Crassula pellucida L.
Crassula pellucida subsp. pellucida
Crassula pellucida is a beautiful succulent that spreads into mats of beautiful geometric foliage. Leaves are small, ovate to elliptic, and paired along lax stems. They are green, sometimes with brown stripes and with colorless or red margins. Flowers are small up-facing, star-shaped, white, sometimes tinged pink, and appear in spring and sporadically at other times of the year.
Photo by Kumbula Nursery
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Crassulas are easy to grow, but they are susceptible to mealy bugs and fungal diseases. As with all succulents, overwatering is sure to be fatal, so err on the side of too dry rather than too wet. Never let your plant sit in water. If you water from beneath by letting the plant sit in a saucer of water, make sure to pour off any excess water after a few minutes.
These succulents are generally started by division, offsets, or leaf cuttings. Crassulas can be easily propagated from a single leaf. Sprout leaves by placing them into a potting mix for succulents, then covering the dish until they sprout.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot your Crassula, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Crassula.
Crassula pellucida is native to southeast Africa.
Subspecies, Forms, Cultivars, and Hybrids
- Crassula pellucida subsp. brachypetala
- Crassula pellucida subsp. marginalis
- Crassula pellucida subsp. marginalis f. rubra
- Crassula pellucida subsp. marginalis 'Variegata'
- Crassula 'Petite Bicolor'
- Back to genus Crassula
- Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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Propagating Crassula Pellucida ‘Variegata’ (Calico Kitten)
The easiest and quickest way to propagate these plants is through stem cuttings. They can be propagated from leaves, but I find the process trickier and less foolproof than using stem cuttings. Propagating from leaves with this type of plant takes time and patience, but it is definitely doable. If you want to try to give leaf propagation a try, make sure to use the entire leaf including the base to ensure success. I have a much higher success rate with stem cuttings so I always opt for this method first. The only time I propagate from leaves with this plant is if an entire leaf has broken off.
Propagating from Stem Cuttings:
- Obtain a stem cutting and let it dry for a day or so. Since the stems are thin they shouldn’t take that long to dry. It is also a good idea to obtain cuttings from healthy looking plants with plump leaves, not dehydrated ones or stressed plants.
- (Optional) Dip the cut end in rooting hormone. I usually skip this step but some people prefer using rooting hormones to speed up the process and also guarantee success.
- Once the cut has healed and dried, stick the cuttings in a well draining potting mix.
- Keep away from direct sunlight. Water the soil every few days or when it feels dry.
- After about two weeks or so, you will notice new roots growing.
- After about four to six weeks, the cuttings should be fully rooted and you will soon notice new growth developing from the top or the sides of the stem.
- Once fully rooted, cut back on the misting and switch to regular watering about once a week or less. Increase the amount of sunlight as the plant matures.
Propagating From Leaves
- Gently pull a leaf out, make sure you get the entire leaf including the base. You should be able to gently twist the leaf off the plant and it should come off easily. Try to find a nice plump leaf that looks healthy. It also helps to have more than one leaf just because not all of them will make it all the way to the end.
- Optional: Dip the cut ends in rooting hormone. Rooting hormone can help speed the propagation process up, especially when growing from leaves.
- Wait for the leaves to dry for about a day or two. Keep in a dry location away from direct sunlight.
- Prepare a well draining potting mix. Once dry, lay the leaves flat on the soil or stick the cut ends in soil.
- The leaves should start shooting out roots in about 2 weeks or so. In a few more weeks you will notice a new baby plant emerging. The whole process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.
As I mentioned above, it will obviously take longer to propagate from single leaves as opposed to an entire stem. Success rate is also higher with stem cuttings so do keep these in mind when propagating. If you follow these simple steps, you will be able to propagate these plants and have them growing everywhere in no time.
These are stems that have broken off after a windy stormy night. I am propagated them by sticking the ends in soil. Crassula Pellucida ‘Variegata’ (Calico Kitten) and Senecio Rowleyanus (String of Pearls) plants:
Keep the soil moist for new Calico Kitten succulents. Once established, the plants are drought-hardy and require water only occasionally. Beware of overwatering, as succulents are likely to rot in soggy conditions. Too dry is always better than too wet. Water indoor plants sparingly during the winter months, only when the leaves look slightly shriveled.
Fertilize Calico Kitten in containers three or four times per year, but always during the growing season and never in winter. Use a water-soluble fertilizer mixed to half strength. Outdoor specimens planted in the ground rarely need fertilizer, but a little compost is always a good idea.
Calico Kitten stems are fragile. If one breaks, just stick it in the soil and grow a new plant. Even a single leaf will grow a new plant. You can also propagate a new plant by dividing mature plants or by separating and planting offshoots (pups) that grow from the base.