theGardenPages: Growing Crassula Tetragona

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Crassula Tetragona or Bonsai Pine
  Plants for Dry Landscapes
or Easy House Plants

flowering crassula tetragona succulent plantOne of my favorite succulent plants is named Crassula tetragona.  These drought tolerant succulent  plants look a little like pine branches with the needles sticking out the sides, or a green bottle brush. 

They are often used in bonsai pots to look like pine trees.  In the ground for landscaping, they grow up to 4 feet tall.

Crassula tetragona plants will branch at the tips and can be used as a low, informal hedge.  The plant's leaves, which look like fat pine needles are about an inch long. 

Leaf color can vary from green to deep, bluish green.  Crassula tetragona can take full sun to light shade, love heat and are easy to root and grow.

Like other Crassula, these grow well in dry gardens with other succulent and cacti.  Mine do well in heavy, clay alkaline soil.  As houseplants, give crassulas up to 6 hours a day of sun. 

They should also do well with bright, indirect light.  Perennial crassula tetragona plants are drought tolerant and easy to care for; they only need water once a month or so.  In summer they get wide, flat sprays of flowers that make me think of Queen Anne's Lace.  Blooms are produced on the tips of their branches.  Flower color can vary from white to yellow.

crassula tetragona succulent plant photo containerCrassula Tetragona in Container Gardens

They are often grown in small bonsai pots and trimmed to appear as pine trees. 

Without the pinching and trimming these succulent plants form new branches near the top, resulting in thick tops and bare stems at the bottom. 

To encourage shrubbier growth, pinch off  a few leafs at the top.  - And just tuck them into the soil in your pot.  They will root and form more plants.

Crassula are hardy to 40 degrees.  In my garden they have survived light dustings of frost.  But all that water stored in their leaves and branches will freeze if they are exposed to cold temperatures for very long.


Crassula Tetragona Succulent Plant Propagation

Like most succulent plants, they are easy to propagate with stem or leaf cuttings so you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a lot of plants.  Bonsai pine plants branch at the tips and can get a little top heavy.  Trim from the top of the plant to create more succulents for your landscape. 

If you plant the cutting straight up, it will continue to grow that way.  If you place a cutting on its side, the cutting will develop roots along the branch and form several plants. 

crassula tetragona succulent plantIn my yard, the dog sometimes knocks off a few branches here and there.  Those branches take root with no help from me, thank you. 

So, I'm slowly getting bigger clumps of crassula growing around the yard with no time or effort from me, cool deal.

Xeriscaping with drought tolerant cacti and succulent plants has become popular out here in the arid southwest.

My crassula are growing in both full sun and shade, in heavy alkaline, clay soil.  They are poking up around my cactus and their fluffy branches provide a nice contrast to the flat green cactus pads.  They get watered once a month (if I remember ). 

They’re pretty, carefree and always look green when everything else has fried.  If you think you have a brown thumb, this is the plant for you!



NEXT:  Find out how to expand your plant collection
on my Plant Propagation Page...





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