Crassula expansa subsp. fragilis (Bak.) Toelken
Crassula fragilis, Crassula browniana, Crassula thorncroftii, Crassula woodii, Crassula zimmermannii
Crassula expansa subsp. fragilis is a low-growing succulent with masses of tiny fleshy leaves. It grows up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall with a spread of up to 20 inches (50 cm). Leaves are flattened discs, sometimes slightly elliptic or obovate. While the leaves are fresh to pale green, the stems are pinkish to maroon. Fine whitish hairs may be scattered along the leaf and stem surfaces. Flowers are tiny, white, star-shaped, usually 5-petalled, and produced on the tangled cushion of slender stems and small leaves. They usually appear from mid-summer to fall.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °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 cover 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.
This subspecies is found in northern and eastern Transvaal, Swaziland, northern Natal, and north-eastern Cape Province but also in tropical Africa as far north as Tanzania as well as in Madagascar.
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