Habitat: Southern China, Myanmar, Sumatra, northern-eastern India.
Cultivation: Sinocrassula requires plenty of light. They also adapt to shady areas, but will grow less lush and with less vibrant colors. The ideal solution is to keep it always above 8-10°, sheltering it during the winte. Water regularly every 2-3 days during the hot season.
Curiosity: The name literally means “Crassula of China”.
The genus Sinocrassula includes 13 accepted species crassulaceae native to some areas in southern Asia, particularly from southern China, in the province of Yunnan, where they grow between 2.500 and 2.700 meters of altitude above the sea level, in the cracks of rocks where is has good drainage.
Sinocrassulas are small plants, with a maximum height of about 20 centimeters. Most species reach a height of about 20 cm and a diameter of 30.
The stems are very short and get woody with the age. Long rosettes, upright and formed by fleshy leaves, grow at the top of the stems. They are very compact and take on different shapes, including monstrous forms, very sought after precisely because of their oddity. Among them Sinocrassula yunnanensis crested form is undoubtely the most popular.
Leaves show a triangular section and are very elongated, compared to the ones of other crassulaceae. Often, they possue a soft, finely papillous hair.
The color of the leaves range from blue-green to dark blue (almost black!) to pinkish. There is no shortage, of course, of bright greens, so much so that the S. yunnanensis variety, the most common on the market, is also called “Chinese Jade”.
This variety of colors depends both on the species and on the light conditions in which the single plant is grown. If the plant receives plenty of light, it takes on tinges of different colours.
Roots of Sinocrassulas are usually short and thick.
Flowers are usually white, and sometimes show reddish tips or shades. They grow in panicle-like inflorescences that sprout from the center of each rosette.
Most Sinocrassula, including S. yunnanensis, are monocarpic plants: this means that they blossom once in life, and die right after the blossoming, like Agaves. By the way, these plants easily reproduce agamically, so, by the time of the blossoming, the mother plant will be already surrounded by new plants.
VARIETY AND TYPES
Here below are some species of Sinocrassula recognized to date.
- S. ambigua
- S. bergeri
- S. densirosulata
- S. diversifolia
- S. indica
- S. indica var. forrestii
- S. indica var. luteorubra
- S. indica var. obtusifolia
- S. indica var. serrata
- S. longistyla
- S. luteorubra
- S. techinensis
- S. vietnamensis
- S. yunnanensis
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TIPS FOR GROWING
Here are our tips for growing Sinocrassula:
- Sinocrassulas requiresa full sun exposure. They also adapt to shady Keep your Sinocrassula always above 8-10 °, sheltering it during the winter.
- Water regularly every 2-3 days in spring and summer but suspend the irrigation in autumn and winter. As with other crassulaceae, be careful not to wet the rosettes while watering, because stagnant water can cause rottings.
- You can use a standard soil for cacti, as Sinocrassulas are not demanding plants regarding the substrate, as long as it’s well drained.
- Fertilize your Sinocrassula in early spring with a specific product for succulents and repeat at the beginning of flowering.
- Repotting should be carried out every 2-3 years. Choose wide pots that allow the rosettes to expand in width, and wait until the soil is well dry before extracting the plant: it will be easier to move it.
Propagation of Sinocrassula is usually carried out through cuttings, as they take root very easily. This is a tough plant which spreads aggressively, both vegetatively by dropped leaves that root easily and by seed. Sow the seeds in winter (13-18°C) uncovered, they will germ in about 1-3 months, division of old plant can be made in spring and late summer; cuttings in summer.
The crested forms can be propagated only by vegetative means, from the crested parts, but seed of such a plant is likely to produce normal progeny. You can either use the suckers that grow at the base of the plant or simple leaves.