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.
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.
In this post, you’ll learn all about Graptopetalum plant care. From watering, lighting, and how to propagate them to make more new plants.
Table of Contents
- 1 Basic Care on Growing Ghost Plants
- 2 FAQ
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 References
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are Echeveria and Graptopetalum Succulents to Same?
No. One of the most noticeable differences between these two kinds of succulents is the thickness of their leaves, which is one of their most distinguishing characteristics. Graptopetalum leaves are often rather thick. Echeveria, on the other hand, tends to have more delicate leaves. The majority of Echeveria species have smooth leaves that come to a point, and Echeveria succulents produce larger rosettes than Graptopetalum plants. Furthermore, the Echeveria flowers have a more bell-shaped form, whilst the Graptopetalum blooms have a more star-shaped form.
Is Graptopetalum cold-hardy?
Graptopetalums are cold-hardy succulents with light gray or white leaves on spreading stalks. They are also known as ghost plants. Its adaptable growth will allow it to stand out in your environment as a distinctive groundcover, cascading down a container, or even as a houseplant due to its rosettes and pretty appearance. USDA Hardiness Zones 7 through 11 are the best for growing them, depending on the exact variety.
How often do you water Graptopetalum?
Your Graptopetalum succulents’ health is directly related to the temperature and environment in which you choose to grow them. As a general rule of thumb, you should water the soil when it is dry. If you’re growing them inside, water them once a week. Once the succulent leaves of the plant have returned to their former fullness and plumpness, reduce the frequency of watering to every two weeks.
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).
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!
- Cabahug, R.A.M. 2018. Review Paper – Propagation Techniques for Ornamental Succulents. Flower Research Journal, 26(3): 90-101.
- UF/IFAS Extension: Solutions for Your Life. (2017). Ghost Plant. University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gardening Solutions.
- WV Extension Service. (2020). Succulents 101. West Virginia University Extension, Lawn, Gardening & Pests.
- Hart, C. (2015). Propagating Succulents & Cacti. Illinois Extension, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- About/mention: Graptopetalum, houseplants, houseplant care, succulents
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.