Crassula arborescens is a succulent from the genus Crassula, which belongs to the Crassula family. In nature, the plant lives only in a limited area. This is a remote corner of the Western Cape, located in South Africa. Here, the succulent climbs the hilly slopes, well lit by the sun, where occasionally creates numerous crops.
Description of the tree-like fat woman
The tree-like fat woman has an elaborate thickened trunk of short length. The green bark has a smooth surface. After the withered leaves die off, scars remain on the bark. This property gives it the resemblance to a squat lush tree. Adult specimens are able to stretch up to 3 meters in length.
Leaves with rounded ends are succulent, devoid of petioles, arranged in opposite order. In addition, the plates are simple and seamless, the surface is slightly swollen and curved outward. The size of the oval leaves is about 2-5 cm. The described species has a greenish color with a bluish tinge, and the edges of the leaves are colored burgundy. All terrestrial vegetative parts are covered with a white waxy coating.
Under natural conditions, the plant begins to bloom with the arrival of the first spring heat. At home, the tree-like bastard pleases the owners with flowering very rarely. The inflorescences look like five-petal stars of a delicate pinkish tone. The flowers are connected in axillary raceme-like buds. At the end of the flowering period, small oval fruits are formed. Their diameter does not usually exceed 6 mm. Small grains are hidden inside.
In the genus of the fat woman, two subspecies are distinguished. One of them is called Crassula arborescens ssp. Arborescens (subspecies arboreal) and the other is Crassula arborescens ssp. Undulatifolia (subspecies undulatifolia). The last representative is characterized by wavy leaves that originate from the shoot and are directed upward. The range of two wild-growing subspecies is located in different parts of the world. For example, the treelike subspecies is found in the southeast of South Africa near the Indian coast, and the undulatifolia subspecies prefers the microclimate in the south of the Klein province and the mountainous regions of the Eastern Cape..
The tree fat woman is considered a popular plant and is in demand among flower growers in our area. In addition to its visual appeal, the history of the origin of the succulent echoes the ancient belief. Many believe that if you plant a bush in the house, the owners will be lucky and wealth awaits. Such a succulent is popularly called the “money tree”.
Caring for a tree-like bastard at home
The plant is easy enough to cultivate. Activities related to caring for a tree-like fat woman can be carried out by both beginners and experienced flower growers.
Location and lighting
Without bright diffused light, the tree-like fat woman develops incompletely, therefore, a flowerpot with a flower is placed in a room that is constantly illuminated by the sun’s rays. The best place is a window sill by a window facing south-west or southeast. If you keep the pot on the window on the south side of the building, you should take care that hot rays do not fall on the foliage at noon. Otherwise, burn spots will soon appear on the leaf blades and stems..
Placing in the northern part of the building will not particularly harm the culture, but the lack of light will affect the density of the crown. The stems will stretch in length and become thinner. Ground parts will not be as spectacular.
For the stable development and growth of the fat woman, the temperature in the room is maintained at 22-30 ° C. With the onset of the cold period, the flower is transferred to a cool place where the air temperature is 10-12 ° C. If you leave it in a warm room, the shoots will begin to elongate and the leaves will die off. To avoid such problems, artificial lighting is provided next to the flowerpot. The length of daylight hours must be at least 10 hours.
Representatives of this genus are unstable to temperature extremes and freeze from the slightest drafts. In summer, flower containers are exposed to fresh air. Moreover, they select a corner that is reliably hidden from precipitation. It is important that sunlight falls freely on foliage and shoots..
When the plant is actively growing in size, stick to moderate watering. The soil is watered only when most of the container has already dried out from the last moisture. In winter, the amount of water introduced under the roots is reduced. However, you do not need to wait until the earthen lump is completely dry..
The tree fat woman is adapted to live in conditions of medium humidity. Additional spraying of foliage during the winter months, when the heaters are in operation, is not necessary. Ground parts are occasionally wiped with a damp cloth or rinsed under a warm shower. The procedure is performed with care, taking care not to remove the wax layer covering the fleshy plates..
The cultural appearance of the fat woman does not make serious claims to the composition of the soil mixture. The only condition is the looseness of the substrate. In poorly drained soil, water stagnates, and the roots do not receive enough oxygen. The shops sell ready-made planting mixtures for the “money tree”. As a rule, it is noted on the packaging that the soil is suitable for growing succulents and cacti. If it is not possible to purchase such a substrate, it is easy to assemble it yourself, using leafy, sod and humus soil. At the end, coarse sand is poured. All components are taken in the same ratio, except for sod land, which must be added twice as much.
The culture is planted in spacious low containers. Since the plant is characterized by a fibrous root system, when the roots lie close to the surface, a significant layer of drainage material is poured onto the bottom of the pot. Crushed expanded clay or clay shards are perfect.
Fertilizers are applied on the sly. They start feeding only in the middle of spring and stop feeding the soil in September. During this time, the flower is fed once a month with special formulations recommended by the manufacturer for breeding succulent species. In winter, the plant does not need feeding..
At a young age, the bushes of the tree-like bastard are transplanted annually. Activities are carried out in the spring. The new container should be wider than the previous pot. Perennial plants are transplanted every 3-4 years..
Breeding methods of a tree-like fat woman
For breeding woody toast, stems or leafy cuttings are used, in some cases seed cultivation is allowed. The stalk is carefully separated from the mother plant and immersed in the soil mixture. The optimal composition is peat and sand in a 1: 1 ratio. Reproduction is best done in the spring. If properly cared for, the cuttings will take root in 3 months. The substrate is poorly moisturized, overflow will in no way accelerate the formation of root processes.
Diseases and pests
The tree fat woman suffers from rot if you neglect the watering regime or keep a flowerpot in a room with high humidity. The likelihood of a pest attack is minimal. Only the spider mite is dangerous.