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Crassula multicava (Fairy Crassula)

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Scientific Name

Crassula multicava Lem.

Common Names

Fairy Crassula, Pitted Crassula, London Pride, Mosquito Flower, Cape Province Pygmyweed

Synonyms

Crassula ericoides subsp. ericoides, Septimia multicava, Crassula quadrifida

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Description

Crassula multicava is a moderate to fast-growing, mat-forming, evergreen groundcover up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall. It produces an outstanding uniform effect when planted in masses. The leaves are glossy, oval to round and formed in opposite pairs. They are light to dark green depending on the position in the garden, darker in the shade and paler in semi-shade to sunny places. The flowers are petite, charming little stars, hence the common name, and appear in masses above the attractive leaves. They are pink in bud and then open to white stars and appear in winter. The leaves contain hydathodes, which serve for rapid absorption of water from the leaf surface.

Hardiness

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 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 multicava is native to South Africa, particularly the mountainous regions of Natal.

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