What are Ghost Plants?
Graptopetalum is also known as leatherpetal and is more commonly known as a ghost plant. This plant is part of the family Crassulaceae of plants.
They are mainly a perennial succulent that is native to Arizona and Mexico. You may find them in rosettes. This genus includes around 19 different species.
The stems of these succulents create a beautiful and thick carpet of rosettes that act as a groundcover, and sometimes they spill over the edge of the container.
They have impressive flowers and are well-known mainly for their quick propagation and easy care.
If you are a newbie in growing succulents, ghost plants are succulent to grow in your garden.
See our other related posts:
- How to Care for Graptopetalum Succulents (Ghost Plants)
- Different Types Of Succulents And Cacti (With Pictures)
Table of Contents
- 1 What are Ghost Plants?
- 2 How to Identify Graptopetalum Plants
- 4 Types of Graptopetalum Succulents
- 5 FAQ
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 References
How to Identify Graptopetalum Plants
These succulent plants are pretty popular among succulent lovers. The leaves differ in color from waxy green to pink to silvery-grey.
These plants are primarily arranged in rosettes as well as speckled.
These plants have long stems with beautiful flowers that are star-shaped, and the color may vary from pink to white.
The members of this genus require a lot of sunlight to thrive.
Many people often confuse Graptopetalum with Sedum, Echeveria, and Sempervivum because they have a similar appearance.
Here, we will mention the characteristics to find out the differences among these three varieties.
|Origin||North & South America||Europe||South America|
|Rosette Size||3- to 20-inches in diameter||1- to 5-inches in diameter||2- to 5-inches in diameter|
|Leaves||Spoon-like and thick||Pointy and narrow||Rounded and thickest|
|Leaf Color||Bluish or gray-green||Red-brown or gray-green||Green or chalky gold|
|Flower Color||Red, pink, orange, white||Pink, red, yellow||Yellow, red, white|
|Common Name||Hen and chicks||Hen and chicks, Houseleek||Ghost Plant|
Types of Graptopetalum Succulents
The popularity of succulents increases day by day due to their unique geometric shapes and colors .
Graptopetalum can be of various types, and they form a beautiful bed of roses within a short period. Hence, it creates excellent ground coverage.
In this article, we will mention the popular types of Graptopetalum succulent species that you can use to decorate your garden as well as your living room.
Graptopetalum paraguayense has a pale color, and this one looks exceptionally stunning on a moonlit night.
They reflect the light and create a mesmerizing sight.
Graptopetalum paraguayense is native to Mexico, and this species is commonly known as the Mother of Pearl plant.
However, please do not confuse it with Monotropa uniflora.
The mother of pearl plant has beautiful white flowers that are star-shaped.
Mother of pearl succulents blooms flowers during the spring season with five white-colored petals with red spots.
Interestingly enough, this plant has a spreading habit and may reach up to 60-cm wide.
Of course, the appearance varies depending on the type of soil and weather. The fleshy leaves can grow up to 7-cm long.
Interestingly, there have been studies to determine whether these ghost plants have medicinal value.
Extracts from the Graptopetalum paraguayense have been shown to protect the liver by suppressing cancerous tumor growths.
Graptopetalum paraguayense care guide
While growing them indoors, you should place them in a spot that receives bright sunlight.
If it does not receive enough sunlight, the color may turn dull.
If you grow them outdoors, you should choose a place that receives bright light with partial sun.
Surprisingly, this species can survive in the cold-hardy zone and grow in cooler areas. They can withstand 10- to 20-degrees Fahrenheit.
It should be well-drained. It is best to use cactus mix and perlite to improve the condition.
Water and Fertilizer
Water the plants only when the topsoil seems dry, and fertilize them during the growing period once every two weeks.
Its propagation is extremely easy. Use stem cuttings or leaf cuttings for propagation.
Graptopetalum amethystinum is also known as Jewel Leaf Plant or Lavender Pebbles.
This attractive succulent is a slow-growing plant with a longer stem, which may reach up to 1-foot.
The fleshy leaves have attractive colors with a powdery coating. They possess a rose color during the young period, and later, it turns grey.
During the spring, this plant produces a lot of blooms. This species will look great if you can plant it in a taller container.
It will help the stems to grow long and slowly hang down. Growing them in a smaller pot can result in breaking the stems.
Remember that this plant is susceptible and fragile. The leaves may drop, but you can use them for propagation.
Graptopetalum amethystinum care guide
Graptopetalum amethystinum prefers to grow under the full sun to enhance growth.
However, it can withstand partial shade as well. During the harsh summer, you should provide partial shade.
This plant is a cold-hardy plant and survives during winter. They grow in temperatures between 20- and 50-degrees F.
Soils should be well-drained. Use a potting mix of cacti or succulents. Do not forget to supply organic materials, like compost, to the mix.
Water and Fertilizer
This plant has thicker leaves, which indicates that it can store a lot of water in its leaves.
It would be best to water the plants when the soil becomes dry. Fertilize them during their growing season.
You can easily propagate this plant by using stem cuttings or leaf cuttings.
Graptopetalum pentandrum succulent forms a rosette at the end of its strong woody stems.
The stems have a dull green color, look erected, and may reach 15-cm long.
During the early stage, the leaf color becomes bluish-green, and slowly it turns to yellowish-grey with a beautiful lavender hue.
The bloom has yellowish-white petals with a red stripe.
Graptopetalum pentandrum is native to Mexico. They look impressive if one can take care of them.
You must be aware of watering and light necessities while growing this plant.
The irrigation method is essential because it does not tolerate stagnant water.
Caring for this species is relatively more straightforward than for other plants.
Graptopetalum pentandrum care guide
Graptopetalum pentandrum prefers to grow under the full sun because it grows best if the grower can supply hours of sunlight.
They can grow between 25- and 50-degrees Fahrenheit. But remember that they cannot handle winter very well.
It would be best always to plant Graptopetalum in a well-drained potting mix.
Soil should be porous and have an excellent drainage system. You can also use organic materials to improve soil quality.
Water and Fertilizer
Water the plants only when the soil becomes dry. These succulents can not withstand excess water, which causes root rot.
Fertilize them once the winter is over.
One may propagate the Graptopetalum pentandrum by leaf cuttings, offsets, stems, and even seeds.
Graptopetalum bellum is another fascinating Ghost Plant that produces beautiful flowers. It is native to the northern area of Mexico.
It grows in rocky terrain and has moderate exposure to the sun. It is a perennial succulent with a clustering habit.
This variety produces a new rosette quickly, which can grow up to 5-cm in radius.
If you can provide them with the best situation indoors, they will grow happily.
People may either grow them in gardens or keep them as a houseplant. Graptopetalum bellum has triangular leaves with bronze or grey color.
The growing season is regarded as the early spring, but you will notice the flowers during May.
Graptopetalum bellum care guide
Graptopetalum bellum thrives well in strong light. That’s why we suggest you plant them outside of your home.
During the summer months, you should provide partial sun.
This succulent likes to grow in a warm climate. It can survive between 30- and 58-degrees Fahrenheit.
People living in winter climates should keep this plant indoors.
Soil should be well-drained. You may use coarse materials like gravel, pumice, or perlite to improve the drainage condition.
Water and Fertilizer
Water the plants only when the topsoil becomes dry. The Graptopetalum bellum prefers moderate water. Fertilize them during the early spring
Growers may use leaf or stem cuttings to propagate these succulents. Even a leaf can propagate by developing a new root.
Graptopetalum superbum is a beautiful succulent with thick and fleshy leaves. The leaf color of this succulent plant ranges from pink to pale grey-lavender.
The stem of this Graptopetalum may reach up to 1-foot long. It is a popular plant that can be used as a ground cover.
The most exciting thing about this plant is free from diseases.
This succulent plant looks impressive if you can take care of it properly like others.
Do not panic because it requires low maintenance like the other succulents. It requires typical irrigation, which is essential to maintain its health.
Avoid overwatering it as it may kill this plant.
Graptopetalum superbum care guide
Graptopetalum superbum grows best in intense light. Therefore, you should place it in sunny areas to plant it in gardens.
Try to provide it with partial to full sun.
These plants prefer a warm climate. They survive between the temperatures of 25- to 50-degrees Fahrenheit.
During winter and snow, you can take them indoors.
The soil must have an excellent drainage system. Use cacti soil and mix it with compost or other organic materials.
Water and Fertilizer
Watering is essential for this genus. Water the plants when the soil becomes dry.
You may fertilize it in its growing season when new leaves start showing.
Propagation of Graptopetalum superbum is very easy. You may use cuttings from the mother plant. The cuttings will quickly form new roots.
This is undoubtedly a beautiful succulent plant, and many people like it due to its small shape and mesmerizing colors.
These perennial plants are native to Arizona and Mexico. You will find them growing in a rosette shape.
Remember that these succulents are not frost-tolerant. You may propagate it by simply separating its offsets.
The most fantastic part of Graptopetalum mendozae is the leaf color, which is pale green and turns to a darker color in summer light.
Make sure that they receive a lot of light and a warm place for growing. These container-bound plants thrive well in a larger pot.
If you grow them in a container, you may need to repot when it gets bigger. These succulents may handle disturbances.
So, do not worry if the root gets disturbed during repotting.
Graptopetalum mendozae care guide
Graptopetalum mendozae requires strong light. You may keep them in a sunny area that receives abundant sun (3- to 4- hours).
If you grow them as houseplants, keep them in a south-facing window.
It can withstand between the temperature of 10- and 40-degrees Fahrenheit.
The soil must be well-drained. You may use sand and cacti mix to enhance the drainage system.
Water and Fertilizer
It can withstand moderate water. Irrigate the plants when the topsoil seems dry and fertilize it during the growing season.
Growers may propagate these succulents by using seeds or cuttings. New plants form easily from cuttings.
Is Echeveria and Graptopetalum the Same?
Both species of succulents are recognized for their attractive rosettes, thick leaves, and blooming in the springtime months. Echeveria is distinguished by its rosettes on short stalks and spoon-shaped leaves, which distinguish it from other plants. The trailing vines of rosettes that develop on long stalks and stems are the most distinguishing feature of Graptopetalum.
Can you Grow Graptopetalum in Cold Weather?
Graptopetalum is a cold-hardy plant grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 through 11, depending on the variety. Thus, it will develop a lot better in warmer conditions. Therefore, consider moving it inside when the weather starts getting cold.
How often do you water Graptopetalum?
The water demand of Graptopetalum depends on the temperature and climate of the region. However, the general rule has to be watered at least once every 7–10 days throughout the warm months. When the temperature cools down during the spring and autumn seasons, you can reduce the frequency of watering to every 10–14 days or so. Most importantly, water when the topsoil is wholly dried out.
What are the Typical Pest and Diseases of Graptopetalum Plants?
Overwatering may cause root rot, the most severe issue you can experience. Overwatering may cause your plant to die, so take care not to do so. Considering the worst-case scenario, it’s also important to understand that mealybugs are attracted to cactus and other succulent plants. If you notice them, use isopropyl alcohol and treat the leaves.
Growing Graptopetalum succulents is extremely easy if you live in a warmer climate.
They look attractive mainly because of their rosettes and various colors. You only have to provide sufficient light and water to these plants.
Propagation information about these plants is widely available. Do not worry because its propagation is very easy.
You may buy seeds or use cuttings from the parent plant to grow a new plant.
-  Cabahug, R.A.M. 2018. Review Paper – Propagation Techniques for Ornamental Succulents. Flower Research Journal, 26(3): 90-101.
-  Hsu, W. H., Chang, C. C., Huang, K. W., Chen, Y. C., Hsu, S. L., Wu, L. C., Tsou, A. P., Lai, J. M., & Huang, C. Y. (2015). Evaluation of the Medicinal Herb Graptopetalum Paraguayense as a Treatment for Liver Cancer. PloS one, 10(4), e0121298.
- Ott, B. (2017), Echeveria and Sempervivum and Graptopetalum, Oh My! The Real Dirt Blog, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California.
- Graptopetalum Paraguayense (Ghost Plant), North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, NC State University.
- UF/IFAS Extension: Solutions for Your Life. (2017). Ghost Plant. University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gardening Solutions.
- About/mentions: Graptopetalum, succulents, houseplants
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.