Gasteria are so named because of the resemblance of the pouch-like flowers to a stomach.
The blooms dangle from a curving spray usually in shades of pale pink to peach coloured.
The foliage is formed in a fan shape of thick leaves, each one emerging on opposing sides of the center of the fan.
Eventually, clumps of these fans will form.
The roots of Gasteria are fleshy and thick, and most of these interesting plants are extremely drought tolerant.
In fact, they dislike winter watering with intensity, so completely withholding moisture during the cooler months is essential.
They only require repotting every two to four years, preferring to be quite root bound .
They combine well in a collection of other succulent house plants in a group or mixed planter as long as you can cater to their special winter care.
Propagation is by removing pups, which form at the base of an older plant. Easy to remove, they usually even have some of their own roots, so they establish quickly.
They will bloom only in old age and when root bound, so don’t expect early flowering in this genus. Luckily, their fleshy and leathery leaves are a good foil for other plants, so their rare bloom cycle is an unexpected bonus when it does finally occur.
The brightest light available, ample moisture in the summer and periodic repotting will give these slow growing plants their best chance at survival.