Habitat: Gasteraloe is a nursery hybrid, so it can’t be found in nature.-
Cultivation: Avoid direct light but place the plant in a sunny position. The Gasteraloe needs scarce watering and medium-high temperatures; it can’t stand temperatures below 0°C.
Curiosity: Gasteraloe is not really a genus in itself, but a hybrid obtained by crossing a Gasteria and an Aloe. The “X” in front of its name indicates that it is, in fact, a hybrid.
Gasteraloe, also known as xGasteraloe or xGastrolea, is a hybrid resulting from the crossing between an Aloe and a Gasteria. Aloe variegata and Aloe aristata are the most common species among those used to obtain this hybrid.
Being hybrids producted in nurseries, they aren’t present in nature. However, Gasteria and Aloe are mainly native from South Africa.
Gasteraloe, just like Aloe, is a rosette-forming plant, which tend to expand horizontally through the numerous offsets produced during the Spring and ending up to form succulent bushes. With their decorative potential, their remarkable resistance and their need for a well-draining, rocky soil and for a sunny position, they are the perfect plant for a luminous rocky garden, if you live in a warm climate region. In colder zone, where the Winter temperatures fall below 0ºC, it’s better to use them as houseplants.
They are usually stemless plants; similarly to Aloe, they have many succulent, elongated leaves with a triangular cross-section,arranged in a rosette. Usually the leaves have coloured spots or small “bubbles”, in a different color than the rest of the leaf, which create very attractive combinations of shapes and colors. Leaves edges are usually serrated.
The inflorescence comes out from the center of the rosette: it looks like a stem on which a series of small bell-shaped flowers are lined up, actually not very impressive when compared to the beauty, instead, of the leaves and their colors. The flowers do not produce fertile seeds, as it is a hybrid.
VARIETY AND TYPES
Depending on the species of Aloe and Gasteria used, there can be many different species of Gasteraloe. The most common is the “Green Ice”, which is obtained from the hybridization of Aloe variegata and Gasteria ‘Little Warty’. These are the most common species:
- G. beguinii variegata
- G. ‘El Supremo
- G. Green Ice
- G. ‘Ivy
- G. ‘Kebala
- G. Marble Queen’ G.
- G. Pale Brother’ g.
- G. Royal Princess
- G. Thais’ G.
- G. ‘Theo’
TIPS FOR GROWING
Gasteraloe have a slow growth rate but on the other hand they are very long-lived. They require little maintenance, temperatures above 0 ° C and do not require direct sun: for these reasons they are excellent indoor plants.
These are our suggestions for cultivation:
- The ideal exposure is in a very bright place, but protected from direct sunlight.
- It is very sensitive to cold: temperatures below 0ºC should be avoided.
- Like almost all succulents, it needs little water: every 4-5 days in spring and summer, and completely stop watering in winter, after gradually decreasing the irrigation frequency during the Autumn.
- The soil must be very draining and light; a mix of sand, peat and pebbles is a good solution.
- As it is a slow growing plant, frequent repotting are not necessary.
Gasteraloes reproduce easily by leaf cuttings. It is recommended to remove the leaf as close to the base as possible with a clean knife and allow the wound to dry well before burying it in a light, sandy soil.
To get seeds, however, it is necessary to hybridize the desired Aloe and Gasteria varieties.