Botanical name: Gasteria pillansii
Gasteria pillansii is a small succulent plant whose green, strap-shaped leaves, arranged in two rows forming a fan-like shape, are rough with tiny tubercles.
The flowers are about 25–45 mm long and have a slightly swollen base for up to one-third of the length which is one ot its distinct features.
Gasteria pillansii is native to the arid winter-rainfall regions in the far west of South Africa and Namibia where it is found growing under rocks or bushes that provide it with shelter from the sun.
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Gasteria pillansii thrives in bright light with some direct sunlight, average warmth and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season. It has no need for extra humidity.
Gasteria pillansii requires pruning to keep it neat as well as minimize pests and diseases. Potting is done during the growing season but only when the plant has become root-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to obtain them.
Gasteria pillansii grows best under bright light with some direct sunshine.
Avoid exposing the Gasteria pillansii to too hot sunlight before acclimatizing it, as it can get sun scorched.
To ensure uniform growth, regularly rotate the pot to make sure that the plant receives light on all sides.
Gasteria pillansii can also grow under a grow light if the natural light is not adequate.
Water Gasteria pillansii 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 lessen on 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.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can result in root-rot disease.
Be careful not to wet the center of the rosette as it can lead to rotting or water from the bottom instead.
Use water that is at room temperature water to avoid plant shock as it can lead to reduced growth.
Average warmth temperatures from 18-290C) are ideal for Gasteria pillansii. The sudden change in temperature between day and night is excellent for the growth of this succulent plant.
Gasteria pillansii has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for this plant.
Feed Gasteria pillansii monthly during the growing period with a succulents fertilizer as it is does not need frequent feeding.
Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is reduced at this time and feeding can cause fertilizer burn and plant death.
Repot Gasteria pillansii at the beginning of the growing season only when the plant becomes pot-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 pillansii 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. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for Gasteria pillansii online from Etsy.
Pruning Gasteria pillansii involves removal of dead or diseased leaves to keep the plant neat and also reduce pests and diseases infestations.
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 diseases.
Gasteria pillansii 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 pillansii 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 pillansii to be well established after which you can begin routine care.
Gasteria pillansii problems indoors 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 pillansii are due to 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.
Rot at the base followed by yellowing and shriveled leaves in Gasteria pillansii are an indication of basal stem rot disease due to 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 pillansii to prevent the disease.
Brown soft spots in Gasteria pillansii is an indication of leaf spot disease which is enhanced by poor air circulation. Ensure that there is proper air circulation for the plant.
Wilted and discolored leaves in Gasteria pillansii are caused by overwatering during the cold season. Water the plant sparingly during the cold season and always allow the soil to almost dry out between waterings.
Common Pests in Gasteria pillansii are Mealy Bugs and Scales. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other plants and treat with Neem oil or Insecticidal soap.
Gasteria pillansii are non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are safe to grow in the home.