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Crassula sarcocaulis (Bonsai Crassula)

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Scientific Name

Crassula sarcocaulis Eckl. & Zeyh.

Common Names

Bonsai Crassula, Bonsai Jade

Synonyms

Crassula lignosa, Crassula parvisepala, Crassula sarcocaulis subsp. sarcocaulis, Crassula sarcocaulis var. scaberula, Creusa sarcocaulis

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae 
Genus: Crassula

Origin

Native to the eastern part of South Africa and neighboring countries.

Description

Crassula sarcocaulis is a small, shrubby succulent with erect, fleshy stems and densely branched crown. It grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and about the same in width. The stems and branches are green with hair-like papillae, sometimes with brown peeling flakes exposing the grey bark on the older branches. Leaves are green tinged with red, narrow, pointed, up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) wide. Flowers are white, cream or pink, bell-shaped, and appear in attractive terminal clusters in late summer.

The specific epithet "sarcocaulis" derives from the Greek "sarkos," meaning "flesh" and "kaulon," meaning "stem."

How to Grow and Care

Light: Crassula plants prefer full sun to partial shade. However, intense afternoon sun in the hottest period of summer can burn the leaves of the plants. Most Crassulas can be grown indoors if given enough light.

Soil: They are not particular about soil pH, but Crassulas require very porous soil with excellent drainage.

Hardiness: Crassula sarcocaulis can tolerate temperatures as low as 10 to 50 °F (-12.2 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 8a to 11b.

Watering: These plants have typical watering needs for succulents. 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.

Fertilizing: Crassulas will benefit from a small amount of organic fertilizer in mid-spring when they start actively growing.

Repotting: Repot as needed, preferably in spring, at the beginning of a period of active growth.

Propagation: Crassulas are generally started by leaves or stem cuttings. They can also be grown from seeds and offsets.

Toxicity: Crassula plants are generally nontoxic to people and pets.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Crassula.

Subspecies and Cultivars

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