Crassula elegans Schönland & Baker f.
Crassula alstonii, Crassula elegans subsp. elegans, Crassula mesembrianthoides,
The native range of this species is from north of Vanrhynsdorp in the Western Cape province of South Africa to southwestern Namibia, mainly west of the mountains between Namaqualand and Bushmanland, growing on sandy or gravelly slopes or quartzite outcrops, often in shady spots but also in exposed positions.
Crassula elegans is a small sprawling succulent with a fleshy or slightly woody base and short much-branched stems with fleshy, densely packed leaves, usually in four ranks. It grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall, including inflorescences. Leaves are smooth or covered with fine hairs or coarse rounded papillae. They are green to brown or purplish-red, ovate to lanceolate, triangular in cross-section, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) wide. The small flowers are white, cream-colored, or yellowish, often fading to brown, lightly scented, and appear in terminal clusters on up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long stalks in summer and 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 covering 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.
Subspecies and Hybrids
- Back to genus Crassula
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