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Crassula perfoliata var. minor (Airplane Plant)

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Scientific Name

Crassula perfoliata var. minor (Haw.) G.D.Rowley

Common Names

Airplane Plant, Propeller Plant, Red Crassula, Scarlet Paintbrush

Synonyms

Crassula falcata, Crassula perfoliata var. falcata, Crassula perfoliata subsp. falcata, Rochea falcata

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Description

Crassula perfoliata var. minor, also know as Crassula falcata, is a succulent plant, up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall. It is an attractive and interesting plant when not in bloom, but a show stopper when the bright red flowers emerge. The leaves are gray-green, sickle-shaped, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. They are arranged in overlapping pairs along a usually unbranched stem. Tiny scarlet red flowers are massed together in very showy, dense clusters that rise above foliage in mid summer. They open slowly and last for nearly a month when in full bloom.

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 perfoliata var. minor is native to South Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope.

Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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