Crassula Succulent Identification Cards & Care Guides
Welcome to the world of Crassula! Whether you are a seasoned succulent enthusiast or just starting to explore the world of these low-maintenance plants, this guide will help you discover the many different types of crassula and provide you with all the information you need to care for them successfully. From their unique leaf shapes and sizes to their fascinating growth habits, crassulas are some of the most diverse and fascinating plants out there. So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let’s dive into the world of crassula together!
Crassula Care Guide
Most of the 200 or so succulent species in the genus Crassula make nice low succulent shrubs in your garden, do well as container plants, and do ok as houseplants. Many are widely grown and not very hard to cultivate. Crassula species thrive in bright light and good ventilation.
Crassula plants originate all over the world, but most of the varieties in cultivation almost always come from the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Their natural habitat is in semi-arid deserts in rocky or gravelly soil.
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Like with other succulents, if you keep your crassula indoors, you need to mimic their ideal outdoor environment as much as possible. This means getting lots of sunlight near your sunniest window or underneath grow lights if it won’t be able to get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. You’ll know if your crassula aren’t getting enough light when they start to stretch out, lose their compact shape and become pale in color.
Succulents typically die when brought indoors because of a lack of ventilation. Stagnant air causes a buildup of harmful bacteria and fungus which will kill your crassula. Setting up a fan near your plant shelving is a great idea to keep the air flowing constantly as if it were outdoors. A light breeze is all that it takes to keep pests away.
The soil isn’t going to dry out as quickly indoors as it would outdoors, so be sure to use lots of amendment in your soil mix and keep an eye on how long it takes for them to start showing signs of thirst before watering again. See my guide on soil and soil amendments for succulents.
Crassula succulents grow best in sandy or gritty, mostly inorganic substrate like most other succulents. Make sure your soil is at least 50% gritty amendment so it drains quickly because, as we know, succulents don’t like their roots to stay in moist soil for very long. They’re quite sensitive to root rot when waterlogged. Good drainage in your pots is very important as these plants are prone to root rot if left in waterlogged soil. Be sure to check out my guide on succulent soil.
Feed crassula during their growing season from mid spring to early fall with a balanced fertilizer that is poor in nitrogen. Dilute it to at least half the strength recommended on the label. Do not feed plants during winter or in the hottest part of the summer when they are dormant. See my guide on fertilizing succulents.
Crassula species are very drought tolerant plants, which means they can handle longer periods without water. Being drought tolerant does not, however, mean low water. Water them regularly in the growing season during spring and fall, but avoid water-logging and let your soil dry between waterings. Water sparingly in the winter as temperatures get colder because crassula can lose their roots if the soil stays cold and soggy for too long. The lower the temperature gets, the less watering is needed. If you grow crassula in a container, bottom watering is helpful. See my guide on how to water succulents.
Crassula does well in dappled sun, but can handle some shade, too. In shade the leaves color will stay more green, while in full sun conditions the leaves can develop a pink/orange/red stress color. In the summer keep your crassula cool and provide some shelter from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day. See my guide to how much light succulents need.
Crassula plants are susceptible to mealy bugs and sometimes scale. They don’t handle extreme cold or hot temperatures very well and do best in a mild, Mediterranean climate where frosts are a rare occurrence.
Crassula propagate the easiest from cuttings. They also propagate from seed and sometimes from leaves depending on the species. The best time to take leaf cuttings is in spring and summer. Take your stem cuttings just below a leaf node and stick it in dry succulent soil. Don’t water until roots have formed. You’ll know roots have formed by giving it a gentle tug. If there’s any resistance, you’ve got roots! See my ultimate guide to succulent propagation here.
The name crassula comes from the Latin word crassus, meaning thick.