Variegated Jade (Crassula ovata) pruned and sculpted into a bonsai shape, potted in custom Com Work pottery and photographed at Tula Plants & Design. Variegated Jade (Crassula ovata) pruned and sculpted into a bonsai shape, potted in custom Com Work pottery and photographed at Tula Plants & Design.

Quick Look: Crassula, Senecio, Kalanchoe

These iconic succulent families come from Southern Africa and Madagascar, where long droughts and intense sun have bred hardy, water-retentive, and truly unique species. From the bonsai-like Jade (Crassula ovata) to cascading String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), these succulents enjoy pretty much the same care across the board – tons of sun and droughts between watering.

Crassula, Senecio, Kalanchoe at a glance:

  • All of these plants spread through propagation. Remove limbs or leaves and plant directly into cactus or succulent soil.
  • When flowering, these plants will send out an inflorescence – a new, branching limb tipped with flower buds. Once the flowers bloom and wilt, the inflorescence does, too. The whole limb crisps up and falls from the plant.

A Senecio in a custom planter by Yuko Nishikawa, photograhed at Tula Plants & Design.

Crassula, Senecio, Kalanchoe care:

  • Provide a lot of direct sunlight! We recommend this plant for people who have sunny windows that face south or west. Supplemental light can also be provided with a grow light.
  • Water only when the soil is completely dry. In the summer, this could be once every two weeks, and in the winter it could be once a month.
  • Keep in a pot with drainage for several years. These plants love to be rootbound in a small pot. If the plant gets top heavy, prune it back (and propagate!) or support it with a bamboo stake.

Crassula, Senecio, Kalanchoe favorites:

Kalanchoe rhombopilosa

Crassula ovata

Variegated Crassula ovata 

Senecio radicans

Senecio rowleyanus

Closeup of String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) for sale at Tula Plants & Design.