Crassula umbella Jacq.
Crassula flabellifolia, Crassula loriformis, Crassula weissii, Petrogeton umbella, Septas umbella
This species is native to South Africa (Northern Cape, Western Cape). Usually grows on south-facing aspects of sheltered gravelly slopes under shrubs but more often under overhanging rocks.
Crassula umbella is a small succulent with a spherical tuber and erect, unbranched stems with leaves arranged in pairs, transversely depressed-obovate, or more or less fused into a roundish umbrella-like structure around the stem. It grows up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall. Leaves are glabrous, usually yellowish-green, with entire to create margin. The inflorescence is a terminal elongate thyrse supported by an up to 4 inches (10 cm) long peduncle. Flowers are star-shaped, up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) across, cream to yellowish-green, rarely white, and appear from winter to spring.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Crassulas are easy to grow but susceptible to mealybugs 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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