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Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora, or Red Pagoda, with its geometric maroon towers, photographed at Tula Plants & Design. Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora, or Red Pagoda, with its geometric maroon towers, photographed at Tula Plants & Design.

Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora

Botanical Name — Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora

Common Name —  Red Pagoda

Plant Family —  Crassulaceae


Background


Crassula capitella subsp. thyrsiflora is native to South Africa where its long stems sprawl and form mats on dry, rocky slopes. Their leaves form a tower of red triangles which resembles a Red Pagoda hence its common name.  These plants like full sun, warm temperatures, and low humidity. 


Growth Requirements


Sun

  • Red Pagoda 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 capitella subsp. thyrsiflora prefer a sandy, sharply 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

  • Red Pagoda’s can bloom in summer or fall with lots of tiny, white flowers.

Fertilization

  • 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.

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 plants prefer to be root bound, so you’ll only need to repot once every two years.

Toxicity

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