There are more than
130 species of crassulas. The leafs are thick and used by the plant
as water resort for the dry seasons. Some species have white or light
red flowers in spring. Particularly in Spain you can find a lot of crassulas
in Cadiz and surroundings as this plant grows best in very dry and hot
regions. I have seen crassulas with trunks with diameters of 20 cm.
need much light and resist hot summers, but to protect them from accidental
dry out choose a site in mid shadow.
Temperature and exposure:
Crassulas may be exposed to direct sun as their normal habitat is a nearly
deserted zone of Cadiz. They need a lot of light. In winter they must
be protected from temperatures below 10° Celsius.
Wiring: Be sure
to wire only old branches and be very careful not to break them. Leave
the wires only two months or less. Always protect the branches with
raffia. Anyway, wiring is not the best method to give these trees their
Pruning and cleaning:
Remove the yellow and dry leafs everywhere they appear and keep trunk
and main branches free of new shoots. In spring their growth is quite
fast, the rest of the year this process slows down nearly to zero so
be sure to form them in this season. Pinch the new branches as soon
they have reached the desired length. I also eliminate the leafs of
the lower part of the branches. They withstand radical pruning, even removing the complete foliage and reducing the length of all the main branches.
Repotting / Soil: Repot
every two or three years depending on the size of the plant and the
pot. Cut 1/3 of the roots. Crassulas prefer deep pots, as colors I recommend
dark blue, dark green ceramic pots. Form may differ from plant to plant.
I use a quite sandy mixture of soil, 1/3 compost, 1/3 sand and 1/3 of
clay (light brown type) as it is accustomed to for example in Cadiz.
Once repotted, don't water it for about 10 days.
With these very special plants I use a liquid fertilizer from may to
September, making a stop in summer.
generally enough to keep the plant humid but never wet. You can even
let it dry out from time to time. Remember that crassulas are desert
plants, in winter water them in very little doses. Be sure to keep humidity
high, vaporize from time to time, this will accelerate the formation
of new branches and growth in general.
plants are not very sensible against diseases, many of them can be avoided
by controlling the watering. On my particular plants I had aphids which
I eliminated by hand and then applied a small dose of Folithion to kill