The Ultimate Guide To Buying And Caring For Crassula Succulents

The Ultimate Guide To Buying And Caring For Crassula Succulents

What Is a Crassula Succulent? 

Crassula refers to a genus of over 200 popular plants. Many members of the genus are succulent houseplants prized for their ability to thrive with little attention.

The genus Crassula is so numerous that members have a variety of qualities. Some plants are herbaceous perennials, while others are woody annuals. Some crassula plants will grow into small trees or shrubs in natural environments.

Regardless of the species, most succulent plants are low-maintenance, slow-growing, and perfect for beginners.

Perhaps the most popular crassula, the jade plant, is native to South Africa. These hardy perennials are acclimated to sandy hills, open fields, and ample sunlight. 

The New York Botanical Garden explains that such succulents have “adapted fleshy leaves or stems for water storage.” They’re used to heat and drought, enabling them to thrive in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones nine to 12.

No matter what type of crassula you select, the key to these plants is knowing their natural habitat and how you can mimic that in your home or garden.

Popular Crassula Succulent Varieties

Next, we’ll discuss some popular Crassulaceae cultivars and their characteristics. These plants are excellent for indoor planting, so you have various options to choose from.

Variety About
Crassula ovata
  • Commonly known as jade plant or money plant
  • Brown, thick, woody stems that can grow over three feet tall
  • Oval-shaped leaves that are fleshy, thick, and evergreen
  • Blooms pinky-white flowers
  • Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ and ‘Hobbit’ are popular hybrids
Crassula arborescens
Crassula rupestris
  • Commonly known as ’String of Buttons’ or ‘Rosary Plant’
  • Popular spiller plant for hanging baskets
  • Fleshy, round leaves with occasional waxy blooms
  • Stiff green stems that will cascade over container edges
Crassula perforata
  • Known as ‘Necklace Vine’
  • Triangular leaves grow in tightly packed rosettes
  • Bead-like leaves appear to be “strung” onto the stiff, waxy stem
  • Crassula perforata is mixed with Crassula rupestris to create the popular hybrid ‘Baby’s Necklace.’
Crassula falcata
  • Often referred to as ‘Propeller Plant’
  • Fleshy, flat leaves sprout from opposite sides of the stem
  • Grows up to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide
  • Prized for its vivid red blooms that appear in the summer
Crassula tetragona
  • Often called ‘Miniature Pine Tree’
  • Grows into a shrub with narrow green leaves
  • Produces small white flowers in the late spring to early summer
  • Commonly used in containers to resemble a small tree
Crassula capitella
  • Commonly known as ‘Pagoda Village’ crassula 
  • Evergreen leaves that come in shades of deep green, red, and purple
  • Unique foliage pattern that resembles stacked tiles
Crassula muscosa
  • Often referred to as ‘Watch Chain’
  • Produces branches with tightly packed green leaves
  • Sprouts yellowy-green flowers in the spring and summer
Crassula Pellucida Variegata
  • Commonly called ‘Calico Kitten’ 
  • Produces lovely heart-shaped leaves of pink, green, and creamy white
  • Trailing habit makes it a good ground cover plant

Where To Buy Crassula Succulents

Although choosing from the wide variety of charming crassula succulent plants might seem impossible, finding them in stores is a breeze.

Big-name retailers like Costco, Walmart, and Amazon sell succulents at affordable prices. 

Costco sells a three-pack of succulents for under $20. The pack includes a crassula succulent and two other species planted in chic containers.

Walmart sells a 20-pack of succulents for just $31.97. The collection contains 20 different species varying in texture, shape, and color. 

Check Amazon for a vast selection of succulents. You’ll find live crassula plants and cuttings to grow your own. Select a pre-planted option if you’d like a container to come with your purchase.

How to Care For Crassula Succulents

Succulents are good at letting you know what they need, making them excellent for beginner gardeners. The next section will go over some care tips for crassula succulent plants.

Light Needs

Indoor succulents need access to bright, indirect sunlight. Set your succulent up for success by placing its container in the brightest area of your house. Ideally, this location would have 10 or more hours of sunlight per day.

If you notice your succulent becoming lopsided, simply rotate the plant so the drooping side can get some light.

If the plant gets leggy, it might not be getting enough light. Supplement your succulent with artificial fluorescent or LED lights to cheer it up.

You can move your plant outside during the summer, but make sure it’s not exposed to full sun all the time. The plant will thrive best in a spot with partial shade and protection from direct afternoon rays.

Watering

Succulents store water in their leaves, roots, and stems, allowing them to live longer with less frequent watering. 

The key to watering indoor crassulas is to keep the soil moist, not wet. Overwatered succulents develop soft, squishy leaves from holding too much moisture. Succulents that sit in water could also develop root rot and leaf damage. 

An effective way to maintain the balance between dampness and wetness is to water the soil with a spray bottle.

Jade plants, in particular, need dampened soil throughout the spring and summer growing seasons. Once winter arrives, let the soil dry completely between waterings. After thorough waterings, remember to dump out any excess water that runs into drainage trays.

The Iowa State University Department of Horticulture suggests starting a wet-dry cycle for your succulent plant. 

Thoroughly water your plant every two to three weeks. Ensure the whole container of soil is dampened by waiting for water to run out of the pot’s drainage holes. Then, wait until the soil is completely dry several inches down before watering again.

Soil

Choosing a well-draining soil is key to your succulent’s health. 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension recommends using “potting mix without peat or other moisture-retentive components.” Mix regular potting soil with a coarse medium like pea gravel or sand to ensure the area around the succulent doesn’t oversaturate with moisture.

You can fertilize your crassula plant once it’s established – but do so with caution. Succulents don’t need fertilizer as much as other plant varieties, so less is more.

Make sure the crassula has acclimated to your home or new container for at least four months before you start fertilizing. Then, apply a light, water-soluble fertilizer to the plant once every three months.

Dampen the soil before fertilizing to avoid burning your crassula’s roots.

How To Propagate Crassula Succulents

Once you’ve purchased a mature succulent, use it to grow more plants for your collection. 

Some succulent species like Echeverias will grow from either stem cuttings or leaves, while Aeoniums will only grow from cuttings. 

Crassula succulents can grow from both leaves and stem cuttings, but we recommend cuttings for the best results. 

Propagate new crassula succulents from stem cuttings in these five easy steps: 

Step One

Cut a 2- to 3-inch-long section of stem from your crassula. 

Remove leaves to expose about an inch of the stem’s base. This step will help the cutting collect energy for new growths instead of allocating it to existing leaves.

Tip: If part of your crassula breaks off the parent plant, don’t throw it away! You can use the broken stem as a cutting to grow a new plant.

Step Two

Place the stem cutting on a paper towel. 

Store it in a dry area with indirect sunlight until the base callouses. By allowing the stem to grow callous, you’re making the plant less susceptible to root rot. 

This process may take up to a week.

Step Three

Once the stem’s base has dried out and calloused over, you’re ready to prepare the cutting’s container. 

Fill a pot with succulent potting mix or any well-draining, sandy soil. The potting medium you select is crucial to your succulent’s success. Soils high in organic matter will retain too much moisture and kill your plant. 

The University of Minnesota Extension recommends a mixture “of one part potting soil and one part coarse sand.” It also suggests choosing a container with drainage holes to release excess water.

Step Four

Now it’s time to plant your crassula cutting.

Before planting, dip the stem in rooting hormone if you’re eager for quick, easy propagation. Otherwise, cuttings planted without a rooting solution typically grow just fine.

Stick the succulent stem down in the mix to bury the portion of the bare stem. Pack the soil gently with your fingers to help the cutting stand up.

Step Five 

Store the cutting in a dry area out of direct sunlight. The young plant needs bright light and sufficient airflow to grow, but direct sun exposure might scorch it.

Keeping your cutting’s soil moist but not wet is incredibly important to the plant’s success. We suggest using a spray bottle to moisten the soil. Do this only when you notice the soil is completely dry. 

Once the cutting has taken root, you can treat it like a mature succulent for watering, light, and fertilization needs.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article gave you tips for buying and caring for crassula succulents. 

Buy a variety pack from a local nursery or top retailer to find the cultivar you like best. Once you’ve started a collection of established succulents, you can propagate even more from leaves or cuttings.

With occasionally dampened soil and plenty of light, these hardy little plants are sure to brighten your home. 

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