Crassula rubricaulis ‘Candy Cane’
No synonyms are recorded for this species name.
Crassula rubricaulis ‘Candy Cane’ is a nursery cultivar and thus doesn’t exist in nature. The species from which it has been selected though, which is C. rubricaulis, is native to South Africa, where it lives in dry habitats, in particular coastal rocky mountain shrubs in the area of Port Elizabeth.
Crassula rubricaulis ‘Candy Cane’ is a little succulent plant, very appreciated for its three-coloured foliage, that makes it very sought after among succulent lovers. This cultivar was selected precisely for its colourful leaves, which have a wide, central stripe with two other yellow stripes at the sides of the leaf page and reddish edges. Except for the color of the leaves, this plant has the appearance of a common crassulacea: it consists, in fact, in a cluster of succulent stems adorned with a group of leaves arranged in four-angled rosettes. Rosettes sprout on top of each other, with their leaves pointing on opposite directions. Flowers are not so flashy, like in many Crassulas: they are very small and have five petals, arranged in little, star-shaped structures that appear in Summer.
Crassula rubricaulis ‘Candy Cane’ 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 bright red tinges of its leaves, so we 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 rubricaulis “Candy Cane” 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, C. rubricaulis “Candy Cane” should survive to temperatures down to -5ºC
Water your Crassula rubricaulis “Candy Cane” 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, fed with plenty of well-rotten compost. An acidic substrate is the ideal for C. rubricaulis “Candy Cane”.
Fertilization can be done once the growth season, diluting a product specific for succulents with water at half the doses recommended on the label.
Repot once a year and anytime your Crassula rubricaulis “Candy Cane” outgrows its pot. It has, in fact, a rapid growth rate.
Crassula rubricaulis “Candy Cane” 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.
Crassula is the “succulent plant” par excellence: its name comes from the Latin crassus, that means fat. Crassula are undemanding plants, with a remarkable vegetative strength: for this reason, they are often used as air purifiers, having the capacity to remove polluting molecules from the air. Crassula rubricaulis owes its name to the colour of its stem: the name “rubricaulis”, in facts, literally means “with a red stem”. The name of the cultivar, “Candy cane”, instead, probably refers to the coloured leaves that make it look like a candy or a cookie.
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