Crassula “Red Pagoda”
Crassula capitella subsp. “Red Pagoda” is native to South Africa.
Crassula “Red Pagoda”, actually Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora is a nice succulent shrub, really appreciated in the world of ornamental gardening for the untidy shape of the shrub due to the abundant, elongated stems, but especially for the bright green and red colours of the leaves. The latter are triangular-shaped and sharp, as in many other Crassulas, arranged in four lines on the stems so that the stems end to look like 4-ranked columns with sharp ribs with an intriguing red point. That’s also because of the high number of leaves, which are tightly packed together. Flowers appear in Summer, grouped in cluster, in particular in inflorescences called “thyrses” (that’s the reason for the subspecies name “Thyrsiflora”.
This plant end up to form a pretty, colourful mat, maximum 15 centimeters tall, particularly suitable for hanging pots because it propagates horizontally through new shoots.
Crassula capitella subsp. “Red Pagoda” is not so difficult to grow if planted in a well-draining substrate. Even if you are not a really good gardener, it will resist.
Pay attention to watering: the main problems that may occur in growing this cultivar are related to overwatering and scarce ventilation. Water interventions should be moderate and frequent in Spring and Summer but reduced and scarce in Winter, to prevent it from root and stem rot. This plant needs a good airflow and plenty of light.
Abundance of light is important to enhance the marvelous colours of its leaves: anyway, a direct exposure in the hottest hours of Summer days should be avoided. It’s better to keep it indoors to avoid frost damages: temperatures below 5ºC could damage the plant.
Its ideal substrate is a porous potting mix, very well-draining. Choose a shallow pot to provide the best condition for its fibrous roots.
Propagation can be carried out simply taking off one of its numerous shoots and replanting it in a sandy, humid substrate.
The name “Crassula” comes from the Latin “crassus”, which means fat.
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