Crassula alpestris – Succulent plants
Crassula alpestris is the most beautiful, short-lived, dwarf, a perennial succulent plant that forms a dense clump of stems up to 15 cm tall and spreading to a similar size. The numerous succulent stems branch only from the base of the plant and are fed by a short taproot. The succulent leaves are triangular, up to 1 cm wide at the base, up to 8 mm long and taper to a sharp point, and tightly clasp the stem and the leaves above. The leaves are arranged oppositely with each leaf pair at 90 degrees to the pair above and below, resulting in a curious 4-ranked square-stemmed appearance. The blooms are white, sometimes tinged with pink or red, and clustered into a dense thyrse always at the tips of only the most mature stems.
Scientific Name: Crassula alpestris L.f.
Synonyms: Crassula alpestris subsp. alpestris, Purgosea alpestris
How to grow and maintain Crassula alpestris:
It thrives best in bright light with some direct sunlight. A sunny windowsill will be an ideal position for these plants. They will not flower without sunlight and inadequate light will cause developing spindly growth.
It grows well in well-drained soil with a neutral pH. Add coconut coir and Pine bark to make the soil more drainage friendly.
Water regularly, during the growing season (April to September), but water sparingly when dormant (autumn and winter). Allow the top of the soil to slightly dry out before watering again.
It prefers ideal room temperatures of around 60°F – 75°F / 15.5°C – 24°C. During winter no less than 50°F / 10°C. Cold weather and damp weather is not good. It loses its color and turns yellow and mushy.
Fertilize every two weeks during the growing season, from spring through summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Do not fertilize during the winter.
Re-pot in spring when the plant becomes root bound or the soil needs renewing. A good solid and heavy pot is best to use because of these plants are well known for being top-heavy. A heavy pot will prevent them from tipping over.
It can be easily propagated by stem cuttings, leaf cuttings or by basal offsets. The cuttings or offsets should be taken in spring. Take 2-3 inch long stem cuttings and plant it in a 2-3 inch pot of equal parts mixture of peat moss and sand and keep it at normal room temperature in the bright filtered light.
Pests and Diseases:
It has is no serious pest or disease problems. But they are susceptible to mealy bugs, aphids, and fungal diseases. Overwatering may cause the roots to rot.