap-shaped leaves are arranged in two rows forming a fan-like shape. The leaves are green and have white spots arranged in irregular transverse bands.
The Gasteria disticha plant often has leaves which undulate slightly, have wavy margins and a rough, mat surface.
The flowers are tiny about 12–20 mm and have flower bases that are inflated or swollen for roughly two-thirds of the flower length.
Gasteria disticha is native to the Breede River Valley in the Western Cape, South Africa where it is found growing under the rocks or bushes that provide it with some shelter from the sun.
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Gasteria disticha thrives in bright light with some direct sunlight, average warmth and moderately moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Gasteria disticha has no need for high humidity. Potting is done during the growing season but only when the plant has become root-bound.
Pruning is needed to keep the plant neat as well as minimize pests and diseases. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Gasteria disticha grows best under bright light with some direct sunshine. Keep it away from hot direct sunlight to prevent scorching.
Should you wish to grow the plant outside, gradually acclimate it and place it in a shaded place to avoid scorching.
To ensure even growth, rotate the pot regularly to make sure that the plant receives light on all sides.
Where natural lighting is not adequate, Gasteria disticha can be grown under a grow light to supplement it.
Water Gasteria disticha thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to maintain the soil moderately moist.
Significantly decrease watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time to keep the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Ascertain that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.
Take care not to wet the center of the rosette as it can lead to rotting of the plant or water from the bottom instead.
Use water that is at room temperature water to avoid plant shock as it can cause reduced growth and leaf drop.
Average warmth temperatures from 18-290C are ideal for Gasteria disticha. The sudden change in temperature between day and night is good for the growth of this succulent plant.
Gasteria disticha has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for this plant.
Feed Gasteria disticha with a succulents fertilizer monthly during the growing period as they are slow growing and therefore do not need frequent feeding.
Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time, thus, the plant does not require a lot of feeding.
Repot Gasteria disticha at the beginning of the growing season only when the plant becomes root-bound. Use a shallow rather than a deep pot as it has shallow roots.
The pot should be only 1 size larger than the current one. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.
The best soil for Gasteria disticha should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.
Cactus and Succulents soil is ideal for these plants as it drains easily. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for Gasteria disticha online from Etsy.
Pruning Gasteria disticha involves removal of dead or diseased leaves to keep the plant neat and also discourage pests and diseases.
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 minimise fungal and bacterial infections.
Gasteria disticha 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 disticha by cutting with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.
Allow the offsets to dry (callus) for 1-3 days before potting to prevent rotting.
Plant the offset in free-draining soil and ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.
Water sparingly, only when the soil is dry to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot.
Allow the new Gasteria disticha to be well established after which you can begin routine care.
Gasteria disticha problems include wilting and drooping leaves, leaf spots, rotting, discoloration, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.
Wilted and droopy leaves in Gasteria disticha are caused by underwatering. Immediately water the plant thoroughly and it should recover.
Do not allow the soil to dry our completely, maintain it moderately moist during the growing season and slightly moist in the cold season.
Wilted and discolored leaves in Gasteria disticha are caused by overwatering during the cold season. Water sparingly during the cold season and always allow the soil to almost dry out between waterings.
Rot at the base followed by yellowing and shriveled leaves in Gasteria disticha are an indication of basal stem rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.
Remove and discard the infected parts to prevent spread to the rest of the plant.
Avoid overwatering during the cold season and reduce watering significantly to maintain the soil slightly moist.
Use a fungicidal solution ocassionally to water the Gasteria disticha to prevent infection.
Brown soft spots in Gasteria disticha are caused by leaf spot disease. The occurence of the disease is enhanced by poor air circulation, therefore, ensure that there is proper air circulation for the plant.
Common Pests in Gasteria disticha are Scales and Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other plants and treat with Neem oil or Insecticidal soap.
Gasteria disticha are non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are safe to grow in the home.
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