Crassula “Benjamin”

Synonyms:

No synonyms are recorded for this species name.

Habitat:

C. Benjamin doesn’t exist in nature, being a nursey cultivar. Crassulas in general, instead, are usually native to South Africa, where they thrive in rocky scrubs.

Description:

C. Benjamin is a tiny, pretty Crassula cultivar. It is a parennial plant, made up of a rosette of leaves arranged in opposite pairs, so that they result in a perfect cross-like appearance, with four, perfectly regular lines of leaves. This peculiarity, along with its extreme tolerance to any growth condition and the cute shape of its leaves, makes C. Benjamin very sought after among succulent collectors. Leaves, in fact, are elongated and their shape reminds a rabbit’s ear. However, the most striking feature is that that they have a decreasing length from the base to the apex of the stem, so that the ones at the base are longer, and the ones at the very top of the stem are tiny. The colour of the leaves is bright green, with a reddish hint at the tops of the leaves that becomes more intense if the plant receive plenty of sunlight. Stems don’t form clusters as it often happens in Crassulas, and thus C. Benjamin stays very smal and ends up in being the perfect plant to decorate a shelf in your lilving room or office, being very small and “tidy”, unlike many other Crassulas that form crowded tufts of stems and are more suited for a pot in a balcony or a rocky garden. Flowers are rarely formed. When it happens, they are grouped in a rounded head at the top of an elongated stalk: they are small, pinkish white and stear-shaped like in every Crassula. Being a hybrid, the few seeds produced don’t give birth to a stable progeny, so the plant is mainly propagated by cuttings.

Cultivation:

C. Benjamin is not difficult to grow. Here below are our cultivation tips:

The best exposure is in full sun or semi-shade. By the way, intense sunlight enhances the reddish tinges of its leaves, so we advice to put it in a bright spot.
To stay safe, it’s better to keep your C. Benjamin indoors in Winter or at least to shelter it, if you live in a temperate climate area and you choose to grow it outdoors. Crassulas in general, in fact, should never grow at temperatures below 7 ° C.
Water your Crassula Benjamin every week in Spring and Summer during the growth season. By the way, if you forget to water once, the plant will survive. Wait for the soil to dry up completely before each watering. A slightly more frequent irrigation in spring may encourage flowering. In autumn and winter, watering frequency can be reduced up to be completely suspended.
Choose a porous and well-drained substrate, fed with plenty of well-rotten compost.
Fertilization can be done once the growth season, diluting a product specific for succulents with water at half the doses recommended on the label. C. Benjamin isn’t, in fact, so hungry for fertilizer.
Repot once a year and anytime your C. Benjamin outgrows its pot. It has, in fact, a medium growth rate, unlike most Crassulas that grow very fast.

Propagation:

Propagation can be easily realized through stem cuttings or leaf cuttings to be taken off in early Autumn and then left to dry up for a week before being planted. Seeds don’t usually produce a stable progeny in Winter, so they are not used for propagation of C. Benjamin.

Curiosity:

The name Crassula is the diminutive of the Latin “crassus”, which means thick or fat, referring to the fleshy stems and leaves of the members of the genus as a whole.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

Tips:
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