Crassula capitella var. turrita
Crassula capitella var. turrita is native to Cape Provinces, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Namibia where the plant grows on dry rocky slopes in arid areas in the shade of other plants.
Crassula capitella var. turrita is a wonderful succulent belonging to the Crassulaceae botanical family. The plant is a perennial shrub, heavily branched that can reach up to 40 cm in height. The stem is short and the plant forms dense rosettes of leaves. The leaves are arranged in four ranks or sometimes in spirals. The leaves are fleshy, triangular pointed at the apex, flat on the upper face and convex on the lower surface. The most charming characteristics are the arrangement of the leaves and their color. The leaves are bright green normally but under stress conditions they can turn to reddish tones, mixing green and red with the white margins in magnificent shades. The drought conditions and the high irradiation seem to favor the change of color. The plant is unique for its geometrically arrangement of the leaves that give the plant a pyramidal shape. Blooming occurs from the summer to the autumn and the inflorescence is borne at the apex of the rosette. The inflorescence is cymose and has many flowers and has an indeterminate central axis with many opposite lateral axes. The flowers are star-shaped, with oblong obovate petals, creamy white to pink in color but occasionally tinged with pink. After flowering the plant usually dies.
The plant has a slow growth rate but it is easy to cultivate. The plant needs a direct sun-light exposure all the year, this will help a lush flowering. Long exposure to direct sun-light can cause burns and burnt spots. The minimum temperatures that the plant can withstand are 7° C, below this temperature it begins to suffer and going down further it no longer survives. Too low temperatures can cause the stem or leaves to break due to water freezing inside the tissues. Temperatures between 10 and 15 °C allow the plants to enter vegetative rest which is essential for the flowering of the following year. Plants should not be placed inside the house where average temperatures of 20 degrees prevent vegetative rest. The perfect soil is a well-drained soil that let the water to drain away and avoid root rot. To achieve this feature, you can mix the pumice, clay and loam. The pumice should always be placed on the bottom of the pot. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly during the vegetative period. Irrigation is proportional to the size of the pot, the position and the season. In Spring and Autumn the plant can be watered with a glass of water every 7-10 days; in summer it can be watered every 3-5 days. Decrease the amount of water if the plant is kept indoors or if the pot is smaller than 12 cm. The plant is used to growing in poor soils, for this reason it does not need abundant fertilization, it is sufficient to fertilize once in spring and once in summer. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil; it is usually done every 3-4 years. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
The easiest and fast method of propagation is to use cuttings. For leaf cutting you can cut some healthy leaves and plant it in a pot with sand and loam. Place the pot in a warm and bright environment and in 1-2 months the cuttings will be ready to plant. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. It is advisable to use rooting hormone at the base of the cut to energize root development. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. Propagation by seed it is not recommended for this species because it is very slow. To fast the propagation, you can try to immerse the seeds in water for 1 day. Sow the seeds in a sandy loam and keep them in warm, humid conditions.
From its name you could say that it is the “succulent plant” par excellence: its name comes from the Latin crassus, that means fat. The crassula is a plant unpretentious but with a high vegetative strength: for this reason, it is sometimes used in a closed area for air purification, which is filtered by eliminating harmful substances.
Official Web Site:
Read our advice