If you’re into rock gardens, stunning groundcovers, or colorful containers plants, then you’ll love Crassula Campfire succulent.
As a native of the South African climate, Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’ is a gorgeous succulent with densely stacked, propeller-like, pale green leaves that conspicuously turn to brilliant scarlet given bright light conditions.
The genus name Crassula means thick or fat, referring to the fleshy nature of their leaves. Thanks to this property, Campfire crassula plants are able to store adequate water in their leaves, stems, and roots.
Such characteristics are essential for those people with busy schedules and who can’t find time to water their plants frequently.
Besides, these plants grow remarkably well in restricted root space of containers making them great houseplants just like the close relative – the jade plant.
While Crassula capitella can generally tolerate neglect, a bit of love from you will guarantee the best-looking plants.
You just have to follow a few tips and guidelines as outlined in today’s article.
What’s Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’?
The Campfire crassula is a subtropical evergreen succulent native to the southern coast of Africa.
The cultivar has eye-catching succulent leaves that are densely stacked, propeller-like, and are pale green that conspicuously turns to brilliant scarlet given bright light conditions.
You can plant crassula 'Campfire' in containers, beds, borders, use it as a groundcover, or plant it in rock gardens since it's a great drought-tolerant plant.
If you give the crassula campfire ideal growing conditions, they reach up to 5 to 7 inches big with a spread of 2-3 feet.
Crassula Campfire Plant Profile
Common name(s): Campfire Crassula, Crassula 'Flame', and Crassula 'Blaze'
Scientific/Botanical name: Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’
USDA Hardiness zones: 9 through 12
Mature Height: 5 - 7 inches long.
Mature Spread: 2 – 3 feet wide.
Growing habit: Branching, showy, erect, and evergreen succulent.
Native Area: South Africa.
Blooming Time: Rarely flower as a houseplant but when it does, it produces abundant white flowers tinged with pink often in spring and summer.
Growth Rate: Relatively slow-growing but you'll enjoy it throughout its growth.
Resistance: Crassula Campfire is resistant to deer and drought.
Is Crassula Campfire Toxic?
Although the severity of poison is low in Crassula Campfire, it's still considered toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.
This is equally true for all other members of the Crassulaceae family.
Furthermore, campfire crassula is mildly toxic to humans, especially with prolonged skin contact. Always wear your garden gloves if you're going to work on your crassula for a while.
How to Propagate Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’
Propagating campfire crassula is very easy and there are several ways to go about it. You can propagate by rooting stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, or offsets.
Propagating by stem cuttings is the most popular and efficient way to get new plants. And that's what I'm going to discuss.
If you want to learn more about how to propagate Crassulas in general, here's a great guide to help you.
Propagating Crassula Campfire by Cuttings
When propagating by stem cuttings, begin by selecting a healthy branch from a mature crassula plant. The branch you choose must be at least 8-10 cm long and free from pests and diseases.
If the branches aren’t that long, you might just have to propagate from leaves or, wait until they are long enough (which might take some time as the plant is slow-growing).
Take 4-6 inch long cuttings from the tips of new growth in late spring or early summer and remove the leaves from the bottom 2/3 of the cutting.
Next, you need to let the cuttings dry to aid in healing and avoid possible rots.
Therefore, place the cuttings in a preferably warm and dry spot and allow them to dry until they form a callous. This usually takes approximately 1 to 2 weeks.
Besides, you can also dust the open wound with a rooting hormone containing an anti-fungal compound to further protect the cuttings from infections.
Root the cuttings as soon as they become dry and you can spot the emergence of small white roots from the calloused cut end.
Feel free to root them in water or potting soil.
Water and keep in a warm, sunny location until new growth appears then transplant into your garden or pot planter.
How to Grow and Care for Crassula Campfire
These plants need well-drained soil and do best in potting mixes without peat or other moisture-retentive components.
Use topsoil mixed with perlite, sharp sand, pea gravel and/or chicken grit to create a planting mix that will drain quickly.
Alternatively, you can use pre-mixed commercial potting soil for succulents.
Whatever your choice, make sure the soil has the best drainage above anything else. Campfire crassula plants are very sensitive to too much moisture in the soil.
Campfire crassula plants need plenty of direct sunlight but can tolerate some shade or partial shade, too.
In full sun, they'll develop a deep red color that is really beautiful.
However, if you can only give it morning sun or dappled light, the leaves will be deep green at the base with lighter red markings - which is also fine.
But inadequate light will produce a plant with deep green leaves and drooping stems – there is nothing wrong with the plant other than it doesn’t have enough light to produce normal compact growth and reddish coloration.
Therefore, if you want the most attractive crassula plants, you'll need to provide them with at least four hours of direct sunlight where possible.
Hence, if you're growing your crassula indoors, place them in a south- or west-facing window. Outdoors, they'll appreciate being in full sun.
Temperature and humidity
Although crassula Campfire can tolerate cool temperatures, they perform best when the daytime temperature is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
But a temperature range of 65°-85° F (18°-29° C) is the most preferable.
In winter, they can tolerate short periods of cold down to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius) but you should protect your plants from frost by bringing them indoors or placing them in a sheltered spot.
In addition, they do best in dry air conditions but can tolerate some humidity if the air is not too moist.
For instance, the plants can tolerate outdoor summer humidity levels of 50-70%, but higher humidity levels can cause the leaves to rot.
All factors considered, humidity shouldn't be a problem as long as you're not overwatering your plants.
Watering your Campfire Crassula
You should water your plants sparingly during their active growing phase, in spring and summer. Increase the frequency during hot weather and less during winter when they're semi-dormant.
In winter, restrict your watering and the soil should remain on the drier side. Overwatering will cause the leaves to drop and the stem to rot.
Even though they are succulent plants, they do need water; drought can result in dwarfing, foliage spotting, leaf drop, and death.
Campfire crassula plants like to dry out between waterings, so don't water them too often. In fact, wait until the top 1-2 inches of soil feels dry before watering.
Then give them a good soak until water comes out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.
Don't water again until the top 1-2 inches of soil feels dry again.
These plants don't need regular fertilizing but can benefit from a light application of a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 months.
Just fertilize with a weak solution of liquid fertilizer (half-strength) about once a month in spring and summer when they're actively growing.
Stop fertilizing in late summer or early fall so the plant can go into its dormant period.
Campfire crassula plants don’t really need regular pruning but can benefit from occasional trimming to keep them in shape and maintain their compact growth.
The best time for you to prune is in spring when you can cut stems back to a lateral branch. Besides, you can remove the dead or damaged parts of the plant if any.
The cuts will heal over in a few days and new growth will sprout within a few weeks. However, don't prune them too severely because they won't recover easily.
When done correctly, pruning will encourage the trunk to develop and support the weight of the heavy leaves and stems, and also encourage root growth. Also, pruning will help keep the plant looking neat and tidy.
Campfire crassula plants don't need to be repotted very often. In fact, they prefer to be a little root-bound.
However, if you see the roots growing out of the drainage holes, the plant becomes top-heavy and susceptible to tipping over, or the potting mix starts to look dry, then it's time to repot.
Use a pot that is only slightly larger than the current pot and make sure the potting mix has good drainage.
Water sparingly before, after repotting, and onwards until the plants establish in the new container.
Pests and Diseases Management
If you see any of these pests on your plants, start by spraying them with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.
Repeat the treatment every few days until the pests are gone.
Common Problems with Crassula Campfire (Physiological Disorders)
Black Spots on Crassula Campfire
Black spots on your crassula succulents indicate that something is wrong with your plants. In most cases, it could be sunburn in combination with water droplets - which burn the leaves when heated up.
But sometimes, it could indicate that you're overwatering your plants.
Check your past actions and determine which the exact cause is and take the necessary remedial measure.
Crassula Campfire turning Green
If you notice that your once colorful crassula 'Campfire' plants are turning to plain green, then it means their exposure to sunlight is very minimal or non-existent.
Make sure your plants get at least 4 hours of the direct sun where possible. And, if you're growing your crassula indoors, place them in a south- or west-facing window.
Campfire Crassula Leaves dropping
While it's true that these plants are drought-tolerant, they do need water once in a while for them to thrive.
If you underwater them, they'll start to dwarf and eventually drop their leaves in a bid to conserve the little moisture. Make sure you water your plants accordingly as explained earlier.
Campfire crassula is a beautiful succulent plant that is easy to grow and care for.
With a few simple tips, you can have healthy plants that will brighten up any space. I hope you've found this article helpful.
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Thanks for reading!