Crassula orbicularis L.
Crassula sediodes, Purgosea orbicularis
This species is native to South Africa.
Crassula orbicularis is a small succulent that forms flattened rosettes of fleshy green leaves slightly tinged pink to red along margins and towards the apex when grown in bright light. It has a shallow root system and produces runners, forming dense clumps up to 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter. Leaves are elliptic, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. Flowers are tubular, white to pale yellow, often tinged pink or reddish-brown, and appear on up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall flower stalks from late winter to early spring.
The specific epithet "orbicularis (or-bik-yoo-LAIR-iss)" is a Latin adjective meaning "circular" or "orbicular" and refers to the shape of the leaves.
How to Grow and Care for Crassula orbicularis
Light: C. orbicularis prefers full sun to partial shade. However, intense afternoon sun in the hottest period of summer can burn the leaves of the plant. Therefore, a place with morning sun and afternoon shade would be perfect. Indoors, place your plants in a window where they receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.
Soil: This plant is not particular about soil pH but requires very porous soil with excellent drainage. Use commercial potting soil mixes designated for use with succulents or mix your own.
Hardiness: Like most Crassulas, this succulent will tolerate some amount of short-term freezing, but extremes of cold or heat will cause it to lose leaves and die. C. orbicularis can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.
Watering: Avoid overwatering by using the "soak and dry" method, where the soil is soaked with water, slowly drained, and left to dry out before watering again. Reduce watering in winter. Potted plants require more frequent watering than those in the ground.
Fertilizing: C. orbicularis does not need much feeding but will benefit from a small amount of organic fertilizer in mid-spring when it starts actively growing.
Repotting: Repot as needed, preferably in spring, at the beginning of the period of active growth. Make sure the soil is dry before you begin repotting.
Propagation: This succulent is generally started by leaves or stem cuttings. It can also be grown from seeds and offsets. The easiest way is to propagate C. orbicularis from a single leaf, while using stem cuttings is the fastest way to get a decent-sized plant. These processes are most successful if done at the beginning of the active growth period. Sow the seeds in the spring or summer. Propagating by dividing offsets is very easy because the parent plant has already done most of the work for you.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Crassula.
Toxicity of Crassula orbicularis
C. orbicularis is nontoxic to people and pets.
Varieties of Crassula orbicularis
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