x Gasteraloe ‘White Wings’
Gasteria x Aloe
x Gasteraloe Guillaumin is the accepted name for this intergeneric hybrid. It was named and described by André Louis Joseph Edmond Armand Guillaumin in Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris) in 1931.
I bought my x Gasteraloe ‘White Wings’ in 2016 at the same time I bought ‘Flow’. Neither plant had tags and I don’t even remember where I bought them. I sent photos to a Facebook group and they were promptly identified. I rarely have issues with any of the Aloe, their hybrids, or cousins but this one didn’t work out for some reason.
The x Gasteraloe ‘White Wings’ looked a little strange to me. The way the leaves were curled inward made it look as if something was wrong with it, but that is just a characteristic of this variety.
Origin: Hybrid between Gasteria and Aloe
Zones: USDA Zones 9a-12
*Light: Light to part shade. I grow my Aloe in light to part shade because I don’t like them burning in too much sun.
**Soil: Very well-draining soil. Good quality potting soil amended with pumice (50/50) or additional perlite and chicken grit (2-1-1).
***Water: Average water during the warmer months and not much in the winter.
Aloe and their cousins are some of my favorite plants. They are very easy to keep as companions as long as you follow a few basic rules. Even so, there have been a few I have had ups and downs with but eventually, we get it figured out, or at least we agree to disagree. Normally, it has something to do with water. You can’t lump all succulents in the same category when it comes to care because many are very unique in their preferences…
Aloe and their cousins are considered a summer dormant/winter growing species but for me, they seem to grow pretty much year-round. I read where Aloe hybrids don’t go dormant and whether they are summer or winter dormant depends on where the species are native. Personally, I think most Aloe will grow year-round if given the opportunity but I am no expert. For me, I think they do most of their growing while outside from May through mid-October, but most show no sign of being dormant while inside for the winter. Their growth does slow down while inside over the winter and I pretty much withhold their watering to a little once a month if necessary.
*LIGHT: Most information online says Aloe “prefer” full sun but I keep mine on a west-facing front porch during the summer. There is a roof and two maple trees in the front yard that provide shade part of the day, but they still receive a few hours of direct sun. I guess you would call this “light shade”. The reason I keep them on the front porch instead of the back deck where the cactus are is because I don’t like their leaves to burn. Some species need bright light so their leaves won’t stretch, but not so much that their leaves burn. Of course, it all depends on your climate and you will just have to experiment. If you are keeping your Aloe inside for the winter and want them in the sun during the summer, you will have to allow them to get accustomed to brighter light gradually… From mid-October through April, sometimes into May, most of the succulents are sitting on shelves in a cool bedroom in front of a south-facing window.
**SOIL: As with any cactus and succulent, they need fast-draining soil. Some Aloe grow a massive root system and aren’t that particular about their potting soil. There are MANY recipes online for cactus and succulent potting soil and some can get pretty elaborate. Since 2018, I have been using 50% Miracle Grow Potting soil and 50% pumice that I ordered from General Pumice online. For many years I used 2 parts Miracle Grow or Schultz Potting Soil with 1 part additional perlite and 1 part chicken grit. If you are going to use sand in your mix, use a very coarse builders sand as the fine stuff fills in the air space between coarser ingredients. The idea is to have a lightweight potting mix that drains quickly and will dry out within a few days. As far as re-potting goes… If your plants are outgrowing their pots, you can re-pot any time. I usually re-pot my cactus in the fall and winter because peat-based mixes get hard when you stop watering. That way, their potting soil is nice and airy over the winter. Depending on their root system, increasing the diameter of the pot by 1/2-1” is enough once you remove the old soil from their roots. But, that depends on your plant… Not adding too much depth is more important because you don’t want damp soil below their roots which can lead to rotting…
***WATER: I water my succulents on a regular basis during the summer but there are many times I get busy and they get neglected. Being on the front porch with a roof, they don’t get that much rain unless it blows on them. I usually give them a good soaking a few days before an “F” is in the forecast when I have to bring them inside for the winter. From mid-October through April I water my cactus and succulents very sparingly if at all. Normally, I “may” give the Aloe a little water once a month, but for most of them I don’t give water until December or January. Aloe store water in their leaves, so they can go for a long time without additional moisture. Better to be safe than sorry over the winter months… You can tell by their leaves if they need water. If they start to curl inwards along their margins then they are needing a little water.
When you bring your new plants home from the store, you need to check their roots and the soil to see if they are wet. If so, you may want to re-pot it right away. It is advisable to re-pot them in a better potting soil more suitable for cactus and succulents. Always check for critters that may come home with the plants and keep an eye out during the winter months…
Unfortunately, I have only one photo since this plant didn’t make it through the 2016-2017 winter. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. There isn’t much online about this plant but maybe the links below will help a little.