How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

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How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  Tom Simonyi on Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:37 pm

I am writing for myself and Rick36...we both have old argenteas....mine not as old as Rick's, but it has bloomed twice in the past several years...I don't seem to be able to achieve bloom in successive years.  Might this be normal for the species in our zone (not sure about Rick, but I am in zone 6).  Rick's argentea is 50 years old (struck from a cutting) and has never bloomed. 

We would appreciate any advice regarding on how to induce bloom on a more regular basis.  Thanks in advnace.

Tom

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Crassula ovata

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:50 pm

The correct name is Crassula ovata. I have seen it blooming outdoors in Canada. I suspect it is a short-day bloomer. Do you keep it outdoors for the summer? Do so, and leave it outdoors until frost warning. See if that works.
Iris

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  Tom Simonyi on Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:55 pm

Good day, Iris:

Thanks for the correction on the species.  I do keep it outside each summer.  I remember that last year I did bring it in a few weeks before our first frost.  It is still outside this year.  I appreciate the advice.

Tom

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  AlainK on Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:48 pm

I second what Iris wrote: I gave my Mum a cutting that developped into an 80 by 80 cm plant in a big pot. She kept it on her balcony until the first frosts and it flowered each year, around December.

It's more difficult to have smaller plants flower, especially if they're trimmed to keep the shape you want.

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  Andre Beaurain on Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:45 pm

Actually Iris it could also be Crassula arborescens, excpecially if it is 50 years old, I doubt ovata will get that old.

It prefers winter rain and therefore flower in winter here by us. Its natural habitat. In summer it tends to shed branches an reserve itself. That why you get huge thick plants 50-60cm trunk diameter and 3 m high with a crown width of only 40cm.

Love and light

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:16 pm

Andre Beaurain wrote:Actually Iris it could also be Crassula arborescens,  excpecially if it is 50 years old, I doubt ovata will get that old.
How do you tell the difference?
Iris

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How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  jetdriver on Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:38 am

C. ovata - up to 5 m in height, leaves oblanceolate, comparatively narrow the apex having a distinct point, leaves grey/green with no waxy bloom. In South Africa flowers in July and August.

C. arborescens - up to 3 m in height, leaves almost round to broadly ovate, apex being rounded, leaves have distinct waxy bloom. In South Africa flowers September to November

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Howto Coax Crassula

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:23 am

Thanks. Sounds as though the one you commonly see here is C. arborescens. But I thought someone said arborescens is the taller one. Does it have a common name?
Iris

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  Andre Beaurain on Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:36 am

jetdriver wrote:C. ovata - up to 5 m in height, leaves oblanceolate, comparatively narrow the apex having a distinct point, leaves grey/green with no waxy bloom. In South Africa flowers in July and August.

C. arborescens - up to 3 m in height, leaves almost round to broadly ovate, apex being rounded, leaves have distinct waxy bloom. In South Africa flowers September to November
Where did you get this info.  I actually think its the wrong way around.....

arborescens means tree.....

The common names for ovata can be Money plant, the original name is t'karkai (Khoi-san name)

Common names for arborescens is Jade tree or Plakkies (afrikaans) referring to the leave having the form of slip-slops. Arborscens can also have a red leave margin.

They can both be propagated by leaves only, or roots or stem. And seed of course. It becomes actually very weedy in our garden wherever the leaves fall plants come up. luckily the Mountain tortoise love them.

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How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  jetdriver on Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:36 pm

The Trees of Southern Africa by Keith Coates Palgrave published by Struik. It is the right way round. They are both dwarf trees, the distinction between species being made with the leaves.

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  jetdriver on Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:44 pm

C. arborescens is commonly known as the round-leaved crassula, or in Afrikaans Beestebal and C.ovata the narrow-leaved crassula, in Afrikaans Kerkeibos. Their natural ranges are also a determining factor in species separation.

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Difference?

Post  lennard on Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:23 pm

I think this links show the difference between the two species best:

http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantcd/crassarbor.htm

and

http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantcd/crassovat.htm

Even here I can not get all of mine to flower in pots. I have two of them older than 40 years and they have never flowered since I potted them up(about 3 years ago).

I have a smaller and younger tree that was potted up in a plastic pot plant pot about 8 years ago and it is extremely root bound and goes through periods of flourishing and drying out - this one is flowering every year. It gets full sun for the whole day winter and summer.

Don't know what the real secret is to get them to flower in pots.

Lennard

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  Andre Beaurain on Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:01 pm

jetdriver wrote:C. arborescens is commonly known as the round-leaved crassula, or in Afrikaans Beestebal and C.ovata the narrow-leaved crassula, in Afrikaans Kerkeibos. Their natural ranges are also a determining factor in species separation.
Jetriver

I  was talking about the heights of the trees.  In all honesty, I have never seen any one of the species getting to 5 m,  Hell not even the Elephant bush ( Portulacaria afra) will get that big that is pretty far fetched!  I have been to both habitats, the tallest ones I've seen was 3 m, but only because they grew in a clump.

It so funny that you use the afrikaans word Beestebal.  Do you actually know what that means?  Sis man!  Laughing Laughing Laughing 

Love and light


Last edited by Andre Beaurain on Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  Andre Beaurain on Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:07 pm

lennard wrote:I think this links show the difference between the two species best:

http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantcd/crassarbor.htm

and

http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantcd/crassovat.htm

Even here I can not get all of mine to flower in pots. I have two of them older than 40 years and they have never flowered since I potted them up(about 3 years ago).

I have a smaller and younger tree that was potted up in a plastic pot plant pot about 8 years ago and it is extremely root bound and goes through periods of flourishing and drying out - this one is flowering every year. It gets full sun for the whole day winter and summer.

Don't know what the real secret is to get them to flower in pots.

Lennard
Lennard my flowers every year, I have never had a problem. Thats why I say, they need winter rain. Lucky me.
Wat dink jy van die woord 'Beestebal'?

Lig en liefde

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  Andre Beaurain on Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:23 pm

Now which one of these two look more like the Testicles of a Bull......Smile  hence 'Beestebal'




Hihihihihihihii
Here you can see the waxy leave surface.

Love and light

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Confused...again.

Post  lennard on Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:25 pm

Andre Beaurain wrote:
Lennard my flowers every year, I have never had a problem.  Thats why I say, they need winter rain.  Lucky me.
Wat dink jy van die woord 'Beestebal'?
Lig en liefde
As soon as I think I am "unconfused" I become confused again.

Help me out with these ones:





1.  A seven year old cutting that has never flowered. It is about 60cm high. Waxy blue/grey/green leaves, red leaf margins and sharply pointed.
2.  Red, green, white yellow variegated form. Very fast grower and rounded leaf tip. 5 years old, 1m high clipped into a hedge. Never flowered.
3. White and green variegated form. Pointed leaf tip. The cutting to the back is the variegated form reverted back to a green variety. Leaf tips pointed. Very slow grower - never flowered.
4. The biggest and oldest(more than 40 years?) plant I have. It is about 1m high. Green leaves showing some red margin. No waxy leaf surface as with in no. 1.
5. Potted up in a plastic pot plant pot about 8 years ago and it is extremely root bound and goes through periods of flourishing and drying out - this one is flowering every year. Very red margin to the leave and not so sharply pointed.

Hope you can help me identify them correctly.

When it comes to "Beestebal", they do look like the things hanging down from a bull.

Lennard

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Howto Coax Crassula

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:24 pm

Some of those look more like Portulacaria. Are you sure they are all Crassulas?
Iris

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  Rick36 on Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:31 pm

If you are confused, imagine how Tom and I feel in the USA and UK respectively! No.4 is the one most commonly seen in the UK as a houseplant and is certainly the one (50 year old) I have. I thought I knew it as Crassula Argentea - I bow to Iris' greater knowledge - and she says it is C.Ovata. As to the others I've seen a couple in this country as houseplants, but never as bonsai. My Portulacaria Afra babies don't look like any of these. I look forward to proper identification. Cheers to all participating.

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Crassula ID.

Post  lennard on Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:43 pm

bonsaisr wrote:Some of those look more like Portulacaria. Are you sure they are all Crassulas?
Iris
Yes. Portulacaria afra is easier to identify because the leaves are much smaller, the twigs in general are very dark reddish, they grow faster and the leaves have a more refreshing taste than those of Crassula...Crassula tastes like unripened peaches.

Portulacaria afra also has a few varieties within the species - I have managed to obtain 6 varieties now.

Lennard

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  lennard on Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:49 pm

Rick36 wrote:If you are confused, imagine how Tom and I feel in the USA and UK respectively! No.4 is the one most commonly seen in the UK as a houseplant and is certainly the one (50 year old) I have. I thought I knew it as Crassula Argentea - I bow to Iris' greater knowledge - and she says it is C.Ovata.
Names change over the years and these are all synonyms for Crassula ovata:

Cotyledon lutea
Cotyledon ovata
Crassula argentea
Crassula articulata
Crassula nitida
Crassula obliqua
Crassula portulacea

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crassula_ovata

Lennard



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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  Andre Beaurain on Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:52 am

lennard wrote:




Hope you can help me identify them correctly.

When it comes to "Beestebal", they do look like the things hanging down from a bull.

Lennard
Hi guys

1:  Crassula arborescens var. undulatifolia
2.  Crassula ovata 'Hummels sunset variegata'
3   Crassula ovata obliqua 'tricolour'
4   Crassula ovata
5   Crassula ovata 'Crossby's compact'

Love and light

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  Rick36 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:09 am

Thanks for all the clarification, Andre and Lennard. Cheers.

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

Post  lennard on Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:37 pm

Rick36 wrote:Thanks for all the clarification, Andre and Lennard. Cheers.
Yes, thanks Andre.

Lennard

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Re: How to coax Crassula argentea into bloom

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