CRASSULA BUDDHA’S TEMPLE real plant
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La Crassula ovata
One of the most cultivated species is the crassula ovata, also in the hobbyt variety with particular leaves; it is a small shrub completely succulent, with well branched, fleshy, well branched, stocky stems, of brown colour, on which develop small fleshy, oval, green leaves, which tend easily to redden in case of prolonged exposure to the sun or to the frost.
It is a very common plant, both among lovers of succulents, and among those who engage in the cultivation of bonsai.
At the end of winter these plants produce thin stems, which rise from the foliage, and which carry inflorescences consisting of countless small white star-shaped flowers, very pleasant.
These are plants with a rapid development during the first years of life, later on, they tend to develop slowly, if cultivated in the right conditions; specimens of many years old can reach even the 100-120 cm of height; with the time, they tend to form a short stem, similar to the trunk of an old tree, and a thick roundish, well ramified, foliage; it is this “tree” look which renders the ovate crassulae very suitable for being cultivated as bonsai.
They are cultivated in not too big containers, as their rooting apparatus tends, with the years, to keep of modest size; the cultivation substratum must be very well drained, not particularly rich; they usually use the specific soil for succulent plants, or for citrus fruits, with addition disha, to increase the drainage; they do not need to be repotted every year, even if it is not bad to repot them every 2-3 years, especially for what the young specimens are concerned.
Watering is only sporadic, when the soil remains dry and the climate is dry, in summer; more or less from May to September every 8-10 days. Every 20-25 days, during this period of the year, let’s remember to add to the water of the watering a small amount of fertilizer for succulent plants, but let’s avoid excesses.
During the cold months let’s avoid watering the plants.
These crassulae can bear temperatures close to -5°C, therefore in winter we can leave them in cold green houses, or on the terrace, in a quite sunny place, avoiding that they receive the water of the waterings. We can also shelter them in the house, even if the dry climate of the apartment causes the proliferation from the cochineal, and also the specimens kept constantly in a climate of simulated spring tend not to bloom almost never, depriving us of this very pleasant characteristic.
The arborescens species also enjoys qualities similar to the crassula ovata, and is just as easy to cultivate.
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Crassula – Crassula: Collectors’ crassulae
There are some varieties and species of crassulae certainly for collectors, because they have needs of climate and soil difficult to achieve by those who simply like to keep a couple of pots in the living room.
The most common species are the hybrids with particular names, such as Morgan’s beauty or Buddha’s temple; they are plants of tiny dimensions, which do not exceed the 10-12 cm of height, with a nice very compact foliage, in narrow rosettes, which, if well cultivated in spring, produce beautiful pinkish inflorescences.
Cultivation is not easy, because they need the right soil, the right humidity and the right sunshine for the whole year; if the conditions of cultivation are not ideal, the plants tend to mumify, or to stop developing almost completely, or they are prey to parasites that quickly ruin them.
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