Called the ghost plant – Graptopetalum paraguayense [grap-toh-PET-al-um par-uh-gway-EN-see] is a southern California style succulent plant cacti related to Echeveria and belonging to the family Crassulaceae.
This perennial plant’s native to Arizona and Mexico (Tamaulipas).
Common names include:
- Ghost Flower Plant
- Mother of Pearl Plant
- Ghost Plant
- Sedum weinbergii
- Cotyledon paraguayensis
Its common names come from the fact the leaves are covered with a dusty coating (pruinose) which gives them a ghostly appearance.
Graptopetalum Ghost Plant Care
Size & Growth
Ghost Plant’s trailing stems can grow as long as 3′ feet with 4″ inch wide rosettes.
They experience growth spurts during cooler weather in spring and autumn.
It’s semi-dormant during the winter months and stable during the warmer, drier summer months.
The plant’s thick, fleshy leaves display variations in color ranging from green to silvery gray to slightly pink.
The pinkish tinge is more apparent when the plant’s young.
Colors may also vary depending upon the amount of sunlight your Ghost Plant receives.
When kept in full sun, the leaves look slightly translucent, pearlescent and yellowish pink in color.
When kept in partial shade, blue-gray tones become apparent.
When held in extremely hot settings, the leaves tend to become grayish with pink edgings.
Ghost plants grow by emerging from the center of the leaf rosette.
This can cause the plant to look untidy, keep this under control by pinching back unwanted portions of the plant.
Flowering & Fragrance
This plant grows small, star-shaped white flowers.
If you see a similar plant growing yellow flowers it’s a Graptosedum ‘Ghosty’ or Graptosedum California Sunset.
In the springtime and occasionally during the summer the stems will appear yellow and pink.
Light & Temperature
Ghost Plants grow well in both full sun or light shade.
It has a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA Zone) hardiness 7B and above.
Watering & Feeding
Water Graptopetalum thoroughly when the soil is completely dry.
It’s Ok to wait until the fleshy leaves begin to shrivel a bit.
Ghost plants are drought tolerant.
Only water during the months from early spring until early fall.
Do not water during the winter.
If you wish to fertilize Graptopetalum, do so early in the springtime.
Use a water-soluble balanced fertilizer diluted to one-quarter of the strength recommended on the packaging.
Soil & Transplanting
Ghost Flower Plants require a sharply draining soil consisting of equal parts sand, topsoil and peat with a handful of compost thrown in.
It’s easy to grow new plants by simply breaking off the brittle stems and poking them into a pot of dry soil mixture.
Go ahead and put the cuttings into the pot you intend to use.
These plants aren’t easy to repot and should be left undisturbed once established.
Like many succulents, Ghost Flower Plants prefer crowded environments.
Grooming & Maintenance
Pinch back stragglers from the center of rosettes.
Keep fallen leaves and rosettes picked up from around the base of the plant unless you want them to take root and grow.
Related Reading: Lavender Pebbles (Graptopetalum Amethystinum)
How To Propagate Graptopetalum Paraguayense Plants
Ghost Plants propagate easily from many methods.
It reproduces freely with new rosettes when grown from seeds, offsets, leaf cuttings or trimmed rosettes.
In its natural setting, the Ghost Flower Plant continuously spreads when dropped leaves or broken off rosettes send roots into the ground and grow into new plants.
The plant offsets readily and will grow a low spreading colony.
Graptopetalum Mother Of Pearl Plant Pest or Diseases
Ghost Flower Plants are subject to fungal problems caused by overwatering.
Is Sedum Weinbergii Plants Considered Toxic or Poisonous?
Ghost Plants are not toxic to people or pets.
Are Ghost Flower Plants considered invasive?
Ghost Plants grow energetically in its natural setting and don’t tend to become invasive outside of these settings.
Suggested Uses for Graptopetalum Succulent Plants
Because of its attractive, trailing stems, Graptopetalum paraguayense makes an excellent outdoor addition.
Use them in succulent hanging baskets, in the rock garden, planters outdoors, roomy indoor settings with light traffic, or as a groundcover.
If growing with other flowers it pairs well with the Kalanchoe luciae ‘Paddle Plant’.
Graptopetalum isn’t suitable for house plant settings because of its size and relative fragility.
It would be easy for passersby to knock stems and leaves off.