Crassula columella Marloth & Schönland
This species is native to South Africa. It is restricted to the area between Grootmis and Lekkersing in the Northern Cape province, growing on upper slopes or in crevices in quartzite outcrops, usually on the southwestern aspect of low hills.
Crassula columella is an attractive slow-growing succulent with velvety leaves closely clasping around erect stems to form four-angled columns up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter. The stems grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall, with few branches from the base or at the top, forming a compact clump. Leaves are yellowish green or often tinged red. They are broadly ovate, concave above, convex below, up to 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) long, and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) wide. Flowers are tubular, cream or pale yellow, fading to brown, and appear in small, round-topped clusters on a hairy, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long peduncle in fall.
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 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 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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