Gasteria Little Warty | Ugly Name, Not so Ugly Succulent!
When you first hear the name Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ succulent plant, initial impressions are a little concerning.
Let’s be honest – the name has ‘gas‘ and ‘warty‘ in it!
When we first heard the name, our wild imaginations conjured up a heinous plant that belongs in Professor Sprout’s greenhouse in Harry Potter (yes we are big fans).
Fortunately, the old saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ rings true here. The Gasteria Little Warty succulent is actually an adorable little succulent which resembles something similar to succulent grass.
Suffice to say, we are happy we didn’t allow our first impressions taint our opinion of these adorable succulents. And we are happy to be featuring these beautiful plants at the Garden Bench Top.
In this care guide, you can expect to learn:
- the origins of where the Little Warty plants grow,
- detailed care guide for successfully growing these plants,
- gasteria little warty propagation, and
- frequently asked questions about these curious little succulents.
So if you are ready to learn a thing or two, grab a coffee and let’s get into it.
Gasteria Little Warty – Don’t judge a book by its cover!
Like we mentioned earlier, the name for ‘Little Warty’ can be a bit off-putting. But we do recommend trying to get past this small drawback, because there is so much to like about these interesting succulents.
One of the main aspects we do like about Gasteria Little Warty is the ease of care. They are so easy, in fact, that we recommend these to novices and beginners as their first plants to cut their teeth on.
Being a member of the cacti family, they can survive without water for periods of time – great for those who tend to miss a watering every once in a while.
They are slow growing, so repotting and root bound issues are not a problem in the initial years. And finally, for owners who maintain their husbandry duties, they reward them with beautiful flowers and pups (baby plants) that are easily propagated.
If that sounds like a good deal (and you can get over the name), let’s learn a bit more about these curious plants.
If you are new to our corner of the world, you may have noticed that we generally refer to plants by their botanical names – in this case the Gasteria Little Warty. If you want to completely geek out, the Gasteria ‘Little Warty scientific name is Gasteria cv. ‘Little Warty’.
We like to use botanical names to avoid any confusion – this is especially the case when you have so many variations of the same plant within the same family.
More common names this plant can go by include a shorted version ‘Little Warty’ or ‘Ox Tongue Little Warty’.
SIDE NOTE – Okay – so we understand that the leaves can resemble the shape of a tongue, but we don’t see how this little addendum to the name helps with the naming issues!
Appearance of ‘Little Warty’ Gasteria
As we just discovered, the leaves of this wonderful little cactus are one of the reasons why they are so unique and popular.
Gasteria Little Warty leaves are thick and wide. The coloration are a deep green base with raised speckled pastel green and yellow markings running along the length of the leaves.
What makes them stand out from the crowd, is the ends of the leaves are often rounded, and not sharp like other cacti. It is this character trait that has lead to the oh so affectionate common name ‘ox tongue little warty‘. Mind you, we have some varieties that have sharp leaves too, so the appearance can vary between each plant.
The growing pattern of the leaves grows in a rosette pattern. However, if the plant is short on space, we have seen them grow in a horizontal fashion, with leaves growing in a line alternating from one side to the other.
Origin of the Gasteria ‘Little Warty’
Gasteria ‘Little Warty belongs to the Asphodelaceae family, and was actually cultivated by a hobbyist when they crossed two separate species together. The parental plants being Gasteria ‘Old Man Silver’ and Gasteria Batesiana.
Since Little Warty is a cultivated hybrid, we will have to look towards it’s parent’s origins to understand the types of conditions that it will thrive in.
The Gasteria Batesiana grows on the African Continent, mainly in the coastal regions of South Africa. These areas, where the Batesiana can be found, are generally quite warm and dry.
The Gasteria Little Warty, has been known to grow in varying climates, however plant owners in warmer climates tend to see more success, which agrees with where it’s parents originate from.
Gasteria Little Warty Care Guide
Now that we know a bit about the background of our Little Warty, let’s look at how this translates into caring for this unique succulent.
Gasteria Little Warty Care Difficulty
We want to begin this care guide with some good news. The Gasteria Little Warty is one of the easiest succulents to care for. We know, we know…it’s a big call. But sincerely, if you follow the guidelines set out in this Gasteria Little Warty Care Guide, you will have a truly rewarding journey with your succulent.
‘Little Warty’ is one of the easiest succulents to care for individuals becoming new plant owners
When it comes to light, the Gasteria Little Warty is like it’s other cacti cousins and prefer to have full direct sunlight. This is in line with its lineage’s origin, coming from South Africa.
If you plan on owning one a Little Warty, we do recommend keeping it outdoors in a position that receives full sunlight throughout the day.
It is possible to maintain a Little Warty indoors, however you will be playing around with it’s positioning as the sun moves around the house during the seasons.
An alternative option for keeping your plant indoors is to purchase a Grow Light that has the necessary spectrum of light for growing indoor plants.
Temperature & Humidity
One thing to be aware of care requirements for the Gasteria Little Warty, is that it is not frost hardy.
Gasteria Little Warty plants do not tolerate frost and should be brought indoors during cold months.
They thrive in warmer conditions and climates. That being said, they can survive in cooler climates. However, their growth will be slower and their colors less vibrant.
We like to recommend keeping them in an environment that does not drop below 32° Fahrenheit (0° Celcius), where frost could become an issue.
Humidity is not a real concern for the Little Warty Gasteria. As long as any moisture can drain away and not create soggy soil around the roots, your little succulent will be happy as Larry. For those that insist on a hygrometer number reading, we recommend maintaining them at humidity levels between 20-60% humidity levels.
If you are familiar with cacti care and water requirements, your Gasteria Little Warty will love you. You can treat them as you would any other succulent for watering purposes.
We like to allow the soil to completely dry out before giving it a hardy watering. We usually employ the soil finger test method for testing the soils’ moisture levels.
Make sure your soil drains properly when you water your Little Warty. We will continue to top up the water until the water comes freely out of the drain holes of the container or pot.
During the hotter months, we recommend checking your soil every week.
Growing Medium and Supplements
As with most succulents, the Gasteria Little Warty prefers a porous sandy soil, that has exceptional drainage. This is paramount for any succulent you own.
You can even include a bit of organic material dispersed throughout the potting mix, such as coco coir. We absolutely love this stuff, because it has water retention properties, while also allowing any excess water to drain out.
For fertilizer or supplements, the Little Warty isn’t fussy. An all-purpose fertilizer diluted by half in your watering can once a month would keep this little plant happy. If you can source a low-nitrogen fertilizer, all the better.
The only maintenance the Gasteria Little Warty will require is when it outgrows its container or pot. You will notice the plants appear cramped, and they will begin to grow on top of each other.
To repot your Little Warty Succulent:
- If your plant is in a plastic pot or container, gently push on the sides to loosen the root ball from the container. If you have a solid or ceramic pot, then you can skip this step.
- Spread your hand out across the top of the container’s surface (where the top soil is), ensuring you have enough of your hand covering the plant to support it when it comes out.
- With your hand still in position across the top of the pot, turn the entire pot upside down, supporting it with the other hand. You may spill some loose soil here, but the majority should still be held intact by the roots.
- Gently pull the pot/container off the root ball.
- At this point, you can decide if you want to split the plant or keep the plants as one. Transplant your plant(s) into new, larger pots and pat down with soil.
Check out this care guide from RayChanel for her care tips on looking after Gasteria Little Warty plants.
How to Propagate Gasteria Little Warty Succulents
If you have been keeping good care of your Little Warty, it will reward you with little pups (aka baby versions of itself).
We like to think it is our plants way of saying ‘THANK YOU‘.
This is truly exciting, because now you can propagate your Gasteria Little Warty and have several clusters of these adorable succulents.
To propagate simply follow these steps:
- Detach the baby plant. Carefully detach a small pup or offset from the mother plant and place on a tissue on a bench that is out of the way from regular use or traffic. The last thing you want to do is for someone to brush past a knock it onto the floor. Leave the pup to seal any exposed wound for 24-48 hours.
- Prepare small pot/container. In the meantime, you can prepare a small container filled with a loamy soil. This is soil that retains moisture, but allows any excess to drain away (refer to growing medium section above).
- Transplant the pup into a small container. Before you jump the gun and shove your pup into the preprepared soil, we recommend first giving it a good watering. This way, you can simply place the pup in, without worrying about it moving about or dirt covering it when you water the container.
- Position the Pot. The very last thing is placing the pot near the mother plant. Obviously you have got the positioning right for the mother plant to be shooting off pups, so abide by the rule ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’.
Simple as that! Before you know it, you will have several thriving pots of Little Warty succulents!
Common Problems with Little Warty
Is 2 to 3 hours of morning sun enough for a Gasteria Little Warty plant?
We would normally include a question like this in the FAQ section below, but we receive this so often we thought we would dedicate a section to it.
For proper Gasteria Little Warty Care we recommend giving them as much direct sunlight as possible. If this means you can only afford 2 – 3 hours of morning sun, then that is better than none at all in our opinion. Ideally, you would have them in a position that receives a bit more sun, but beggars cannot be choosers.
If your Little Warty is looking a bit worse for wear, then you can try placing them under a plant growing light. This will substitute for the lack of sunlight they should be receiving.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section we attempt to answer all your ‘other’ questions that may not be addressed in the care guide.
If you don’t find an answer to your question, please send us a message via our CONTACT page. We will endeavor to respond with a timely answer, and include it in our growing FAQ section below.
Are Gasteria Little Warty Rare?
Unfortunately for those who have taken a liking to the Gasteria Little Warty, these aren’t the most common succulents going around. If you do find one in your local nursery, we’d recommend snapping it up quick smart. You might even be in with good little business if you can successfully propagate them.
Is Little Warty a Succulent?
If you have made it this far into the care guide, we hope you should know the answer to this question. Yes – Gasteria Little Warty plants are succulents. They have all the main characteristics that other succulents display, like thick meaty leaves, a preference for dry soil, and a small clumping growth pattern.
How big does Gasteria Little Warty Get?
Even though the Gasteria Little Warty generally grows in small clumps, they can still reach a decent size when given the opportunity. We have seen Little Warty plants reach heights of around 40 cm high, and 15 cm wide.