I.D. help needed, please

molie(z6 CT)February 18, 2013

I purchased this succulent "garden" at a Lowe's in southern CT a week ago --- mainly because I just fell in love with the plant in the front of the pot. However, I'm having trouble identifying it and would appreciate any information so that I can figure out what will eventually happen to this plant.

The last time I did this (buy an impulse purchase because I fell in love with the shape and texture of an unknown cactus), I ended up with a spiny plant that grew to 4 feet in about 4 years. Did I go down that same, sad path again?

Here's the "garden" --- the plant is the one in front with the spike/flower(?) growing from between some leaves.

A closer shot

Here's a closeup of the "leaves". I love both their colors and textures. Are they called "leaves" or is there another term for them?

The end of the shoot --- What is this?

Thanks so much for any help.

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Congrats - you have a Gasteria (relative to Aloe) species, possibly variegated. Those are indeed leaves and the last pic is a closeup of its flower bud. You'll see flowers in a week or two.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 2:30PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Yes to Gasteria, maybe G. negricans, I Iike its striped leaves & yes, that's a flower stalk.

I'd separate it from that community pot as the other plants in there want direct sun while the Gasteria does not; it prefers bright indirect &/or light shade.

The other plants in that pot (an Echeveria & Portulacaria afra, I can't see the 3rd plant) that I can see well enough to ID will want bright, direct sun, as much as possible, tho' should be introduced to it gradually.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 3:51PM
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GeeS 9b

Reminds me of G. 'Little Warty'

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:51PM
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When I look at your plant, I'm also thinking (agreeing with GermanStar) Gasteria 'Little Warty'

Great find!


    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:15PM
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Your little gasteria will not get 4 feet tall (although that would be n interesting sight)
What was the cactus that got to 4 feet? What did you ultimately end up doing with it?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:12PM
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molie(z6 CT)

Thank you, all, for your quick replies. I googled G 'Little Warty' and that does look like my plant! Thank you, Pirate_Girl, for also identifying the others plants. I do have two follow-up questions.

I did a quick read on a few sites about Gasteria. At first the flower stalk reminded me of an asparagus spear and I was imagining that it would be shades of green when opened. But many photographs showed striking tri-colored flowers --- they're edible!?! ---- and the fact that many buds also appeared below the main flower. On close inspection it looks like mine is also sending up additional buds along the stem. Should I wait until after flowering to separate this plant from the others?

Another question --- right now the pot is in an east window where it gets stronger morning sun now that it's winter and there are no leaves on the trees across the street. We usually put our houseplants on the covered (west-facing) deck in the warmer months. Will this plant tolerate being outside?

And finally, about the other 4 foot plant. I'm sorry that I don't remember its name, but I believe it actually wasn't a cactus though it did have long "arms" that shot up and out all along the sides. It looked like a cactus to me when I spotted it in the store. I thought to myself, Why not buy it? It's only about 12 inches tall --- how cute! I do remember that its branches were three-sided and had sharp spines. Nowâ¦. this next part is an awful thing to confess here on this forum --- but I couldn't find a single person willing to take the plant. And honestly, I tried! Everyone was put off by its size and its thorns. So--- sadly --- we had to hack it up into tiny chunks, bag it, and throw it away.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:45AM
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GeeS 9b

1. Best not to disturb the plant while it's flowering, I'd wait a bit.
2. Do not put the Gasteria outside where it will catch direct sun. It will appreciate a shaded outdoor spot.
3. The plant you destroyed was likely a Euphorbia, along the lines of E. trigona.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:08AM
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molie(z6 CT)

GermanStar: I appreciate the care info for my Gasteria. I'll definitely wait until after flowering to transplant and also be careful that it doesn't get too much direct sun this summer. We have sun shades on the covered deck. Our orchids stay out all summer without damage --- hopefully the Gasteria will like it there, too.

Also, you were right that my deceased cactus was Euphorbia trigona--- that was quite a diagnosis without even a photo! When I read about Euphorbia, I remembered the term "African Milk Plant" and the milky white sap that oozed out whenever my plant broke ---- or was cut.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:29PM
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