Crassula multicava, commonly known as Fairy Crassula or Pitted Crassula, is a mat-forming succulent native to South Africa’s Natal mountainous regions. Belonging to the family Crassulaceae, this versatile plant is known for its soft decumbent branches and rounded leaves adorned with pitted dark green to red dots on their upper surface. Rarely growing longer than 16 inches (40 cm), including inflorescence, its green or occasionally yellowish-green leaves create an attractive ground cover, perfect for both beginner and experienced gardeners.
Fairy Crassula succulent thrives in various conditions, tolerating poor soil, deep shade, and steep terrain. Although it appreciates regular watering, it can also survive with minimal water, making it an ideal succulent for those looking to cultivate a low-maintenance plant. As an evergreen perennial, Crassula multicava retains its form and foliage year-round, providing a consistently appealing aesthetic in any garden or indoor setting.
One of the key advantages of adding Fairy Crassula to a garden is its adaptability; it can be grown in lower shade or even as a potted plant indoors, where it slowly spreads into a dense mat. With a maximum height of 6 inches and a spread of 3 feet, this plant offers a unique touch to a wide range of landscaping projects without overshadowing other elements. Its ability to thrive in less-than-ideal circumstances makes it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts and a delightful addition to any green space.
Fairy Crassula, a South African native succulent, is a low-maintenance, adaptable plant perfect for beginners and experienced gardeners. With soft decumbent branches, rounded leaves, and a compact size, it serves as an attractive ground cover or potted plant. Its adaptability, tolerance for poor conditions, and evergreen nature make it a popular landscaping choice.
How to Care for Crassula multicava
Crassula multicava, also known as Fairy Crassula or Pitted Crassula, prefers full sun to partial shade. However, it is important to protect the plant from intense afternoon sun during the hottest period of summer, as it can cause damage to the leaves. A location with morning sun and afternoon shade would be ideal for this succulent.
Watering Crassula multicava
When it comes to watering, Crassula multicava requires a typical watering schedule, similar to other succulents. The key to keeping your plant healthy is to use a proper watering method. Make sure the plant does not sit in water and avoid excess amounts of water. Water thoroughly, but allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Crassula multicava should be planted in well-draining soil. A suitable soil type would be one specifically formulated for cacti or succulents, with a neutral or slightly acidic pH. This will ensure that the plant has the appropriate nutrients and drainage it needs to thrive.
Temperature and Humidity
Fairy Crassula can tolerate a range of temperatures and humidity levels, but it is important to provide it with a suitable and stable environment. Ideally, the temperature should be maintained between 65°F and 80°F (18°C and 27°C). Avoid exposing the plant to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) as this may cause damage. As for humidity, Crassula multicava can adapt to average indoor humidity levels without any issues.
Fairy Crassula (Crassula multicava) prefers full sun to partial shade, with protection from intense afternoon sun. Water thoroughly, letting soil dry between waterings. Plant in well-draining soil, like cacti or succulent mix, with neutral or slightly acidic pH. Ideal temperatures range from 65-80°F (18-27°C), and it adapts to average indoor humidity levels.
How to Propagate Crassula multicava
Propagating Crassula multicava, also known as Fairy Crassula or Pitted Crassula, can be done using several methods, such as leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, offsets, and seeds. Each method has its own process and requirements for successful propagation.
Leaf Cuttings: To propagate Fairy Crassula using leaf cuttings, gently remove a healthy leaf from the parent plant, ensuring a clean break. Allow the leaf to callous for a few days before placing it on the surface of a well-draining succulent potting mix. Be sure to keep the soil slightly moist, but not soaking wet, and provide ample lighting for the best results.
Stem Cuttings: To grow Crassula multicava from stem cuttings, use a sterile, sharp knife or pair of scissors to remove a stem from the main plant. Allow the stem to callous for several days before planting it in well-draining soil. Water the soil only when it has dried out completely to prevent root rot.
Offsets: Offsets, or small plantlets that develop around the base of the main plant, can be gently removed and transplanted into a separate container with well-draining soil. This method is particularly effective for propagating Crassula multicava as it requires minimal effort and often provides a healthy, robust start for new plants.
Seeds: Collecting seeds from mature Crassula multicava plants can be a more challenging propagation method due to the timing and care involved. To collect seeds, allow the flowers to dry on the plant and then collect the seeds as they fall naturally. Sow the seeds in a well-draining mix and keep the soil slightly moist, but not wet. Seeds may take several weeks to germinate, and it is essential to provide bright, indirect light during this process.
Propagate Crassula multicava using leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, offsets, or seeds. For leaf and stem cuttings, allow to callous before planting in well-draining soil. Keep soil slightly moist and provide ample light. Gently transplant offsets, and sow seeds in well-draining mix with bright, indirect light.
Fertilizing Your Crassula multicava
Providing proper nutrition to your Fairy Crassula is important for maintaining its health and vitality. Although Crassula multicava does not require much feeding, it will benefit from occasional fertilization, particularly during its active growth period. For optimal growth and development, apply a small amount of organic fertilizer in mid-spring. This period marks the beginning of the plant’s active growth stage, making it an ideal time to nourish the plant. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive growth and negatively impact the plant’s overall health.
When choosing a fertilizer for your Crassula multicava, it’s recommended to use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. This will provide the plant with the necessary nutrients without overwhelming its delicate system. Fertilize every two weeks throughout the growing season, which spans from spring through summer. It is also important to remember not to fertilize during the winter months. The plant’s growth slows down during this time, and excess nutrients can cause more harm than good. By sticking to a consistent fertilization schedule during the active growing season and avoiding unnecessary applications in the winter, you can ensure your Crassula multicava remains strong and healthy.
Fertilize occasionally during active growth (spring-summer) with half-strength balanced liquid fertilizer. Avoid over-fertilizing and winter applications. Fertilize every two weeks during growing season for optimal health.
Common Pests and Diseases
Fairy Crassula, scientifically known as Crassula multicava, is a resilient succulent plant. However, like all plants, it can occasionally fall prey to pests and diseases.
One of the most common pests affecting Fairy Crassula is the succulent mealybug. These pests are small, white, and resemble tiny cotton balls. They often feed on the plant’s leaves and stems, potentially causing damage to the plant’s growth. To treat mealybugs, one should inspect Fairy Crassula regularly and remove the pests by washing the plant with a mixture of water and insecticidal soap.
Another prevalent pest is the red spider mite. These tiny, red arachnids can infest the leaves and, when left unchecked, cause the plant to lose its vibrant coloration. To control red spider mites, it is important to maintain proper humidity levels and apply a miticide if a severe infestation occurs.
Fungal diseases are also a potential risk for Crassula multicava. Overwatering, overcrowding, or planting in a dark, poorly ventilated area can make the plant susceptible to fungi. Ensure that the plant is grown in well-draining soil, receives enough sunlight, and is given adequate airflow to prevent the growth of harmful fungi.
To keep the Fairy Crassula healthy and pest-free, consider these preventative measures:
- Regularly inspect your plant for pests and diseases.
- Water the plant appropriately, allowing it to dry out between waterings.
- Grow the plant in a well-ventilated area with proper air circulation.
- Avoid overcrowding by giving adequate space between each plant.
Inspect for pests like mealybugs and red spider mites; treat with insecticidal soap or miticides. Prevent fungal diseases by ensuring well-draining soil, sunlight, and airflow. Regularly check plants, water appropriately, and avoid overcrowding for a healthy Crassula multicava.
Where to Buy
You can buy Crassula multicavs from Mountain Crest Gardens