Make an investment in acquiring gasteria seedlings: if you are lucky and patient the ugly young duckling may turn into a magnificent swan ! It may take some years before you really see what you bought all this time ago.

(8/4/2002) Several new plants added here! More to come! Warn the neighbours!

I am still desperately looking for a plant of G. pillansii var pillansii Rosyntjiesberg! If you have a shoot of this fat form, I am very much willing to trade for just about anything else!!! If you have this plant please contact me!

How I grow them
Gasterias in my small greenhouse
The gasteria corner in Cok Grootscholten's nursery

is this a carinata?Bought as a seedling carinata, this ugly duckling soon turned into a magnificent brachyphylla v. brachyphylla
kabeljau is also a big fishSlightly different from the usual nitida v. armsstrongii, a Kabeljau river plant
joop's prideJoop's pride: the perfect brachyphylla v. brachyphylla
dark greenA nice dark green brachyphylla v. brachyphylla
really oldPerhaps 25 years in CG's collection: obviously a stemmed bicolor v. bicolor
G. maculata...Received as maculata, once more it proved to be something entirely different...
richtersveld: hellskloofMy cup of tea: pillansii v. pillansii from the Hellskloof in the Richtersveld
the ultimate plantCG has some superb plants in his collection, watch this beckeri
yo823As good as they come: yo823 a plant of Japanese origin
images from the Moninckx atlasSome of the images by Monickx from Commellin's book:Gasteria disticha,
Aloe variegata and
Haworthia marginata & Aloe aristata (courtesy Stephen Holloway)
more gasterias:
G. batesiana, Barberton
G. baylissiana
G. bicolor var bicolor, large form
G. bicolor var bicolor, spiral form
G. bicolor var bicolor, thin cylindrical leaves
G. brachyphylla var. brachyphylla
G. carinata var. carinata, Mosselbay
G. carinata var. verrucosa
G. ellaphiae
G. glomerata
G. nitida var. armstrongii, the archetype
G. nitida var. armstrongii, a common form
G. pillansii var pillansii, isi 1566
G. pillansii var pillansii, vanrhynsdorp
G. pillansii var. ernesti-ruschii
G. rawlinsonii
yo823, my plant
How I grow them

Keep in mind I live in Belgium... which means a Western-European sea climate with wet, mild winters (hardly ever snow) and wet, average summers.
My gasterias, I:

  • give them filtered sunshine, some more than others
  • warm very little in winter, temparature is kept to a min. of 5C
  • repot them frequently (every 2 years)
  • water frequently (every 2 weeks) and liberally (buckets) over the top in summer, nothing in winter, start a little early spring (March). In summer I add manure.
  • grow clustering species (glomerata, pillansii) in wide shallow trays
  • grow large species in large deep pots (acinifolia, excelsa, brachyphylla)
  • spray them with a fungicide every winter to stop black-spot (with moderate results)
  • try (no blame me if something goes wrong!) putting some species outside in summer (shaded position). I had fantastic results with carinata, disaster with acinifolia (core-rot from the rain).
Problems
  • black-spot:
    a fungal disease, not dangerous but unsightly. I find it very hard to keep out. I think the only remedy is keeping plants in the house. Species that are very sensitive to black spot are bicolor, brachyphylla v. brachyphylla and pulchra
  • nitida v. armstrongii loses its roots easily, keep an eye out and repot in well aired soil. Keep rather warm.
  • Gasterias have few pests like mealies and the like
  • I have problems with some thin forms of bicolor, I suspect they should be kept warmer.
Propagation
  • pollination and getting seed is easy. Grow readily from seed. Sow almost immediately
  • Leaf-cuttings: work for me with some species. I never managed to get any plantlets from any type of pillansii (and I tried al lot!). I suspect my greenhouse is too cold.
    Place the leaf on some compost in the shade. After a few months it will have rooted, after a year you may get new plants. Re-use the leaf again.
  • some species make stolons and plenty of shoots.

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