How to Grow and Care for Ghost Plant

ghost plant effects

Debra LaGattuta is a Master Gardener with 30+ years of experience in perennial and flowering plants, container gardening, and raised bed vegetable gardening. She is a lead gardener in a Plant-A-Row, which is a program that offers thousands of pounds of organically-grown vegetables to local food banks. Debra is a member of The Spruce Garden Review Board.

ghost plant effects

The Spruce / Kara Riley

  • Propagating
  • Growing From Seed

Overwintering

  • Common Pests and Diseases
  • Common Problems
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Ghost plant ( Graptopetalum paraguayense) is a small evergreen succulent, a perennial that can be grown as a garden plant in warmer regions but is more often grown as a potted houseplant. With its whiteish-grey pointed leaves and trailing rosette form, ghost plants add a modern touch to container and rock gardens. The rosettes are typically about four inches in diameter and will take a blue-gray hue in partial shade or a pinkish-yellow tone in hot, full sun. Dainty, star-shaped yellow flowers appear in spring for outdoor plants but might bloom at random times when grown indoors.

Normally purchased as a small potted plant, ghost plant is usually planted in spring when being grown outdoors. Like many succulents, it is a slow grower (a few inches per year) and can live for decades.

Ghost Plant Care

Like many succulents , ghost plant is a low-maintenance specimen when you meet its basic growing requirements. Sharp drainage, abundant sunlight, and scant irrigation are the keys to a healthy ghost plant that will soon be producing new offshoots for you to propagate. Unlike some succulents, this plant will thrive in some relatively cool conditions; its most active growing periods will be in spring and fall.

Ghost plants will be at their most handsome in full sun or partial sun . Plants that don't receive enough light will become leggy and might experience leaf drop. When grown as a houseplant, keep the ghost plant in a south or east-facing window.

The amount of light a ghost plant receives can affect its typical grayish-white coloration. A shadier locale will result in foliage with a blue-gray tinge, while hot and dry conditions causes the grayish-white leaves to take on a pinkish-yellow hint of color.

Like the majority of succulents, the ghost plant needs good drainage to maintain a healthy root system. The more rainfall your area receives, the more drainage you must provide for ghost plants. If your garden has clay soil, plant them in raised beds at least six inches tall and a planting mix comprised of half grit, gravel, or sand, and half organic material like peat, coco coir, or commercial potting soil.

Potted plants do well in a potting mix designed for cacti or in a standard potting mix blended with 50 percent sand.

In the absence of natural rain, ghost plants only need occasional irrigation. Plants growing outdoors in full sun and summer temperatures will appreciate a weekly drink, while houseplants may only need watering every other week. Water indoor ghost plants at soil level to prevent water from stagnating in the rosettes.

Temperature and Humidity

Ghost plants are reliably hardy in USDA cold hardiness zones 9 to 11, but they will often survive temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit if they are covered over for winter. Gardeners in zones 7 and 8 can often grow them outdoors successfully if they are willing to offer some winter protection. These plants will do well in hot weather, but their most active growth will occur in the relatively cool periods of spring and fall.

Excess humidity can be a problem in areas with poorly draining soil. Planting your ghost plants in containers or raised beds, as well as spacing them away from each other and away from other plants to increase air circulation, will keep plants healthy.

All plants need some form of nutrients in order to grow and flower, but most succulents grow quite well in low-nutrient soil, and might even react badly to too much fertilizer, which can burn the leaves. Using a soil-enriching approach like manure tea or a side-dressing of compost is enough to keep your ghost plants vigorous. At most, a very light annual feeding with a diluted cactus fertilizer will suffice.

Types of Ghost Plant

The Graptopetalum paraguayense species has a couple of naturally occurring forms that are popular, especially a variegated type ( Graptopetalum paraguayense f. variegata). A 'Purple Haze' cultivar is also quite popular. Much variety is found in a number of hybrids that offer unique color variations:

  • Graptopetalum x Graptosedum 'Bronze' has reddish-bronze foliage and grows six inches tall.
  • Graptopetalum x Graptosedum 'California Sunset' has unique orange-pink leaves.
  • Graptopetalum x Graptoveria 'Douglas Huth' has stunning pink to blue leaves and pink flowers bloom in spring.
  • Graptopetalum x Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' has bronze to blue-green leaves with pale yellow flowers.
  • Graptopetalum x Graptoveria 'Tibutans' has especially thick leaves with pink or apricot tips in cooler weather.

Pruning is generally not necessary with these plants, but if they become leggy and scraggly, you can trim back the wandering stems to the center rosette. These trimmed stems can be used to propagate new plants.

Propagating Ghost Plant

Ghost plant is an extremely easy plant to propagate. A healthy leaf that falls might even root where it lays if conditions are right. But the quickest way to achieve full-sized plants is to clip off and root one of the many offset "pups" that appear at the end of the stems growing from the parent rosette. Here's how:

  • When the offset is about 1/4 the size of the parent plant, use clean pruners to clip it off, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of stem below the rosette.
  • Allow the stem to sit for two or three days to callus over, then replant it in a new pot filled with cactus potting mix.
  • Wait about five days until the plant is established, then water thoroughly.
  • Continue to grow in bright filtered sun, watering every four or five days until well established. Then, reduce watering to no more than every two weeks.

How to Grow Ghost Plant From Seed

Although it's fastest to propagate ghost plants from offset pups, you can also start numerous plants from seed to fill a large area of the garden. Collect the tiny seeds from seed pods that form after flowers wither, or purchase seed from a commercial source. Sow the seed on sterile potting mix . Water with a plant mister to avoid displacing the seeds. Keep the seed tray in bright light at 70 degrees Fahrenheit; germination will take place in about three weeks.

Potting and Repotting

Growing ghost plants in containers is a great way to bring the attributes of this succulent up to eye level. Choose a gritty or lightweight potting soil mix and a pot with good drainage. The root system is shallow, so a low, saucer-shaped clay pot with good drainage can make a perfect container. In mixed plantings, keep the ghost plant at the container's edge where it won't get lost behind taller specimens. The pale whitish-gray leaves of ghost plants contrast pleasingly with purple-leafed plants that have similar growing requirements, such as sedum 'Firecracker'.

Ghost plants are slow-growing and don't need frequent repotting. When your specimen has outgrown its container, be sure to handle the plant carefully to avoid damaging the powdery pruinose coating on the leaves, which is delicate. Grasp plants at the base of the crown rather than by the leaves, and repot it in a light potting mix or cactus mix.

Within its hardiness range where winters stay relatively warm, no overwintering routine is necessary at all. In colder winter zones where the plant dies back for the winter, cover the plant with dry mulch over the coldest months, but remove it promptly when the weather climbs back above freezing.

Indoor plants (or outdoor container plants brought indoors for the winter) will do best in a bright, sunny window but at relatively moderate-to-cool temperatures (65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep the plant away from radiators and heat vents. Watering can be slightly reduced during the winter months because the plant will naturally want to go somewhat dormant.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

These plants are marvelously free of most pests and diseases, but indoor plants can be more susceptible to a handful of problems common to many houseplants.

As your ghost plant grows, remove dead leaves at the base of the plant. Decomposing leaves provide a habitat for pests like the mealybug. If your ghost plant has mealybugs , you can spot treat with a dab of isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab or smother them with horticultural oil.

The most common disease of ghost plant is root rot, which is usually the result of too much watering or soil that doesn't drain well. Leaves that begin to drop are often a sign the plant is being overwatered.

How to Get Ghost Plant to Bloom

These plants are grown mostly for the foliage, so gardeners generally aren't too concerned if they don't bloom much. If you're disappointed by the lack of blooms (because you want to experiment with collecting seeds for propagation), make sure the plant is receiving plenty of sunlight. Extra feeding generally doesn't help prompt blooming; in fact, excess fertilizer can reduce flowering because the plant uses the food to put its energy into stem and leaf growth.

Common Problems With Ghost Plant

Ghost plant if famous for thriving when treated with neglect, but there are some common problems to watch for.

Leaves Are Shriveled

It's not a frequent problem, but shriveled leaves on a ghost plant (or most succulents) usually indicate a plant that has suffered a little too much hands-off treatment—it probably needs more water. Water the plant every four or five days until the plant's succulent leaves are once again full and plump, then reduce watering to every couple of weeks.

Leaves Are Dropping

A much more common and serious problem is leaves that drop from the plant. This is very often the result of root rot beginning, caused by excessive watering. A ghost plant that is watered weekly like a standard houseplant will often drown. If you catch this problem early, simply withholding water for a few weeks might halt the problem and restore your plant to health. But once root rot gets hold, it can destroy the plant.

Less commonly, leaf drop can be caused by a lack of sunlight. Make sure your plant is receiving plenty of bright light, including at least four to six hours of direct sunlight if possible.

Burned Leaves

The most common reason for leaves that look dried out and burned is too much fertilizer. Less commonly, it can occur if the plant has had too much direct sun in an outdoor setting that is very hot.

Plant Is Leggy and Scraggly

If your ghost plant is sending out many long stems without much foliage on them, it's usually a sign the plant is not receiving enough sunlight. Move the plant to a location where it receives lots of bright light, including four to six hours of direct sunlight. You can clip off the scraggly stems and use them for propagating new plants.

Like many slow-growing perennials, a ghost plant can live for many decades if it's growing in its preferred environment. Many potted ghost plants are handed down from generation to generation.

Succulents plants in the Crassulaceae or stonecrop family share several features with ghost plant, including fleshy leaves and a low-growing habit. Ghost plant and peacock echeveria look very similar in part because they both share the powdery pruinose coating that helps them retain moisture.

There are about 19 species in the Graptopelatum genus. Among those often used as houseplants are G. saxifragoides (a matt-forming succulent), G. superbum, G. rusbyi (known as leatherpetal), G. pachyphyllum (known as bluebean), G. pantandrum, G. mendozae, G. fileferum, and G. amethystinum , All species have the characteristic rosette form, but there is such variety of color and shape among them that enthusiasts often grow nothing but this genus.

The name ghost plant is attached to this species probably because of the translucent nature of the leaves, as well as the powdery white substance on the leaves, known as pruinose.

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Cacti & Succulents

How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Ghost Plants

Thinking of adding a ghost plant to your indoor garden? Ghost plants (aka Graptopetalum paraguayense) are well known succulents that can make any indoor garden pop with visual interest. In this article, gardening expert and houseplant enthusiast Emily Horn outlines how to plant, grow, and care for Ghost Plants.

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Written by Emily Horn Last updated: September 25, 2023 | 11 min read

ghost plant effects

Succulents have become increasingly popular over the years, especially as houseplants. They are incredibly easy to grow and are even said to thrive on neglect . In particular, pink succulents have become more common as indoor plants for their unique color. The stunning ghost plant is one of these pinkish-colored succulents that are loved by gardeners.

Ghost plants can grow in pinkish-yellow tones under the right light conditions. They prefer full to partial sunlight and will have pink foliage in conditions that are dry and hot. Otherwise, more shade and cooler air will result in a blueish-gray color.

Because of this ease, one-of-a-kind color scheme, and general popularity of the plant, they are a top choice as additions to indoor gardens. Are you adding one to your home? Below you’ll read more on how to plant, grow, and care for ghost plants in your home!

Ghost Plant Overview

Graptopetalum-paraguayense growing in a pot with white succulent leaves.

What is a Ghost Plant?

Mother of Pearl Plant With Thick Leaves

The ghost plant, Grapetolpetalum paraguayense , is a medium-sized flowering succulent . The rosettes of the plant max out at around 4 inches wide, 12 inches tall, and can trail upward of 36 inches, depending on the cultivar .

Forgiving in nature to surrounding environmental conditions, ghost plants are well suited as indoor houseplants for beginners as well as veteran plant hobbyists. 

Graptopetalum paraguayense are members of the Crassulaceae family , which includes plants such as jade plants, kalanchoe , and sedum. With thick, fleshy, pointed grayish blue to reddish-yellow leaves arranged in a rosette pattern and the occasional scape of white to yellow star-shaped flowers, ghost plants are a beautiful addition to any desert plant collection.

Native Area

Graptopetalum paraguayense grows in its native area of Mexico

Originating from central and eastern Mexico, Graptopetalum paraguayense enjoy bright light and warm temperatures . However, they are easily adaptable to low light levels and cooler temperatures, depending on the season.

Where to Buy

Pink Mother of Pearl Succulent in flower pot

Initial plant selection is important. You want to start off with a healthy plant specimen to be successful. There are a few things to do when selecting the right plant for your indoor garden.

Choose a Reputable Garden Center

Woman Selecting a Succulent at a Nursery

Although the plants may be more expensive, they have been cared for better than the ones hanging out at the local grocery store floral department. It is often confused for the Graptosedum ‘Ghosty’ plant , so be sure to check the label.

You can also take some starts from a friend or neighbor. Ghost plants are easy to propagate vegetatively, so chances are you know someone who has an abundance of young plants in need of a new home. Be sure to scout for any insect pests on the starts.

Check for Symptoms of Overwatering

Overwatered Succulent Leaf

Feel the leaves, are they firm and fleshy? Squishy and oozing? Fall off when touched? How does the soil smell/look? How heavy is the pot? Is the plant sitting in standing water or waterlogged?

If the leaves fall off or squish upon being touched, chances are it’s been overwatered, and rot is occurring . Smell the soil, within reason. If the water has been in the pot for a while, you’ll know it. A stagnant or rotting smell means no air at the roots, and there is very little hope that this plant will survive.

Look for Insect Pests

Mealybugs on a Succulent

If you see any mealy bugs, scale insects, spider mite webbing, or aphids, take a pass on the plant. Unfortunately, if you have any other houseplants, these pests will love the fact that you brought them home to feast on a houseplant smorgasbord of unsuspecting plants.

If you’re unsure if your new plant contains pests, isolate it initially from your other plants for a week or two. If you see no outbreak of insects, feel free to integrate your ghost plant in with your other plants.

How to Grow

When growing any succulents , there are a number of factors that need to be considered in order for them to reach their ideal health in your home.

The correct soil, just the right amount of water, the ideal lighting conditions, as well as the proper pot are all necessary to keep a Graptopetalum paraguayense happy. Let’s take a look at what it takes to care for this succulent.

ghost plant effects

Since Graptopetalum paraguayense are desert natives, the more intense sunlight the plant receives , the more dramatic shades of reddish yellow the leaves will be. Typically, full sun, a minimum of 6 hours , is required to achieve these color tones.

The strength of sunlight also influences the overall growth habit of the ghost plant. Since there is adequate light available in a full sun location, the plant does not need to stretch out to receive more light, a process known as etiolation. This abundance of sunlight creates a shorter, thicker, and sturdier plant overall.

However, etiolation is not necessarily a bad thing. Under subprime light conditions, such as indirect light, or sitting in a north or east-facing window , Graptopetalum paraguayense can take on a new form.

Instead of the bright, cheery reddish yellow leaves, the leaves take on a light blue almost gray tone, which is fairly unique to the plant world.

In addition to the dramatic change in leaf color, the stems of the ghost plant will begin to stretch out, looking leggy. This stretching will create a more open, almost vining look to the plant.

Mother of Pearl Succulent Plant With Water Droplets

Ghost plants are shallow rooted, meaning the roots tend to stay near the soil surface . This serves the plant well in its natural habitat.

With inconsistent rainfall in the desert, the root system stays at the soil surface, allowing the roots to soak up as much rainwater as quickly as possible. This ability serves the plant well since it does not know when the next time it will receive water.

If you do decide to water, make sure that you give your plant a thorough watering. Thorough watering is when a plant is watered from the top and the water can drain through the entire soil profile; come out the bottom of the pot. This allows for your Graptopetalum paraguayense to get all the water it needs.

Generally, when watering all plants, use lukewarm water. I knew a wise, old Dutchman who equated watering plants to taking a shower. Extremely hot water or straight cold water in a shower would send a shock through your system. The same is true for your plants. Strive for lukewarm water if you can when watering.

When to Water

Light Gray Graptopetalum paraguayense With Water Droplets

Check your ghost plant weekly to see if it needs water. The need for water can vary depending on many factors such as location, time of year, size of the container, and so forth.

A few ways you can tell if your plant needs water are easy and inexpensive, and you’ve got the equipment already at your fingertips, literally. If your soil is loose, stick your index finger down inside the soil as far as you can.

Your fingertip is literally the best moisture meter available. You can feel with your finger how wet the soil is and how far down the soil profile it is wet. If the soil feels wet, it’s wet enough and you can skip watering. If it feels dry to the touch, give your plant a thorough drink.

Check weekly to see if it needs water. It may or may not need to be watered. Do not water if you are unsure. It is always better to underwater a plant than overwater it. Plants can recover much better from wilt than they can from drowning.

woman filling flowerpot with soil

Potting mix selection plays a key role in plant survival. Commercially available desert potting mix is the easiest and most convenient to use. Most commercial mixes contain balanced ratios of at least one organic component, inorganic ingredient, sand, and limestone/calcium substrate.

Organic materials like peat moss, compost, or leaf humus, help retain water and are a nutrient source for plants . Inorganic ingredients include materials such as perlite and pumice, which create the necessary pore space in the soil to keep oxygen at the root zone.

Sand does retain necessary water, but without the addition of perlite or pumice, can become heavy and saturated, leading to root issues. Occasionally, limestone is supplemented to balance the soil pH , but other calcium-based materials can also add pore space and help neutralize the soil pH simultaneously.

Container Selection

clay flower pots

Unglazed clay pots work well for cacti and succulents because they are porous, meaning it can “breathe.” Excess water in a porous pot can evaporate easily through the pot walls. This allows for air circulation at the root zone, which decreases the likelihood of root rot diseases.

In addition to the type of container, be sure the pot has drainage holes. Drainage holes allow for excess water to come out of the soil allowing for small pockets of dissolved oxygen to form in the plant root zone. Plants need oxygen at their roots for proper growth, as oxygen assists in the absorption of nutrients found in the soil and fertilizers.

Temperature

ghost plant effects

Ghost plants prefer warm temperatures, think 75°F or more, but they can tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F. That is a very wide temperature range for a houseplant. In the desert, daytime temperatures can get rather high. But at night, the desert air gets very cool and dry.

Graptopetalum paraguayense are very adaptable to temperature changes inside as well. Now, do you need to keep your home thermostat above 75° in the day and 20° at night for you to be successful in growing your ghost plant?

The answer is no. Rather, this ability to adapt to temperature fluctuations helps your ghost plant coexist with you inside your home.

Fertilizing

Succulents, fertilizer, pots, and other garden tools on the wood table

Ghost plants do not require much in the means of fertilizer. If you used a high-quality cactus potting mix when you initially planted it, the organic materials in the soilless mix will provide adequate nutrition as the peat moss/compost/humus breaks down.

If you do need to feed your Graptopetalum paraguayense , there are commercially available cactus and succulent fertilizers on the market, many of which are great for fertilizing your ghost plant. Be sure to follow the label directions on how much and how often to fertilize your plant. Failing to do so can cause tissue damage and possible plant demise.

Apply fertilizer during the active growing season; spring-summer . This is the time when your plant needs extra nutrients.

Maintenance

ghost plant effects

As houseplants, most desert plants are low maintenance , and Graptopetalum paraguayense is no exception. Checking the plant for water weekly, placing the plant in adequate light, and planting in a pot that is not too large relative to the plant’s size are basically the care it requires from you on a regular basis.

There are a few other needs your ghost plant has that do not happen very often but are equally as important; fertilizing, pruning, and repotting .

Woman repotting a succulent into gray container

Repotting your ghost plant into a new pot is not a regular occurrence. It may need to be repotted every few years if that even. When you decide to repot your plant, keep in mind the following:

It is imperative that the new pot have drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

The size of the pot is very important. Usually, when you repot a ghost plant, you go up one pot size-if you had your plant in a 4” container, now you would pot it in a 6” container. By slightly increasing the pot size, you control the growth rate of the plant. It allows the plant roots to grow but keeps the top of the plant from sprawling out all over the place.rnrnBy increasing the pot size by one size, you also help control the moisture level in the soil surrounding the roots. If they pot is too big, you will use way too much soil in the pot to fill it. When you go to water the pot thoroughly, the soil will retain too much water, because the plant is small and simply cannot utilize the water reserve. This is a perfect environment for root rot.

Time of year

Late winter/early spring is the best time to repot. Your plant will be in its new pot and fresh soil just as it begins its active growth for the year. The new pot will give the plant room to grow, and the fresh soil will be loaded with nutrients, allowing your u003cemu003eGraptopetalum paraguayenseu003c/emu003e to thrive during the growing season.

woman pruning succulent in a terrarium

Graptopetalum paraguayense may need occasional pruning to help maintain the size and shape of your plant. If your plant has become too long due to low light, you can prune it back. Late winter/early spring is a good time to prune, as you are heading into the active growing season, and it will not be long before new growth emerges.

When it comes to pruning plants, the general rule of pruning is not to remove more than 1/3 of a plant’s top growth. This allows for the remaining leaves to support the nutritional needs of the plant until new growth appears.

If you remove any more than 1/3 of the growth, you may stress out the plant. Stressed plants are more susceptible to insect and disease infestations.

When it’s time to prune, look for the nodes and internodes on the stems of the plant. The nodes are the areas in which the leaves come out. The long stretches in between the nodes are called the internodes.

Determine how long of a stem you want to have to remain on your plant. Using clean pruners, cut slightly at an angle, in the direction of the leaf growth, just above the node. The remaining stems will flush out new leaves in a few months, at the last node near the cut. You can use these pieces you pruned out to propagate new plants.

Propagation

Succulent propagation

Most plants reproduce in one of two ways; vegetatively, asexually, or sexually, via seeds/spores. The easiest way to reproduce Graptopetalum paraguayense is vegetatively . By using leaves, stems, or even the offsets of older plants, you can easily increase your ghost plant collection.

Leaf Cuttings

succulent propagates by leaf cuttings

The first way we will discuss the propagation is by using a technique called leaf cuttings. You can literally take leaves off your ghost plant , stick them in some soil, and over time, new little plants will begin to grow.

Leaf Cutting Propagation Steps

  • Water your ghost plant a day or two prior to propagating.
  • Select healthy leaves.
  • Remove the leaves at the base of the leaf at the center of the rosette.
  • Do not cut, crush, or twist the leaf tissue.
  • This will damage the leaf and it will not be able to properly callus over.
  • Allow the leaf end to callus over.
  • This is a simple drying of the end of the leaf tip for a few days.
  • By drying out, it seals the leaf.
  • This prevents fungal and bacterial infections while rooting.
  • Once the callus has formed, prep your new leaf for planting.
  • If desired, you can dip your leaf cutting in a rooting hormone.
  • Stick your leaf, callus end down, into a pot of damp cactus potting mix.
  • Bury the callus into the potting mix.
  • This will help to help secure the leaf’s contact with the soil.
  • Place the pot in a well-lit window out of any drafts.
  • Keeping the pot out of drafts will help the leaves maintain moisture.
  • Check the soil a few times a week to make sure it is damp.
  • If the soil feels dry to the touch, dampen the soil.
  • It should be wet, but not saturated.
  • If your leaf cutting sits in wet soil, it will rot.

In a matter of a few weeks, you will see new growth beginning at the soil level. Allow the new plants time to grow multiple leaves as well as roots prior to removing the new plant to its new home. The original leaf will eventually shrivel and die. It did its job and is no longer needed.

Stem Cuttings

Succulents propagating by stem cuttings

The process of growing ghost plants from stem cuttings is almost the same as growing new plants from leaf cuttings. The only difference is that instead of the leaf being placed on the soil level, a 3-4” long callused stem with leaves is inserted into a pot of damp cactus media .

Pack the stem tightly in the potting mix, so that the stem can stand upright, it will look like little trees sticking up. Once new roots have begun to form, you can transplant the new plant into its own pot.

Succulent off shoots in a Pot

When ghost plants are happy, they may start growing little off shoots at the base of the mother plant. These offshoots, or pups, are identical plants to the larger plant they are attached to. Although attached, the pups can be removed from the mother plant and potted in their own pots.

During the active growing season, gently dig around the pup and the mother plant to see where the pup is attached. At the attachment site, carefully remove the pup from the mother plant , avoiding crushing or damaging the plant tissue. Sometimes the pups fall off rather easily, and this is okay.

Allow the pup to callus over for a few days and then firmly press the pups into a pot of damp cactus mix. Place in a well-lit window and check the soil often to make sure it is damp enough for the pup to begin its own active growth.

Depending on the age and size of the pup, it may have its own root system already. If that is the case, gently dig up the roots of the pup and plant the pup into its own pot.

Black Aphids crawling on a Succulent Leaf

Ghost plants are relatively pest and disease free with proper care. Occasionally, mealy bugs, spider sites, or aphids may become a problem , easily remedied with insecticidal soap or Neem oil applications.

Another option for pest control would be using a cotton swab dipped in a rubbing alcohol solution to dislodge the insects from the plant with gentle scrubbing. The rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, preventing any harm to the plant tissue.

Mixing a 10% solution of rubbing alcohol and water (1 part rubbing alcohol to 9 parts water) will be strong enough to kill the pest, but again, should not damage the plant.

Final Thoughts

With its great adaptability to indoor conditions, as well as its interesting physical response to various light levels, ghost plants are a relatively easy addition to your houseplant collection. They are excellent beginner-level plants that any gardener can grow and maintain. Once you know how to care for these interesting plants, they won’t let you down!

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Health Benefits

Ghost Pipe facts and uses

Ghost Pipe facts and uses

It is one of about 3000 species of non-photosynthetic (i.e. heterotrophic) flowering plants. Unlike most plants, it doesn’t have chlorophyll, the stuff that makes plants green. Indian pipe looks waxy and sometimes totally white but commonly it has black flecks and a pale pink coloration. Rare variants may have a deep red color. It is a mysterious, underground except when flowering, perennial common boreal non-photosynthetic flowering epi-parasite. It parasitizes parasitic tree fungi, and is not dependent on one particular fungus, forming associations with at least a dozen different fungi, many of which produce edible mushrooms. It seems completely dependent on its host fungi for organic nutrients. The whole plant is ivory-white in all its parts, resembling frozen jelly, and is very succulent and tender, so much so that when handled it dissolves and melts away in the hands like ice.

Plant Description

Ghost Pipe is actually a herbaceous perennial plant that grows about 10 to 30 centimeters tall. The plant is found growing in complete shade on stable forest floors, usually where green plants do not. It prefers Rich, moist soil, or soil composed, of decayed wood and leaves, and near the base of trees. It is non-photosynthetic and contains no chlorophyll or green parts. Because of its ghostly white appearance, the plant is sometimes mistaken for a fungus. Roots are dark-colored, fibrous, perennial, matted in masses about as large as a chestnut-burr. Stem is 4 to 8 inches high, terete, white (sometimes tinted pink), translucent, fleshy, and hairless. Leaves are sessile, lanceolate, white, semi-transparent that alternate up the stem.

The above-ground portion of the plant consists entirely of delicate white translucent flowers and flower stems, one flower per stem. The flowers first appear as bent white tubes about 1/8-1/4 inch diameter, which slowly elongate, straighten, and display their respective terminal floral buds, at a height of 6-10 inches in clumps of 2-100. Each fragile stem and young flower resembles a white clay pipe. The down-turned flowers are pollinated by bees upside down. They have no fragrance. They flower for about a week and then die, turning black as they do so, hence the name Corpse Plant. They are very tender and succulent, but when picked will melt away and dissolve. If you pick it then it wilts and turns black very quickly. The flower is shaped like a pipe bowl and so it got its name, the Indian pipe plant, although it is also known as the Dutchman’s pipe. It looks like a calumet, the Native Americans’ pipe of peace. Flowering normally takes place from August to November.

After the blooming period, the entire plant becomes dark brown or black, and each flower is replaced by an erect ovoid seed capsule about ½ inches long. This seed capsule is 5-celled and contains numerous tiny seeds, which are easily blown about by the wind after the capsule splits open.

Closer-view-of-Ghost Pipe flower

There is a Cherokee legend about the Indian pipe: Long ago, when selfishness first entered the world, people began quarreling, first with their own families and tribal members, and then with other tribes. The chiefs of the several tribes met together to try to solve the problem of quarreling. They smoked a peace pipe together, while continuing to quarrel among themselves for the next seven days and seven nights.  In punishment for smoking the peace pipe before actually making peace, the Great Spirit turned the chiefs into grey flowers and made them grow where relatives and friends had quarreled.

Traditional uses and benefits of Ghost Pipe

  • An infusion of the root is antispasmodic, hypnotic, nervine, sedative, and tonic.
  • It is a good remedy for spasms, fainting spells and various nervous conditions.
  • It has been given to children who suffer from fits, epilepsy and convulsions.
  • Plant was used by some native North American Indian tribes to treat eye problems, the stem was bruised and the clear fluid of the stems applied to the eyes.
  • Juice from the stems has also been used to treat nervous irritability, including fits and spasms.
  • It has been recommended in the past as a possible opium substitute.
  • An infusion of the leaves has been used to treat colds and fevers.
  • Crushed plant has been rubbed on bunions and warts in order to destroy them.
  • Poultice of the plant has been applied to sores that are difficult to heal.
  • Flowers have been chewed in order to bring relief from toothache.
  • Water extracts of the plant are bactericidal.
  • Powder has been used in instances of restlessness, pains, nervous irritability, etc., as a substitute for opium, without any deleterious influences.
  • It is supposed to have cured remittent and intermittent fevers, and to be an excellent antiperiodic.
  • In convulsions of children, epilepsy, chorea, and other spasmodic affections, its administration has been followed with prompt success.
  • Juice of the plant, alone, or combined with rose water , has been found to be an excellent application for obstinate ophthalmic inflammation, to ulcers, and as an injection in gonorrhea, inflammation and ulceration of the bladder.
  • It has also been used in cases of acute anxiety and/or psychotic episodes due to intense drug experiences.
  • It has been used effectively in treating severe mental and emotional pain due to PTSD and other traumatic injury, as well as severe nerve pain due to Lyme disease.
  • Plant teas ingested for aches and pains associated with colds.
  • Root tea used for convulsions, fits, epilepsy, and as a sedative. Roots also have antispasmodic properties.
  • Tisane can be made with the plant to help with colds and flu.
  • It is a useful first aid remedy that helps ease pain caused by trauma, tension, migraines, or pinched nerves.
  • It also helps relieve skeletal tension associated with migraines and neck pain, as well as sharp, shooting pains associated with pinched nerves.

Culinary Uses

  • The whole plant can be cooked.
  • It is tasteless if eaten raw, but has a taste like asparagus when it is cooked.

Dosage may vary depending on individuals and practitioners. Some herbalists are suggesting this in drop dosages and others in ml dosages. Experimenting with the dosage of this plant for yourself would be a good way to go. Start small and add on until you notice its effects. Also, consider the situation a more acute first aid type situation may require a larger dosage than treating something like a mild chronic pain.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=23778#null

https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1445/

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Monotropa+uniflora

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=moun3

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2372155

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotropa_uniflora

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Unruly Gardening

All About Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

In this article, you’ll learn what the data says about ghost pipe ( Monotropa uniflora ). Is it endangered? Edible? Poisonous? Find out the answers to all of your questions below!

monotropa uniflora flower

Around June 8 every year, we start finding Ghost Pipe (also called Indian Pipe), mainly around our creek area. This year so far, we’ve had a nice amount of rain and have counted many dozens of clusters of this unique flower rising from the leaves. During dry years, we’ll see less. While the bulk of the flowers bloom in June, we still find sporadic random clumps all the way through September. (Here in zone 7a USA.)

We’ve also seen a lot of confusion, misinformation, and even a few arguments about ghost pipe while navigating foraging groups, so we decided to organize all of the available data and see if we can clear up some of the confusion out there.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the questions and known facts!

ghost pipe and reishi mushrooms growing together

Is Ghost Pipe a Mushroom? Or a Flower?

Even though it looks kind of like a mushroom, ghost pipe is a woodland flower.

However, mushrooms and ghost pipe have a connection – because ghost pipe depends on a mushroom network to survive!

Ghost pipe is pale white and doesn’t contain chlorophyll, that green substance that most plants use to turn sunshine into food.

So how does it get its food?

It taps into a mutual relationship that the roots of trees like oak and beech have with certain kinds of fungi (in the Russulaceae family.) The trees and fungi help each other out and they live together in harmony.

Ghost pipe attaches itself to the fungi and gets indirect nutrition from the tree that way. From what we can tell, the interloper doesn’t seem to cause problems for the tree or fungi. Pretty clever!

Can You Grow Ghost Pipe at Home?

Some say it’s super difficult, if not impossible, to cultivate ghost pipe at home. (If you’ve done it though, let us know – a lot of people would be interested, including us!)

You need to have the right tree with the right fungal network in place or the seed won’t germinate, so it’s not just a matter of just sticking some seeds in the ground and waiting for them to grow.

If you see seeds for sale, it’s normally a scam. There is a study where scientists used some complicated finagling to germinate monotropa uniflora and one of them developed a nest-like root cluster after one year in a lab, but that’s pretty far out of the reach of us everyday gardeners!

a large cluster of monotropa uniflora flowers

Is Ghost Pipe on the United Plant Savers Species at Risk List?

No, but sort of.

If you look at the full list of at-risk plants at the United Plant Savers website , you won’t spot ghost pipe, Indian pipe, or monotropa uniflora .

However, in their printable chart version , “Indian Pipe, Monotropa uniflora ” is listed as “Requested to Score” along with chaga, wild cherry, solomon’s seal, yaupon, and wild geranium. So perhaps we’ll see it on there one day.

Is Ghost Pipe Endangered?

Yes, no, and maybe. It depends on where you live and whether your state has done the work to study the plant’s status.

over a dozen ghost pipe flowers peeking out from the leaves

States Where It’s At Risk

Here are the states in the US that have Ghost Pipe ( Monotropa uniflora ) listed as being in trouble:

  • Alaska – listed as S1 (S1 = critical imperilment within the state)
  • California – listed as 2B.2 (“2B” = Plants rare, threatened, or endangered in California but common elsewhere. “.2” = Moderately threatened in California — 20-80% of occurrences threatened / moderate degree and immediacy of threat.)
  • Florida – listed as S3 (S3 = vulnerable) ( Monotropa hypopithys listed as S1, but do not see M. uniflora listed on FL Natural Areas Inventory list . )
  • Nebraska – listed as S1 (critical imperilment within the state)
  • North Dakota – listed as S3 (vulnerable)
  • Oklahoma – listed as S1 (critical imperilment within the state) ( listed as S2 – imperiled – on the OK Natural Heritage site)
  • South Dakota – listed as S1 (critical imperilment within the state)

RarePlants.org has a helpful glossary for when you’re trying to figure out the conservation status of a plant.

States Where It’s Considered Secure:

Then there are a few states that list monotropa uniflora as secure (S5) :

  • West Virginia

And it’s “apparently secure” (S4) in Montana and Iowa .

As you can see by THIS map at the Nature Serve Explorer many states have unknown statuses. That doesn’t mean that ghost pipe is secure, or that it is at risk in those states, it just means that there’s not enough data for us to know.

( Side note : Monotropa uniflora is also found outside of North America in places such as Nepal, Japan, Taiwan, and parts of Eastern Asia, and Colombia, Mexico, and parts of Central America.)

Video: Ghost Pipe Slideshow

Here’s a slideshow highlighting ghost pipe. ( Sometimes an ad plays first, but the video will start right after. The video player won’t show up if you have an adblocker. )

From what we do know about the plant:

  • It has highly specialized growing conditions.
  • You cannot grow it from seed at home or commercially.
  • The deep rich forests that it depends on for survival are in decline due to strip logging, invasive plant infestations, and human development.
  • There’s a risk it could become a trendy herb which could devastate existing populations.

Many people feel that ghost pipe is at the very least a plant that’s in a vulnerable position in many places.

cluster of indian pipe flowers in the sun

Can You Eat Ghost Pipe?

Ghost pipe isn’t considered to be a good edible. There are reports of a few people eating some, but there are almost as many reports of people feeling ill or strange after doing so. (We aren’t brave enough to try it, so can’t report on the taste!) There are no found reported deaths or hospitalizations from eating ghost pipe, but it’s not recommended.

Besides the risk-to-your-health factor, the plant is way too special for trailside munching, especially when there are other better choices out there. However, ghost pipe can be made into a tincture and is used in small doses for very specific cases in herbal medicine. (More on that below.)

Is Ghost Pipe Poisonous?

This topic comes up in foraging groups A LOT! Let’s break down what the terms mean and what the sources say about ghost pipe containing poisons.

Glycosides, Grayanotoxin, and Andromedotoxin

Peterson’s Field Guide to Medicinal Plants & Herbs lists some Native American uses for “Indian-Pipe” ( Monotropa uniflora ) then adds: “Safety undetermined; possibly toxic – contains several glycosides”.

What are Glycosides?

Oxford’s English Dictionary describes them as: “a compound formed from a simple sugar and another compound by replacement of a hydroxyl group in the sugar molecule. Many drugs and poisons derived from plants are glycosides.” (Examples of glycosides include steviol glycoside – a harmless natural sweetener made from stevia plant, or the cardiac glycosides in foxglove flowers which can be deadly in some cases.)

What about Grayanotoxins and Andromedotoxins?

Grayanotoxins are neurotoxins found in plants like rhododendron and mountain laurel. Over 25 forms of grayanotoxins have been found in rhododendrons, some more toxic than others, making some plants more toxic than others. Grayanotoxin I is a glycoside toxin; also called andromedotoxin or rhodotoxin.

The information about ghost pipe containing grayanotoxin is based on a single source from 1889. (Yes 1889 , not 1989!)

King’s American Dispensatory (written in 1898) says: “A. J. M. Lasché (Pharm. Rundschau, 1889, p. 208) has found in this plant a crystallizable poisonous principle, which also occurs in several other ericaceous plants; it is named andromedotoxin (C31H51O10).”

Digging further, we found Lasché’s full text in Pharmazeutische Rundschau. Volume 7, 1889. (You can read it too on Archive.org .) His experiments showed that Monotropa uniflora contains andromedotoxin. To date, no modern study can be found as a follow-up, so that single source is all the data we have to go on.

a bumble bee visiting ghost pipe flowers

Should You Forage or Pick Ghost Pipe?

Most of the time, the answer is no – you don’t really need to pick ghost pipe flowers !

If you live in a state where ghost pipe is listed as endangered, threatened, or at risk (see above) – this is an easy decision. Take a photo, touch nothing (unless you’re clearing an invasive such as garlic mustard that’s about to choke out the plants in the area), and carefully move on.

If you’re someone who truly needs this strong medicine and lives in an area where it’s considered secure, keep reading.

Before you gather Ghost Pipe, ask yourself these questions:

Why do you want to gather ghost pipe.

Stop and think why you want to collect it. Do you truly feel that the plant will benefit you? Are you really going to use it, if you make a tincture, or will it just sit on a shelf? Are you scared of any potential toxicity?

Ghost pipe is strong and used in rather extreme circumstances – unrelenting pain or anxiety attacks that can’t be managed by other herbs.

Don’t pick ghost pipe unless you have an actual plan or need for its use !

a solitary pollinated ghost pipe

What does the plant population look like?

Are there only a few plant clusters in the area? Less than 9 or 10? If so, take a photo, move on, and don’t disturb.

If there are multiple separate and large plant clusters (this doesn’t mean ten flowers growing right next to each other; whole groups of flowers should be separated by several feet), check them closely without touching. Sometimes you’ll find that a stem or flower has been freshly knocked over by a passing creature, or perhaps you yourself accidentally trampled one before noticing.

Any freshly broken or trampled pieces can be collected as long as they haven’t turned black.

If the plant clusters are large enough, and you’re in a place where the population is secure, they may be able to support you taking a stem or two from the center of a couple of the largest clusters. (Three or four flowers/stems makes plenty of tincture.)

No one needs to collect a whole jar or even 1/4 of a jar of ghost pipe flowers. Just 3 or 4 flowers with stems will make a powerful tincture.

Collect the fresher flowers that are looking downward. Once the flowers turn up to face the sky, it’s considered too late to collect for tincture. At that point the flower has been pollinated (most often by bumblebees) and has made a seed pod containing thousands of tiny dust like seeds that will be sent out into the wind, hoping for the perfect spot to land and grow.

* DON’T PULL UP THE ROOTS!

Ghost pipe is a perennial. If you pull up the roots, it won’t come back next year!

Ghost Pipe Lookalike

Before harvesting, make sure you’re not picking ghost pipe’s look alike: Pinesap ( Monotropa hypopitys ).

Pinesap starts off creamy white color, and can develop shades of red. Below is a photo of pinesap – you can tell the two plants apart because ghost pipe has one flower at the top of each stem, while pinesap has several flowers clustered together at the top of each stem.

pinesap Monotropa hypopitys is a lookalike for ghost pipe

What is Ghost Pipe Tincture Used For?

The tincture is used in small doses for those experiencing high levels of pain or anxiety attacks.

Examples of people who use Ghost Pipe are those who are battling cancer, or have unrelenting high levels of pain in spite of trying other herbs/medications/therapies, or someone who can’t function in life because of continual severe anxiety attacks.

If you have a standard sore back and muscles from working in the garden or exercising too hard – try a mullein root tincture and a pain salve instead.

You don’t need ghost pipe tincture for everyday common pains. It’s not for pregnant or nursing women, or children.

ghost pipe or indian pipe tincture

How Do You Make Ghost Pipe Tincture?

If you truly feel you have a need for the tincture and will put it to good use: Place three or four lightly rinsed ghost pipe flowers/stems (you do not need roots) in a half-pint jar. Cover with 2 to 3 ounces of 100 proof vodka – make sure all the flower parts are covered, adding more if needed. Use a pair of scissors to chop up the flowers/stems while they’re under the vodka. Put a lid on the jar, label, and tuck it away for about 4 weeks. The tincture will turn a beautiful shade of purple. Strain.

Shelf life of this tincture is 2 to 3+ years. It’s normal to lose the purple color over time and is still fine to use at that point. (Each 1 ounce = about 600 drops.)

How Do You Use Ghost Pipe Tincture?

Starting dose is usually 3 drops. Those with light body frames may find that one drop is plenty. Put 1 to 3 drops in a cup then add a little water. Drink.

Don’t use before driving, operating machinery, or going outside your house because it can cause sleepiness. It kicks in for us about 20 minutes after taking. We find it calming and relaxing, but it is a slightly strange feeling, like you’re “zooming” away from your pain.

Use at your own risk of not knowing how you’ll personally react, as the tincture is very powerful medicine and has not been well studied by modern researchers. (One of our small-framed adult family members developed nausea and an earache and headache after taking 1 drop of ghost pipe – so it doesn’t work well for everyone!)

Ghost Pipe plants look upwards after pollination

References & Further Reading

Botanical Gazette . April 1878. Volume 3, Number 4; pp. 37 – 38. A.H. Young reports on a reaction a young woman had when some of the plant juice of monotropa uniflora got on her lips.

Botanical Gazette . June 1878. Volume 3, Number 6; pp. 53 – 54. Richard E. Kunze writes a reply detailing his medicinal uses of monotropa uniflora over 23 years, with no adverse affects and wonders if the young woman from A.H. Young’s report had a reaction to Rhus toxicodendron (poison oak) instead.

Botanical Gazette . September 1878. Volume 3, Number 9; pp. 79 – 79. A.H. Young asserts he still believes the young woman’s reaction was from monotropa uniflora .

California Department of Fish & Wildlife. SPECIAL VASCULAR PLANTS, BRYOPHYTES, AND LICHENS LIST . April, 2022.

California Native Plant Society Rare Plant Inventory. Monotropa uniflora. https://rareplants.cnps.org/Plants/Details/646

Donahue, Sean. Ghost Pipe: A Little Known Nervine . American Herbalist Guild.

Felter, Harvey Wickes and John Uri Lloyd. King’s American Dispensatory , 1898.

Figura, Tomáš, et al. In vitro axenic germination and cultivation of mixotrophic Pyroloideae (Ericaceae) and their post-germination ontogenetic development . Annals of Botany . 2019 Mar; 123(4): 625–639.

Gupton, Oscar Wilmont.  An Analysis of the Taxonomic Criteria as Applies to the Genus Monotropa . The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; ProQuest Dissertations Publishing,  1963. 6401852.

ITIS. Integrated Taxonomic Information System – Report on Monotropa uniflora .

Jansen, Suze A. et al. Grayanotoxin Poisoning: ‘Mad Honey Disease’ and Beyond . Cardiovascular Toxicology . 2012; 12(3): 208–215.

Klooster, Matthew R. and Theresa M. Culley. Comparative analysis of the reproductive ecology of Monotropa and Monotropsis : Two mycoheterotrophic genera in the Monotropoideae (Ericaceae) . American Journal of Botany . First published: 01 July 2009

Leopold, Susan. A History of Parasitic Plants from Ancient Herbals to Modern Scientific Research . United Plant Savers; audio file; accessed June, 2022.

Millspaugh, Charles Frederick. American Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated and Descriptive Guide to Plants Indigenous to and Naturalized in the United States which are Used in Medicine . See pp. 411 – 414.

Native American Ethnobotany Database . Online. Accessed June, 2022.

O’Neil, Alexander R. The Population Genetic Structure of the Mycoheterotroph Monotropa uniflora L. in North America .

Tsukaya, Hirokazu. Flowering time of two saprophytic plants, Monotropa uniflora L. and Monotropastrum humile (D. Don) Hara in Japan . Journal of Plant Research .

USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station; Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for the Chugach National Forest and the Kenai Peninsula . See Table 6-4—List of rare plant taxa tracked by the Alaska National Heritage Program occurring in the assessment area.

Winston, David. David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies . Facebook post about Monotropa uniflora or Indian Pipe.

Our articles are for information and idea-sharing only. While we aim for 100% accuracy, it is solely up to the reader to provide proper identification. Be sure to seek out local foraging classes and plant walks, and invest in mushroom and foraging guides suitable for the area you live in, since some wild foods are poisonous, or may have adverse effect.

monotropa uniflora flower

Jan is a writer, herbalist, natural soap educator, and bestselling author of The Big Book of Homemade Products, and Simple & Natural Soapmaking. She grows, forages, and rambles around 100 mostly wooded acres at the foot of the Appalachian mountains. Besides writing articles for her family website, Unruly Gardening, she's also the founder of TheNerdyFarmWife.com where you can find her sharing DIY natural skincare and soapmaking recipes, and herbal remedies.

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34 Comments

I discovered ghost pipe on our property in central Wisconcin by chance. There are several hundred plants that seem to be doing quite well. It’s good to know they are there if needed.

That’s awesome Tom! I feel reassured seeing it growing in spots around us as well – it’s good to know they’re there!

I have question does ghost pipe show up as anything on a drug test.

Hi Annette! That’s a great question! I’m not 100% sure of the answer. I know it’s sometimes used to help people come off of a drug trip, and haven’t heard of it causing a red flag result for anyone, so my first instinct is to say it shouldn’t. But, I haven’t seen any case studies to confirm my guess, and no one has studied all of the compounds within, so just can’t say for certain. I wish I could help more!

First time foragers here. My fiance knows someone who may need ghost pipe for pain. We found some on our property and he harvested so many tops probably 20 and just covered them in alcohol undiluted. So we have about 1/4 mason jar of buds and alcohol that have been sitting for about 4 weeks already. How would we go about diluting this for use so it isnt so strong? Can we just add more alcohol and would we need to let it sit longer after?

Hi Jolene! Yes, you could add more alcohol to dilute the tincture. I would go ahead and strain the tincture first if it looks really strong by now. Then you can dilute the strained tincture with regular vodka (80 proof) or any type of alcohol & use it right away. You might not need to dilute it though. How dark is the color? If it’s a really dark purple, it’s likely still fine to use. If it looks almost black however, that could be a bit too strong. If you want to send me a photo – hello @ unrulygardening .com then I’m happy to take a look at it! One idea: when you strain the tincture – count how many flowers are in there if possible. Then measure the amount of vodka/alcohol used. Record the data for next time – that will give you an idea of the ratio you used for this batch and if you find it is too strong, you’ll have an idea next time of how to adjust when making.

I have taken a lot of ghost pipe and a lot of drug tests. It has never come up.

Hi Rick, Thanks for chiming in – it’s much appreciated!

Wondering if ghost pipe tincture could be added to a salve for topical use?

Hi Jennifer! While there is some historical data as far as topical use for things like sores & warts: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=monotropa (from the Native American Ethnobotany Database) I don’t believe an oil-based salve would be the best form for ghost pipe. Alcohol tinctures tend to bead out/separate from the oils without an emulsifier, so something like a liniment might be a better form. From my research however, it doesn’t appear to help pain when applied topically. (Though there’s a lot that hasn’t been studied about the plant, so future information may tell us otherwise!)

Where can someone purchase ghost pipe tincture?

Hi Mary! I would suggest checking out Running Waters Homestead – they place a high priority on sustainable harvesting & I’ve had good experience ordering from them in the past: https://runningwatershomestead.com/shop/

Hello! Thank you for writing this! I followed your instructions here to make ghost pipe tincture, but after 4 weeks, the tincture is clear and not purple. I’m now nervous to try it. Do you have any ideas of what could’ve happened?

I used three white ghost pipe stems and flowers, cut up into a few pieces under 4oz of 100 proof vodka, and let sit in a dark cabinet in a sealed glass container for 4 weeks.

Hi Sam! Sorry to hear that happened! It should have at least a little hint of purple to it – did you see any tinge of purple show up at any point in the infusion? Do you happen to have a photo of the plants you collected? There is a lookalike called pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys) – it starts off kind of creamy white, then can get shades of red on it. I just updated this article to show a photo of pinesap so you can compare. https://unrulygardening.com/ghost-pipe-faqs/#ghost-pipe-lookalike You can also email a photo, if you have one, to hello @ unrulygardening .com and I’m happy to take a look and double check your plant! It sounds like you did everything right, which is what makes me wonder about pinesap being used instead. If you 100% did use ghost pipe though, then my other thought would be more flowers to alcohol ratio. I start on the low range of the alcohol; you can always add more in later to dilute if it’s too strong. It could also be some regional differences between size of the ghost pipe plants and what stages they are collected.

Can you use Ouzo or Everclear instead of vodka?

Hi Penelope! Yes, you can use Everclear instead. I’m unfamiliar with using Ouzo though, so not positive on that one. 🙂

Do the flowers and stems need to be fully white or is black ok? I picked some and parts of them turned black(mostly stems) before i was able to get them into some vodka. I did put them into vodka and my tincture is a dark purple. Against light you can see through it. Otherwise you cannot. I have had it in the jar for about a week. Maybe i should add more vodka to make it lighter? Or should I discard it because I cut the black stems into it?

Hi Samantha! If they were white when you picked them & you got them into the vodka within a few hours, then they should still be fine to use. They do turn black fairly quickly, so unless you bring your bottle of vodka out in the forest with you (which isn’t really practical when you’re hiking!) 🙂 it can be hard for them not to start darkening at least some before they get tinctured. It sounds like your tincture is the right color and strength! So unless the flowers sat in a hot car for half a day or something like that, I would personally be likely to use the tincture. However, if you still have a worried feel and you’re not 100% comfortable using it, then I always follow those intuitions.

I just need a bit of opinion/advice. I attempted to make ghost pipe and pinesap tinctures both are an amber color….any guesses as to why and is it safe to use? Please help?!?!? I have been waiting all year to make this I am kind of disappointed

thanks a million for your help 🍄

Hi S, I’m so sorry to hear that! Can you tell me more about what kind of alcohol you used? How much ghost pipe to alcohol ratio? I’ve not made pinesap tincture (or found references to date, as far as using it medicinally), so am unfamiliar with what color that would turn in a tincture, but ghost pipe should definitely have a purple hue.

Howdy, i understand this might not exactly be your wheelhouse but you folks seem very knowledgeable so thought I’d give it a whirl. My local herbalist recommended Ghost Pipe for a lifelong struggle with anxiety specifically connecting to sleep issues, and not a whole lot of success with other herbs and supplements. First night I tried 5 drops and had success. 2nd night since I was weening myself off other things did 7 drops. It seems if I don’t fall asleep quickly then it won’t happen at all and some time had passed. Started to panic. Since I had read on Sean Donahue’s piece he had used up to three 1ml tinctures (I believe 1 ml is dropperful), took 1 dropperful. waited a little while, still up,then took 2 more dropperfuls. Definitely felt like that was too much. Had a period I still wasn’t sleeping but must have finally slept as I awoke at some point and realized I had had a strange dream. Can you give any advice or share experiences about usage and dosage. I’m heartened I had some success but know 3 dropperfuls is definitely too much for me but don’t want to go too low either

Hi Eli! Most of us have the opposite effect here, where we have to ultra low dose everything because we react quickly & hard to many supplements. So we don’t have personal experience with high doses, though I have seen the Sean Donahue piece about using higher amounts too. The main member who uses occasional ghost pipe for similar reasons, also finds this daily supplement most helpful, in case it hasn’t been on your radar already: https://painstresscenter.com/products/ac This combination seems to be a good synergy for their unique body chemistry, so maybe it’s not that you need more ghost pipe, but a matter of pinpointing exactly what you took/ate/watched/experienced/etc the same night that the 5 drops worked well & finding that perfect mashup for you. I wish I had more to offer about higher dosing, but agree with you that it’s a promising sign that it worked at one point!

I’ve been making tinctures of ghost pipe for years and find it’s effects wonderful. Used primarily as a sleep aid, it’s worked wonders for me when I get bouts of insomnia. I also have a history of severe migraines and lower back pain. It’s a remedy that works! I live in Vermont surrounded by high elevation old growth forest and it’s beyond plentiful here, so I’m fortunate to have easy access to it. 4-6 drops is my magic number. Should also be noted it’s a recognized remedy for not only physical pain, but emotionao and mental pain stemming from trauma, depression, anxiety, etc. as well. I’ve never had an unpleasant experience with it, and some years I may only use it a handful of times – it truly is a sacred plant and should be respected. I hope modern botanists, ethnobotanists, medical researchers, organic chemists, etc. can more fully research this in the years to come – it deserves the attention, but I also worry about this becoming mainstream and trendy and over-harvested, much like Chaga has become lately. Just my thoughts….

This is an informative introductory article that I’ve shared with many people: Ghost Pipe- A Little Known Nervine – American Herbalists Guild https://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/sites/default/files/donahue_sean_-_ghost_pipe-_a_little_known_nervine.pdf

Hi Neil, Thank you for sharing your helpful information and experiences with ghost pipe!

I have a special relationship with this plant, it came into my life 3 years in a row by unexpected means, all in the same weekend of the year. I found it incredibly strong, and I am someone who takes hero doses of most herbs to see results. Less is more, in my own experience. A drop is all that is needed, and I found it a powerful trauma releaser. It was quite scary actually, completely unexpected. If something is sitting in you, it will get it out. The first year, I stumbled on it hiking, and recognized it after having had it described to me from a colleague. I ran to town, got some vodka, and headed back to find it. My fingers were black by the time I was home. I think is is a very special plant, like them all, but something very powerful about this one. Drop dosing for trauma release, and with caution. The following year was different. I received a text from my daughter who was travelling (who never texts me!) with a photo of Ghostpipe. She then picked it and tinctured it. This time was different, I went in with eyes wide open and asked the plant if I should take it. The result was still unexpectedly strong! Basically just really strong emotions, but I just went on tbe ride this time. Kinda like the worst PMS bad mood day ever.

Very interesting “plant”

Hi Jenny, Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with ghost pipe! It really is a fascinating plant!

Jan, a friend and I went looking for chanterells and stumbled into hundreds of Ghost-pipes. We didn’t know about using alcohol for a tincture till we got back to where we had cell service. We had picked about 30 and bought 100% Vodka on the way home. We used a mason jar, cut the Ghostpipes and filled the mason jar. 2 day the contents are black. From what I’ve read here I will need to dilute a bit after 4 weeks. So I’m wondering if by waiting an hour to get the GP’s in the alcohol what could go wrong?

Hi Dave, What a great find! I think the flowers should be fine in that one hour window. I wouldn’t use completely black or disintegrated flowers that had been cut for hours, but if they were just aging a tiny bit and still mostly white, I personally wouldn’t have a problem using them.

Can you store the flowers by freezing or drying them? We get them each year but some years, like this one, we get way more

Hi Derek! I recently watched an excellent webinar with Dr Eric Burkhart of Penn State & his grad student, who is studying ghost pipe, and he mentioned that traditionally, the plant was used in the dried form, but over time it became popular to use it as an alcohol extract instead. I’ll need to re-watch the webinar when the replay link is published, to be certain of exact wording, but I believe he suggested drying at 95 degrees F with circulating air. Testing out dried flowers is high on my priority list! We’re having a lower flower year so far (because of a very dry spring impacting early bloomers), but one of my best ghost pipe spots should produce flowers later in the year, so hopefully I’ll have several flowers to dry and experiment with. I’m not sure about freezing though.

Thank you for the information. I sent an email with a photo, but I have another question here. I found one cluster of 18 plants with a group of 12 dried plants. Is this common or rare? I am a bit late finding them as I found them today August 16th. I am in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan so maybe our season is a bit different than southern states?

Hi Dennis! I got your email and replied earlier today; hope you got that message! That sounds like a good grouping of plants; I would classify that as common & personally harvest from an area like that.

Hello I have a 32 oz mason jar completely full of ghost pipe that I covered with ever clear after reading your article about only needing a few pipes should I dilute my tincture with water?

Hi Sheila! I would test the tincture (one drop) and see if you can gauge the strength before diluting. A larger amount of fresh plant matter may mean a larger amount of water content, so it may all balance out.

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Plantophiles

Ghost Plant Care – #1 Best Tips!

By: Author Daniel

Posted on Last updated: February 15, 2022

Ghost Plant Care – #1 Best Tips!

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Ghost Plant Care

To care for a Ghost plant water once the soil is dry to a depth of one inch. Provide a porous potting mix consisting of soil mixed with up to 50% sand, gravel, or perlite. Watering once every week in the growing season. The best temperature is between 60 – 80 °F (16-27°C). Keep humidity below 50%. Use a balanced succulent fertilizer at 1/2 strength once a month in the growing season.

Ghost Plant Care

Table of Contents

Ghost Plant Care Guide

The Graptopetalum paraguayense has increased in popularity as a houseplant as it is inexpensive, easy to grow, easy to propagate, and the flowers are displayed in a beautiful star formation.

Ghost plants are just amazing!

So let’s take a more in-depth look at exactly how to care for this plant.

Ghost Plant Care

The soil of the Ghost plant needs to be particularly well-draining using potting soil and 50% sand, gravel, or perlite.

Lookup your USDA Hardiness Zone By Zip Code

A light, porous potting soil mixed with up to 50% sand, gravel, or perlite will provide your ghost plant with the ideal conditions to grow and avoid common problems associated with overwatering.

In the natural habitat, the soil where the plant grows is relatively nutrient-poor.

It’s more important to the plant that the soil drains well.

Ghost plants grow best using a porous potting mix

Ghost plants grow best using a porous potting mix

The Ghost plant prefers to grow in full sun which promotes an almost translucent pink hue to the leaves.

However, the ghost plant will tolerate partial shade which will produce a blue, grey hue on the leaves.

Bright direct sunlight is best for these succulents

Bright direct sunlight is best for these succulents

Water a Ghost plant once a week in spring and summer once the top 1-inch of soil is dry.

Watering is the most important factor when it comes to caring for ghost plants.

The plant should be watered once a week during the active growing season in spring and summer and only once every two or three weeks in the winter to avoid overwatering.

You should wait till the soil is dry to a depth of one inch before watering.

Water the soil directly around the base of the plant and avoid watering directly onto the leaves in the morning as they could scorch on a hot, sunny day.

Temperature

The ideal temperature for a Ghost plant lies between 60 – 80 °F (16-27°C).

As succulents are concerned, the ghost plant is fairly hardy when it comes to temperature range, and they will grow comfortably at room temperature in your home.

In their native Mexico, they thrive in hot, dry conditions but can tolerate low nightly temperatures in a mountainous environment.

Ghost plants can tolerate temperatures down to 10°F  (-10 °C). 

The ideal temperature for Graptopetalum paraguayense is 60 - 80 °F (16-27°C)

The ideal temperature for Graptopetalum paraguayense is 60 – 80 °F (16-27°C)

The ideal humidity for a Ghost plant lies below 50%.

With ghost plants, it is best to avoid rooms in your house that get too humid or have a lot of moisture in the air, such as the bathroom or kitchen where there can be lots of steam.

The ghost plant prefers an arid environment and will be at home on a window in the sun.

Fertilize a Ghost plant using a balanced liquid fertilizer at 1/2 strength once a month in the growing season.

As with indoor pot plants the soil may need a supplementary feed as the plant will eventually exhaust all the available nutrients in the pot.

The key is to feed the plant when it’s actively growing in the spring and summer to ensure a healthy plant.

I personally use a balanced succulent fertilizer at half strength in the growing season in spring and summer and apply it once a month.

Propagation

The easiest way to propagate a Ghost plant is through leaf propagation.

The Propagation of ghost plants is very easy as the plants essentially reproduce this way in their natural environment.

The stems of the ghost plant are actually rather brittle and any rosette that breaks away will root and start its own plant.

This plant is so keen to colonize that even leaves that are cut off will root and form a new plant.

It is essential that the wound where the plant is cut has time to dry out and callous over before being planted and watered.

Ghost plants are very easy to propagate by using leaf cuttings

Ghost plants are very easy to propagate by using leaf “cuttings”

The Ghost plant is not a big grower because it is naturally a desert-dwelling plant. 

If it’s given enough space and potted to allow for more growth and has the optimal growing conditions, the plant can reach 12′ tall (30 cm) and trail 3 feet (91cm).  You can me cuttings regularly to propagate for more plants.

Repot a Ghost plant in spring once it is outgrowing its pot.

With Graptopetalum paraguayense, you shouldn’t have to repot often.

However, if the plant has outgrown the pot, you should move the plant to a bigger pot in the spring.

This is also a good time to cut back the older growth and start propagating.

What does the Ghost Plant Look Like?

The Natural habitat of Graptopetalum paraguayense is in the mountainous, arid climate of Tamaulipas in the North-East of Mexico .

Ghost plants are characterized by their thick fleshy leaves that form beautiful rosettes that store water.

This is a trait shared by all succulents as an adaptation to arid environments.

The color of the leaves can range from pale green to an attractive pale blue hue .

The plant’s leaves grow in trailing rosettes which are around four inches (10 cm) wide.

Ghost plants occasionally flower in spring and summer with small white and yellow flowers.

Propagation of the Ghost Plant

The ghost plant is great for beginners as there is a high chance of success if you are inexperienced with propagation.

Propagation is essentially how the plant reproduces in the mountainous, arid terrain of Mexico, so the ghost plant doesn’t require lots of specialized knowledge or experience to successfully propagate a new plant .

It is best practice to propagate ghost plants during the growing season (spring and summer) as they will root quicker this time of year and have a better chance of survival than in the winter months.

You can propagate with:

• Cuttings from a stem from older or excessive growth or… • From just an individual leaf from the stem or one of the rosettes

The easiest way to propagate with the best chance of success is to cut off one of the bigger stems from the main plant which will give new growth that’s underneath the space, light, and opportunity to thrive.

Use a sharp, sterile knife or pair of scissors for a clean cut . Cut the stem that you want to propagate and remove any of the lower leaves that grow off the stem, so you just have the rosette of leaves left at the top of your cutting.

It is this part of the plant that has the best chance of propagating.

The next bit is counter-intuitive and contrary to how you would propagate any other plants outside the succulent family.

You need to let the wound from your cutting dry and allow it to callous over.

This allows for the plant to retain all the water that it stores in the thick waxy leaves.

Storing water in the stems and leaves rather than relying on a consistent supply of water in the soil is an adaptation to arid climates that is unique to the succulent family of plants.

If you do not give the cutting the opportunity to callous over the plant will rot when you come to plant and water it.

You can either let the cuttings dry out for two days on a window sill or arrange the cuttings in a pot of soil that is bone dry.

I must reemphasize it is crucial to allow all the wounds from your cutting to dry out first for two days before you water the plant.

I know as a gardener this can go against all your instincts!

To be on the safe side, after two or three days, physically check to see if all the wounds have been calloused over and are dry to the touch.

Once you are satisfied the wounds are all dry, arrange your cuttings in a pot of well-draining soil with some additional sand, grit, or perlite.

If you are planting multiple cuttings in one pot allow about three inches between each plant.

It is at this point you can give the plant a generous watering ; making sure the soil is nice and moist.

Leave it a week before watering again. This new cutting will form roots, and you will have a happy new ghost plant!

Propagate Ghost Plants from Leaf

Propagation from the leaves of your ghost plant is another great way to make the most of your plant.

The ghost plant will shed leaves and naturally propagate in this way if it is in a big enough pot with enough exposed soil and if it’s given the opportunity.

To propagate the leaves of the Ghost plant, you need to very carefully twist the leaf off from the main stem with as clean a break as possible .

This may take a bit of practice to get right to start with the leaves that are lower down on one of the main stems.

Then, much like the stem cuttings, you need to place the leaves on the dry surface on the window sill in the sun for at least 24 hours. This gives the wound a chance to dry and callous over.

After the wound is completely dry , you can place each cutting straight onto the soil in your pot and give them about an inch apart from each other. It really is that simple.

Now you can give your leaves a good drink.

This will stimulate the leaf to develop roots and grow into a new plant.

However, you should still follow the principle of ‘soak and dry’ where you give the plant a generous watering once a week and then leave it till the soil is completely dry before you next water.

Every leaf can be different and grow at different rates, but roots can appear a week or so after the cutting .

When the roots first appear from the leaf, it’s a good idea to move the pot to an area of the partial sun.

A relentless blazing sun in hot climates can damage the new roots.

If you see roots growing there is a good chance a new rosette should form and you will have a brand new ghost plant after a few weeks!

The parent leaf will eventually wither away at which point you can remove it, and your brand new plant should be rooted into the soil.

I would recommend that you try this with several leaves at one time as the chances of successful propagation from individual leaves are lower than from stem cuttings.

This is how the ghost plant spreads in its natural environment, so propagation is a lot easier with this succulent than most other plants , so if you are a propagation novice, this is a great place to start.

Propagated Ghost Plants from Leaves

Propagated Ghost Plants from leaves. The dried-up bits on the soil were leaves where new plans started to grow. The success rate was close to 100%.

4 Tips to Keep your Ghost Plant in Great Shape

#Tip Number 1

Ghost plants love the full sun so pick a nice sunny window sill or spot in your greenhouse to make sure your succulent is as happy as can be.

#Tip Number 2

When it comes to soil, ghost plants are hardy (they naturally grow in nutrient-poor sandy soils), so you can use a general-purpose potting soil, but you must amend it with around 50% sand, grit, or perlite to make sure the structure of the soil remains porous so the water can permeate effectively.

#Tip Number 3

Ghost plants thrive off a cycle of soak and dry. Watering about once a week in abundance gives the plant the opportunity to draw the water up for storage in their leaves and stems.

If you are unsure whether your succulent needs watering, test how dry the surrounding soil is with your finger to a depth of 1 inch.

If you detect any moisture at all, then you can leave watering for another day or so. If the soil is bone dry, then this is the perfect time to water to keep the plant healthy.

#Tip Number 4

Try not to move your ghost plant too frequently to rooms that have different temperatures and conditions.

The plant adapts well to the temperature, humidity, and level of sunlight of a particular location so if it is constantly moved it will constantly have to adapt to new surroundings.

3 Things you shouldn’t do to your Ghost Plant

  1. The plant has brittle stems so moving the plant around frequently can cause the stems to break off and potentially damage the plant so try to handle it with care when you are moving or repotting.   2. A classic mistake with the Ghost plant (and all succulents) is to overwater the pot.

Remember this plant is happy in the desert and has specially adapted to enjoy being watered once a week in the growing season and once every two or three weeks in the colder months.   3. Do not plant in a pot without drainage holes in the bottom .

Ghost plants are particularly susceptible to root rot so you need to make sure your pot has a drainage hole in the bottom so excess water can escape otherwise the water will sit there and eventually kill the plant.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ghost Plants

How often do i need to water a ghost plant.

Water once a week in the growing seasons in spring and summer. Water about once every 2-3 weeks in autumn and winter. You only need to water if the potting mix is dry once an inch into the soil.

How do I propagate a Ghost plant?

Ghost plants are very easy to propagate. You can take stem cuttings and lay them on slightly humid soil. Within 2-3 weeks, new growth will start.

Is the Ghost plant toxic?

The Ghost plant is benign, and no part of the plant is toxic or poisonous to either humans or animals, even if you consume them. Ghost plants are a very safe plant to have around children and pets and are completely harmless.

Where does the Ghost plant come from?

The ghost plant is a native of North-Eastern Mexico where they thrive in arid, isolated mountain habitats near the Chihuahuan Desert in poor quality, sandy soils. They are perfectly adapted to this harsh, drought-prone environment by storing water in their thick fleshly leaves and stems and only drawing upon it when it needs to.

Daniel Iseli

Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.

ghost plant effects

  • Beginners Guide , Succulents Care

Ultimate Guide: How To Care For Ghost Plant?

Written by cactusway team.

ghost plant effects

Ghost Plant is a unique ornamental houseplant. Furthermore, it is one of the most popular succulents easily available from gardening centers and stores as it is easy to grow and care for. Even novices may grow them. 

They can survive anything from long periods without water to damaged stems and cold temperatures. If you’re searching for a forgiving succulent that won’t mind a little neglect now and then, Ghost Plant is an excellent option.

If you are looking at growing a Ghost Plant, here is detailed information on how to propagate, important conditions, and care tips for your Ghost plant to thrive.

Ghost plant enjoys full exposure to sunlight . You should let it stay in bright light for at least six hours a day. Its most distinctive feature is its translucent pink leaves, which result from exposure to full light. 

On the other hand, the Ghost plant can tolerate light shade, which turns the leaves to a grey, blue color.

A ghost plant with a back light.

For indoors lighting, locate the most lit location, or one with or receiving a lot of light. An east-facing window is ideal. West and south-facing windows may also work well, but you’ll have to relocate the plant multiple times to get the ideal position.

If your Ghost plant does not receive enough light, it will start changing to a pale gray color and lose its luster.

If it doesn’t get enough light soon, it will start stretching out and elongating towards a bright light . Move the plant to a more direct light source when you notice this happening.

The Ghost plant’s soil (like other succulents) needs to be well well-draining .

The ideal combination of light, porous potting soil, and up to 50% gravel, sand, or perlite will give your Ghost plant a conducive environment for growth. Or use this soil mix that combines coarse sand, cactus mix, and perlite in a 1:1:1 ratio.  

A ghost plant was planted in a rocky soil with sunlight.

The type of potting mix you create will also let you avoid many common problems that arise from overwatering .

When caring for Ghost plants, water is the most important element.

Water your Ghost plant once a week during the active growing season in winter and spring. Come winter; you should only water it once or twice every two to three weeks to prevent overwatering.

Wait till the soil is completely dry to a depth of one inch and water it once the soil is dry . You can check this out using your index finger.

Water the soil around the plant’s base in the morning or late evening. Pouring water directly onto the leaves might scorch on a hot, sunny day damaging the plant . In addition, dripping water on the leaves in a humid environment might cause fungal infections to your plant.

Outdoor Ghost plants rarely require soil supplements when grown in the garden, but you can still add nutrients to both plants if grown outdoors or indoors. 

Those grown indoors may require a feeding supplement after depleting the existing nutrients in the pot.

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The secret to growing a healthy Ghost plant is to feed it while it is actively developing in the summer and spring.

In the spring and summer(growing season), you can use a balanced succulent fertilizer at half strength, and you can use it once every month or two. Fertilizer mixes made specifically for succulents and cacti are also appropriate.

Temperature

Ghost plants do well in temperatures between 60 to 80°F .

The Ghost plant is relatively a hardy succulent when it comes to temperature fluctuation, and the good thing, it will thrive in your house at room temperature.

A plant terrarium.

In their native Mexico, they flourish in hot, dry regions and survive low temperatures in mountainous regions. They can tolerate low temperatures of upto 10°F .

Ghost plants do well in environments with below 50% of humidity level .

Avoid rooms in your home that become too humid or are full of moisture, such as the kitchen or bathroom, where steam may accumulate. These areas usually have high humidity levels and may damage your plant.

The Ghost plant thrives in an arid climate and may be placed on a window to receive plenty of sunshine and good airflow, recreating its natural habitat.

Ghost plant offshoots new rosette pups on the healthy stems that may get leggy with time. These leggy offshoots, depending on the aesthetic you’re looking for, maybe charm or make the plant look scraggly. 

Young ghost plant in a small pot.

To maintain your plant, prune the offshoots as they grow long and re-pot the pups, share with friends or create compost with them. Always use clean, sterilized pruning sears to prune your plant. 

Ghost plants don’t require regular repotting. If the plant has outgrown its container , you should switch it to a larger one in the spring.

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It’s also a good time to prune the older growth and propagate.

Pro Tip: If given an ideal pot with enough space and all the right growing conditions, Ghost plants can grow to reach 12′ tall and trail 3 feet.

Propagating Ghost Plants

It’s good to propagate Ghost plants during the growing season (spring and summer) since they will root more quickly this period hence a greater chance of survival than in the winter months.

Ghost plant leaf propagation

You can propagate Ghost plants with:

  • Individual leaf from a rosette or stem
  • Cuttings from excessive growth or older plants

Use a clean, sterile pair of scissors or sterile knife to make your cuttings . If plucking a leaf, ensure you pluck the entire leaf from the stem. If you let any part remain on the stem, you might not achieve a new growth from the leaf.

How To Propagate Ghost Plant from Stem Cuttings:

  • Let the stem cutting dry for a day or two . Let the cut ends dry and seal or callous . It’s better to obtain cuttings from healthy-looking, plump-leafed Ghost plants than dehydrated or stressed ones.
  • You can dip your cutting into a rooting hormone if you wish to speed up the process.
  • Stick the cuttings in a well-draining potting mix once they’ve dried and healed.
  • Place in a well-ventilated place and away from direct sunlight. Every few days, or when the soil feels dry, water it.

After about two weeks, you’ll begin to see new roots develop.

After four to six weeks, the cuttings should be firmly rooted, and new growth will start developing from the stem sides or the top.

When the succulent is well-rooted, reduce the amount of misting and water it once a week at most. As the plant grows older, expose it to more light.

How To Propagate Ghost Plant from Leaves:

  • Gently twist off a leaf from the stem . Always get a healthy leaf; in addition, it is wise to have several leaves as not every leaf will grow.
  • Again, you can dip the cut ends into a rooting hormone to enhance rooting. This process is optional, but you can do it if you are looking at fast success.
  • Allow the leaves to dry for a day or two. Keep it in a dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Prepare a well-draining potting soil. Take the leaves and lay them flat on the soil surface, barely covering them, or insert the cut ends in the soil.

In about two weeks, the leaves will begin producing roots. In a few more weeks, you will notice new seedlings growing. The process might take anything from a few weeks to several months.

Pro Tip: It takes longer to grow Ghost plants from leaves than from a whole stem. Stem cuttings also have a higher success rate; therefore, note these details when propagating.

How To Propagate Ghost Plant from Seeds:

Lastly, you can start Ghost plants from seeds, which is the best approach if you are looking at covering a large area of your garden or have many seedlings for potting. 

You can collect the little seeds that develop after the blooms have died or purchase them from gardening stores.

Plant the seeds in a swell draining potting mix on a tray and barely cover with soil. Water with a plant mister to prevent washing away the seeds.

Place your tray in bright light at 70°F , and you will see new sprouts in three to four weeks.

Common Pests and Diseases

Remove dead leaves from the base of your Ghost plant as it develops. Decaying foliage is home to mealybugs , which are bugs that spread bacterial infections causing decaying of your plant.

You can treat mealybugs on a Ghost plant y smothering the pests away with horticultural oil or with a dab of isopropyl alcohol.

In Conclusion

Ghost plants are one-of-a-kind plants with interesting foliage, and when grown in the proper conditions, their changing hues make them ideal focal points in any space. They’re really simple to maintain and look beautiful as greenery decorations for your home or workplace.

Last update on 2023-12-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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ghost plant effects

Graptopetalum Paraguayense ‘Ghost Plant’ Care & Propagation

Updated: Apr 22

Graptopetalum paraguayense also known as the Ghost Plant, Ghostie, Mother of Pearl or Sedum weinbergii is a fantastically hardy succulent species native to Mexico. Although this succulent is very hardy there are a few tips and tricks to keeping it happy. Below I’ll go through everything there is to know about Graptopetalum Paraguayense. All advice is based on growing tens of thousands of these plants at our nursery.

Description

Graptopetalum paraguayense is a succulent plant with a rosette shape leaf arrangement. The colour can range from pale pink to green pink, purple and dark pink. One plant can display all of these colours in a course of a year.

The nickname Ghostie or Ghost Plant comes from the pale appearance this plant can have. The surface of the leaves is coated with powdery substance called the farina and protects the plant from strong UV.

Graptopetalum Paraguayense ghost plant flower

The leaves are wide, longish and quite thick, especially when the plant is stressed. The appearance of this plant will much depend on where it’s grown. Ghosties grown in full sun will have shorter, more stubby leaves while plants in more shade can have elongated leaves.

Graptopetalum paraguayense can grow approximately 15cm in height but the rosettes tend to lean and, as the plant ages, fall to the ground and trail. Individual rosettes grow to approximately 15cm in diameter depending on the conditions.

Offsets are quite prolific and the Ghost Plant can produce upwards of 10 per year once mature. If the offsets are left attached, they will form a small, rosette bush. New offsets usually grow from the base of a stalk but can also appear midway through the stalk.

graptopetalum paraguayense in full sun and part shade comparison

Graptopetalum paraguayense grows very pretty flowers once per year, usually in Spring. The bell-shaped, white flowers grow on a tall stalk and open up in a star. One rosette can grow more than 3 flower stalks.

Position & Care

Graptopetalum paraguayense is a very hardy succulent that can deal with all sorts of adverse weather and conditions. Established plants and Ghosties grown in the ground can usually look after themselves.

Direct sun exposure over 35C/95F can burn young plants but mature Ghosties should be able to withstand sun even over 40C/104F. Morning sun/afternoon shade is the ideal position during a hot summer and full sun during the rest of the year to get that gorgeous pink out.

Graptopetalum paraguayense is not frost hardy and will need to be brought indoors once frosts are expected. It will, however, happily grow outdoors in low temperatures to about 1C/33F. It should also survive mild frosts, but can suffer burn marks.

To get the best results, upgrade the pot once a year and plant in fresh succulent potting mix. This will ensure the Ghost Plant will grow lovely and big and have lots of offsets. If you live in a climate that often experiences hot summers avoid black pots as these will increase the heat around the root area.

Good quality succulent potting mix should result in a plant that is healthy and beautiful. Having said that, Graptopetalum paraguayense will quite literally survive in any potting mix and will live in the same pot for many years. If the Ghostie is left in poor potting mix and small pot it will not grow very big or many offsets.

In the garden Ghostie can be planted in a sunny spot and will be much more hardy than plants grown in pots. This means it will take higher temperatures and will not need watering as often.

Watering can be left to the rain , though the plant will thank you if you water well during heatwaves and droughts. A good rule is to water once the potting mix has dried up.

Ghosties are unlikely to show any adverse effects if left in the rain or if they get overwatered.

Graptopetalum paraguayense is not a good indoor plant as it requires direct sunlight for at least 4 hours per day followed by bright light. It may however do well inside with the help of professional plant growing lights.

Propagation

Graptopetalum paraguayense can be propagated by offsets, leaves or seeds. The easiest and fastest method of propagation is by taking cuttings of offsets. To successfully propagate offsets it is best to wait until they are big enough and have a substantial stalk that can be cut through. The cutting should be left to dry for 24hrs and then planted in succulent potting mix.

All propagating should be done during the growing season which is Spring and Summer. In moderate climates the Ghost Plant will propagate in Autumn as well. My favourite time to propagate is Spring as it is not yet hot enough that the cuttings will burn and pretty much all succulents grow incredibly fast during this time. In summer, during hot days cuttings can be a bit vulnerable and burn easily if exposed to strong sun.

Leaf propagation is incredibly easy and if you’re looking for a plant to try propagating from leaves for the first time, the Ghostie is ideal. I often find Ghostie leaves that I’ve accidentally knocked off that have sprouted on their own under the tables or between pots. As a bonus a single leaf can grow more than one rosette. If the leaves are taken off in the growing season new plants will start emerging after about 2-3 weeks. For a guide to leaf propagation see one of our articles here .

Seed propagation can be quite unreliable, extremely slow and a bit pointless given Graptopetalum paraguayense is just so easy to propagate from offsets and leaves. Thus, I would not recommend going down this path.

Graptopetalum paraguayense is susceptible to all the usual succulent pests such as mealy bugs, aphids and snails/slugs. Mealy bugs and aphids are quite a danger to the Ghostie and can infest a plant fast. Regular checks should be made to keep them at bay.

For a full list of pests and how to deal with them see our article on animals that like to eat succulents.

Graptopetalum paraguayense is non toxic to humans, dogs, cats, other pets and livestock. This plant should not be consumed as a food source.

Where Can I Get It?

Graptopetalum paraguayense is a popular and easy plant to find. It should be available in garden centres or succulent nurseries. If you look online, you will definitely find one.

Our nursery Fern Farm Plants sells baby Ghosties in Australia .

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GardenBeast

Ghost Plant Guide: How to Care for “Graptopetalum Paraguayense”

Miruna Secuianu

Want a unique-looking ornamental plant in your home? A Ghost Plant is what you need! And don’t worry, there’s absolutely nothing scary about this easy-to-grow succulent.

Of all succulents, Ghost Plants are among the easiest to grow, even by novice growers. They can survive anything from damaged stems to not being watered for a long time, and even frost. So, if you are looking for a succulent that’s forgiving and won’t mind the occasional neglect, Ghost Plant is a perfect choice.

Popular for being evergreen succulents and for their unique look, thanks to their trailing rosette form, Ghost Plants can be seen everywhere these days, including garden centers, home improvement stores, and craft and hobby stores. And, you’ve probably also seen these plants in some of your friends’ houses but didn’t know what they were called.

Are you interested in growing Ghost Plants in your home? Keep reading below to find out how to grow and care for these adorable succulents.

ghost plant effects

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Succulents Box currently offers more than 200 varieties of succulents (both popular and rare ones) along with 5 monthly subscription boxes.

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Leaf & Clay offer a range of hundreds of types of succulents along with subscription boxes, pots & macrame.

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Lula’s Garden offers a selection of succulent garden gift sets from small single succulents in pots to full succulent gardens.

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The Succulent Source offers a huge selection of succulents, cactii and also gift sets and items for weddings.

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Planet Desert cater to succulent and cactii fans with a large range of plants, soil, kits and other supplies for creating your garden.

ghost plant effects

Table of Contents

About Ghost Plant

  • The botanical name of the Ghost Plant is Graptopetalum paraguayense, but it is also commonly known as Mother of Pearl plant and Sedum weinbergii.
  • Although the botanical name of the plant may imply that it comes from Paraguay, Ghost Plants are actually native to Tamaulipas, Mexico.
  • Ghost Plants are perfect for any indoor environment. They can be great ornamental plants in both home and office spaces. As long as the environment provides them with the ideal growing conditions, the plants will thrive and make amazing greenery decorations.
  • Ghost Plants can be grown both indoors and outdoors. They typically do better outside, when exposed to natural elements, but can also thrive indoors if you provide them with the right conditions.
  • Suppose you live in an area with a colder climate that reaches freezing temperatures. In that case, growing your Ghost Plant indoors is definitely the right decision because this type of plant isn’t winter-hardy.
  • If grown outdoors, Ghost Plants are excellent additions to rock gardens, succulent gardens, and Mediterranean gardens.
  • To thrive, like most succulents, Ghost Plants need warm temperatures. The minimum temperature tolerated by these plants is 20°F (-6°C).
  • Ghost Plants prefer full sun but can also adapt to partial shade. Yet, these plants look best when kept in bright direct sun. Keep in mind that if your Ghost Plant doesn’t receive enough light, it can be leggy and experience leaf drop. So, try to place your plant in a sunny spot in your home.
  • These plants have specific water needs for succulents. They don’t like wet feet, and are prone to root rot, and prefer to be watered every other week. Although we don’t recommend neglecting to water your Ghost Plant, as mentioned above, these plants can survive several weeks without watering. Overwatering may be more dangerous to your plant than no watering.
  • Ghost Plants do best in sandy or a light potting mix that allows good drainage. If you live in an area with excess humidity, it is particularly important to provide your plant with good drainage to help it maintain a healthy root system.
  • Ghost Plants are non-toxic to humans and pets. You don’t have to worry that if you bring one indoors, it may be dangerous for your kids or pets.
  • Ghost Plants are particularly vulnerable to mealybugs, vine weevil, and aphids. Good remedies for these pests are medical alcohol and a low-toxicity bug control solution that will remove the bugs without doing any harm to your Ghost Plant.

Ghost Plant

Ghost Plant Features: An Overview

  • Ghost Plants are related to and look very similar to Aeonium Echeveria. Yet, a closer look at these plants will help differentiate them. For example, Aeonium Echeveria has thicker and wider leaves. While the rosettes of Echeverias can be 20 inches in diameter, the size of the rosettes of the Ghost Plant ranges between 2 to 5 inches. Plus, the Echeverias’ rosettes spread from the main stem while Ghost Plants’ rosettes break off from the root.
  • The appearance of these plants is also similar to the appearance of Pachyveria plants. Yet, the main difference between the two is that the leaves of Ghost Plants are pointy, while the leaves of Pachyverias are rounded.
  • Ghost Plants can grow up to 1 ft (60 cm) tall and 2-3 ft (60-90 cm) wide.
  • These plants develop a rosette shape on stems, which can trail or hang when the plants reach maturity.
  • What’s incredibly special about these plants is that they are chameleons, having different colors depending on how much light they get. When grown in partial shade, the plants tend to have a blue-gray color. In partial sun, Ghost Plants tend to have a gray-pink color, whereas, in full sun, their color ranges from pinkish gray to yellow.
  • When provided with the ideal growing conditions, Ghost Plants produce dainty sprays of star-shaped yellow flowers in spring.

Graptopetalum paraguayense

Growing Ghost Plant

Like most succulents, Ghost Plants are low-maintenance houseplants when the environment you offer them meets their basic growing requirements. In general, Ghost Plants have the same type of needs like most succulents, including abundant light, good drainage, warm temperatures, and to be protected from frost.

Ghost Plants thrive in climates with hot temperatures and are very sensitive to freezing temperatures. The lowest temperature they can survive is 20°F (-6°C). So, If you live in an area with a climate that can reach sub-zero temperatures, it’s best to grow your Ghost Plant indoors, in containers.

They love sunny spots and look their best when kept in full sun. That’s when their colors range from pinkish to yellow. The more intense the sunlight they get, the prettier its colors will become. If you grow your Ghost Plant inside your home, make sure to find the brightest place to keep them. Keep in mind that if your plant doesn’t get enough light, it will experience leaf loss, and its color will change to a dull gray. This is how you know that your plant needs to be moved to a spot where it gets more sunlight.

ghost plant effects

If you grow your Ghost Plant outdoors, place it in a spot that gets plenty of bright, partial sunlight. Although they can adapt to full sun, in the beginning, they are prone to sunburn. So, it’s best to give the plant some time to acclimate to the full sun.

Your Ghost Plant will also need some feeding to grow healthy and to flower in spring. We recommend applying fertilizer only during the active growth period of the plant in the spring and summer months. Yet, it’s essential to make sure that you don’t excess fertilize it because this can lead to burned leaves. Sometimes, if you provide the plant with the ideal growing conditions, a side-dressing of compost can be enough to keep it healthy and help it grow.

Planting Graptopetalum Paraguayense

Planting Ghost Plants isn’t much more complicated than it is with other succulents. They have the same typical needs, such as well-draining soil, especially if you live in an area with extra humidity.

If you grow Ghost Plants in a container, we recommend using a mixture of peat, sand, topsoil, and a little bit of compost. If your succulents are outdoors, it’s best to avoid planting them in clay soil. We recommend using a planting mix with half grit or sand and half organic material such as peat or commercial potting soil.

No matter if you plant them indoors or outdoors, keep their lighting requirements in mind and choose a spot in your home or garden where these succulents will get enough sunlight to grow beautifully.

An important thing to keep in mind: Do not plant your Graptopetalum Paraguayense outdoors if you live in an area with a cold climate and winters that reach sub-zero temperatures.

Also known as "Mother of Pearl plant"

Watering Ghost Plants

Like most succulents, Ghost Plants require sufficient amounts of water to thrive but not too much. They don’t like wet feet and are prone to root rot. So, avoid overwatering your succulents because this is the easiest way to kill it.

The watering needs of your Ghost plants depend on the season and on the surrounding environment. These succulents need to be watered more frequently during the spring and summer months, as often as every 7-10 days. Yet, during the winter, you need to cut back on the water, and only water them once a month.

The best way to make sure you provide the ideal amount of water to your succulents is by allowing the top half of the soil to dry between waterings.

Propagating Ghost Plants

Ghost Plants propagate by stem or leaf cuttings and it’s best to propagate them in spring or early summer. Even a healthy leaf that falls from your plant can root where it has fallen if all the conditions are ideal.

As it is with propagating other succulents, you need to remove a steam cutting and allow it to dry for a day or two so that it heals. Next, place the cutting in a well-draining potting mix and water it every few days for almost two weeks when the steam will develop its own root system. Once the new plant is fully rooted, you can start taking care of it in the same way you care for your mature Ghost Plant.

In Conclusion

Ghost Plants are unique-looking succulents, and when provided with the ideal growing conditions, their changing colors will make them fantastic focal points in any home or garden. It’s really easy to care for them and they make lovely greenery decorations for your home or office.

Are you growing Ghost Plants indoors or outdoors? Let us know in the comments!

Miruna

Miruna is an experienced content writer with a passion for gardening. She is the proud owner of an outdoor rose garden and an indoor collection of tiny succulents. She bought her first succulent 10 years ago - an adorable Echeveria Setosa. Now she owns more than 100 succulents and cacti of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Miruna is a versatile writer and, as you might have guessed, her favorite topic is gardening. Contact [email protected]

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The Magic Of Ghost Pipe

The Magic Of Ghost Pipe

Written by: norianna diesel.

ghost plant effects

Monotropa uniflora , also known as ghost pipe or Indian pipe, is a perennial from the Ericaceae family that makes its presence known by a white translucent fruiting body. This is not your typical plant, as it does not photosynthesize, rather, it obtains nutrients from a mycorrhizal fungi, with research showing that the primary relationship is with the  Russula  fungi.  In typical mycorrhizal relationships that you see between various fungi species and trees, there is always some sort of nutrient exchange. Monotropa uniflora however, doesn't give anything back to the Russula fungi, rather it simply takes the nutrients it needs, thereby classifying it as a symbiote. 

Ghost pipe is native to temperate regions of Asia, North America, and northern South America, but showing up sporadically with large gaps between regions of growth. You will find ghost pipe growing in shaded woods with rich, moist soil. Often this ghostly flower shows itself as a waxy translucent white, but sometimes it will have black flecks, or even a pale pink coloration, with a rare variety showing a dark red color.

There are so many things that really make this plant stand apart, one of them being that when you handle the flower, it can easily dissolve, much like ice will when held. There is one curved downward pointing bell-shaped flower for each stem that is nonodorous. Though unique, these flowers are still pollinated by bees, and once pollinated, the flower points upwards and forms an oval seed capsule. Once the seed capsule has fully matured, the seeds then are dispersed through the wind, and the plant dries up, turns black, and shrivels down.

Mythology: 

It is not hard to imagine that the native peoples who lived amongst ghost pipe would create mythology and legends surrounding this super unique plant. The energy coming off of this flower beckons one to take a seat, and enter into the mythical realm of plant spirits. I have heard that ghost pipe is an elusive plant, showing itself only when it wants to be seen, much like American ginseng only makes itself known when ready. 

One beautiful legend surrounding ghost pipe is that from the Cherokee peoples. The legend is copied and shared below:

Before selfishness came into the world, which was a long time ago, the Cherokee happily shared the same hunting and fishing lands with their neighbors. However, everything changed when selfishness arrived. The men began to quarrel with their neighbors.

The Cherokee began fighting with a tribe from the east and would not share the hunting area. The chiefs of the two tribes met in council to settle the quarrel. They smoked the tobacco pipe but continued to argue for seven days and seven nights.

The Great Spirit watched the people and was displeased by their behavior. They should have smoked the pipe after they made peace. The pipe is sacred and must be treated with respect. He looked down upon the old chiefs, with their heads bowed, and decided to send reminders to the people.

The Great Spirit transformed the chiefs into white-gray flowers that we now call “Indian Pipe.” The plant grows only four to ten inches tall and the small flowers droop towards the ground, like bowed heads. Indian Pipe grows wherever friends and relatives have quarreled.

Next the Great Spirit placed a ring of smoke over the mountains. The smoke rests on the mountains to this day and will last until the people of the world learn to live together in peace. That is how the Great Smoky Mountains came to be.

— Lloyd Arneach (Eastern Band of Cherokee)

American Indian Magazine

Winter 2010. “The Storyteller’s Art: Sharing Timeless Wisdom in Modern Times” by Anya Montiel

Pages 34-39

ghost plant effects

This elusive and beautiful flower has been studied and scientifically pondered upon at least as far back as 1821, when William Hooker, (the founder of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew) and his son Joseph, hypothesized that ghost pipe could be either a parasite on tree roots, or like fungi, absorbing nutrients from decomposed organic matter. In the early 1840s, Thomas Rylands discovered that the roots of ghost pipe were not actually connected to trees, but rather to the mycorrhizal fungi. Then, in the 1960s, Eric Björkman and Steve Trudell were able to prove that ghost pipe had a parasitic action towards the fungi and tree symbiotic relationship. 

Emily Dickinson, the great American poet, was incredibly fond of ghost pipe flower, and her book Poems , published posthumously in 1890, had an illustration of ghost pipe on its cover! 

ghost plant effects

Historical Medicinal Uses:

Most herbalists typically use the root of the ghost pipe plant, although once the root is harvested, it disrupts its ability to flower again, and in certain endangered areas should be avoided.

Historically, herbalists have used the ghost pipe roots for its sedative, antispasmodic, and diaphoretic effects. Ghost pipe has been popular to use to manage neuronal disorders like psychosis, acute anxiety, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, and convulsion episodes. It has also historically been used for afflictions such as: epilepsy, chorea, febrile disease, emotional and mental pain, and nerve pain. 

Rose water combined with ghost pipe juice has been used for ulcers, gonorrhea, inflammation of the bladder, and even ophthalmic inflammation.

One unique effect of ghost pipe is its ability to neutralize the effects of an overly strong or bad p silocybin  trip. It may also help in repressing certain traumatic memories that could then trigger anxiety and panic attacks. 

The Cherokee Indians used ghost pipe as an anti-convulsive, giving the ground up roots to people during an epileptic fit or convulsion. They also crushed it up and rubbed it on bunions or warts, and the juice was used to wash sore eyes.

The Cree Indians used ghost pipe as a toothache remedy by chewing the flowers.

The Mohegan Indians used ghost pipe to reduce the effects of fevers and pain.

The Thompson Indians in British Colombia used a poultice of ghost pipe for sores that would not heal.

The Potawatomi Indians used an infusion of ghost pipe root as a gynecological aid.

ghost plant effects

Other notes:

We have possibly one of the world's only freeze-dried ghost pipe flower spagyric tincture right here in our online Apothecary. We have a special relationship with a wild-harvester in Virginia who sustainably harvested the ghost pipe flowers, kept them on ice, and overnighted the flowers to us. Once these flowers arrived in our laboratory, we put them in our freeze-dryer to ensure the freshest preservation of this beautiful flower. Later, the freeze-dried material was turned into a spagyric tincture, stretching the medicinal virtues of the plant in the furthest way possible. This spagyric tincture is one that gets recommended the most when we do live events and are running a booth. Many people come to our booth with complaints of anxiety or nervousness, and we let them know that ghost pipe has historically been used to help both of these complaints. 

The first time both Phoenix Aurelius and I saw ghost pipe flowering in its natural environment was when I had taken him to Asheville, NC in 2021. On our way home, we stopped by Grandfather Mountain, and while walking in the woods near a little parking lot, we spotted this mysterious translucent flower. At that time, I wasn't even aware of what it was that I was seeing, but later came to find out that we had indeed stumbled across some ghost pipe! I look forward to spending more time in the Appalachian forests, and being able to take my time sitting and connecting in with this special flower. Her presence really calls forth a certain patience and stillness, and it is no surprise to learn that she is a master at calming anxiety or nervousness. 

Ghost Pipe, Freeze-Dried, Spagyric Tincture

Ghost Pipe, Freeze-Dried, Spagyric Tincture

Ghost Pipe -  Monotropa uniflora . Mayernik Kitchen. Accessed December 2, 2022. https://www.mayernikkitchen.com/medicinal-plants/ghost-pipe#:~:text=Ghost%20pipes%20have%20several%20medicinal

Provings - School of Homeopathy - Indian Pipe ( Monotropa uniflora ). Homeopathyschool.com. Published 2011. https://www.homeopathyschool.com/the-school/provings/indian-pipe/

Ghost Pipe: A Hauntingly Rare Plant for Physical and Emotional Pain. Wisdom of the Plant Devas. Published October 4, 2019. Accessed December 2, 2022. https://wisdomoftheplantdevas.com/2019/10/04/ghost-pipe-a-hauntingly-rare-plant-for-physical-and-emotional-pain/

Gardening U. All About Ghost Pipe ( Monotropa uniflora ). Unruly Gardening. Published June 16, 2022. Accessed December 2, 2022. https://unrulygardening.com/ghost-pipe-faqs/#is-ghost-pipe-endangered

Nelson R. Indian Pipes (Ghost Pipes ) : The Forest’s Pain Reliever That Are Risky But Effective. Stone Age Man. Published July 20, 2022. Accessed December 2, 2022. https://stoneageman.com/indian-pipes-are-the-best-pain-reliever-in-the-forest/

Yang S, Pfister DH.  Monotropa uniflora  plants of eastern Massachusetts form mycorrhizae with a diversity of russulacean fungi.  Mycologia . 2006;98(4):535-540. doi:10.1080/15572536.2006.11832656

‌Wikipedia Contributors.  Monotropa uniflora . Wikipedia. Published November 17, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotropa_uniflora

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The Forgotten Herb: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Use Ghost Pipe

Ghost pipe (Monotropa uniflora) Flower

Deep within the woodland's mysterious embrace, a hidden gem lies waiting to be discovered - the enigmatic Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), a plant shrouded in both obscurity and wonder. Often overlooked due to its ghostly and ephemeral appearance, the Ghost Pipe is an ancient herbal ally, offering unique medicinal properties that have been utilized by indigenous cultures for centuries. Yet, despite its storied past, this ethereal plant remains largely unknown to the modern world. In "The Forgotten Herb: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Use Ghost Pipe," we will unearth the secrets of this mystical plant and explore its myriad uses, from traditional remedies to innovative applications in contemporary herbal medicine. Journey with us as we delve into the enigmatic world of the Ghost Pipe, and together, let's rediscover the untapped potential of this forgotten herb.

Ghost Pipe, or Monotropa uniflora, is a curious plant that thrives in the shadowy understory of forests. Unlike most plants, it is non-photosynthetic, taking on a ghostly, ethereal appearance. This unique characteristic is what gives it its common name. But beyond its aesthetic appeal, this plant has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, and learning how to use Ghost Pipe can open up new avenues for natural wellness.

The first step in learning how to use Ghost Pipe is knowing when and where to find it. Ghost Pipe usually blooms between early summer and early fall. It's often found in dense, shady forests and enjoys a symbiotic relationship with certain tree species, such as beech, pine, and oak. As foragers, farmers, and cooks ourselves, we understand the thrill and satisfaction of finding these elusive plants. Remember, sustainable foraging is key, ensuring that we leave enough behind for the ecosystem to continue thriving.

Now, let's explore how to use Ghost Pipe. Traditionally, this plant has been used to make tinctures or teas. While the scientific community is still studying its potential health benefits, anecdotal evidence suggests that it might have pain-relieving properties. To make a tincture, harvest the Ghost Pipe flowers and place them in a jar, then cover with high-proof alcohol. Let this sit for a few weeks, shaking occasionally. This extracts the plant's constituents into the alcohol. Strain out the plant material, and what remains is your Ghost Pipe tincture. When it comes to using the tincture, always start with small amounts to see how your body responds.

If you prefer a more traditional method, you can learn how to use Ghost Pipe to make tea. Simply dry the harvested plant and steep it in hot water. Enjoy the tea as is, or experiment by adding other herbs to create a blend that suits your palate.

At Foraged, we're not just about providing access to these hard-to-find foods. We're about nurturing a relationship between you and the food you consume. We believe that understanding how to use Ghost Pipe and other foraged ingredients can transform your life, enhancing your appreciation for the intricate web of life that sustains us all.

However, we must stress the importance of responsible foraging. Always ensure that you correctly identify any wild plant before consumption and never overharvest. Our mission is to support sustainable businesses and promote a healthier relationship with our food and environment.

In conclusion, learning how to use Ghost Pipe is not just about adding another ingredient to your pantry. It's about embracing a deeper, more meaningful connection with nature and our food. So, why not take a step towards this exciting journey with us at Foraged? Together, we can rediscover the joy of food in its most natural form, while nurturing a sustainable food system for generations to come.

Buy Ghost Pipe

Learn more about indian (ghost) pipe.

A Beginner's Guide to the Unseen: An Introduction to the Ghost Pipe

A Beginner's Guide to the Unseen: An Introduction to the Ghost Pipe

Exploring the Potential Ghost Pipe Benefits: Unveiling the Secrets

Exploring the Potential Ghost Pipe Benefits: Unveiling the Secrets

How to Grow Ghost Pipe: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Grow Ghost Pipe: A Comprehensive Guide

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At Foraged, we’re on a mission to empower small-scale food purveyors to grow healthy, sustainable businesses while nourishing everyday people by providing easy access to unique foods.

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How to Make and Use Ghost Pipe Tincture: Prepared for Pain

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November 14, 2023

Ghost pipe emerges ethereal from crackling autumn leaves. This snow-white flower is both coveted and controversial; a long-awaited autumn companion shrouded in mystery. 

For a survivalist, it could be one of the most important medicinal plants you ever forage. Ghost pipe tincture is a powerful nervine, providing relief and relaxation for those affected by acute pain, panic, and anxiety.

Unfortunately, there’s a great deal of confusion and misinformation surrounding this spectral blossom. Read on to discover what the science says and learn how to make ghost pipe tincture with safety and ecological responsibility in mind.

What to Know Before Making Ghost Pipe Tincture 

Ghost Pipe

Ghost pipe is so controversial because of its delicate ecological status, a lack of research, and its possible toxicity. 

Known in the scientific community as Monotropa uniflora, ghost pipe is a member of the Ericaceae family in the subfamily Monotropaceae. It is a relatively rare plant at risk for overharvesting in many areas. If you do decide to use it, please do so responsibly by following the directions outlined in step three. 

Regarding toxicity, what we know comes mainly from a single study carried out in 1889. This study proved the presence of the neurotoxin grayanotoxin, which is present in many other Ericaceae species . 

Ingesting too much of it can lead to a dangerous decrease in heart rate, among other adverse effects. It’s important to note that this study has never been replicated, and there are doubts about its quality compared to modern methodological standards. 

Evidence of ghost pipe’s incredible efficacy in pain relief is anecdotal, though the plant does contain glycosides that act similarly to salicylic acid — the main component of aspirin. This is slightly disheartening, considering we already have a vast wealth of alternative salicin-producing plants and a variety of cheap OTC painkillers.

Ghost Pipe: All Hype?

Ghost pipe is greatly revered. Could there possibly be more to the story? Well, maybe . The very toxicity of ghost pipe might be precisely what elevates its pain-relieving properties far beyond mere aspirin. Certain grayanotoxins exhibit intense analgesic properties , some more powerful even than morphine. Whether ghost pipe produces these specific grayanotoxins is unknown, and further study is needed. 

Another ounce of anecdotal evidence from yours truly: ghost pipe is a powerful pain reliever . It brings an intense feeling of calm, relaxation, and order to the mind. It is not psychoactive in the slightest and has no euphoric effects. But if drugstore aspirin isn’t available, ghost pipe will work wonders in a survival scenario.

Ghost Pipe

Materials You’ll Need to Make Ghost Pipe Tincture

Ghost Pipe Tincture Prep

Ghost pipe tincture is relatively easy to make, though extracting the compounds takes a lot of hands-off time. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Ghost pipe patch: Ghost pipe will serve as the medicinal base for your tincture. You will need to find a patch of it before you begin. 
  • Foraging knife: You’ll need a sharp knife to harvest ghost pipe responsibly.
  • Alcohol: Use alcohol as a solvent to extract the medicinal compounds in ghost pipe. It’s not clear exactly what percentage of alcohol will work best here, but I always use 190-proof with excellent results. 
  • Mason jar: The mason jar will contain your mixture and keep it safe while tincturing. 
  • Strainer: The strainer will allow you to separate the spent plant material from the usable tincture. I sing the praises of my Toncoo strainer and highly recommend it for everyone, but a simple cheesecloth will do in a pinch.
  • Amber tincture jars: It’s vital to store such rare and potent herbs correctly in amber glass. Darker colors like amber prevent degradation from UV rays over time, while glass holds up pretty well against high-proof alcohol. 

How to Make Ghost Pipe Tincture

1. source your ghost pipe..

Ghost pipe blooms in early autumn from June to September. It lasts only a few days at prime, so anyone hoping to harvest must stay vigilant and not wait too long. The plant is easy to recognize, a beautiful yet somehow ghastly looking flower lacking chlorophyll or pigmentation. 

Ghost Pipe

Also known as “corpse flower,” ghost pipe’s ghoulish skin is firm and somewhat translucent. It may take on a pink hue over time, with spots of black appearing as the flower ages.

You probably won’t mistake it for anything else, and you might not find it at all. Ghost pipe is rare and requires a perfect balance of specific conditions to grow. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to cultivate.

Why is that? Ghost pipe is a mycoheterotrophic flower . Instead of relying on photosynthesis, ghost pipe obtains nutrients from surrounding tree root systems. It parasitizes these trees through fungal mycorrhizae, favoring species of Russula . 

This parasitic ménage à trois can benefit you since the trees and mushrooms indicate where you’ll find the flower. Ghost pipe prefers old-growth oak or pine forest bottoms that are much too dark for regular flowers. It populates long-undisturbed places rather than trails more traveled. 

Ghost Pipe

2. Prepare Materials at Home.

Once you’ve located a patch of ghost pipe, you’ll want to prepare a mason jar with alcohol at home and bring it into the field. While other plants, like pur ple dead nettle, can be dried and stored before tincturing, ghost pipe begs for special treatment. It’s best practice to put the pipes into the alcohol immediately after harvesting them.

Lugging a bunch of Everclear out into the forest isn’t exactly convenient. Considering I couldn’t find any scientific basis for this practice, it might not be entirely necessary. However, it is traditional folk practice and the standard method many modern herbalists employ. 

So, what are your ratios here? Again, with little scientific research on ghost pipe, giving an accurate picture of medicinal strength by ratio is impossible. I have played around with different proportions and discovered that two flowers per ounce of alcohol works for my needs. 

Ghost Pipe

3. Harvest Ghost Pipe the Right Way.

Ghost pipe’s ecological status is tenuous. Because of overharvesting, many herbalists discourage its use entirely. While it isn’t categorized as endangered or threatened on the National Fish and Wildlife registry, several states classify it as imperiled or vulnerable to imperilment.

If you live in an area where ghost pipe is under threat, do not harvest it unless SHTF and you have no other option.

You must take the right plant at the right time to make effective medicine responsibly. Here are some basic practices to keep in mind while you harvest:

  • Never harvest a single ghost pipe growing by itself. Only harvest from patches containing a substantial number of flowers. 
  • Do not pull up the roots. Ghost pipe is a perennial and will grow back next year if its needs are met, but not if you take the root. While some sources indicate roots make more potent medicine, others claim aerial parts are just as effective. In my own experience, the aerial parts are powerful enough.
  • Make sure you take plants that bend over like candy canes rather than those that stand straight up. It’s rumored that the flower loses medicinal potency once it straightens out and disperses its seeds. 

Harvest two flower heads with stems for every ounce of alcohol. Cut healthy, sizeable specimens as close to the ground as possible without damaging the root. Once cut, brush off any remaining dirt and place the plants in the alcohol. If desired, you can cut them into chunks beforehand. 

In a few moments, the tincture will begin to turn purple. 

Ghost Pipe

4. Leave for Extraction.

Return to your home and place the tincture in a cool, dark place for four to six weeks. It won’t go rancid if you leave it for more time, but nothing suggests it will be more effective the longer you leave it. 

Remove it once every day and shake it around a bit so fresh alcohol reaches the plant material and has a chance to extract compounds. The tincture’s lavender tint will darken more substantially into a rich, deep, purplish black as time passes. 

Ghost Pipe in jar

5. Strain Plant Material.

After four to six weeks, break out the ghost pipe tincture and strain it through a cheesecloth or dedicated small-particle strainer. Press the macerated plant material to get out as much alcohol as you can. The leftover plants will be blackish in color. You can compost or dry them and use them for arts and crafts. 

Ghost Pipe in jar

6. Bottle in Amber.

Properly storing your ghost pipe tincture ensures a long and fruitful shelf life. Carefully pour the mixture into the amber tincture bottles using a funnel to prevent wasting any medicine. Then label it and put the tincture in a cool, dark place until needed.

Ghost Pipe tincture

7. Use Responsibly.

So, when should you take ghost pipe tincture, and how much should you use? Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear-cut answer to this question. Ghost pipe is a rare, understudied plant with potential toxicity. This is not an everyday tincture and it’s best to consult an herbalist or specialized medicine practitioner before using it.

Do not use ghost pipe if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any heart issues, or take any other prescription drugs. You just don’t know how this plant will interact. Don’t use it for minor aches and pains, generalized muscle soreness, or just to wind down at the end of the day.

Instead, use it for circumstances that warrant more extreme intervention and save it for when you cannot access anything else. Here are a few instances where ghost pipe would be appropriate:

  • Broken bones
  • Severe migraines
  • Major physical trauma
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Severe panic attacks

Ghost Pipe tincture

Many herbalists recommend starting with three drops, increasing the dosage depending on response, and waiting 5–20 minutes between doses. I usually take four to six drops for severe pain, though your tolerance will almost certainly differ. To be safe, start with a single drop to three drops and work your way up to gauge your unique reaction to this medicine.

Now that you know how to make and use ghost pipe tincture responsibly, you can keep an eye out for this plant when it pops up next year. Remember to respect the delicate status of this ethereal herb and use it sparingly so that you and others can continue to enjoy it for years to come. 

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Leave a comment

Do you make these for sale? Would like to try it before I attempt to make it myself

Sorry, we only have them for personal use.

Most informative article on ghost pipe I’ve read. I truly believe in tinctures, looking forward to trying this.

I take other presciptions so couldn’t try this-but if it helps you, I think it’s awesome that you know how to make it and are sharing the knowledge with others.

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A Forager’s Guide to Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

Ghost Pipe

Monotropa uniflora plant profile

Common names include:

  • Indian pipe
  • Corpse plant
  • Death plant
  • Ghost flower
  • Bird’s nest

What Is Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)?

Ghost pipe, scientifically known as Monotropa uniflora, is a unique and fascinating flowering plant found in North American forests.

Ghost pipe is known for its distinctive, ghostly white appearance . The entire plant lacks chlorophyll, giving it a translucent or waxy white color. It does not undergo photosynthesis.

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Instead, it relies on a mycorrhizal association with fungi for nutrients obtained from nearby trees.

Ghost pipe holds cultural significance in some Indigenous traditions, where it’s with specific rituals or beliefs. Some Indigenous beliefs connect ghost pipe to forest spirits or entities residing in wooded areas.

Ghost pipe

Why Is it Called Ghost Pipe?

The combination of its translucent, waxy appearance, nodding flower structure, and preference for shaded forest locations contribute to the plant’s name, ghost pipe. Is Ghost Pipe a Fungus?

Ghost pipe is not a fungus.

While ghost pipe may resemble a fungus, it is essential to recognize its identity as a non-photosynthetic flowering plant.

Where Is Ghost Pipe Found?

Ghost pipe is a native plant to temperate regions of North America, South America, and Asia, with very large gaps in between. This delicate and ethereal plant is quite rare to find.

Ghost pipe is frequently found in both deciduous and coniferous forests , especially near beech, oak, psruce and pine species. It thrives in the cool, shaded environments provided by the canopy of trees.

The plant tends to grow in rich, moist soils and in damp conditions. It prefers shaded locations within the forest.

How to Identify Ghost Pipe?

The ghost pipe plant is rather unique and can be easily identified by its translucent stem and translucent white or pinkish color . Also, it looks a bit like a tobacco pipe.

Ghost Pppe typically stands between 6 to 10 inches tall. The plant produces a single, nodding, flower-like structure with a solitary flower at the top. Ghost pipe lacks true leaves and stems. Instead, it has a central stalk that supports the flower.

Ghost Pipe is a perennial plant, but it may not always be visible above ground. It typically emerges in late spring to early summer and can persist into the fall.

It has translucent scale-like leaves arranged along the stem that measure less than an inch in length. As the leaves do not participate in photosynthesis, they are vestigial.

The Indian pipe bears a single white flower with 4 to 6 segments. There is only one flower on each stem of a plant.

Once pollinated by an insect, the flower appears like a shepherd’s hook but gradually straightens out. It is at this point that the stem becomes upright.

It usually blooms from late July through August, although it may appear as early as late June in some years.

Ghost pipes

How Rare Is a Ghost Pipe?

Even though ghost pipe grows wild throughout the United States (except in the Southwest), sightings are rare.

It emerges in late spring to early summer. Outside of this period, it can be challenging to spot.

This plant is perennial and will reappear in the same location each year. 

Is Ghost Pipe Edible or Medicinal?

Ghost pipe is not considered a healthy edible, so you are probably better off avoiding eating it. 

A few people have reported eating some, but nearly as many have reported feeling ill or strange after doing so.

There are several myths and questionable claims associated with this plant. The Indian pipe plant, for example, is often referred to as a hallucinogen by many people. There is no definitive answer to this question.

Is Ghost Pipe Poisonous in Any Way?

Ghost pipe contains compounds that may be harmful, and caution is advised regarding its consumption.

While the plant is not known to be highly toxic, it is considered potentially toxic and is not typically consumed as food.

Ghost Pipe Uses in Native American Culture

  • Native Americans used ghost pipe tincture medicinally for its ability to treat both physical and emotional pain. 
  • In Cherokee culture, the root was used to prevent convulsions.
  • In Mohegan culture, it was used for pain relief.
  • In Cree culture, the flower was chewed to treat toothaches.

Other wild plants often used by Native Americans include:

  • Goat’s beard

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Ana

Ana has always been interested in all things nature and flora. With her expertise in home gardening and interest in foraging, she has been spending her weekends and free time looking for edible native plants, flowers, and fungi. One of her many hobbies includes testing new savory and sweet recipes, juices or teas made from freshly picked plants, wild fruits, or mushrooms.

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  • Medicinal Plants

Ghost Pipe - Monotropa uniflora

Monotropa uniflora

Ghost pipes have several medicinal benefits. They have sedative antispasmodic, and diaphoretic effect. Ghost pipe is more inclined towards managing neuronal disorders like psychosis, acute anxiety, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, and convulsion episodes.

  • Plant Family: Ericaceae
  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Indian Pipe, Ghost Plant
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: Yes
  • Parts Used: Above ground parts
  • Side Effects: None
  • Herbal Actions:
  • Antispasmodic
  • Diaphoretic
  • Muscle Pain
  • Sleep Aide/Insomnia

About Ghost Pipe

Articles about ghost pipe.

Ghost pipe is a delicate and exquisite herbaceous perennial from the Ericaceae family that emerges from the forest grounds. Ghost pipe is also known as Indian pipe and is marked by extremely reduced leaves and beautiful yet scanty flowers with translucent petals.

The ghost pipe is entirely white in appearance and gets its food from the roots and mycorrhizal fungi. Its stems take a sharp turn towards the ground and have a single, inodorous flower. Ghost pipes have several medicinal benefits. They have sedative antispasmodic, and diaphoretic effect. Ghost pipe is more inclined towards managing neuronal disorders like psychosis, acute anxiety, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, and convulsion episodes. Ghost pipe juice when paired with rose water can skillfully treat ulcers, gonorrhea, inflammation of the bladder, and ophthalmic inflammation.

This nutrient-dense herb has salicylic acid as one of its main constituent which aids in inducing analgesia. Salicylic acid acts just like Aspirin to relieve the obstinate pain of different origins like migraine, emotional pain, and overwhelming physical pain. Ghost pipe also helps in repressing the traumatic memories that may trigger anxiety and panic attacks due to sensory overload.

Even the old legends talk highly of ghost pipes where a Cherokee legend discusses this versatile plant as a great tool for warding off selfishness and disputes.

Ghost pipe is a flowering plant that grows on its own in the wild, under dark environment as it does not need light to carry out photosynthesis. It emerges from early summers to early fall when the weather is still warm and humid with recent rainfalls.

It cannot be cultivated indoors or by any means of human interference. Gardeners are looking for ways to have it cultivated but its mechanism of reproduction is unknown.

Ghost pipe is a perennial plant that grows in wet regions, under the shade of tall trees, and vicinity of mycorrhizal fungi. The acidic and moist soil helps in its emergence, probably from the seeds.

The seeds soon send out shoots that turn into stems. From June till September, ghost pipe blooms and gets pollinated by bees. After fertilization, the flower attains the shape of an upturned seed capsule and the stem dries to depict the appearance of a twig-like stalk.

The seeds get dispersed throughout the forest floor where they adapt the parasitic and saprotrophic lifestyle to survive and grow and propagate its generations.

The flowers are harvested when they are still upturned as the upright flowers are prone to falling dry and turning black. Recent literature advises to use just the roots of ghost pipe which can be harvested any time during the year.

The roots of ghost pipe can be harvested by pulling up the plant and using sharp anvil pruners to cut it.

The ghost pipe roots and flowers are used fresh. They cannot be stored even after being dried as the drying process can turn the petals black. The freshly harvested aerial and underground plant materials are tinctured or decocted readily for usage.

Due to its eerie appearance and ample spiritual data related to it, ghost pipe has earned this strange name. But on the contrary, ghost pipe has a lot of medicinal perks that can be employed for seeking benefits.

  • Tincture - Infuse freshly harvested chopped Ghost Pipe in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Natural Herbal Remedies for Anxiety & Nervous Conditions

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How to Grow and Care for Ghost Plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense)

This lovely small succulent forms pretty rosettes with pointed leaves. The leaves are a whitish-gray color but the color will change when exposed to either shade or sunlight.

When grown in a shaded position, the leaves turn a lovely blue-gray color but when grown in full sun, they change to pinkish-yellow.

As the plant matures, new rosettes will grow on stems that originate from the main plant. Quite often, these stems will get a little length and trail over the edge of the pot. This allows the plant to spread and form a larger clump.

This is a slow grower so it’s ideal for growing in a pot because it won’t need repotting too often. It produces lovely small, yellow or white star-shaped flowers in spring when grown outdoors but will bloom at random times when indoors.

Ghost plants have been grown for centuries as ornamental succulents and also for use in natural medicines. They have been growing in the wilds of Northern Mexico since ancient times.

In the twentieth century, these plants were brought into Japan where they were selectively bred as an edible species.

In modern times, one farm in Kashiwa City in Japan primarily grows these succulents for edible production. The leaves of these plants are known as Gurapara Leaf and Ha-Ringo.

Plant Facts

How to plant and grow ghost plants.

Ghost plants are easy to grow either indoors or out in the garden if you live in USDA zones 9 to 11. They require very little care and actually thrive on neglect.

graptopetalum paraguayense

How to Propagate Ghost Plant Succulent

Ghost plants will easily produce offsets at the end of the stems that grow from the main rosette. These offsets are ideal to use to propagate new plants. Here’s how to use these offsets to propagate new plants :

  • Once the new offset is around one-quarter the size of the mother plant, cut it off with around one and a half inches of stem attached.
  • Leave these offsets in a dry spot for around 2 to 3 days and wait for a callus to form on the cut part of the stem.
  • Fill some small pots with proper cactus or succulent mix or potting mix that you’ve amended with sand.
  • Plant the offsets into the pots, stem side down. Poke a hole in the mix with a pencil and then insert the stem. This ensures that the stem doesn’t get broken while it’s pushed into the mix. Make sure you firm the soil around the stem so that it stands upright.
  • Place the plants in a bright spot that receives filtered sunlight, but do not water yet.
  • After five days, water the plants at the soil level.
  • Keep the plants in the same spot and water every 4 to 5 days until you know that they have produced a good root system.
  • After this, you can reduce the watering to once every 2 weeks.

This is the fastest way to propagate new ghost plants. However, you can also grow these succulents from seeds but it just might take a little longer.

All you have to do is either collect the seeds from your plant after it’s flowered or buy some seeds from a reputable supplier. Then, follow these steps:

  • Fill a seedling tray with a seed-raising mix that has been sterilized.
  • Sow the tiny seeds over the mix.
  • Mist lightly, making sure not to displace the tiny seeds.
  • Place the seedling tray in a bright spot with a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) and keep the soil slightly moist.
  • You should start to see some evidence of germination within about 3 weeks.

Care and Maintenance

As long as you grow your ghost plant succulent in free-draining soil and you don’t overwater it, it will happily grow for many years without too much care.

As is the case with most succulents, the ghost plant requires a well-drained soil mix. When growing in a pot, use a proprietary succulent mix that has plenty of grit added to aid in drainage. 

If you want to use a normal potting mix, add some sand to the mix first, in a ratio of 1:1. That means 50 percent potting mix and 50 percent sand.

If you plan to grow this plant outdoors in a rock or succulent garden, unless you have sandy soil, make sure it’s planted in a raised bed. This will ensure that the plant gets enough drainage and the roots will not be allowed to sit in water.

You should only water your potted ghost plant when the soil has dried out completely. For plants grown indoors, this may only need to be every second week during the growing season.

For ghost plants grown outdoors, you may need to water them once a week during hot and dry conditions. Remember that most succulents are dormant over winter and this plant is no exception. During this time, your ghost plant will require minimal watering, say once a month for indoor grown plants.

When giving your plant a drink, make sure that you only water at the soil level and ensure that no water is allowed to sit within the rosettes as this will encourage rot.

Ghost plants will benefit from a very light application of fertilizer during their main growing season in spring and fall. You can use a proprietary cactus fertilizer but make sure that you dilute it well so as not to burn the plant.

Alternatively, you can apply some diluted manure tea or even worm tea while the plant is actively growing. You only need to do this once in spring and once in the fall.

This succulent does prefer to be grown in full sun so it should be placed on a sunny windowsill in a south or east-facing window when grown indoors. If the plant doesn’t receive enough sunlight, it might become a little leggy and may drop its leaves.

Remember that the amount of sunlight that the plant gets will affect the color of the leaves. When grown in low sun conditions, the leaves will take on a blue-gray color. However, if the plant is exposed to bright sunlight, the leaves will take on a hint of pinkish-yellow.

Temperature and Humidity

This succulent is quite hardy when grown outdoors in USDA zones 9 to 11. However, it can tolerate temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 12 degrees Celsius) as long as it is given protection from frost and snow. This means that even gardeners in USDA zones 7 to 8 can grow this succulent outdoors as long as it is given some cover during cold spells.

Ghost plants can also cope relatively well with hot conditions but will generally achieve maximum growth during spring and fall. 

It’s also not advised to expose this plant to too much humidity. It much prefers dry conditions. Excessive humidity can increase the possibility of fungal diseases such as root rot.

These succulents don’t require regular pruning. However, if the plant is growing in a shady spot, it may become leggy. If this happens, it’s perfectly fine to give it a light trim. But, don’t throw those prunings away because you can easily use them to propagate new plants.

Pest and diseases

Like most succulents, ghost plants are not prone to many pests or diseases. However, they can attract common household pests such as mealybugs when grown indoors.

To avoid this, remove any dead leaves from around the base of the plant as soon as you spot them. If your plant does get infected with common pests like mealybugs, you can easily kill these by applying some isopropyl alcohol to the bugs with a cotton swab. 

As long as you don’t overwater your plant, you shouldn’t have a problem with root rot which can spell the death of your plant. To avoid this, make sure you only water your plant when the soil has dried out. Usually, once every two weeks is sufficient. 

If leaves start to drop off your plant, it’s a sign that you might be overwatering. Reducing the water frequency will often remedy this.

Uses of Graptopetalum paraguayense

Ghost plants are mainly grown as ornamentals both in the garden and indoors. However, in Japan, they are cultivated commercially because the leaves are edible. They have both a sweet and sour flavor and can be washed and tossed into salads to add a crunchy texture. 

The leaves can also be cooked and added to soups and curries.

Common Varieties and Cultivars

Although the ghost plant only has two natural varieties, there are numerous cultivars that have been produced by commercial growers. Here are just a few ghost plant varieties and cultivars .

  • Graptopetalum paraguayense ‘Variegatum’ (a variegated form)
  • Graptopetalum paraguayense subsp. bernalense
  • Graptopetalum ‘Victor Kane’
  • Graptopetalum ‘Purple Haze’
  • Graptopetalum x Graptoveria ‘Harry Watson’
  • Graptopetalum x Graptoveria ‘Acaulis’
  • Graptopetalum x Graptosedum ‘Francesco Baldi’
  • Graptopetalum x Graptoveria ‘Titubans’
  • Graptopetalum x Graptoveria ‘Douglas Huth’
  • Graptopetalum x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’
  • Graptopetalum x Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’
  • Graptopetalum x Graptosedum ‘Bronze’

Ghost plants are attractive little succulents that will grow happily in a pot on a sunny windowsill indoors. They require minimal maintenance and only need to be watered once every two weeks. Don’t forget to check our general succulent care guide to learn more about growing these plants.

Plants Craze

This article was last updated by Akshay Chaudhary on August 17, 2023

Were You Aware of These Ghost Pipe Benefits? [5 of the Best]

  • by Salman Khan Gurung
  • August 17, 2023

Were you surprised that the white fungus-looking plant, Ghost Pipe, encountered in your forest walk is used for preparing medicines?

Remember, this otherworldly, pale fungus look-alike has tremendous benefits, especially in homeopathy.

Please find out how to approach this ghost plant, harvest it, and obtain its inherent benefits.

Table of Contents Show

Ghost pipe overview, 1. ailment and pain relief, 2. anti-inflammatory effects, 3. relaxation and stress reduction, 4. digestive and sleep aid, 5. ecological significance, health considerations to keep in mind, where to buy ghost pipe, from editorial team.

Did you know Ghost Pipe is often confused for a fungus due to its ghostly white appearance?

In fact, it is a herbaceous perennial that grows throughout temperate regions in Asia, Europe, and North America.

It may look like a mushroom growing out of the ground in a shade of white with sometimes black specks or pink or red coloration.

If you are a newbie, here is what you need to know about the plant.

However, it only grows for a few weeks before disappearing under the ground, to reform next year.

The plant’s popularity and medicinal usage come from Native American history, where it was used for various ailments and disorders.

Although it has been widely found in homeopathic medicines, the actual medicinal benefit of the plant remains debatable.

Nonetheless, foragers should be aware of removing glycosides in the plant before applying them for medicinal use.

Note: When trying to duplicate this plant , remember to provide a temperate climate with a moist, shaded location, acidic soil rich in hummus, and woodland nearby to encourage the mycelium network.

5 Benefits of Ghost Pipe

Check out some of the Ghost Pipe plant’s unique benefits and applications.

Ghost Pipe has been traditionally used for its potential analgesic properties by Native Americans.

Consuming about 1-3 tincture drops mixed with little water is believed to relieve various types of pain, including headaches, muscle aches, and joint discomfort.

However, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim.

Ghost Pipes may possess anti-inflammatory properties: aspirin-like chemicals account for their analgesic properties.

According to American Herbalists Guide , the plant’s juice mixed with rose water treats ophthalmic, general, and bladder inflammation. 

Consult with your physician to use Ghost Pipe juice in moderation to reduce inflammation.

American Herbalists Guide points out the usage of plant tinctures in treating childhood seizures (febrile seizures), periodic fevers, and epileptic seizures.

It is believed to have calming properties that help soothe the mind and body, allowing for tranquility.

An expert claims the various dosage of plant tincture can ease both physical and emotional pain and has been recommended as an alternative to opiates.

Ghost Pipe tincture and juice have many digestive benefits.

It may help treat digestive disorders, including indigestion, stomachaches, and gastrointestinal discomfort.

Similarly, it is traditionally used as a sleep aid to improve sleep quality; drinking a few drops of tincture or juice can have calming properties.

Otherwise, the tincture dosage and frequency can be raised to 1ml if the effects are absent.

Encouraging local woodlands can promote Ghost Pipe growth to support the local ecosystem.

Ghost Pipes play a vital role in forest ecosystems. As a mycoheterotrophic plant, it forms a symbiotic relationship with fungi, primarily from the Russulaceae family.

It participates in nutrient cycling and contributes to the balance of forest ecosystems.

Beware of its toxic properties no matter how useful the plant claims to be.

It would help if you took great care when harvesting the plant, which is scarce in some locales.

You should take only a few drops of up to 1 ml of the tincture to see the desired effect.

When used for culinary purposes, the raw plant shares a bland taste, like asparagus when cooked.

If you suspect plant poisoning in pets with symptoms such as vomiting, gastritis, irritation, pupil dilation, etc., consult these helplines immediately.

Due to the strange growth habit of Ghost Pipe, you are less likely to find it in the market.

However, you may still find some sellers specializing in collecting wild Ghost Pipes for retailing and selling as a tincture.

So, here are a few sellers specializing in Ghost Pipes.

People consider Ghost Pipe herbaceous plants, but there is no scientific proof of those benefits.

Therefore, you should use them at your discretion or consult an expert about the non-fatal dosage and frequency!

Consult with this article to identify Ghost Pipes to avoid mistaking wild fungus for this plant.

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Salman Khan Gurung

Salman Gurung is a massive fan of all things green and strives to create the perfect conditions for plants to grow. Whether it is growing exotic flowers or simple houseplants, he takes joy in nurturing his plants and watching them thrive. He loves growing both indoor and outdoor plants, including succulents, anthuriums, and monsters, and he knows a lot about transplanting and reviving sickly plants.

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The Effects of Ghost Pipe Tincture: A Comprehensive Guide

The Effects of Ghost Pipe Tincture: A Comprehensive Guide

Short answer: Ghost pipe tincture effects

What is ghost pipe tincture and how does it affect your body, exploring the various effects of ghost pipe tincture on mind and mood.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Experience the Effects of Ghost Pipe Tincture Safely

Frequently Asked Questions about Ghost Pipe Tincture Effects: Everything You Need to Know

Unveiling the Myth: Debunking Misconceptions about Ghost Pipe Tincture Effects

Harnessing the Power of Nature: The Positive Impact of Ghost Pipe Tincture Effects on Overall Well-being

Ghost pipe tincture, derived from the ghost pipe plant (Monotropa uniflora), is known for its potential analgesic and sedative effects. Research suggests that it may help relieve pain, anxiety, and insomnia. However, further scientific studies are needed to fully understand its effectiveness and potential side effects. Consult a healthcare professional before using ghost pipe tincture.

Title: Unlocking the Mystery of Ghost Pipe Tincture: Unveiling its Profound Impact on Your Body

Introduction: Welcome, curious souls, as we delve into the enigmatic realm of Ghost Pipe Tincture! Join us on this journey as we explore the secrets behind this ethereal remedy and uncover how it interacts with your wondrous body. Prepare yourself for an enlightening expedition through science and folk wisdom, revealing the transformative effects of Ghost Pipe Tincture.

Unraveling the Mystery: Ghost Pipe Tincture, also known as Monotropa uniflora or “the ghost plant,” boasts a mystifying presence that draws attention from herbal enthusiasts seeking unconventional remedies . This unique tincture is derived from a rare species of saprophytic plant flourishing in secluded forests. But what makes this elixir so exceptional?

The Chemical Wizardry: Within each droplet of Ghost Pipe Tincture lies nature’s intricate blend of active constituents. One such chemical wizardry stems from betulinic acid, an enchanting compound believed to have anti-inflammatory properties – quieting inflammatory storms within your body temple. Moreover, studies suggest that betulinic acid may enhance immune function, shielding you against external threats lurking in our modern world.

A Dance with Pain: Ghost Pipe Tincture possesses an undeniable affinity for assuaging pain—a talent cherished by many seeking liberation from physical discomforts. This bewitching potion intertwines with your body’s receptors responsible for processing pain signals, potentially bringing harmony to those plagued by chronic ailments such as migraines or arthritis. Imagine a symphony where dissonance fades away while soothing chords embrace your every nerve.

The Mind-Bending Connection: Beyond its effectiveness on physical wellness, Ghost Pipe Tincture delicately tiptoes into the realm of mental well-being. The ethereal elixir exhibits calming properties that can help ease anxiety and lift the weight of stress off your weary shoulders. By forging a serene sanctuary within your mind, Ghost Pipe Tincture harmonizes the intricate dance between body and soul.

Healing from Within: Among its many celebrated attributes, this fascinating tincture stands as an advocate for holistic wellbeing—nourishing not only the body but also the spirit. In traditional indigenous wisdom, Ghost Pipe was revered as a mediator between realms- supporting spiritual journeys and fostering connections with ancestors. By utilizing Ghost Pipe Tincture, one has the opportunity to tap into their inner strength, promoting self-discovery and reflection.

Transcending Time: A Historical Reverie: As we delve into ancestry’s treasure trove, it becomes evident that our predecessors held deep reverence for the ghostly foliage from which this potion springs. Native American tribes often employed Ghost Pipe to alleviate pain, treat each other’s emotional wounds, and even as an aid during ceremonies where profound connection with higher powers was sought. The tendrils of time bring us closer to understanding millennia-old practices, unveiling ancient truths locked within these translucent petals.

Conclusion: Now that we’ve traversed the ethereal realms of Ghost Pipe Tincture together, its mysterious allure no longer eludes us. This extraordinary elixir dances upon the boundaries of science and spirituality—whispering ancient knowledge while soothing earthly ailments. Venture forth in your exploration of natural remedies; embrace the enchantment that awaits those who dare to wander off the beaten path. May you find solace amidst nature’s hidden wonders!

Disclaimer: It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before introducing any new herbal remedies or supplements into your routine as individual responses may vary.

Title: Exploring the Various Effects of Ghost Pipe Tincture on Mind and Mood: Unveiling Nature’s Mysterious Elixir

Introduction: Welcome, curious minds, to a fascinating exploration into the enigmatic properties of Ghost Pipe Tincture. Brace yourselves as we embark on an intriguing journey delving into this natural elixir ‘s effects on our precious mind and ever-fluctuating moods.

Unveiling the Ghost Pipe: The star of our narrative is none other than the ethereal Ghost Pipe, also known as Monotropa uniflora. Shrouded in mystery, this elusive flower possesses an otherworldly allure, thriving amidst dark forest floors where sunlight hardly kisses the ground. Often resurfacing in folklore and traditional medicine practices, its transformative essence has sparked remarkable interest among herbal enthusiasts seeking to untangle its effects on human consciousness.

Mind-Altering Composition: To understand how Ghost Pipe tinctures affect our minds and moods, one must first glance beneath nature’s veil at its complex chemical makeup. Concealed within this plant are various alkaloids like monotropin and monotropamine that work together synergistically to create a unique potion capable of captivating our senses.

Calming the Restless Mind: As any modern soul grappling with an incessantly racing mind can attest, moments of tranquility often feel elusive. Enter Ghost Pipe tincture – a potential panacea for such troubled souls. This ethereal concoction exhibits calming properties that may help silence the clamor within our minds, freeing us from the relentless grip of stress and anxiety.

Through mysterious mechanisms yet to be fully comprehended, Ghost Pipe tincture harmonizes with neurotransmitters—such as serotonin—to instill peace and tranquility deep within our neuronal networks. Prepare to dance amidst waves of serenity as your restless thoughts find solace in this natural remedy.

Unlocking Creativity’s Gates: Within each of us exists a dormant well of creativity longing to be tapped into. Ghost Pipe, with its enchanting and transformative essence, may hold the key to unleashing artistic brilliance buried within our minds. By quieting the clamor and distraction that often impede creative endeavors, this mystical tincture opens a door to unexplored realms of imagination.

Imagine a brush gliding effortlessly across a canvas or words flowing onto paper like liquid poetry. Ghost Pipe’s influence can transport us into an ethereal state where the shackles of self-doubt vanish, enabling fearless exploration of our artistic potential .

The Emotional Alchemy: Our emotions, perpetually dancing between highs and lows, form an intricate tapestry that shapes how we perceive and experience the world. Ghost Pipe tincture dares to venture into this tumultuous realm with its potential mood-stabilizing effects.

Like a gentle breeze sweeping away storm clouds, this enchanted elixir whispers soothing melodies to temper emotional upheavals. As we embrace Ghost Pipe’s enigmatic properties, it may gift us with emotional resilience—allowing us to gracefully navigate life’s unexpected twists and turns with newfound equanimity.

Concluding Thoughts: Exploring the wondrous effects of Ghost Pipe Tincture on mind and mood is akin to embarking on a surreal voyage through nature’s enigmatic landscape. Embrace the mystique as you engage with this extraordinary plant remedy—a natural elixir tailor-made for restless minds seeking calmness and creative spirits yearning for liberation.

Disclaimer: While our journey through the effects of Ghost Pipe Tincture tantalizes the mind with possibilities, it is essential to approach such remedies responsibly and seek professional guidance when delving into uncharted territories. The boundaries between folklore and scientific evidence should always be acknowledged.

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to connect with the ethereal world while maintaining absolute safety and wellbeing? Look no further! In this step-by-step guide, we will delve into the enchanting realm of ghost pipe tincture, revealing how you can safely experience its fascinating effects. So grab a seat, strap on your metaphysical seatbelt, and get ready for an exhilarating journey!

Step 1: Understanding Ghost Pipe Tincture

Ghost pipe, also known as Monotropa uniflora or Indian pipe, is a unique plant renowned for its mystical properties. Unlike most plants that use photosynthesis to survive, ghost pipe lacks chlorophyll and obtains nutrients through mycorrhizal associations with certain fungi. This eerie plant has captured the curiosity of many nature enthusiasts due to its ability to thrive in dark forests where little other vegetation can grow.

Ghost pipe tincture is derived from the resinous sap of this alluring plant and has been used by various indigenous cultures for centuries. It holds potent psychoactive properties that induce a state of heightened awareness, relaxation, and spiritual connection. However, before delving into its effects, it’s crucial to prioritize safety.

Step 2: Sourcing Authentic Ghost Pipe Tincture

When embarking on a journey into the supernatural realms, authenticity is paramount. It is crucial to source ghost pipe tincture from reputable suppliers who have cultivated their plants sustainably and adhered strictly to ethical standards.

Ensure that the product you choose has been third-party tested for purity and consistency. By obtaining your tincture from reliable sources, you not only guarantee your personal safety but also support sustainable practices in harvesting this sacred plant.

Step 3: Dosing Guidance for Novices

As with any transformative experience, starting small is wise when experimenting with ghost pipe tincture. Novices should be cautious and respect the power this elusive plant holds. Begin by taking a conservative dose, typically no more than a few drops, to familiarize yourself with its effects on your body and mind.

Remember, the goal is not to rush into an overwhelming spiritual awakening, but rather to approach it gradually and respectfully.

Step 4: Creating an Optimal Setting

To maximize your ghost pipe journey, it is essential to create an environment conducive to introspection and profound experiences. Choose a calm and quiet space, void of distractions or disturbances. Dim lighting can enhance the ethereal ambiance, allowing you to connect deeply with the energies surrounding you.

Engage in activities that promote relaxation beforehand; meditation or gentle stretching exercises can help tame any restlessness within. By setting the stage for tranquility, you amplify your chances of having a meaningful encounter with ghost pipe’s mystical effects .

Step 5: Intention-Setting Ceremony

Before consuming the tincture, engage in an intention-setting ceremony for your experience. Reflect on what draws you towards this otherworldly exploration and focus your thoughts on positive intentions such as self-discovery, healing, or spiritual growth.

By centering yourself through intention-setting, you align your energy with the sacred essence of ghost pipe and open yourself up to its transformative potential more effectively.

Step 6: Embracing the Experience

Now comes the moment you’ve been waiting for – consuming ghost pipe tincture! Start by placing a few drops under your tongue or diluting them in warm water if desired. Be patient as the effects may take some time to manifest fully; allow yourself ample space for immersion in this mystical journey.

As you surrender control over mundane thoughts and embrace the ethereal realms unfolding within, be prepared for sensations such as heightened perception, deep introspection, and even potential encounters with ancestral energies. Stay present throughout this experience while being mindful of your physical and emotional boundaries.

Step 7: Integration and Reflection

After the effects of ghost pipe tincture have subsided, take time for integration and reflection. Allow yourself to process the insights gained during this enchanted journey. Engage in creative activities like journaling or painting, giving form to the ephemeral wisps of wisdom you have encountered.

Remember, the lessons gained from these experiences are personal and unique; there is no right or wrong interpretation. Embrace your newfound understanding with gratitude and a renewed sense of connection to the mystical realms.

In Conclusion

Exploring the depths of ghost pipe tincture’s effects can be both awe-inspiring and transformative when approached safely and respectfully. By following this step-by-step guide, you can embark on an extraordinary journey that combines spirituality, introspection, and an enchanting connection with nature.

Remember, safety should always be prioritized in any explorations of consciousness-altering substances. Approach ghost pipe tincture with reverence, adhere to recommended dosages, choose authentic sources wisely, and set intentions mindfully for a profound experience that will forever linger in your soul’s memory. Open yourself up to the eth

If you’ve been looking into herbal medicine and natural remedies, chances are you may have come across ghost pipe tincture. With its intriguing name and reputation for its unique properties, ghost pipe has gained quite a following among those seeking alternative treatments. However, like any unfamiliar substance, it comes with its fair share of questions and curiosities. In this article, we aim to address the frequently asked questions about ghost pipe tincture effects and provide you with everything you need to know.

1. What is ghost pipe?

Let’s start at the beginning. Ghost pipe, also known as Indian pipe or Monotropa uniflora, is a fascinating plant that belongs to the Ericaceae family. What makes it so special is that it lacks chlorophyll, meaning it doesn’t rely on photosynthesis like other plants. Instead, it gains nutrients from mycelium networks in the soil – making it a true herbal enigma.

2. How is ghost pipe tincture made?

Ghost pipe tincture is typically prepared by steeping or macerating the dried plant material in alcohol or another solvent for an extended period of time. This process allows for the extraction of beneficial compounds and active constituents present in the plant.

3. What are the main effects of ghost pipe tincture?

The effects of ghost pipe tincture can vary from person to person due to individual body chemistry and dosage differences. However, many users report experiencing a sense of relaxation, both physically and mentally, when taking ghost pipe tincture responsibly. It has also been suggested that ghost pipe may possess analgesic (pain-relieving) properties and can aid in promoting restful sleep.

4. Is ghost pipe safe to use?

Generally speaking, when used responsibly and in moderation as directed by a healthcare professional or experienced herbalist, ghost pipe is considered safe. However, it’s important to note that it is a powerful plant with potentially potent effects . As with any herbal remedy or supplement, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional before starting ghost pipe tincture or any other herbal treatment.

5. Can ghost pipe tincture be addictive?

There is no evidence to suggest that ghost pipe tincture is addictive in the traditional sense. It does not contain known addictive substances and has not been reported to cause dependence or withdrawal symptoms when used responsibly. However, like any substance, it’s essential to use it mindfully and as directed.

6. Are there any side effects of using ghost pipe tincture?

While rare, some individuals may experience mild side effects such as drowsiness, headaches, digestive discomfort, or allergic reactions when using ghost pipe tincture. These side effects are usually temporary and subside on their own. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, it is recommended to discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.

7. Can anyone use ghost pipe tincture?

Pregnant or nursing individuals should avoid using ghost pipe as its safety for these populations has not been established through rigorous scientific testing. Additionally, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions or those taking prescription medications should always consult their healthcare provider before using ghost pipe tincture.

In conclusion: Ghost Pipe Tincture Effects

Ghost pipe tincture is a unique herbal remedy that has captured the interest of many seeking alternative treatments for various ailments. While its exact mechanism of action and potential therapeutic benefits still require further research and exploration, many users have reported positive effects on relaxation and sleep promotion. However, caution should be exercised when using this powerful herb, especially by pregnant/nursing individuals and those with underlying health issues – always seek guidance from a healthcare professional before starting any new herbal treatment regimen.

Remember – knowledge is power! Educate yourself thoroughly, seek expert advice, and make informed decisions when it comes to your health and well-being.

Ghost Pipe, also known as Monotropa uniflora or Indian pipe, has long fascinated herbal enthusiasts and those seeking alternative remedies for various ailments. Its unique appearance, with its translucent white flowers rising from the forest floor, gives it an otherworldly aura that lends itself to its mystical reputation. However, like many plants with a mysterious allure, there are numerous misconceptions surrounding the effects of Ghost Pipe tincture. In this article, we aim to unravel these myths and shed light on the true nature of this captivating botanical .

Myth 1: Ghost Pipe Tincture Induces Hallucinations One of the most prevalent misunderstandings about Ghost Pipe tincture is that it can induce powerful hallucinogenic experiences. While the plant does contain certain compounds that have psychoactive properties, such as harmonine and monotropin, they are present in minimal amounts and are unlikely to cause hallucinations. The primary effects of Ghost Pipe tincture are centered around pain relief and relaxation rather than altering one’s perception of reality.

Myth 2: Ghost Pipe Tincture Is Toxic or Harmful Another misconception that often circulates is that consuming Ghost Pipe tincture can be toxic or harmful to one’s health . This notion stems from the fact that Indian pipe lacks chlorophyll and obtains nutrients through symbiotic relationships with fungi in the soil rather than photosynthesis. However, thorough scientific studies have shown no evidence of toxicity when used responsibly and within recommended dosages. As with any herbal remedy, it is essential to source your products from reputable suppliers to ensure purity and quality.

Myth 3: Ghost Pipe Tincture Is a Panacea for All Ailments While Ghost Pipe does possess remarkable therapeutic properties, it would be misleading to claim that it is a cure-all for every ailment under the sun. Ghost Pipe tincture has been traditionally used to alleviate pain , reduce headaches and migraines, ease muscle tension, and promote relaxation. However, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner before incorporating Ghost Pipe tincture into your wellness routine, as individual reactions may vary.

Myth 4: Ghost Pipe Tincture Is Addictive Some individuals mistakenly believe that consuming Ghost Pipe tincture can lead to addiction or dependence. This misconception likely arises due to its calming effects and the association between herbal remedies and addictive substances. However, there is no evidence supporting claims of addictive properties in Ghost Pipe tincture . As with any natural remedy or supplement, it is always advisable to practice moderation and listen to your body’s needs.

In conclusion, it is crucial to separate fact from fiction when exploring the effects of Ghost Pipe tincture. While this unique botanical has several therapeutic benefits such as pain relief and relaxation, it does not induce hallucinations nor pose any toxic risks when used responsibly. It should not be viewed as a panacea for all ailments but rather as a complementary tool in one’s wellness journey. By dispelling these misconceptions surrounding Ghost Pipe tincture, we hope to shed light on its true potential and encourage informed decision-making in health-related matters.

In our fast-paced modern world, finding natural solutions to promote overall well-being has become increasingly important. One such solution that is gaining traction in the wellness community is the use of ghost pipe tincture. This fascinating plant, known scientifically as Monotropa uniflora, possesses a wealth of unique properties that have been shown to positively impact various aspects of our well-being.

Ghost pipe, also commonly referred to as “Indian pipe” or “corpse plant,” is a perennial herbaceous plant found in North America and other parts of the world. Its pale white appearance and translucent texture lend it an otherworldly charm – hence its name. While this mysteriously beautiful plant was once associated with folklore and mystical beliefs, recent scientific research has shed light on its tangible benefits for human health .

One of the standout features of ghost pipe is its potential for pain relief. Traditionally used by indigenous communities to alleviate various types of discomfort, this herb contains chemical compounds that interact with our central nervous system and offer analgesic effects. By acting as a natural painkiller, ghost pipe tincture can provide much-needed relief from chronic conditions such as arthritis or migraines without resorting to synthetic pharmaceuticals.

Beyond alleviating physical distress, ghost pipe tincture also demonstrates remarkable calming properties for mental well-being. In today’s fast-paced society where stress and anxiety have become commonplace, finding effective ways to relax our minds is crucial. The active constituents present in ghost pipe are believed to have anxiolytic properties which help ease feelings of tension and promote relaxation. Incorporating ghost pipe tincture into your daily routine may therefore assist you in achieving a greater sense of peace and tranquility amidst life’s hectic demands.

Moreover, another noteworthy aspect associated with ghost pipe lies in its ability to support healthy sleep patterns. Many individuals struggle with sleep disturbances, which can have a detrimental impact on their overall well-being. Ghost pipe tincture offers a natural remedy for improving the quality and duration of sleep. By soothing the nervous system and promoting a sense of serenity, ghost pipe helps to induce a restful state that allows for deep rejuvenation during nighttime hours.

Ghost pipe tincture is not only effective in addressing physical ailments or mental distress, but it also boasts antioxidant properties that support our immune system. The high concentration of phenolic compounds present in this plant help neutralize harmful free radicals within our bodies, thereby reducing oxidative stress and bolstering our defenses against various illnesses. This natural boost to our immune response contributes to an enhanced overall well-being and a greater ability to ward off infections.

In conclusion, harnessing the power of nature through the use of ghost pipe tincture can have profound positive effects on our overall well-being. From its pain-relieving qualities to its ability to promote relaxation, improve sleep patterns, and support immune function – this remarkable plant has so much to offer us in our quest for optimal health . By incorporating ghost pipe tincture into your wellness routine, you can tap into nature’s bounty and experience firsthand the transformative benefits it brings—bringing harmony between mind, body, and soul. So why wait? Embrace the power of ghost pipe tincture today and embark on your journey towards vibrant health!

How to Make Toothache Plant Tincture: A Step-by-Step Guide

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gray mold on strawberries

Discovery: plants use “trojan horse” to fight mold invasions 

Plant RNA defense systems hidden in unassuming “bubbles”

ghost plant effects

UC Riverside scientists have discovered a stealth molecular weapon that plants use to attack the cells of invading gray mold. 

gray mold on tomatoes

If you’ve ever seen a fuzzy piece of fruit in your fridge, you’ve seen gray mold. It is an aggressive fungus that infects more than 1,400 different plant species: almost all fruits, vegetables, and many flowers. It is the second most damaging fungus for food crops in the world, causing billions in annual crop losses.

A new paper in the journal Cell Host & Microbe describes how plants send tiny, innocuous-seeming lipid “bubbles” filled with RNA across enemy lines, into the cells of the aggressive mold. Once inside, different types of RNA come out to suppress the infectious cells that sucked them in.

“Plants are not just sitting there doing nothing. They are trying to protect themselves from the mold, and now we have a better idea how they’re doing that,” said Hailing Jin, Microbiology & Plant Pathology Department professor at UCR and lead author of the new paper.

Previously, Jin’s team discovered that plants are using the bubbles, technically called extracellular vesicles, to send small RNA molecules able to silence genes that make the mold virulent. Now, the team has learned these bubbles can also contain messenger RNA, or mRNA, molecules that attack important cellular processes, including the functions of organelles in mold cells. 

“These mRNAs can encode some proteins that end up in the mitochondria of the mold cells. Those are the powerhouses of any cells because they generate energy,” Jin explained. “Once inside, they mess up the structure and function of the fungal mitochondria, which inhibits the growth and virulence of the fungus.”

Jin laboratory

It isn’t entirely clear why the fungus accepts the lipid bubbles. Jin theorizes they might just be hungry. “The fungus likely takes up the vesicles because they just want nutrients. They don’t know those RNAs are hidden in the vesicles,” she said. 

The strategy is an efficient one for the plants, because one mRNA molecule can have an outsized effect on the fungus. “The beauty of delivering mRNA, instead of other forms of molecular weapons, is that one RNA can be translated into many copies of proteins. This amplifies the effect of the mRNA weapon,” Jin said. 

Mold also uses these same lipid bubbles to deliver small, damaging RNAs into the plants they are infecting to suppress host immunity, an ability developed as part of a co-evolutionary arms race. Because RNAs are easily degraded, the bubbles provide excellent protection for transporting vulnerable cargo, for both plants and fungi.

“During infections, there are always a lot of communications and molecule exchanges where plants and fungi try to fight against each other,” Jin said. “Previously people looked at proteins being exchanged. Now, modern technology has enabled us to discover another important group of players in this battle.”

Going forward, the scientists are hoping to use this discovery to create innovative, eco-friendly fungicides. “RNA-based fungicides would not leave toxic residue in the environment and would not affect humans or animals. RNA is present in most food, and it is easily digested,” Jin said. 

“There is a never-ending battle to control pests and pathogens. If we can deliver mRNA that interferes with mold cellular functions, we may be able to help plants more effectively fight in this battle.”

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IMAGES

  1. 8 Common Ghost Plant Problems and How to Fix Them

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VIDEO

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COMMENTS

  1. 8 Common Ghost Plant Problems and How to Fix Them

    Basics Plant Problems Edible Gardening Ornamental Gardening Cacti & Succulents Shrubs Vines Soil & Compost Basics Plant Problems Even through they are considered low maintenance, ghost plants can still encounter their share of problems.

  2. Monotropa uniflora

    Monotropa uniflora, also known as ghost plant, ghost pipe, or Indian pipe, is an herbaceous perennial flowering plant native to temperate regions of Asia, North America, and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas.

  3. How to Grow and Care for Ghost Plant

    Plants that don't receive enough light will become leggy and might experience leaf drop. When grown as a houseplant, keep the ghost plant in a south or east-facing window. The amount of light a ghost plant receives can affect its typical grayish-white coloration.

  4. How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Ghost Plants

    You can literally take leaves off your ghost plant, stick them in some soil, and over time, new little plants will begin to grow. Leaf Cutting Propagation Steps. Water your ghost plant a day or two prior to propagating. Select healthy leaves. Remove the leaves at the base of the leaf at the center of the rosette.

  5. 35 Ghost Plant Facts And Gardening Guide

    In severe cases, eating this plant can lead to convulsions, coma, and death. If you suspect that someone has eaten this plant, call poison control immediately. The Ghost Plant is not only poisonous to humans but also to animals. The toxicity of the plant varies depending on the species of animal.

  6. Ghost Pipe facts and health benefits

    Plant Description. Ghost Pipe is actually a herbaceous perennial plant that grows about 10 to 30 centimeters tall. The plant is found growing in complete shade on stable forest floors, usually where green plants do not. ... Start small and add on until you notice its effects. Also, consider the situation a more acute first aid type situation ...

  7. Ghost Pipe

    Ghost Pipe ( Monotropa uniflora L.) By Chantelle DeLay. Ghost pipe (also known as Indianpipe) is a member of the Monotropaceae family. Members of this family were formerly considered part of the family Ericaceae, but recent evidence suggests they should be considered separate. The genus name Monotropa is Greek for "one turn" referring to sharp ...

  8. All About Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

    Edible? Poisonous? Find out the answers to all of your questions below! Monotropa uniflora - also known as ghost pipe or Indian pipe Around June 8 every year, we start finding Ghost Pipe (also called Indian Pipe), mainly around our creek area.

  9. Ghost Plant Care

    To care for a Ghost plant water once the soil is dry to a depth of one inch. Provide a porous potting mix consisting of soil mixed with up to 50% sand, gravel, or perlite. Watering once every week in the growing season. The best temperature is between 60 - 80 °F (16-27°C). Keep humidity below 50%.

  10. Ultimate Guide: How To Care For Ghost Plant?

    Wait till the soil is completely dry to a depth of one inch and water it once the soil is dry. You can check this out using your index finger. Water the soil around the plant's base in the morning or late evening. Pouring water directly onto the leaves might scorch on a hot, sunny day damaging the plant.

  11. Graptopetalum Paraguayense 'Ghost Plant' Care & Propagation

    Graptopetalum paraguayense also known as the Ghost Plant, Ghostie, Mother of Pearl or Sedum weinbergii is a fantastically hardy succulent species native to Mexico. Although this succulent is very hardy there are a few tips and tricks to keeping it happy. ... Ghosties are unlikely to show any adverse effects if left in the rain or if they get ...

  12. Exploring the Potential Ghost Pipe Benefits: Unveiling the ...

    Anxiety and Stress Reduction The ghost pipe benefits extend beyond physical relief. Ghost Pipe is also believed to possess calming properties that can help to reduce anxiety and stress. Its sedative effects may promote relaxation and improve overall mental well-being. Potential Antifungal and Antibacterial Properties

  13. Ghost Plant Guide: How to Care for "Graptopetalum Paraguayense"

    The watering needs of your Ghost plants depend on the season and on the surrounding environment. These succulents need to be watered more frequently during the spring and summer months, as often as every 7-10 days. Yet, during the winter, you need to cut back on the water, and only water them once a month.

  14. Monotropa uniflora ~ Ghost Pipe

    In almost every case, the effects were quick and dramatic. Within a few minutes of giving 1-3 1ml doses of the tincture of the aerial parts, pupil dilation and responses to external stimuli would return to normal, and the person would begin to settle down. With 15-30 minutes the person would fall asleep and wake up hours later, calm and coherent.

  15. PDF GHOST PIPE: A LITTLE KNOWN NERVINE

    Ghost Pipe taps its roots into the place where the mycelium meets the rhizome, drawing off nutrients from mushroom and tree alike, and sends up a slender stalk that blossoms into a bell shape flower that first faces upward toward a sky whose sunlight it does not need and then nods down toward the ground that gives it life.

  16. The Magic Of Ghost Pipe

    The Magic Of Ghost Pipe Written by: Norianna Diesel. Monotropa uniflora, also known as ghost pipe or Indian pipe, is a perennial from the Ericaceae family that makes its presence known by a white translucent fruiting body.This is not your typical plant, as it does not photosynthesize, rather, it obtains nutrients from a mycorrhizal fungi, with research showing that the primary relationship is ...

  17. The Forgotten Herb: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Use Ghost Pipe

    Foraged date 05.02.23 read time 3 minutes Deep within the woodland's mysterious embrace, a hidden gem lies waiting to be discovered - the enigmatic Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), a plant shrouded in both obscurity and wonder.

  18. How to Make and Use Ghost Pipe Tincture: Prepared for Pain

    November 14, 2023 Ghost pipe emerges ethereal from crackling autumn leaves. This snow-white flower is both coveted and controversial; a long-awaited autumn companion shrouded in mystery. For a survivalist, it could be one of the most important medicinal plants you ever forage.

  19. A Forager's Guide to Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

    September 2, 2022 by Ana Ghost pipe is a stunning and unusual native wildflower with a thick, white translucent stem and a white nodding flower. Be careful; eating the plant is not recommended due to its mild toxicity. 🍄 Foraging Guide Monotropa uniflora plant profile Common names include: Indian pipe Corpse plant Ghost pipe Ice plant Death plant

  20. Ghost Pipe

    Medicinal: Yes Culinary: No Ceremonial: Yes Parts Used: Above ground parts Side Effects: None Herbal Actions: Antispasmodic Diaphoretic Nervine Sedative Ailments: Anxiety Bronchitis Muscle Pain Sleep Aide/Insomnia About Ghost Pipe Growing Harvesting Usage Articles About Ghost Pipe About Ghost Pipe

  21. How to Grow and Care for Ghost Plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense)

    After five days, water the plants at the soil level. Keep the plants in the same spot and water every 4 to 5 days until you know that they have produced a good root system. After this, you can reduce the watering to once every 2 weeks. This is the fastest way to propagate new ghost plants.

  22. Were You Aware of These Ghost Pipe Benefits? [5 of the Best]

    Using Ghost Pipe entails many practical benefits, including as a sedative for convulsions in children, as a treatment for febrile diseases, restlessness, pain, and anxiety, and as an aid in digestion, sleep, and maintaining the local ecosystem. Please find out how to approach this ghost plant, harvest it, and obtain its inherent benefits.

  23. The Effects of Ghost Pipe Tincture: A Comprehensive Guide

    Ghost pipe tincture, derived from the ghost pipe plant (Monotropa uniflora), is known for its potential analgesic and sedative effects. Research suggests that it may help relieve pain, anxiety, and insomnia. However, further scientific studies are needed to fully understand its effectiveness and potential side effects.

  24. Discovery: plants use "trojan horse" to fight mold invasions

    Plant RNA defense systems hidden in unassuming "bubbles". UC Riverside scientists have discovered a stealth molecular weapon that plants use to attack the cells of invading gray mold. Green tomato with gray mold. The mold species name, Botrytis cinerea, is derived from Latin for "grapes like ashes." (balticboy/iStock/Getty)