Crassula is a large genus of annual and perennial succulents. They are grown for their fleshy, usually, opposite leaves, which vary greatly in shape, size, and texture. Perhaps the two best-known Crassulas are the jade plant and the silver dollar plant.
Crassulas have very small star- or funnel-shaped flowers borne in dense terminal cymes.
Crassulas can be grown outdoors or indoors. They are excellent container plants requiring little more than the basic—a good bright location and ample food and water during the growing season. They can thrive in the same pot for years with regular water and feeding during the growing time of the year.
Crassula is a large genus that includes about 300 species of succulents that include both low-growing and shrub-size plants. They grow from 18 to 30 inches (46 to 76 cm) tall.
Crassulas are easy to care for. The Crassula genus includes the jade plant, C. argentea, which is an excellent house plant that can be grown as a large shrub in mild-winter regions.
Get to Know Crassula
- Plant type: Succulent in the Crassula Family
- Hardiness temperature: 45℉ (7.2℃)
- Optimal growing temperature: day, 68° to 72°F (20° to 22°C); night, 50° to 55°F (10° to 13°C).
- Shape and size: Range of sizes; some have thick, fleshy leaves, and some have hairy leaves or ringed leaves.
- Flowers: Small blossoms in umbels, vivid colors
- Bloom time: Spring, summer
- Common name: Common names for species include the silver dollar, jade plant, airplane plant, a string of buttons, and others
- Genus name: Crassula
- Family name: Crassulceae
- Origin: South Africa
- Grow Crassula in a sunny and warm location.
- Indoors grow Crassula in bright light from eastern to western exposure. Does well under artificial light, needing 14 to 16 light hours daily.
- Grow Crassula in loamy, sandy oil. Mix equal parts garden loam and sand.
- Crassula can thrive in pots for years with bright light, regular water, and feeding during the growing season.
How to Water and Feed Crassula
- Give Crassula regular water during the growth period from summer to fall. Keep soil evenly moist, not soggy.
- Crassula prefers humidity of 30% to 35%.
- Feed Crassula every 3 weeks during the growing season, with low-nitrogen, high-potassium fertilizer, or bone meal.
- Crassula prefers to be potbound; pot-on when roots occupy over ¾ of pot space.
- Clean Cruassula foliage monthly.
- Crassula should rest during winter. Keep the plant cool, 40°F (4°C). Reduce water; withhold fertilizer.
Growing Crassula as a Houseplant
- Crassula grows best in direct light; it can be grown under fluorescent light.
- Crassula needs average room temperature and low humidity.
- Allow the soil to dry between waterings; excess water can cause soft, weak stem growth and root rot.
- Fertilizer should be applied regularly through spring and summer.
Crassula Pests and Diseases
- Crassula is susceptible to attack from aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites.
- Crassula can be propagated from stem cutting and repotted in a cactus mix.
Crassula Species to Grow
- Crassula arborescens (silver dollar). Thick, fleshy, silvery-grayish leaves edged with red; trunklike stem; white or pink flowers appear on mature plants.
- C. argentea (jade plant, jade tree). Thick, woody stems and thick fleshy, gray-green round, shiny leaves; has a treelike form; white flower heads may appear in winter; ideal potted plant.
- C. falcata (airplane plant). Shrubby growth to 3 feet; thick gray-green sickle-shaped leaves; bright scarlet or orange-red flowers appear in summer.
- C. lactea, tailor’s patch. Shrubby plants with spreading branches; oval leaves bear white dots along the edges; star-shaped white flowers appear in large clusters in winter.
- C. lycopodioides (watch chain, toy cypress). Noted for its 24-inch (61 cm) long, creeping stems, with densely overlapping scalelike leaves; small white to yellowish-green flowers may appear.
- C. perforata (a string of buttons). Shrubby form to 24 inches (61 cm) tall; pairs of pointed, oval leaves range along erect stems are joined at ends; tiny yellow flowers appear in early spring.
- C. rupestris (buttons-on-a-string). Thick, overlapping leaves grow in spreading habit; good potted plant.
Crassula Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does crassula need to grow indoors?
A: Jade and silver dollar plants need four or more hours a day of direct sunlight or very bright natural reflected light for 12 hours a day. the plant prefers 50° to 55°F at night and 68° to 72° during the day but they will tolerate a range of 40° to 100°F. Let the soil nearly dry between waterings. Use a complete 5-10-5 fertilizer sparingly once the plants are six months old or older.
Q: What causes the crassula jade plant to drop most of its leaves?
A: Too much water is one likely cause, and another is extreme drought. This succulent plant should be treated like cactus with good drainage in the pot but enough water to prevent shriveling. The exact frequency of water depends on the size and condition of the plant as well as the weather and daily sun or light.
Q: How can I encourage the jade plant to bloom?
A: The jade plant does not normally bloom until it is several years old. Younger specimens sometimes bloom if pot-bound. Keep the plant on the dry side in late summer and early fall; this will allow the plant to rest. If the jade plant does not rest during the year, it will not bloom.
Q: How can I propagate Crassula?
A: Leaves or branches can be placed in potting soil and they will root. They will also root if placed in damp, sandy soil.
Q: When should I repot Crassulas?
A: Repot crassulas when the rooted are crowded; repot in early spring. Use a mixture of 1 part loam, 1 part peat moss or leaf mold, and 1 part sharp sand; add a dash of 5-10-5 fertilizer to the mix, that is 2 teaspoons per gallon of mix.