How To Plant Ghost Plant

The more drainage you need to provide for ghost plants, the more rainfall your location receives. Plant them in raised beds that are at least six inches tall if the soil in your yard is clay and the planting mix has equal parts grit, gravel, or sand and organic materials like peat, coco coir, or potting soil.

What kind of soil does a ghost plant require?

This plant has fairly brittle stems that separate readily. This is due to the habitat’s Graptopetalum ghost plant’s vegetative reproduction. Any rosette that separates has the capacity to take root and produce a new plant. Even a fallen leaf will swiftly form a new rosette by rooting below the parent plant. The leaf is consumed by the young plant until it shrivels and falls off. By that time, the new, little ghost plant has taken root and begun to grow new leaves. Growing succulent ghost plants is quite simple, and it gives beginning gardeners a boost of confidence.

Ghost plants that are succulents can be grown in USDA zones 7b and higher. The care guidelines for most succulents and ghost flower plants are the same.

Plants grown in containers do best in a mix of topsoil, a little compost, and peat, sand, or other grit. Although full sun is ideal, they can also thrive in partial sun with slightly erratic results. It is best to choose the optimum spot for the ghost plant and then keep it there because the stems are so delicate.

Ghost plants require moderate watering and great drainage. By placing your finger in the soil, you can determine when to water. You should water if the soil is dry several inches (10 cm) down or the fleshy leaves appear wilted. Root rots are brought on by overwatering, and the plant may experience many pest infestations.

How is a ghost plant grown indoors?

When the earth is completely dry, water a Ghost plant to a depth of one inch. Offer a permeable potting mixture with soil that contains up to 50% sand, gravel, or perlite. During the growing season, watering is done once per week. The ideal range is between 60 and 80 F. (16-27C). Keep the humidity at or below 50%. During the growing season, use a balanced succulent fertilizer at half intensity once a month.

Are ghost plants sun-loving?

These plants must be cultivated in soil that drains well due to Florida’s humid, wet climate. Succulents like the ghost plant are consequently frequently grown in rock gardens or in pots, both indoors and outdoors.

Make sure to pick a container with drainage holes and well-drained potting medium when placing your ghost plant in a container. For an interesting yet low-maintenance landscape, try combining ghost plants with other varieties of succulents.

Alternately, you might include your ghost plant in a rock garden. A rock garden is made by piling huge rocks, such as limestone, to form the base and then filling in the spaces with smaller rocks, gravel, and planting pockets of soil.

Because the ghost plant needs sunshine to grow, find a spot where it will get full or partial sun.

Keep it close to a south, east, or west window if grown indoors.

For a larger shape, some individuals choose to keep their ghost plants trimmed. Allowing it to become a little “leggy” will give it a new look and will allow the twisted stems to slowly climb out of the pot and cascade down. Between waterings, make sure the soil has nearly dried up entirely.

The ghost plant is extremely drought-tolerant, like the majority of succulents; if your plant starts dropping too many leaves, you may be overwatering. But naturally, leaves will fall off; this is how the plant expands. As leaves fall to the ground below and break off, the ghost plant reproduces itself. Give a fallen leaf some time to develop a callous above the break-off spot if you want to try growing ghost plant yourself. Because of this, ghost plants are some of the simplest succulents to grow, making them excellent gifts for friends and family.

How often should a ghost plant be watered?

Until the plant’s succulent leaves are once again full and plump, water it every four to five days. Then, reduce watering to once every two to three weeks.

Can you grow ghost plant inside?

The “Ghost Plant,” Graptopetalum paraguayense, can be grown both indoors and outdoors. The most crucial things are to give these plants a well-draining potting mix and enough sunlight. According to my observations of these plants, they thrive when left outside in the open air. Give them some outdoor time during the summer months if you must keep them inside during the winter; they will undoubtedly benefit from it.

My ghost plant is dying; why?

The most frequent cause of a ghost plant losing its bottom leaves is a lack of sufficient direct light.

Ghost plants are succulents that have evolved specifically to flourish in warm temperatures, full light, and sandy or stony soils.

When there is insufficient light, the ghost plant’s stalk can get tall (or possibly long enough to hang down from pots) (etiolate).

Long, gangly stems with few leaves result from the taller stems’ tendency to develop in the direction of the most light.

The lovely rosette typically remains unaltered, but the lower stem leaves have a tendency to fall off, leaving a long stem devoid of foliage.

In an effort to conserve resources, the ghost plant loses the leaves that are lower on the stalk and receive less light in favor of retaining the rosette.

This does not necessarily imply that your plant is dying; it could just suggest that it is experiencing more stress due to a lack of direct light.

A ghost plant needs to be in full light in order to grow compactly. This entails placing the succulent either outside or in a bright, south-facing window.

Typically, indirect bright light is insufficient for succulents like the ghost plant to maintain their attractive compact shape.

Your ghost plant can still be restored even if it has completely lost all of its lower leaves, leaving only a long stem and a rosette.

The best choice is to divide the ghost plant from a leaf of the rosette to produce a new plant that doesn’t have a long, unattractive stem, or to clip the rosette off with a pair of sterile pruners so that it can be divided in a pot and grow more compactly (assuming its in full sun).

If you have long, bare stems, give it a try and you can have many more ghost plants because they are quite successful to reproduce and it is very satisfying to watch them grow.

In order to revive ghost plants that have grown with long stems and few leaves, watch this instructive YouTube video, which demonstrates how to propagate and prune them precisely:

Is the ghost plant toxic?

Is it a blossoming plant or a mushroom? From June through September, you can come across Monotropa uniflora, also known as ghost plant, Indian pipe, or corpse plant, a ghostly white understory plant, on your hikes in the deep woods. The ghostly whiteness of this plant makes it simple to mistake it for a mushroom. Because it lacks chlorophyll, this perennial plant cannot produce energy from the light way most other plants can. Since it doesn’t require sunshine to grow, it can flourish in the gloomy understory of our old-growth woods.

Search for single white flowers, sometimes appearing in bunches, almost translucent, and occasionally with black specks in the dense shade of the forest, frequently close to decaying tree stumps. The ghost plant blossom points downward as it emerges from the dirt, then after it is fully grown, it becomes upright and parallel to the stem. Ghost plants have white, five-parted flowers that are produced on a single stalk and grow to a height of 4 to 8 inches. Also possible are very mature plants, which can range in color from dark brown to black and have blooms or seed heads that tip upward.

How does a ghost plant sustain itself, then? In a process known as photosynthesis, green chlorophyll-containing trees and plants use solar energy to transform atmospheric carbon dioxide into sugars and other carbohydrates. These sugars are transferred from the plant’s roots to the soil’s mycorrhizal fungus. The fungus gives the trees water and minerals in return. The underground fungal network allows for the sharing of nutrients produced by one tree with other trees and plants in this mutually beneficial symbiotic arrangement.

Read the article Survival of our Woods in this issue for additional information on the symbiotic link between trees and fungi.

Ghost plants, however, lack chlorophyll and are unable to photosynthesise. As opposed to symbiotic, its root system interacts with subsurface fungi, obtaining nutrients from them in a parasitic capacity. Due to its parasitic nature, the ghost plant takes use of the mycorrhyzal fungi connected to the tree roots in the area. As a result, even the ghost plant, which lacks the pigment chlorophyll needed to synthesize food, can gain advantage from the nutrients provided by other photosynthesis-capable plants. In a mnagetrois interaction between a photosynthetic tree, a mycorrhizal fungus, and a parasite plant, the ghost plant essentially takes and provides nothing back, allowing it to grow in complete shade. Fortunately, the ghost plant returns all the nutrients it got from its hosts back to the forest floor when it dies, where they will be ingested, recycled, and absorbed by other animals.

Inside the seed pod

The ghost plant can be consumed in moderation by the daring. When cooked, they are claimed to taste like asparagus but have a relatively bland flavor when eaten raw. But watch your intake! If consumed in large quantities, the plant, which has glycosides (compounds that help store sugars), can be dangerous.

It’s better to avoid attempting to transplant ghost plants back into your garden in a shaded area if you do happen to uncover them on your walks. Without their subsurface support system to provide them with water and nutrients, they are unlikely to live. These chlorophyll-deficient plants, which resemble tiny white vampires creeping up through the litter on the forest floor, have carved out a distinctive niche in the understory food chain and are best appreciated in their natural habitat.

Young plants are bright white

The article Think Like a Mushroom in this issue has further information on the healthy and harmful mushrooms.

Adelia Ritchie was raised on a farm in northern Virginia with horses, cattle, dogs, and Porky, her pet pig who was in charge of the entire operation. Adelia, a native of the wonderful Pacific Northwest, has worked as a scientist, educator, artist, and serial entrepreneur. She graduated from the University of West Florida with a B.S. in Chemistry and Physics and from Northwestern University with an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry. She finished the Hon. Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership training program in June 2017, and she is now collaborating with educators, activists, and strategists to advance a greater understanding of climate change science and how it affects the intricate biological web of life. Adelia lives in Hansville, Washington, with her garden, dogs, and a bunch of hilarious hens.

General Care for Graptopetalum paraguayense “Ghost Plant

The “Ghost Plant” can be mistaken for an Echeveria with ease. Despite its similarities, Ghost Plant is unique in its own right. In the spring, keep an eye out for little yellow blossoms.


The “soak and dry approach” of watering should be used on graptopetalum. To prevent root rot and pests, make sure the soil is totally dry after watering.

Additionally, make sure to get our FREE watering cheat sheet to learn how to determine whether your succulents are receiving too much water (and how to save them if needed).


Twist a leaf from the mother plant to create new Graptopetalum. You will have a lower likelihood of succeeding if any leaf fragments are left on the stem.

Place the leaf on well-draining soil after allowing it to dry out for a few days so the end calluses over. When the soil is entirely dry, water.

Ghost Plant is a simple plant for people just starting out with propagation because it will also shed leaves and spread on its own.


Use a clean, sharp knife or pair of scissors to cut a section of the plant right above a leaf on the stem in order to propagate Ghost plants from cuttings. Place it in well-draining soil after allowing it to air dry for a few days.

What is the purpose of ghost plant?

There are various medical uses for ghost pipes. They have diaphoretic, antispasmodic, and sedative effects. The management of neurological illnesses such psychosis, severe anxiety, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, and convulsion episodes is where ghost pipe excels.

What makes it the “ghost plant”?

The botanical name for ghost plants, Graptopetalum paraguayense, is a form of succulent that is a member of the Crassulaceae family. The low-growing plants create dense, sprawling rosettes of leaves that range in size from 15 to 31 cm. Ghost plants are so named because of the pruinose, or powdery, coating that covers their leaves. The leaves have a ghostly or pale appearance because of this covering. In the past, ghost plants were utilized in Mexico as a natural remedy and as a landscape adornment. Succulents were introduced to Japan in the 20th century, where they were carefully nurtured to develop into a novel and distinctive food item. Ghost plants grow quickly, and even without soil, a single leaf plucked from the plant will produce fresh buds. The leaves and buds of the Ghost plant are both edible, and you may find them together in certain commercial packaging. In Japan and other nations like Taiwan, ghost plants are a common culinary item that is yet relatively new. The fleshy leaves are adaptable ingredients for desserts, snacks, dips, roasted meats, and soups due to their crisp, juicy quality and mild flavor. The leaves can be served raw or cooked.