Gasteria carinata var. verrucosa, also known as the Ox Tongue Plant, is a popular variety of Gasteria found in cultivation. It is characterized by its large, broad leaves covered in short, white bumps or warts. The leaves grow in rosettes directly from the base and can reach up to 18 inches in length. This plant is native to the hilly terrain of South Africa (Western Cape Province). In its native range, it is a winter rainfall plant and blooms from August to October with long-lasting pink or orange flowers.
The Gasteria carinata var. verrucosa is well suited to be used as an indoor or outdoor houseplant because they thrive with little water and can tolerate some shade. These succulents are also known to be pet-friendly, so if you have cats or dogs that like to nibble on your plants, this would be a good option for you!
- Gasteria carinata Main Characteristics
- Ox Tongue Plant Care
- Propagating Ox Tongue Plant
- Potting and Repotting Ox Tongue Plant
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- Ox Tongue Plant: Tips for Keeping Your Gasteria Healthy (Video)
- Gasteria carinata var. verrucosa Close Up Video
Gasteria carinata Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Ox Tongue, Warty Aloe|
|Botanical Name||Gasteria carinata var. verrucosa|
|Synonyms||Gasteria verrucosa, Aloe carnisa, Aloe verrucosa|
|Native Range||South Africa|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||9 to 11|
|Mature Size||Height: 12 inches, Spread: 12 inches|
|Bloom Time||Spring, Summer|
|Propagation methods||by offsets, by cuttings|
|Sun||Part shade to full sun|
Ox Tongue Plant Care
Gasteria carinata var. verrucosa is a relatively easy succulent to grow and makes an excellent addition to any succulent collection. It can thrive in a wide range of growing conditions and can be grown indoors or outdoors in zones 9b through 11. It is perfect as an indoor plant since it can easily grow in the shade. It is also happy to share its space with other plants, making it an ideal pair with a nutrient or sun-hungry plant.
Light and Location
In its native range, Gasteria carinata var. verrucosa likes to grow in shaded locations that provide plenty of protection from the sun. And it’s no different in cultivation. It prefers being in the shade, but it can tolerate mild sunlight for part of the day as well. So if you are growing this succulent indoors, place it where it looks the best and worry about the lighting afterward.
Gasteria carinata var. verrucosa is a drought-tolerant plant that can go long periods without water. When you do water, thoroughly soak the soil and then let it dry out completely before watering again. During the winter months, reduce watering even further, only giving it enough to keep the leaves from wrinkling.
This succulent can handle a wide range of temperatures, from hot summers to cold winters. It is winter hardy down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.7 degrees Celsius). But don’t let it stay that cold for extended periods.
Ox Tongue is not particular about humidity and will do just fine in average household humidity levels. However, if the atmosphere is humid, reduce watering to offset the increase in moisture.
A light fertilizer application during the growing season will help promote growth and flowering. Use a well-balanced succulent fertilizer diluted to half strength. Apply every other month from spring to summer.
Propagating Ox Tongue Plant
Gasteria carinata var. verrucosa is easily propagated from offsets or cuttings.
- Pick out a healthy leaf at least 3 to 4 inches in length.
- Make a clean cut along the width of the leaf, near the base.
- Allow the cutting to callus over for a few weeks. This is essential to prevent root rot and fungal diseases.
- After the wound has healed, lay the leaf on its side and bury the cut end in the potting medium (cactus mix).
- The leaf will begin to root within the month, and a new plant will begin to emerge from near the base.
- Once the roots are established in the container, you can move the plant to a new pot.
- Simply cut them from the main plant using a sharp knife as close to the base as possible.
- Like cuttings, the offsets also need time to heal over the wound.
- Once the wound has callused, plant the offset in a fresh pot of well-draining succulent soil.
- New growth will begin to show in a few weeks if everything else goes according to plan.
- Start the seeds in a light, sandy potting mix.
- Place the seeds on top of the soil and lightly press them in. Cover them with only a light layer.
- Keep the soil slightly moist, and place the pot in an area with bright, indirect sunlight.
- The seed will germinate within 2 to 4 weeks.
- Seeds usually need to be kept in the starter container for up to a year before they’re ready for a fresh pot.
Potting and Repotting Ox Tongue Plant
Ox Tongue is not a fast-growing plant and will do just fine staying in the same pot for several years. Choose a pot that is not too large since the plant likes to be snug. A 4-inch pot is a good size for most specimens. Pick a shallow pot as that’s what the roots like. Pick a fast-draining porous mix to serve as the potting medium. Don’t fill the pot to the brim with it; leave some space for the leaves to grow into.
When it does outgrow its pot, repot into a pot that is only one size larger in the springtime. And don’t forget the drainage holes. Take note that they can thrive in the same pot for over a decade if given the right conditions.
Gasteria carinata var. verrucosa is considered non-toxic to humans and animals.
This succulent is relatively resistant to pests and diseases. But like all plants, it can fall prey to mealybugs, scale, and aphids. If you notice these pests on your plant, act quickly to get rid of them before they have a chance to do too much damage.
One of the most common problems with Ox Tongue Plant is root rot. This can occur if the plant is kept in soggy soil for too long. The best way to avoid this is to make sure the pot has drainage holes and that you’re not watering too often. If you do notice that the roots have started to rot, you can try to save the plant by carefully removing it from the pot and trimming away any affected roots. Then replant in fresh, well-draining soil.
Ox Tongue Plant: Tips for Keeping Your Gasteria Healthy (Video)
How big do Gasterias grow?
Most Gasterias will stay relatively small, only getting to be about a foot tall. But some varieties can get up to 3 feet tall. Gasteria carinata var. verrucosa only reaches the ultimate height of about 12 inches.
Is Gasteraloe poisonous to cats?
No, Gasteraloe is not poisonous to cats. In fact, it’s not toxic to humans or animals at all. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re edible.