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Crassula barklyi

Botanical Name — Crassula barklyi

Common Name — Rattlesnake Buttons or Bandaged Finger

Plant Family — Crassulaceae


Background


Crassula barklyi is a South African spring and autumn grower known for its architectural columns of overlapping, angular leaves. They thrive on quartzite gravel slopes, rocky outcrops, and hillside crevices. Experts at soaking up all the moisture in their environment, they can absorb water through their speckled, textured leaves. This extremely slow growing plant rarely gets taller than 4 inches.



Growth Requirements


Sun

  • Crassula barklyi prefers direct sun with partial shade during the harshest afternoon hours. It will not tolerate full shade.
  • They thrive in late afternoon sun. If possible give them a spot in a sill with southern or western exposure. A sheer curtain during peak hours could protect the plant from getting leaf burn.

Temperature/ Humidity 

  • This arid plant likes high temperatures and low humidity. It will thrive in temperatures above 75°F, but avoid consistent temperatures below 40°F. Keep it indoors on a sunny windowsill during cooler months. 

Water

  • 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. 

Soil/Roots

  • Crassula barklyi 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. 

Flowering

  • Perfumed, tiny white stemless flowers may bloom in winter under high light conditions.

Fertilization

  • Fertilization is not necessary, but if you are going to use one, be sure to use one specifically made for cacti and succulents.
  • This is a spring and autumn grower. Fertilize once during each active growing season, and dilute the fertilized to half again the recommended amount. Never fertilize in summer, its dormant period.

Propagation

  • These plants will propagate easily by stem cuttings or division. 

Health


Diseases

  • 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 extremely slow-growing plants prefer to be root bound, so you’ll only need to repot once every three or four years.

Toxicity

  • These plants are known to be toxic if ingested by animals and humans. Keep out of reach of children and pets.