Crassula alstonii Marloth
Crassula alstonii is a beautiful dwarf succulent with short stems completely covered with grey-green, velvety, closely adpressed leaves, forming an almost spherical rosette. It grows up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) tall, one-stemmed or sparingly branched from the base. The rosettes are up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. The leaves are orbicular to broadly obovate, flat above, and slightly swollen below. They are up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long and up to 0.9 inches (2.2 cm) wide.
Flowers are tubular, cream to pale yellow, becoming brown, and appear in fall. The inflorescence is a rounded but often irregularly branched thyrse, with an up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long peduncle covered with recurved hairs. This species is monocarpic, which means the rosette dies after blooming.
Crassula alstonii is native to South Africa. It grows on gentle slopes or flats among quartzitic or gneissic gravel from Lekkersing to Komaggas in Northern Cape.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Crassulas are easy to grow but susceptible to mealybugs and fungal diseases. As with all succulents, overwatering is sure to be fatal, so err on the side of too dry rather than too wet. Never let your plant sit in water. If you water from beneath by letting the plant sit in a saucer of water, make sure to pour off any excess water after a few minutes.
These succulents are generally started by division, offsets, or leaf cuttings. Crassulas can be easily propagated from a single leaf. Sprout leaves by placing them into a potting mix for succulents, then cover the dish until they sprout.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot your Crassula, ensure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, removing any rotted or dead roots. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill it with potting soil, spreading the roots as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Crassula.
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