Crassula exilis – Succulent plants
Crassula exilis is an attractive, dwarf succulent flowering cushion. It grows naturally as a dense mat, forming cushions usually in crevices and soil pockets on vertical or steep rock faces. The leaves are variable in size and appearance, often with a convex upper leaf surface, and tapering towards a point. They usually have fine hairs along the margin. The color is usually grey-green with dark irregularly placed dimpled spots on the upper surface. The plant is highly branched giving rise to the dense leafy mats. The blooms appear in late summer through to late autumn. They are small and cup-shaped with petal tips spreading from midway up the corolla tube and white to more or less pink, with a musty honey-like fragrance. They cluster to form a dense inflorescence. The root system is adventitious. Flowers develop into small capsules which release fine dust-like seed.
Scientific Name: Crassula exilis Harv.
Synonyms: Crassula exilis subsp. exilis, Crassula petraea
How to grow and maintain Crassula exilis:
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.