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Crassula coccinea (Red Crassula)

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Scientific Name

Crassula coccinea L.

Common Names

Red Crassula, Klipblom

Synonyms

Crassula versicolor, Danielia coccinea, Danielia versicolor, Dietrichia coccinea, Dietrichia versicolor, Rochea coccinea

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Description

Crassula coccinea is a small succulent shrublet, up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall, with few stems that branch from the base. As the plants get older, the bottom of the stems turns brown and dry with the bright new leaves at the ends. The succulent leaves are flat, oval-shaped, and arranged to overlap each other along the stems. In midsummer, the striking flowers are formed in dense, flat-topped heads at the tip of the stems. The long, tubular flowers are fragrant and brilliant red, especially in direct sun.

Crassula coccinea (Red Crassula)

Photo via biodiversityexplorer.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Crassulas are easy to grow, but they are susceptible to mealy bugs 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 covering the dish until they sprout.

Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot your Crassula, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out 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.

Origin

Crassula coccinea occurs naturally in the Western Cape (South Africa), where it grows on the quartzitic sandstone mountains on bare rocks or shrubby slopes.

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