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Crassula tetragona (Miniature Pine Tree)

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Scientific Name

Crassula tetragona L.

Common Names

Miniature Pine Tree

Synonyms

Crassula tetragona subsp. tetragona, Crassula acutifolia var. debsifolia, Crassula bibracteata, Crassula decussata, Crassula densifolia, Crassula fruticulosa, Crassula radicans, Creusa tetragona, Sedum caffrum, Sedum tetragonum

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Crassula

Description

Crassula tetragona is an evergreen, succulent plant up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall. The narrow, almost needle-like foliage and sparsely branched, shrubby, tree-like habit of this South African native have caused it to be misleadingly dubbed "miniature pine". The apple-green, awl-shaped leaves occur in well-spaced pairs along fleshy upright stems that can reach waist height. The stem is woody with brown bark. Dense clusters of small, cream to white flowers appear at the branch tips in spring and summer.

Photo via succulents.us

Hardiness

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 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 tetragona is native to South Africa.

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