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Okay, this plant has an intrigued name but pronouncing it is quite a mouthful. So instead, we will refer to it where possible by its common name, ghost plant.
But the name is not given for no reason and having one in your home is pretty impressive. So, how do you take care of this hardy, Invasive succulent plant?
Let’s find out. If you stay long enough, you can also learn when you can get one of these magical plants.
What is Graptopetalum Paraguayense?
The Graptopetalum paraguayense ghost plant also goes by the name mother of pearl. But what makes this succulent so unique is the bluish-green foliage with a touch of blue, lavender, and pink pastels. WOW, look at those leaves. Are they not amazing.
When touched, the plant has thick yet fleshy leaves and is a valuable plant to have for conserving water. Another known trait of the ghost plant indoors is the leaves forming a rosette. When exposed to light, the leaves tend to change color.
But when grown in partial shade, the foliage turns a blue-gray while the full sun makes the leaves look pinker to yellow. Yet, another fascinating thing is the foliage can also become translucent hence the name gosht plant.
Oh yes, that is not all. No, the plant produces delicate yellow flowers from spring to summer. You can expect the rosettes to grow about four inches wide and can grow up to a foot tall. Furthermore, they can also trail up to three feet in length.
But as an indoor plant, they grow slowly at a moderate rate and are native to Central America, mainly Mexico and North America.
Graptopetalum Paraguayense Care
One thing is for sure the Graptopetalum paraguayense ghost plant is growing in popularity as a houseplant. It is an inexpensive plant that is easy to grow and even propagate. In addition, theIn addition, the display is gorgeous looking with its star-shaped yellow flowers.
So, let’s dive in and look a bit closer at how you can care for your plant.
Succulent Plant Soil Mix
Your ghost plants do best in a well-draining potting mix like any succulent plant. You can use a simple mixture of cactus soil combined with perlite for added drainage. You can eyeball your mixture with a solution of 2:1 cactus mix with perlite.
Or go with a ratio of 1:1 cactus soil with perlite that works best in humid climates. Alternatively, you can make a sandy potting soil added to the above mixture. Providing your ghost plant with drainage allows for a healthy root system without root rot.
We recommend planting them in raised beds in clay soils with half grit, sand, or gravel for growing outdoors. You can add some coco coir, peat, or commercial potting soil.
Graptopetalum paraguayense Ghost Plant Lighting Needs
For indoor plants, it helps to find bright light for your ghost plant to flourish. You can place them at east, south, or west-facing windows but need to move your plant around to find a perfect spot.
If not in direct sunlight and mostly in partial shade, the foliage loses its vibrancy, turning to gray. Eventually, your pearl plant will stretch out to find enough light. Then, your plant is at its happiest, receiving up to six hours of direct sunlight.
As outdoor plants, the ghost also needs bright indirect light. From full sun to partial shade, they do their best. If you have your plant indoors and want to place them outside in the full sun, it helps to acclimate them first.
But heed the warning, too much direct sun can burn young plants and the foliage.
Watering Needs to Grow Ghost Plants
When it comes to your mother of pearl, you want to keep your plant healthy. Then watering your ghost plant depends on the climate you live in. These succulents adapt well to dry weather and thrive on little water but not too much.
So, you may find you water your plant often in summer but start to cut back with waterings in spring or fall to winter. If your ghost plant grows outdoors, you will mostly rely on the rain to water your plant.
On the other hand, if you live in humid regions, you need not water that much. You also need not water much for indoor plants if they are in light shade. We recommend checking the soil moisture if it’s dry and adjusting your watering schedule accordingly.
Fertilizing Graptopetalum Paraguayense
When growing in its natural environment, the Graptopetalum paraguayense gets all its nutrients from its surroundings. Thus, it is not a must to feed your plant, but it can help with growth to encourage flowering.
We recommend fertilizing in the growing season of spring and summer. Furthermore, it is recommended to use a half-strength every two weeks at the end of fall and refrain from feeding your succulent plants.
Using a house plant fertilizer for cacti is okay for a healthy root system and ghost plant.
Temperature and Humidity
It helps to provide the Graptopetalum paraguayense ghost plant with the correct temperatures to encourage flowering. For outdoor ghost plants, they prefer cooler nighttime temperatures, while indoors, the temperature needs to be around 60°F.
So, you need to try and mimic their natural habitat. Cool air plays an integral part in the growth cycle. The ghost plant is cold, hardy, and also tolerant against mild frost, and can survive freezing rain, but if the temperature drops suddenly, it helps to keep ghost plants protected.
For zero freezing climates, we recommend growing ghost plants in containers to bring indoors. Another concern is as it is succulent and stores water in the leaves it prefers a lower humidity level. So an arid environment is fine.
Propagating Ghost Plants
To propagate ghost plants is not that difficult, and the best is using stem cuttings. So, if you want more of this attractive plant, then make sure to propagate your small evergreen plant. Another method to multiply your ghost plant is through leaf propagation as well.
From the parent plant, choose healthy stem cuttings and leaves them to dry for a day.
Once the cut seal, you can dip the cut end into rooting hormone, but it is optional.
Stick the cut end into well-draining soil and place it away from direct sunlight.
Mist soil when you feel it is dry.
You should notice new growth after two weeks, and it should take up to six weeks for the cutting to fully develop a root system. You can then switch to regular watering when you feel the soil is dry.
Find a healthy parent plant and carefully twist the leaf off to give it a clean break from the stem.
Similar to stem cutting, you leave the leaf to dry for 24-hours.
Once it is dry, you can place the cutting onto a potting mix and give it some water.
Follow the soak and dry method for watering.
The roots should appear in about a week, and best to move your plant into the partial sun. You will also notice that the old leaf withers away to remove it, leaving you with a newly rooted plant.
Graptopetalum Paraguayense Varieties
When it comes to the Graptopetalum paraguayense, you can find some other varieties to grow with your ghost plant.
Graptopetalum x Graptosedum ‘Bronze’
The bronze grows up to six inches tall with reddish-bronze foliage.
Graptopetalum x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’
The California sunset is stunning and not easily seen in most succulent plants. The leaves have a unique orange-pink hue.
Graptopetalum x Graptoveria ‘Tibutans’
Now for something spectacular for the succulent lover is the Tibutans with its apricot or pink tip leaves that loves cooler weather.
Graptopetalum Paraguayense Diseases & Pests
While growing outdoors, the Graptopetalum paraguayense ghost plant is relatively free of pests and diseases. Yet, as an indoor plant, it can experience some problems as most houseplants. The best is to remove dead leaves as your plant grows at the base.
The decaying leaves can result in a mealybug infestation. You can treat them with a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol or neem oil. The most significant disease is root rot from overwatering. The only way to prevent this is to leave the soil dry between watering.
Frequently Asked Questions
One of the common reasons for your ghost plant to start dying can result from overwatering resulting in root rot or too little light. If the leaves at the lower parts start falling off can result from not getting enough light.
The best way to check for root rot is to remove your plant from the pot to see if the root system is brown, black, or mushy. Then, the best is to take a healthy leave to try and propagate Graptopetalum paraguayense.
To make your ghost plant pinker provide it with more sun to partial shade as it has a color-changing ability.
Your ghost plant can grow from six to twelve inches tall and trail up to three feet in search of adequate sunlight.
The Graptopetalum paraguayense is an inexpensive and popular houseplant. You can see it available at your local garden center. Still, you need not look far as Plantly has this beautiful succulent plant right here.