Crassula Succulent Identification Cards & Care Guides
Crassula marginalis rubra variegata is more commonly known as Crassula ‘Calico Kitten’ and is a great filler or spiller in succulent arrangements and ground cover in succulent gardens. It has the cutest heart shaped leaves striped in cream and green with pink edges as it gets stressed.
Crassula Care Guide
Most of the 200 or so succulent species in the genusgenus a principal taxonomic category that ranks above species and below family, and is denoted by a capitalized Latin name 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 cultivatecultivate prepare and use for gardening. 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 habitathabitat The natural home of a plant. is in semi-aridsemi-arid Semi-arid climates get about twice as much rainfall than arid deserts, which get less than 10 inches per year. 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. Stagnantstagnant having no current or flow and often having an unpleasant smell as a consequence 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 amendmentamendment Material added to a soil to improve its physical properties which create a healthier environment for the roots 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 inorganicinorganic not consisting of or deriving from living matter substratesubstrate the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the surface or medium on which an organism grows or is attached 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 balancedbalanced referring to the nutrient content or NPK numbers. An example of balanced fertilizer has 15-15-15 on the label. 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 sunfull sun direct sunlight for at least 8 hours of the day 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 propagatepropagate breed specimens of a plant by natural processes from the parent stock like taking stem cuttings, leaf cuttings or seeds 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 nodenode The point where a leaf, shoot or root grows from a stem 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.