What is this succulent? How to take care and grow it in Toronto?


Dear Master Gardener,

May I know what is this lovely succulent? Is it graptopetalum paraguayense, echeveria santatwe or something else? What are its natural characteristics? I am not sure if the yellow leaf is part of its charm or is actually a fading leaf. How to grow it properly in Toronto?

Thanks for your advice and guidance.


Hello – I think you have correctly identified this succulent as Graptopetalum paraguayense commonly called Ghost plant or Mother-of-pearl plant which is native to Mexico. This lovely succulent grows 4 in. (10cm) wide rosettes of pointed, greyish white leaves which you can clearly see in your photo. The foliage becomes pinkish-yellow in warmer, drier conditions (which may account for the yellow leaf you can see) and blue-gray in shadier locations.  Over watering can lead to leaf drop which may also account for the yellowing leaf.  In the spring, Ghost plant will produce dainty sprays of star-shaped white flowers.

What you can’t tell from the plant in your photo is that the rosette grows at the tip of an ever lengthening stem that will spill out of the pot in time.  I’m including a link below to an article from the University of Texas which has a great photo of a vigorous Ghost plant cascading out of a container.  Of course, in Florida the plant is grown year round outdoors but you should be able to create a similar if less vigorous effect as a house plant.  Another article from one of my fellow Master Gardeners in Texas (link below) describes how you can keep rosettes growing if you don’t care for this cascading effect.  Cut the rosette from the stem.  Allow the rosette to air dry for a few days in order for the cut to form a callous. Then pot the rosette in a separate pot.

Finally, I’m including a link to one of our gardening guides ‘Growing Cacti and Other Succulents’ for information on succulent care.  Enjoy your Ghost plant!

U of Florida – Ghost Plant

Master Gardener – Ghost Plant is full of possibilities

Growing Cacti and Other Succulents -A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide