Crassula deceptor


Crassula arta
Crassula deceptrix
Crassula deltoidea


Crassula deceptor is native to South Africa and south-western Namibia. Its native habitat is the succulent Karoo desert. The succulent Karoo is a semi-desert natural region of South Africa, defined by extremes of heat and cold and low annual rainfall. It hosts many fossils of an ancient well preserved ecosystem and tons of succulent species. Crassula deceptor grows on quartz gravelly flats or rocky slopes.


Crassula deceptor is a dwarf succulent plant (not taller than 15 centimeters), very variable as a species (often confused with Crassula cornuta), forming little clumps of tetrangular succulent stems branching at their very base, whitish grey, with conical,rounded leaves, densely packed one on another, so that the stem underneath is not even visible. Leaves organized in such arrangement are called “imbricate” that, in botany, means “arranged like roof tiles, one on another. They are very small: up to 2,5 centimeters thick. Also the clumps formed are not so big: they reach 20 centimeters in width. Leaves are arranged in pairs and make the stem four-angled. They are greyish-green and show a pruinose surface, covered in small spherical papillae, that become more numerous in unfavourable conditions. The pruine has the function to reduce water loss through evapotranspiration and thus to face the harsh, arid conditions of the Karoo desert.
The inflorescence, as in all Crassulas, is a cyme: in this case it is borne on a reddish, 15 centimeters long stalk, few-branched at its top and loose, with a 1 centimeter long petiole covered in papillae as well. The blooming season might occur in any time of the year, if appropriate conditions are provided. More frequently, though, it blossoms in winter, being from the southern hemisphere. Flowers are very small and show pinkish petals, fading to brown.


Crassula deceptor is not so difficult to cultivate, as any Crassula. Here below are our tips:

The best exposure is in full sun or semi-shade. By the way, intense sunlight , promotes the formation of a more fully developed pruine, which enhances its decorative potential. We thus advice to put it in a bright spot. Avoid a direct exposure during the hottest hours of summer days. Shade should be only occasional, as plants grown in full shade tend to become more fragile, to loose leaves and turn on a paler colour.
To stay safe, it’s better to keep your Crassula deceptor 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 though, in theory, Crassula deceptor should survive to temperatures down to -5ºC
Water your Crassula deceptor every 2-3 days in Spring and Summer during the growth season. By the way, if you forget, the plant will survive. Wait for the soil to dry up completely before each watering. Watering slightly more frequent in spring may encourage flowering. In autumn and winter, the watering can be reduced up to be completely suspended.
Choose a porous and well drained substrate: a succulent mix will do good for your Crassula deceptor.
Fertilization can be done once the growth season, diluting a product specific for succulents with water at half the doses recommended on the label.
Crassula deceptor has a slow growth rate and will stay okay in the same pot for years. To ensure, however, the proper input of fresh soil, repotting should be carried out once a year.


Crassula deceptor can be easily propagated through the removal of the offshoots, by removing a lateral one and planting it in a light, well-drained soil. The time required to root is usually a month. Cuttings are easy to realize and thus we recommend this method, instead of sowing, that can be more tough with this plant. Also leaf cuttings are a viable method.


The genus name “Crassula” comes from the Latin crassus, that means fat. All Crassulas are unpretentious plants, with a high vegetative strength: for this reason, they are sometimes used for air purification indoors, in bedrooms and offices, due to its capacity to eliminate harmful and polluting particles from the atmosphere. Crassula deceptor is the starting species in the creation of various hybrids, such as Crassula cv. Dorothy, Crassula cv. Frosty and Crassula cv. Moonglow.

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