If you are thinking about growing succulents in your garden, the ghost plant succulent should be at the top of your list.
These succulents are not only easy to grow, but they can survive anything from long periods of not being watered to frost and damaged stems.
Normally succulents are easy to maintain because they don’t need to be watered or tended to like other plants, but the ghost plant succulent wins on that front.
What Is a Ghost Plant Succulent
The ghost plant succulent gets its name from the opalescent leaves that are grayish-white in color.
Ghost plants are usually related and look like Aeonium Echeveria, but you will notice several subtle differences on a closer look.
For instance, the leaves of the Aeonium Echeveria are wide and thick with rosettes that are 20 inches in diameter. In comparison, the rosettes of a ghost plant are 2 to 5 inches in diameter.
Ghost plants can grow to a height of 1ft and 2 to 3 ft wide. They also develop rosette shapes on the stems, which trail or hang as the plant reaches maturity.
One feature about Ghost plants that makes them stand out is that they tend to be chameleons in that their colors differ from one plant to another depending on how light the plant is. Ghost plants grown in partial shade will be blue-gray, while the ones grown in the partial sun will have a sort of gray-pink color. In full sun, the plants blossom to a pinkish-gray or yellow color.
When ghost plants are accorded the right conditions to grow, they will produce tart-shaped flowers during spring.
Ghost plants usually make the world’s best succulent arrangements and they can be found everywhere from home improvement stores, craft and hobby stores, to garden centers.
Benefits of a Ghost Plant Succulent
Succulents are always a great addition to any outdoor or indoor garden. There are so many succulents that you can grow and that includes a ghost plant succulent. Here are the benefits of growing the ghost plant that you should be aware of.
Easy to Grow
The resistant nature of cold-hardy succulents makes them ideal for growing in even the most extreme of conditions. The ghost plant is the easiest to grow.
Even if you are a novice gardener, you won’t have a hard time growing and caring for your ghost plant. These succulents can survive anything, including damage to the stems, not being watered, and frost.
This means that you never have to worry about your succulent dying because you haven’t watered it in a while as you would with other succulents.
Like other succulents, growing a ghost plant succulent makes economic sense since there isn’t much you need.
Plantation Is Stress-Free
Just like with other beautiful hanging succulents, the ghost plant succulent multiplies easily. What this means is that you don’t need to stress about getting seeds to plant.
Through vegetative propagation, you can multiply your succulents stress-free. This is where you use the leaves or stems to propagate.
How Does Ghost Plant Succulent Work
Ghost plant succulents are usually perfect when growing indoors since they make great ornamental plants for office and home spaces.
This is as long as the environment they are growing in offers the ideal growing conditions. They can, however, also thrive in outdoor gardens where they are exposed to natural elements.
Ghost plants are hardy in that they can survive even broken stems and frost. When grown outdoors, they make great additions to rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens, and succulent gardens alike.
Ghost plants need warm temperatures of 20°F to survive. They do well when exposed to full sun, although they can also adapt to partial shade.
If a ghost plant doesn’t receive enough light, the stems can become leggy, and the leaves can start to drop. Therefore you need to place your succulent in a sunny spot if you are growing one indoors.
Ghost plants are prone to root rot if they are overwatered and prefer to be watered every other week, although they can survive several weeks of not being watered.
Ghost plants thrive in a sandy and light potting mix that is well-draining. If you’ve grown ghost plant succulents for a while, making your own succulent soil is simple after some time.
If you live in an area with high humidity, you need to make sure that your plants have good drainage to prevent root and stem rot.
Ghost plants are usually non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are, however, prone to mealybugs damage, aphids, and vine weevil.
Pros and Cons of Growing a Ghost Plant Succulent
Ghost plants come with a ton of benefits that make them excellent outdoor and indoor plants, but they also have their pros and cons.
- They make perfect ornamental plants for office and home spaces.
- They are hardy and can survive frost and not being watered for a while.
- You never have to worry about your plant dying with a ghost plant because the roots are broken. Ghost plants bounce right back as long as the conditions are conducive for growth.
- Propagating ghost plants is easy since all you need are healthy leaves or stems to re-pot.
- Just like with other succulents, you need to worry about overwatering your plants. Overwatering will lead to root and stem decay after some time.
- A ghost plant will become leggy and will experience leaf drop if it doesn’t receive enough light. This is especially true for plants that are planted indoors.
Features of Ghost Plant Succulent
Growing succulents, especially the crawling varieties that make nice-looking and unique garden floors, is rewarding.
Ghost plant succulents, in particular, are preferred because they are easy to grow and care for, even for novice gardeners.
As mentioned earlier, the ghost plant resembles and is even related to Aeonium Echeveria, but the two plants are completely different.
One such difference can be seen in the rosettes whereby rather than the 20-inch diameter rosettes found in Aeonium Echeveria, the ghost plants have rosettes that are 2 to 5 inches in diameter.
The ghost plant also resembles the Pachyveria plants, but there is a difference in the leaves. For instance, the Pachyverias have rounded leaves while ghost plants have pointy leaves.
Ghost plants are chameleons with colors differing from one variety to another depending on how light the plant is. When they are grown in partial sun, the color is gray-pink and blue-gray when grown in partial shade. In full sun, ghost plants have colors that range from pinkish gray to yellow.
A ghost plant will produce star-shaped flowers that are yellow during spring when the growing conditions are ideal.
Ghost plants grow to a height of up to 60 cm and are 60 to 90 cm wide.
Ghost plants can be grown indoors or outdoors. They, however, thrive in hot temperatures and can be sensitive to freezing temperatures, although they will survive up to -6°C.
If you live in a location where temperatures can reach subzero, you are better off planting your ghost plants indoors.
Ghost plants also are sun-loving plants and blossom well when exposed to full sun and then colors will change from pinkish to yellow.
The more sunlight they get, the more vibrant the colors become. If you are thinking about growing a ghost plant indoors, you need to place the pot near a sunny window.
Ghost Plant Succulent Requirements
Ghost plants thrive in specific conditions and that’s what you need to target if your plant is to look good. Such conditions include the following;
Growing low light succulents is easy, but the ghost plant prefers full sun when growing, which helps to promote a translucent pink hue on the leaves. However, the plants can also adapt to partial shade, which promotes a blue-gray hue on the leaves.
When you are growing ghost plants, you need to ensure that the soil is well-draining. Light and porous potting mix with 50% sand, perlite, or gravel is preferred since it ensures that you never over-water your plant.
Rare succulents can store water for long periods and therefore do not need to be watered as much. Ghost plants are the same and will survive even when watered occasionally.
However, ghost plants that are grown outdoors need to be watered weekly because the soil dries faster.
Temperature and Humidity
Ghost plant succulents can thrive in hot weather. Excess humidity will cause problems, especially if the plant is growing in poorly draining soil.
To ensure that the plants benefit from increased air circulation, you can grow your plants in raised beds or containers and make sure to space them.
While all plants need nutrients to thrive, succulents can do well even in a low nutrient soil mix. Excess fertilizing only ends up burning the leaves.
Rather than using fertilizer, your plants could benefit from a side-dressing of compost or manure tea.
Potting and Repotting
Succulent repotting is always easy. Ghost plants usually have a shallow root system which means less repotting.
If your succulent has outgrown the container, remove it carefully, ensure that you don’t damage the powdery coating on the leaves, and then repot it in a cactus mix or a light potting mix.
If you are worried about planting a ghost plant indoors due to toxicity, you can rest easy knowing that ghost plants are not toxic to animals or humans.
After some time, your ghost plant will produce new rosette pups on the stems after becoming too leggy.
When that happens, you can easily prune them away and repot them or give them away to friends for repotting.
Pests and Diseases
As the plant continues to grow, some leaves will fall off. These become habitats for pests such as mealybugs. Removing the dead leaves now and then will prevent such pests from thriving.
If your ghost plant has already been infested by mealybugs, for instance, a dab of isopropyl alcohol will help get rid of them.
How to Grow a Ghost Plant Succulent
Ghost plant succulents can be grown indoors or outdoors in containers or light sandy potting mix.
Step 1 – Choose a container with drain holes
The one thing you can’t afford to overlook is the importance of proper draining when you are growing any succulents in a container.
Overwatering a succulent will lead to root and stem rot, which will kill the plant in the end. If you are growing a ghost plant in a container, make sure that the container has enough drain holes.
Step 2 – Add light potting soil mixture
Enough drain holes on a container aren’t enough if the soil is not well-draining.
Choose a lightweight and gritty potting mix and plant the ghost plant at the edge of the container to ensure that it doesn’t get lost behind other taller specimens.
Step 3 – Place the container in a sunny location
Ghost plants prefer to be exposed to full light when growing, although they can still thrive in partial shade. Place the container in a sunny location near a sunny window if it’s indoors and only water when the soil has dried.
Step 1 – Source for high-quality seeds
It’s usually faster to propagate ghost plants from cuttings like leaves and stems, but you can also do that using seeds. Source for high-quality ghost plant seeds, which are the seed pods formed when the flowers have withered.
Step 2 – Sow the seeds
Once you have the seeds, sow them in a sterile potting mix.
Step 3 – Water them regularly
Water the seeds using a plant mister so that you don’t end up displacing them.
Step 4 – Exposed the seed tray to bright light
Your seeds should start germination after about three to four weeks when the tray has been placed in an area where temperatures reach 70 degrees F and are exposed to bright light.
How to Care for a Ghost Plant Succulent
Step 1 – Ensure that there is proper drainage
Proper drainage is important as the ghost plants continue to grow. Poorly draining potting mix will lead to water standing in the container for a long time, leading to overwatering and root and stem rot.
If your ghost plants are outside and receive a lot of rainfall, they will need more drainage.
Step 2 – Water accordingly
How much water your ghost plant needs will depend on where the plant is growing. Indoor succulents don’t need to be watered as much.
For outdoor ghost plants, weekly watering is vital, although your plant can survive for several weeks without being watered.
Step 3 – Ensure that your plants are exposed to enough light
Ghost plants are sun-loving plants and thrive when exposed to full sun, although partial shade will still work.
Whether you are growing your succulents indoors or outdoors, make sure that you meet the light requirements and choose a spot in the garden or home where your plants can get enough sunlight.
How to Propagate a Ghost Plant Succulent
Propagating ghost plants is easy since that can be done using leaves or stems. Here is how you do it:
Step 1 – Pull a healthy leaf out gently
When doing so, make sure that you get the entire leaf plus the base. To do it, gently twist the leaf off the plant. Go for a healthy-looking plump leaf and get more than one leaf.
Step 2 – Leave the leaves to dry for a few days
Keep the leaves away from direct sunlight so that they can dry for a day or two. If you have a rooting hormone, you can use it to speed up the propagating process.
Step 3 – Prepare a potting mix
Prepare a well-draining potting and then lay the leaves flat on the soil. You can also stick the cut ends in the potting mix.
Step 1 – Obtain a healthy stem cutting
Just like when making succulent bonsai, obtain a stem cutting from a healthy plant and leave it to dry for a day or two.
You can also dip it in rooting hormone to speed up the process, but this is optional.
Step 2 – Prepare a well-draining soil mix
Prepare your potting mix and then stick the cuttings in it and make sure you keep them away from direct sunlight until a rooting system has been established.
Step 3 – Water the stem cutting
Water the cuttings every few days. Roots should start developing after two weeks.
After four to six weeks, the root system should have fully developed and new growth should start developing on the sides of the stem or the top.
Quick Tips on How to Encourage a Ghost Plant Succulent to Bloom
Succulents look good when they are in full bloom, but not all plants get to reach this stage. Here are things that you can do to ensure that your plant gets to bloom.
Give the plant time to mature. Premium black succulents, for instance, when exposed to the right conditions, will start blooming.
On the other hand, even after ensuring that all the conditions are ideal, if your plant doesn’t bloom, it means that it hasn’t reached maturity yet, so give it time.
Ghost plants thrive when exposed to full sun; therefore, make sure that your plant receives enough sunlight every day and that the container is placed in a bright location even during the winter months.
If you want your ghost plant to flower, make sure that the temperature conditions are ideal.
With that in mind, ghost plants have different temperature needs at night and during the day and the summer and winter months.
Succulents, for instance, prefer cooler outdoor temperatures of 50-55⁰F at night and indoor temperatures of least 60-65⁰F.
When grown in a controlled environment, ghost plants prefer such marked differences between day and night temperatures to mimic the natural habitat.
If you want your ghost plants to bloom, overwintering is vital. You can achieve this by keeping the plants cool and dry during the winter months.
Keep the plants cool by exposing them to temperatures of between 35-44⁰F during the cold months.
If they are indoors, make sure that they are placed in a non-heated room and if not, ensure that the temperatures are always low to provide that winter period they need to bloom.
Feed or Fertilize
With ghost plants, fertilizing is not a must, but providing them with the nutrients they need will ensure proper growth and help them bloom.
Naturally, plants require a lot of energy to flower and extra nutrients will help supplement their needs when the flowering season comes.
The best time to fertilize your succulents is during the summer or spring months or when they are actively growing. To ensure that your plants thrive, ensure that you don’t fertilize them during the winter months or as the fall season comes to a close.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
If you are thinking about buying stems, seeds, or leaves to propagate somehow, more spending does mean more quality.
More spending means getting healthy and plump-looking leaves and stems for propagating. It also means getting quality seeds if you want to propagate using seeds.
If you are also buying a mature ghost plant, you might want to spend more if you want to get a healthy plant exposed to the right conditions during growth.
Do’s and Don’ts With a Ghost Plant Succulent
- Ensure that the potting mix you prepare drains well to ensure that no water is left standing in the pot after watering.
- If your ghost plants become too leggy, do prune the new growth and replant again.
- Do make sure that you place your container in a sunny spot. Ghost plants thrive when exposed to full sun throughout the year.
- Remove any dead leaves at the plant base to prevent the infestation of mealybugs and other pests.
- Do not over-fertilize your ghost plants, as this will lead to leaf burning.
- Ghost plants usually have brittle stems; therefore, make sure that you don’t move the plant more often than you need to since the stems can break off.
FAQ About Ghost Plant Succulent
Do ghost plants need sun?
Yes. Ghost plants do well when exposed to full sun, but they also adapt well to partial shade.
How often do I need to water a ghost plant?
During the summer and spring months, you can water your plants once a week and every two to three weeks during the winter and autumn months.
Can you grow a ghost plant indoors?
Yes. Ghost plant succulents make excellent indoor plants as long as you ensure that the plant is exposed to light and sun.
Are ghost plants poisonous?
No. Ghost plants are not poisonous to animals or humans.
When should I re-pot my ghost plant?
You can re-pot your plant if the soil isn’t draining well. When doing so, remove the plant carefully, making sure that you don’t damage the roots, leaves, or stem.
Ghost plant succulents are the easiest to grow and care for mainly because they don’t need to be watered as often and can survive frost and even broken stems. The only thing you need to make sure of is that you provide your plant with the ultimate conditions, such a full or partial sun, well-draining soil mix, and enough water to grow and even bloom.
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