Gasteria cv. Little Warty
G. batesiana cv. Little Warty
G. maculata cv. Little Warty
Gasteria cv. Little Warty is a nursery-hybrid, and thus it doesn’t exist in nature. This hybrid has been created by David Cumming in Australia, who crossed a Gasteria batesiana with a Gasteria “Old Man Silver”. The latter is another nursery cultivar and thus doesn’t exist in nature. G. batesiana, instead, is native to South Africa, where it’s widespread in the northern area of the country, dwelling on cliffs of savannahs at an altitude between 500 and 700 meters above sea level, in shaded spots. This plant is pollinated by sunbirds and its seeds are dispersed by the wind.
Gasteria cv. little warty is a small succulent plant, consisting in a distichous rosettes of tongue-shaped green leaves arranged in opposite pairs. Every new pair of leaves sprouts from the central fissure between the older pairs, forming a beautiful, mouth-like structure. Leaves are, as already said, tongue-shaped, erected however slightly curved outwards, elongated and mucronated (a mucrone, in botany, is a particular kind of sharp, pointed tip typical of leaves of certain species). Their surface and colour can remind the skin of a lizard: they are in fact dark, deep green, with lighter edges, and a pointed pattern of light green spots and lines, scattered all over the leaves surface. The dots and lines are prominent and, if you run a fingertip along the leaves of this plant, you will feel a rough surface. It’s precisely this spotted pattern that earned these cultivar its peculiar name, “Little warty”, for the spots/tubercles are, more often, called “warts”. The roots of this cultivar are thick and not so branched.
Flowers are borne by a stem sprouting from the center of the rosette: they are bell-shaped, pink, white or greenish, oddly swollen at the base and narrowing at the top, thus reminding the shape of a stomach.
Gasteria cv. little warty, like all Gasteria, is very easy to grow and resistant to drought: it requires little attention. These are our tips for growing:
Put it in a bright exposed, not exposed to direct sunlight: these may in fact cause reddish sunburns and spoil the coloured lizard-like pattern of the leaves.
We suggest to keep this plant always above 7 ° C however, in theory, if its substrate is maintained completely dry, it should be able to survive short frosts, down to -1ºC. By the way, As winter approaches, the safer solution is to put it indoors.
Water regularly in summer: once every 5-6 days will be ok. Gradually decrease the irrigation frequency in Autumn until stopping completely to water in winter.
The soil must be very well-draining. For example, you can use a mix of peat and sand or, alternatively, also a standard soil for cacti.
During the growing season, provide the plant with a specific fertilizer for succulents, diluting it with watering at half the doses written on the label.
Gasteria cv. little warty is a slow-growing and long-lived plant. You can repot once every 3-4 years.
The easiest way to propagate your the Gasteria cv. little warty is through the suckers produced abundantly at the base of the plant. You can also use the leaves as cuttings, but this is a more difficult method: either because they tend to rot or because, on the contrary, they dry up too much before being planted. Obviously, don’t use seeds to reproduce this plant, because seeds of hybrid cultivars are often sterile or produce weak plants, not genetically stable (this means that it’s impossible to foresee the aspect of the plantlet obtained: it can be very weak or a normal plant).
The genus name “Gasteria” comes from the greek Gastèr, that means belly, stomach, which refers to the shape of the flower bell-shaped, reminds a small bag which then narrows towards the top.
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