Crassula falcata (Propeller Plant)

Crassula falcata


Plant Type: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae
Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
Watering: Infrequent
Colors: Greyish-green leaves; red-orange flowers
Size: Up to 2 feet tall and wide
Hardiness Zones: 9-12
Soil Type: Well-draining cactus or succulent mix
Soil pH: 6.0-6.5
Propagation: Leaf cuttings, stem cuttings
Toxicity: Non-toxic to pets and humans

The Crassula falcata, commonly known as the Propeller Plant, is a fascinating succulent native to South Africa. Its unique appearance, characterized by overlapping, propeller-shaped leaves, makes it a captivating addition to any indoor garden. In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know about caring for your Crassula falcata, including light requirements, watering, soil, temperature, humidity, propagation, and dealing with pests and diseases.

How to Care for Crassula falcata

Light Requirements

Crassula falcata thrives in bright, indirect light, which mimics the natural sunlight it receives in its native habitat of South Africa. Ideally, place your Propeller Plant near an east or west-facing window, where it will receive a few hours of morning or afternoon sun. This will provide the plant with adequate light for optimal growth and help maintain its vibrant coloration.

Keep in mind that direct, intense sunlight can cause the leaves to scorch, resulting in brown or black spots. To protect your plant, ensure it receives dappled sunlight or partial shade during peak hours, particularly in the summer months when the sun is most intense. If your Crassula falcata is exposed to insufficient light, it may become leggy or stretched as it searches for more light. In this case, consider supplementing with a grow light, especially during the shorter days of winter.


Crassula falcata prefers bright, indirect light near east or west-facing windows. Protect from intense sunlight, and consider a grow light in winter if needed.

Watering Crassula falcata

As a succulent, the Propeller Plant stores water in its fleshy leaves and can tolerate periods of drought. To prevent overwatering, which is a common cause of death for succulents, use the “soak and dry” method. This involves waiting until the soil is completely dry before watering deeply, allowing excess water to drain out through the bottom of the pot. Overwatering can cause root rot, so always err on the side of caution and water less frequently.

A good rule of thumb is to water your Crassula falcata every 2-3 weeks in the summer and every 3-4 weeks during the winter months when the plant is dormant. Adjust your watering schedule according to the season, temperature, and humidity in your home, as these factors can impact the rate at which the soil dries out.


Avoid overwatering. Water every 2-3 weeks in summer and 3-4 weeks in winter, adjusting for season, temperature, and humidity.

Soil Needs

Crassula falcata requires well-draining soil to thrive, as it prevents the roots from staying too wet and reduces the risk of root rot. A commercial cactus or succulent mix is ideal, as these blends are specifically formulated to provide proper drainage for plants like the Propeller Plant.

If you prefer to create your own soil mix, combine equal parts of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite or pumice. This custom blend will create an airy, well-draining environment for your Crassula falcata’s roots, promoting healthy growth. Additionally, you can add a small amount of organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to provide nutrients for your plant.

When potting your Propeller Plant, choose a container with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. A terracotta or unglazed ceramic pot is ideal, as these materials allow excess moisture to evaporate through their porous surfaces.


Crassula falcata requires well-draining soil, such as a commercial cactus or succulent mix, or a homemade blend of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite or pumice. Choose a container with drainage holes.

Temperature and Humidity

The Propeller Plant prefers average room temperatures between 65-80°F (18-27°C), which is typically found in most households. It can tolerate brief temperature drops down to 50°F (10°C), but prolonged exposure to cold can harm the plant, causing leaf drop and potentially leading to its death.

Crassula falcata isn’t fussy about humidity; average household levels are generally sufficient. However, if you live in an area with extremely low humidity or if you’re using heating systems during winter, consider placing a tray filled with pebbles and water beneath the plant’s pot. As the water evaporates, it will increase the humidity around your plant without affecting the moisture level of the soil. Be sure to keep the plant’s pot above the waterline, so the roots don’t become waterlogged.


Crassula falcata prefers 65-80°F (18-27°C) and tolerates average household humidity. For low humidity environments, use a pebble tray to increase humidity without waterlogging the roots.

How to Propagate Crassula falcata

Crassula falcata

Propagating from Leaves

One of the simplest ways to propagate your Crassula falcata is through leaf cuttings. To begin, select a healthy, mature leaf from your plant. Gently twist the leaf from the stem, taking care not to damage it or the parent plant. Once removed, place the leaf in a dry, shaded area, allowing it to callous over for 3-5 days. This callousing process helps prevent the cutting from rotting when placed on soil.

Next, prepare a small pot or tray filled with well-draining soil, such as a cactus or succulent mix. Place the calloused leaf directly on top of the soil without burying it. To maintain moisture, mist the soil around the leaf every few days, ensuring it doesn’t become waterlogged. Within 2-4 weeks, new roots and plantlets will emerge from the base of the leaf. Once the plantlets are large enough, gently transplant them into individual pots to continue growing.


Gently twist off a healthy leaf, let it callous for 3-5 days, place it on well-draining soil, and mist occasionally. New roots and plantlets will emerge in 2-4 weeks.

Propagating from Stem Cuttings

Propagating the Propeller Plant from stem cuttings is another effective method. Start by selecting a healthy stem with several leaves, preferably one that’s not currently flowering. With a clean, sharp knife or pruning shears, cut a 3-4 inch section of the stem at a 45-degree angle. This angled cut increases the surface area for root development.

Allow the cutting to callous for 5-7 days in a dry, shaded area. Once calloused, plant the cutting in well-draining soil, burying the lower portion of the stem approximately 1-2 inches deep. Water sparingly for the first few weeks, as excessive moisture can cause the cutting to rot before it has a chance to root. New roots should develop within 2-4 weeks, at which point you can resume a normal watering schedule.


Cut a 3-4 inch stem section, let it callous for 5-7 days, plant it in well-draining soil, and water sparingly. New roots should develop within 2-4 weeks.

Fertilizing Your Crassula falcata

Crassula falcata benefits from occasional fertilization during its active growing season, which spans from spring to summer. Use a diluted liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for cacti and succulents. Ensure to dilute it to half the recommended strength to avoid over-fertilizing.

Apply the fertilizer once every 4-6 weeks during the growing season, thoroughly watering the soil after application to help distribute the nutrients. Avoid fertilizing during the dormant winter months, as this can lead to leggy growth and poor health. Instead, allow the plant to rest and conserve energy for the upcoming growing season.


Apply diluted liquid cacti/succulent fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Avoid fertilizing in winter.

Common Pests and Diseases

The Propeller Plant is relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but it can still be affected by mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. To treat infestations, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove the pests or apply an insecticidal soap or neem oil as a preventative measure.

Root rot is the most common disease affecting Crassula falcata, often caused by overwatering or poorly draining soil. To prevent root rot, ensure you’re using the appropriate soil mix and watering techniques mentioned earlier in this post. If you notice any signs of rot, remove the affected roots and allow the plant to dry out before repotting in fresh soil.


Treat mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites with rubbing alcohol, insecticidal soap, or neem oil. Prevent root rot by using proper soil mix and watering techniques.

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