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The genus Crassula contains over 200 species of perennial and evergreen succulent shrubs and sub-shrubs, ranging in size from dwarfs to tree-like plants. They have attractive, fleshy, thick leaves which vary in texture, size and shape across species. Grown extensively for their foliage and their white, red or pink tubular, star or funnel-shaped flowers, Crassula are prized as houseplants. Most species do not tolerate frost, requiring extensive sunlight for optimal growth. They are naturally found in many parts of the world, but most cultivated varieties come from species native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The very popular Jade Plant, Crassula ovata, belongs in this genus.
Common problems with Crassula
Check beneath leaves for insects and monitor for leaf discolouration or loss in vigour. Crassula are susceptible to fungal diseases, so err on the side of too dry rather than too wet.
How to propagate Crassula
The genus Crassula can be easily propagated from leaves. Simply remove cleanly from the mother plant, leave callus for a few days until the wound has closed and place on soil or in water and wait for roots to develop. Roots usually grow first to seek out water, followed by new leaves. This may take anywhere from a week to a few months and there is no need to water propagating succulents as they will glean all the nutrition and moisture they require from their mother leaf, which will shrivel up over time. The original leaf may be gently removed once it has dried up and become crispy in texture, only remove if it comes away easily otherwise you risk damaging the baby plant.
Special features of Crassula
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