Crassula multicava

Common names: Fairy Crassula or Shade Plakkie

This indigenous groundcover has it all! It is drought tolerant, evergreen, waterwise, and it can take full sun to deep shade. It also attracts bees and butterflies to your garden. It is a good container plant, can be used for mass planting, is good for soil stabilization, and can be planted along river and stream banks. It is suitable for coastal gardens, and it is fast growing. 

On top of all this, this plant is really spectacular when in full flower. It has tiny star-shaped white/pinkish flowers on thin stems held above the leaves (also known as the “ballerinas” of the garden), from the end of winter to early summer. 

Care for your plant

Crassula multicava prefers well composted deep soil. Prune them after flowering – use a hedge cutter to remove as much of the foliage as you wish – the recovery time is short and the reward is a dense carpet from which the mist of blooms will appear soon again. 

There is a distinct difference in appearance depending on the position in which the Fairy Crassula is planted. In deep shade, the leaves are larger and darker green, and the plants have fewer flowers. In full sun, the leaves are smaller and a lighter green in colour, and flowering is profuse. 

Propagation

This couldn’t be easier. Tiny plants grow on the tips of the flower stalks after flowering is over – propagating itself. It can also be propagated by taking leave or stem cuttings, or by sowing seed.

Interesting Fact

The leaves contain hydathodes (water secreting pores) which serve for rapid absorption of water from the leaf surface. 

In summary

Crassula multicava is a particularly useful groundcover for those difficult, unsightly spots. It is one of a very few shade-loving succulents, loved by many a gardener.  


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