Graptopetalum, small but very decorative

You may have ever seen a succulent or succulent plant that looks similar to Echeveria but is actually different. The Graptopetalum are very decorative fleshy plants, which can be used to have inside the home or in compositions.

Their easy cultivation and maintenance make them suitable plants for beginners. Would you like to meet them?

Characteristics of the Graptopetalum

Our protagonists are plants belonging to the Crassulaceae family native to Mexico and Arizona. The genus, Graptopetalum, comprises 18 species that grow in a rosette shape. Some develop a fleshy stem 10-15cm tall, but most are acaules (stemless) with a height of about 5cm. The flowers arise from a flower stalk that, at the end of flowering, withers and can be easily removed from the plants.

Its growth rate is rather medium, that is, neither too fast nor too slow, so it can take two years to need a somewhat larger pot. But let’s see their care in more detail.

Types of Graptopetalum

The genus Graptopetalum is made up of 18 species, and all of them have great ornamental value. However, the most popular are the following:

Graptopetalum amethystinum

Image – Wikimedia/ Stan Shebs

The Graptopetalum amthystinum is a kind of crass native of Mexico, specifically Jalisco. It forms rosettes with short stems up to four inches in height from which fleshy pink to greenish leaves sprout, and produces reddish flowers.

Graptopetalum bellum

Image – Wikimedia/ Stan Shebs

The Graptopetalum bellum is a succulent native to Mexico. It lacks a stem. Its leaves are triangular, almost plants, with a whitish margin and the rest dark green. It does not usually exceed 5 centimeters in height.

It could be confused with Echeveria purpusorum, but it differs from it by being more greenish and lacking the characteristic reddish stripes or dots of that species of echeveria. In addition, the flowers of G. bellum are composed of five thin pink petals, while those of E. purpusorum have fleshy tubular flowers, orange on the outside and yellow on the inside.

Graptopetalum macdougallii

Image – Wikimedia/ Agnieszka Kwiecień, Nova

The Graptopetalum macdougallii is a species of plant native to Mexico, with very short stems only about 5 centimeters high. The leaves grow in rosettes, and are more or less triangular, green in color. The flowers sprout from a flower stem up to 7 centimeters long, and have red petals with a greenish-yellow center.

Graptopetalum mendozae

The Graptopetalum mendozae is an endemic crass of Mexico known as marmolito or immortelle. It develops stems up to 15 centimeters high, and its leaves are obovate, fleshy, and light lilac in color. The flowers have a white corolla and a cream floral stem.

Graptopetalum paraguayense

Image – Wikimedia/ Patrice78500

The Graptopetalum paraguayense is a variety native to Mexico known as graptopétalo, mother of pearl or mother of pearl plant, and ghost plant. It produces thin stems, with a maximum height of 20 centimeters. Its leaves are obovate, green or whitish green. As for the flowers, they are star-shaped and white.

Graptopetalum superbum

Image – Wikimedia/ Krzysztof Golik

The Graptopetalum superbum is a native species of Jalisco, in Mexico. It is popularly known as a marble rose. It grows to 20-25 centimeters tall, and has stems that branch from the base. The leaves are oblong-obovate, pink to gray-purple. The flowers are greenish-yellow, with reddish spots.

What care do they require?

If you want to have one or more copies, then we tell you their care:

  • Location: outdoors in full sun, or indoors in a room with plenty of natural light.
  • Irrigation: they are plants that resist drought better than waterlogging, so we recommend watering them about twice a week in summer, and once every 7-15 days the rest of the year.
  • Substrate: advisable to use akadama or pumice (on sale here ). If you can’t get it, you can choose to mix universal growing medium mixed with perlite in equal parts.
  • Subscriber: during spring and summer it is highly recommended to fertilize them with a product for cacti and succulent plants following the instructions specified on the package. Another option is to add a small spoonful of Nitrofoska or Osmocote every 15 days.
  • Transplantation: as they are small plants, transplanting them once or twice throughout their life will suffice. Of course, do not neglect the subscriber.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in spring and by stem and leaf cuttings in spring-summer.
  • Pests: control snails and slugs. Both are animals that enjoy eating the leaves of these plants. In this article you will know what to do to keep them as far away as possible from your Graptopetalum.
  • Rusticity: if there are frosts in your area, the ideal will be to protect them with anti-frost fabric or even in a greenhouse. They can hold up to -2ºC, but it is only for a short time.

What did you think of this plant?

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