Crassula tetragona L.
Miniature Pine Tree
Crassula acutifolia, Crassula acutifolia subsp. densifolia, Crassula acutifolia var. densifolia, Crassula bibracteata, Crassula biplanata, Crassula decussata, Crassula densifolia, Crassula fruticulosa, Crassula radicans, Crassula tetragona subsp. tetragona, Creusa tetragona, Sedum tetragonum
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs from Gifberg to near Uniondale and in only a few localities near Springbok and Kamiesberg, growing on gravelly slopes with quite dry vegetation.
Crassula tetragona is a succulent plant with green, narrow, almost needle-like leaves that occur in well-spaced pairs along erect, decumbent, or prostrate stems. It grows up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall and has a shrubby or tree-like habit hence the common name. Leaves are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and up to 0.12 inches (0.3 cm) in diameter. The stems are fleshy at first, becoming woody with brown bark as they age. Old leaves remain attached to the stems. Flowers are white to cream-colored and appear in dense clusters on long peduncles in spring and summer.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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 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 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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