How to Care for Ghosts Plants (Graptopetalum)

Graptopetalum succulents, also known as ghost plants due to their pale colors, are perennial succulents that are native to Southwest America and Mexico.

This species of succulents has a total of around 19 different varieties.

Related post: Different Graptopetalum Succulent Varieties

They form clusters of rosettes that have impressive flowers and are well-known mainly for their quick propagation and easy care.

The stems of these succulents create a beautiful and thick carpet of rosettes that act as a groundcover.

Alternatively, some varieties grow over or spill over the edge of the container making them a great trailing succulent to grow.

Basic Care on Growing Ghost Plants

Growing a ghost plant is similar to most succulents.

Like other succulent plants, Graptopetalum requires little maintenance.

You have to be careful about the soil drainage and light for general care.

These two factors are the most important factors that regulate the growth of Ghost Plants.

If it grows happily, the mother plant will produce offshoots for propagation.

Light

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Graptopetalum grows best under full sun. If your Ghost Plants do not receive sufficient light or partial sun, then they will drop their leaves.

Therefore, while growing them as houseplants, try to place them in full sun or east or south-facing windows. 

Remember that the amount of light affects the leaf coloration. Bluish-grey color is the most common one that the plant experiences in partial shade. 

Soil

Most succulents prefer to thrive in well-drained soil. These plants require a good drainage system in their potting mix. It ensures a better root system.

If your region receives more rain, we suggest you add perlite, pumice, gravel, or other mineral materials to the mixture.

These materials ensure an excellent drainage system. Also, if the garden soil seems clayey, then add more sand or use a raised bed.

Water 

If the region does not receive rainfall, you must think about watering them properly. Succulents do not require much water.

Plants growing under full sun in summer should be irrigated once per week.

On the other hand, if you have indoor Ghost Plants, you can water them when the topsoil seems dry.

Temperature and Humidity

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These succulents require hot weather to thrive, but higher humidity can be a problem.

If you live in a humid area or keep these plants together with other species, then they may not grow well.

Plant them in containers and keep them away from others to increase air circulation.

Fertilizer

If your soil seems nutrient-enriched, you may not need to worry about fertilization for a couple of months.

After a certain period, use organic fertilizer like tea waste, decomposed cow dung, or other materials to fertilize.

Remember that concentrated or excess fertilizer can burn your leaves. Like other succulents, this plant feeds on low nutrient content.

Repotting

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Growing Graptopetalum in containers can be a great addition to the houseplants or your succulent collection.

Place them at the edge so that they can stay in the range and not be covered by other taller species.

Ghost Plants do not have a deep root system. So, an eight-inch container can work fine for them. This container can support the species for several years.

They are container-bound plants. So, you will have to repot them after a few years.

While repotting, grab the base of this succulent instead of the crown to avoid hampering the powdery coating.

Propagation

To propagate this succulent species, you need to cut one leaf with a clean knife or blade and replant it. You may also choose one that has pups.

Provide the right conditions, and you will see a new plant growing. This succulent can also propagate itself from even a leaf.

You can also propagate this succulent plant by using stem cutting or by seeds.

To use cuttings, cut long stems from the parent plant and plant them in the soil. Slowly, new leaves will start emerging.

Common pests and diseases

Several pest infestations can take place if the grower does not remove the dead leaves from the bottom.

You should remove the leaves during early spring, which is regarded as the growing season.

Mealybugs are the most common threat to this succulent plant. If you notice any of these bugs, rub the leaves gently with isopropyl alcohol.

FAQs

Are Echeveria and Graptopetalum Succulents to Same?

No. Echeveria succulents have larger rosettes than Graptopetalum plants.

Additionally, the shape of the Echeveria flowers is more bell-shaped, whereas Graptopetalum flowers are more star-shaped.

Is Graptopetalum cold-hardy?

No. Graptopetalum is quite hard to grow in cold areas. Depending on the particular variety, they are better grown in USDA Hardiness zones 7 through 11.

How often do you water Graptopetalum?

It depends on the environment and climate where you plant your Graptopetalum succulents. Rule of thumb, water when the soil is dry. If you are growing them indoors, water them once every week.

What Pests Infest Graptopetalum Succulents?

The primary pest that infests Graptopetalum succulents is mealybugs. Although, almost any insect can infect a Graptopetalum because they are a plant. If you see any pests or insects, immediately wipe the leaves with a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol).

Conclusion

Growing Graptopetalum succulents is very rewarding.

They look attractive because of their rosettes and various colors that look like flowers.

If you provide sufficient light and water to these plants, they will make your indoor garden look great!

References

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