Botanical Name — Crassula arta
Common Name — Alabaster Towers
Plant Family — Crassulaceae
Crassula arta is an incredibly architectural succulent in the jade family. Native to South Africa and southwestern Namibia, these plants have four distinct columns, clump together, and stay low to the ground. In their native habitat they can be found in sandy deserts, gravely quartz flats and rocky slopes. Experts at soaking up all the moisture in their environment, they can absorb water through their speckled, textured leaves.
- Crassula arta prefer bright light, ideally three to four hours full sun. They will grow in light shade but full sun exposure will keep these plants from getting leggy.
- They thrive in late afternoon sun. If possible give them a spot in a sill with southern or western exposure.
- This arid plant likes high temperatures and low humidity. It will thrive in temperatures above 75°F, but avoid consistent temperatures below 45°F. Keep it indoors on a sunny windowsill during cooler months.
- This plant is super low-maintenance from a watering standpoint. Succulent leaves retain plenty of moisture so be sure to let the soil dry out completely in-between waterings. When you do water, water thoroughly, fully saturating the soil.
- In the winter, when these plants are not actively growing, ease up on watering even more.
- Crassula arta prefer a sandy, well-draining soil. A cactus or succulent potting mix works great. You can also use regular potting mix amended with sand or fine grit up to 50% to improve texture and drainage.
- Tubular flowers with a sweet scent may bloom, cream in color with a pinkish hint.
- Keep an eye out for these flowers year-round, as they produce them whenever their conditions are optimum (usually when they are getting plenty of direct sun).
- Fertilization is not necessary, but if you are going to use one, be sure to use one specifically made for cacti and succulents.
- Fertilize once every two weeks during the active growing season. This is limited to spring and summer in temperate climates.
- These plants will propagate easily by stem cuttings or division.
- This plant is not particularly prone to pests or diseases. Root rot can be a concern if it is overwatered.
- Though this plant is low maintenance, it is always wise to keep an eye out for any bugs or spotting caused by disease. To help prevent any issues, prune away unhealthy leaves or stems.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- These plants prefer to be root bound, so you’ll only need to repot once every two years.
- These plants are known to be toxic if ingested by animals and humans. Keep out of reach of children and pets.