Crassula ciliata L.
Crassula concinna, Crassula concinnella, Crassula ligulifolia, Purgosea ciliata, Purgosea concinna, Purgosea concinnella, Purgosea ligulifolia, Sedum ciliatum, Sphaeritis ciliata
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs on lower gravelly or sandy slopes from Cape Peninsula to Port Elizabeth.
Crassula ciliata is a much-branched shrublet with short decumbent branches with green to yellowish green leaves with marginal cilia, usually slightly recurved and in a dense row. It grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. Branches are green, glabrous with persistent older leaves, and up to 0.3 inches (0.7 cm) in diameter. When moderately stressed by direct sun or drought, leaves take on a red flush. They are flat, oblong-elliptic, rounded, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, and up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) wide. Flowers are tubular below, star-shaped above, cream to pale yellow, and appear in late spring and summer. The inflorescence is a rounded thyrse with several dichasia, each with few to many flowers. The peduncle is more or less distinct and up to 10 inches (25 cm) long.
The specific epithet "ciliata (sil-ee-ATE-uh)" is the feminine form of the Latin adjective "ciliatus," meaning "having cilia," and refers to the fringe of cilia along the margins of the leaves.
How to Grow and Care for Crassula ciliata
Light: C. ciliata prefers full sun to partial shade. However, intense afternoon sun in the hottest period of summer can burn the leaves of the plant. Therefore, a place with morning sun and afternoon shade would be perfect. Indoors, place your plant in a window that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.
Soil: This plant is not particular about soil pH but requires very porous soil with excellent drainage. Use commercial potting soil mixes designated for succulents, or mix your own.
Temperature: Like most Crassulas, this succulent will tolerate short-term freezing, but extremes of cold or heat will cause it to lose leaves and die. C. ciliata can withstand temperatures as low as 25 °F (-3.9 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9b to 11b, 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C).
Watering: Avoid overwatering using the "soak and dry" method, where the soil is soaked with water, slowly drained, and left to dry out before watering again. Reduce watering in winter. Potted plants require more frequent watering than those in the ground.
Fertilizing: C. ciliata does not need much feeding but will benefit from a small amount of organic fertilizer in mid-spring when it starts actively growing.
Repotting: Repot as needed, preferably in spring, at the beginning of the period of active growth of the plant. Make sure the soil is dry before you begin repotting.
Propagation: This succulent is generally started by leaves or stem cuttings. It can also be grown from seeds and offsets. The easiest way is to propagate C. ciliata from a single leaf, while using stem cuttings is the fastest way to get a decent-sized plant. These processes are most successful at the beginning of the plant's active growth period. Sow the seeds in the spring or summer.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Crassula.
Toxicity of Crassula ciliata
C. ciliata is nontoxic to people and pets.
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