Crassula plegmatoides Friedrich
Crassula arta, Crassula deltoidea, Crassula pseudocolumnaris
The native range of Crassula plegmatoides is a narrow coastal strip from near Port Nolloth in the Northern Cape province of South Africa to the Buchu Mountains in Namibia. It grows on gentle slopes towards the apex of hills, usually associated with quartzite gravel.
Crassula plegmatoides is a small succulent with erect to decumbent stems and gray, rarely grey-green leaves closely clasping around the stem to form a four-angled column. The stems are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, usually only with one main branch, rarely with a few much shorter ones from the base. Columns are up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) across. Leaves are fleshy, broadly ovate, strongly concave above and convex below, and densely covered with spherical papillae. They are about 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) long and 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) wide.
The flowers are tubular, cream, fading to brown, and appear in small round-topped clusters on a pubescent, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long peduncle in late summer or fall.
C. plegmatoides is similar to Crassula deceptor but is easily distinguished by the adpressed apex of the leaves.
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 susceptible to mealy bugs and fungal diseases. As with all succulents, overwatering is 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, 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.
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