We bring you another plant of the so-called crass or crassulaceae. A very extensive family that presents very particular characteristics, among them the fleshy leaves and their ability to withstand periods of drought. We are talking today about one, whose name has given the family its name … or has it been the other way around? It is the Crassula ovat a . This plant can be easily found in coastal places. Let’s get to know her a little more.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CRASSULA OVATA
The genus Crassula is very extensive. It consists of hundreds of species with more or less common characteristics, although the great diversity means that some do not seem to be of the genus. Among common characteristics we can say that none (we believe) has a tree size. They are annual or perennial plants with a shrubby appearance at most. Although it is true that some can reach more than 2 meters, they are still not considered tree species.
Another characteristic that most generally present are their fleshy gray-green or bright green leaves. For the rest, the variety of them is so great that more common characteristics cannot be established.
We have chosen Crassula ovata because it is a very common species in Mediterranean, coastal environments, forming part of many xero – landscaping spaces . In warm coastal areas of typical second homes or beach houses it is very common to find this species for the simple reason that they require some irrigation in summer (when the house is usually inhabited) and no water during winter (closed house usually). This makes a very comfortable vegetable companion in the garden for these types of situations.
Flowering is not negligible . It occurs in winter. If your case is the one we have just discussed of a second summer home, it is very possible that you will not see it flourish unless you escape for a few days in the cold months.
HOW TO GROW CRASSULA OVATA
CLIMATE AND SOIL
They tolerate direct sunlight to some extent. They are not desert-climate cacti. Too much heat and exposure (very strong summers) burn the leaves and they fall off. However, we can say that they support direct exposures very well. It also grows well in filtered light indoors . It is a mild climate plant. For outdoors we must have warm summers and mild winters with some humidity (hence it is common in coastal climates of the Mediterranean).
The soil must be quite draining. If we grow it in a pot , we must take into account that the fraction of river sand can be half the substrate. The rest can be divided equally between garden soil and peat to provide the plant with some organic contribution that it will need. However, it can be developed in poor soils without major problems.
As we have already mentioned, during the summer is when you will need the most water supply. Although it withstands moderate drought conditions well , it is by no means negligible, providing a relatively regular watering during the hot months. It’s a matter of adjusting the frequencies but in some cases you don’t even have to let the substrate dry.
The propagation by seed is not something you normally do because the other options are much easier to carry out. These are the stem cutting or the leaf cutting. In succulent plants, leaf cuttings are very easy to make and almost always come to fruition. The stem cutting allows starting from something more plant structure. The leafy one requires a little more time to have an adequate size.
GROWING IN POTS AND INDOORS
Of course, it can be grown indoors without any problem. With filtered light there will never be a problem with burning and they can reach monstrous dimensions if they “find their place.”
In summer we will water moderately and in winter we will eliminate watering. The good drainage and outdoors, is a factor to consider.