Plant Care,  Propagation,  Succulents and Cacti


Welcome to our guide to the Gasteria, covering care and propagation, including water, soil, humidity and temperature needs…

Gasteria Care Summary

Light needs:Bright indirect sunlight, ca tolerate some direct.
Watering needs:Check weekly but only water if completely dry.
Fertilizer: Feed once every spring with a cacti fertilizer.
Soil:A cactus mix.
Temperature:65-85°F (18-29°C).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Other names:Ox Tongue, Cow’s tongue, Lawyer’s tongue
Common issues:Overwatering. Mealybugs and aphids.


Gasteria is a genus of succulent plants native to South Africa. These are popular houseplants and are known for their easy care. The name is derived from the Greek word for stomach, gaster, referring to the shape of the flower. They are slow-growing succulents and have dark-green tongue-shaped thick, rough leaves.

See also: Trachyandra Tortilis, Dracaena Compacta (Dracaena Janet Craig), Tigers Jaw Succulent, Sansevieria Fernwood.

Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.

A note about affiliate links: when you buy a plant, pots, soil, or other goods through links on this article we sometimes earn a commission. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it really helps us out if you do use them. Thanks a lot! An example of this is if you buy a plant on Etsy using this link. Read our privacy policy for more information. Thanks again.

Light Needs

They love sitting under the bright, indirect sunlight. It can tolerate some direct sun, but too much exposure can lead to sunburn of leaves. If the leaves start to turn white or yellow, it means the plant is getting too much sun.

How Often to Water Gasteria

Gasteria is a drought-tolerant plant and can go for long periods without water. Water the plant when the soil is dry to the touch, about once a week or every two weeks. Be sure to drainage as it does not like sitting in soggy soil.


Gasteria is a light feeder and does not need much fertilizer. Fertilize your plant once every spring with Commercially available cacti fertilizer. Do follow the instructions written on the label for the right amount of fertilizer.


Gasteria grows best in sandy, well-drained soil. You can also grow it in a cactus mix with some extra perlite or pumice added to improve drainage.

When To Repot Gasteria

Gasterias are slow growers and do not need to be repotted often. You can repot your plant every 2-3 years or when you see the plant has outgrown its pot. Take the plant out and repot it into a bit larger pot having cacti potting mix.


Being a succulent, it does not need a high humid environment. The average humidity level of the room is good for this plant.


Gasteria can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but prefers to be in cooler environments. Aim for the temperature between 65-85°F (18-29°C).

How To Propagate Gasteria

Gasteria is best propagated by the offsets/baby plants; it produces around the base. These can be removed and propagated in their own pot. Each offset grows into an individual plant, thus adding more plants to your collection. Propagate your plant in the spring as it is the time of active growth for the plant.

See also: Succulent Propagation.

Why Is My Gasteria Turning Brown?

If they are crispy and brown the plant is underwatered, but if it is soft and brown they are over watered. Underawtering is easy to remedy as you can jsut water the plant, but if it is badly over watered you should take hte plant out of it’s soil and let the roots dry out for a couple of days then plant it back into dry soil. Only water it when the soil is dry after that.

Do Gasteria Like Full Sun?

Try to avoid full on midday sun, especially in the summer.

Gasteria USDA Zone

Zones 9-11.

Other Names

Ox Tongue, Cow’s tongue, Lawyer’s tongue

For more on succulents and cacti, see our succulents category with all our care guides.

FAQs and Common Problems

Gasteria is a strong plant and resistant to most pests and diseases. However, it can be susceptible to mealybugs and aphids. Also, too much or too little water can lead to root rot which can kill the plant. Therefore, it is important to maintain a proper watering schedule.

Why are there black spots on my Gasteria plant?

The black spots are most likely due to some fungal infection caused by overwatering or too much humidity around the plant.

Is Gasteria toxic to Cats and Dogs?

No, it is not toxic to cats and dogs.

Does Gasteria produce flowers?

Yes, Gasteria produces bell-shaped flowers that are borne on a stalk. The flowers’ colour varies from species to species.

Where To Buy

Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.

Other Articles You Might Like

There you have it, here ends our guide to this beautiful plant. You might also like our other articles:

Trachyandra Tortilis, Dracaena Compacta (Dracaena Janet Craig), Tigers Jaw Succulent, Sansevieria Fernwood.

Please follow us on Instagram and Pinterest for regular plant updates and occasional plant giveaways.

Comments Off on Gasteria