Gasteria glomerata, commonly known as ox-tongue plant, Kouga Gasteria, ox tongue succulent, or ox tongue plant, is a species of succulent plant native to the mountains of South Africa, specifically in the Kouga Mountains east of the region of Cape Town.
It was named by Harold Wessels after the town of Kouga where he found this species growing in the wild. It was originally classified as Gasteria kougaensis, but has since been reclassified as its own species, Gasteria glomerata.
The kouga gasteria is one of the more common gasterias to find in the pet trade and has always been one of my favorites. Its relatively small stature and beautiful markings make it an interesting addition to any collection, but it also makes it very easy to take care of, making it perfect for beginners or those that aren’t as experienced with succulents.
Origin and distribution
The kouga gasteria is a succulent native to South Africa. It gets its name from its long, tongue-like leaves that resemble those of an ox. The plant is found in the dry, rocky areas of the Kouga mountains. It is also known as the oxtongue plant or ox tongue plant. The slender, greenish-white flowers are followed by red berries which turn black when ripe.
These berries are poisonous and may cause severe illness if eaten without cooking first.
The kouga gasteria is grown for ornamental purposes only and not cultivated commercially because it has a short lifespan due to limited food storage capacity.
However, it has been included in CITES Appendix II which means trade must be controlled in order to prevent it from becoming endangered with extinction through overcollection or habitat destruction. The genus Gasteria includes some 150 species of evergreen, succulent plants.
Most species originate from Southern Africa and Madagascar but they have been introduced to many other countries outside their natural range such as Israel, France, Brazil, and the United States.
Gasteria glomerata propagation
Gasteria glomerata is an ox-tongue succulent that is native to South Africa. The plant gets its name from the shape of its leaves, which resemble an ox tongue. The kouga gasteria is a relatively easy plant to propagate.
To propagate, simply remove a leaf from the plant and allow it to callous over for a few days. Once the leaf has been calloused, you can plant it in well-draining soil. Be sure to provide plenty of sunlight, but not too much heat or the leaves will burn.
The ox tongue succulent is tolerant of many different types of soils, as long as they are well-draining. It does best in moderate shade and does not need much water. The ox tongue plant can be propagated by taking off one of the larger leaves and waiting for it to form a hard shell before planting it into moist, porous soil.
The oxtongue plant does best with some sun, but should not receive too much heat. If provided with enough light and warmth, the oxtongue’s thick green leaves will turn yellowish-green and grow very large up to four inches wide.
Gasteria glomerata care information
Gasteria glomerata is a hardy, evergreen succulent that originates from South Africa. It’s a low-growing plant that forms rosettes of fleshy, triangular leaves. The leaves are variegated with white spots and streaks, and they have a bumpy texture. The Kouga gasteria is tolerant of neglect and can survive in poor-quality soil, making it an ideal plant for beginner gardeners.
Gasteria glomerata requires bright light to thrive but can tolerate some direct sun. If you live in a particularly hot climate, however, you’ll want to provide some afternoon shade.
The variegated leaves of this plant are its most striking feature, so be sure to find a spot where the plant will receive enough light to show off its colors. You might also consider placing it near a window that gets lots of sunlight or adding a grow light to your indoor space.
The kouga gasteria does best in gritty, well-drained soil. A potting mix made up of two parts sand to one part loam or clay will provide the perfect drainage this plant needs. You can also add a bit of organic matter to the mix for added nutrients and water retention.
Be sure to use an appropriate-sized container and monitor the moisture level closely as these plants do not like sitting in wet soil for extended periods of time.
The kouga gasteria is a tough, low-maintenance plant that can thrive on neglect. However, it will appreciate a little water during the hotter months of the year. The best way to water this plant is to allow the soil to dry out completely before giving it a good soaking. Make sure not to overwater, as overwatering will cause root rot and eventually kill your oxtongue plant.
Gasteria glomerata is a beautiful, easy-to-grow succulent that makes a great addition to any indoor or outdoor space. When it comes to fertilizer, this plant is not picky and will do well with any general, all-purpose fertilizer. However, for best results, it’s important to fertilize during the growing season (spring and summer) at least once a month.
When applying fertilizer, be sure to follow the directions on the package carefully as too much can harm the plant. Remember to water your Gasteria Glomerata every two weeks in the winter months.
Gasteria glomerata grows best in temperatures between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit and can tolerate brief periods of temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area with cool winters, it’s best to grow Gasteria glomerata in a pot so you can bring it indoors when the temperature starts to drop.
Gasteria glomerata thrives in high humidity. In its natural habitat, it receives frequent misting from rain. If you live in a dry climate, you can recreate this environment by setting your plant on a pebble tray or misting it regularly. Make sure the pot has drainage holes to prevent the roots from sitting in water.
The ideal humidity range for Gasteria glomerata is 40-70%. You may need to adjust this range depending on how humid your house is. Don’t set up the pot near sources of direct heat like heating vents or fireplaces. Direct sun exposure will scorch leaves and should be avoided at all costs.
To keep your Gasteria glomerata looking its best, you’ll need to prune it regularly. Start by removing any dead or dying leaves, then trim back any long or leggy stems. You can also remove any offsets (small plantlets that form at the base of the main plant) if you wish.
When pruning, be sure to use sharp, clean shears to avoid damaging the plant. If the stem is large, make a shallow cut across it. If small, just snip it off with clean scissors. Remember to always leave enough foliage on the plant so it doesn’t dry out.
When to repot
Repotting is typically only necessary every 2-3 years, and can be done in early spring before new growth begins. Choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the current one, as Gasteria prefers to be slightly pot-bound. Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix, as these plants are susceptible to root rot. Water thoroughly after repotting, and allow the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings.
Gasteria glomerata goes dormant in winter, so give it a rest during this time. Cut back on watering and stop fertilizing altogether. The plant will start to look a bit ragged as it goes into dormancy, but don’t worry – it will bounce back in spring. Keep the pot outside (on your porch or deck) for a few weeks before bringing it inside to acclimate over the course of one week.
When you bring it inside, water it sparingly and only fertilize it every other month until spring. Remember that these plants like more light than they usually get when they’re indoors, so if possible move them near a window with bright sunlight. If not, consider getting an artificial light source such as fluorescent lights or an LED grow light.
Check the plant’s leaves periodically for scorch marks and adjust accordingly. Be sure to always leave at least two inches between each pot to allow airflow between them, which will help keep them healthy.
Gasteria glomerata flower & fragrance
The flowers of Gasteria glomerata are small and tubular, typically white or pale pink in color. They grow in clusters at the end of the plant’s long, narrow leaves. There is no fragrance to speak of.
Gasteria glomerata is a fast-growing succulent that can reach up to 12 inches in height. It has long, strap-like leaves that are typically green or gray-green in color with an even darker banding pattern around the center of the leaf blade.
Gasteria glomerata is not toxic to humans or animals. However, the sap can cause skin irritation in some people. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to wear gloves when handling this plant.
USDA hardiness zones
Gasteria glomerata thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 9-11. It can also be grown outdoors year-round in zone 8. In cooler areas, it should be grown as a houseplant or brought indoors before the first frost of the season.
Pests and diseases
Gasteria glomerata is susceptible to mealybugs, scale, and aphids. To prevent infestation, inspect your plant regularly and remove any pests you find. These pests can weaken your plant and make it more susceptible to disease.
If your plant does contract a disease, the best course of action is to remove any affected leaves and hope that the plant can recover. It is also possible to use a fungicide spray or neem oil on the surface of the soil, but care should be taken not to get these substances on the leaves.
If your plant has been attacked by pests such as caterpillars or spider mites, it may be best to discard it rather than trying to save it from destruction.