Gollum Jade or Crassula Portulacea Succulent Plant Care For Dry Gardens or Easy Houseplants

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Spoon Jade succulent plants are great choices for dry gardens. These plants are easy to grow in hot dry areas and also make great houseplants. Their care is similar to cactus (without the thorns). One of my favorite succulents is named Crassula portulacea, commonly called Horseshoe or Spoon Jade. Recently they've been called Gollum Fingers, Hobbit Plant or ET Fingers because their dark green leaves look like fingers with reddish tips. These plants can take full sun to light shade. They are happy indoors or outdoors, in the ground or in containers.

Water-wise crassula portulacea like heat and sun whether you grow them indoors or in the yard. They are just as easy to care for as their cousin, crassula ovata. Both succulent plants can take up to 6 hours of sun a day. If they develop yellow or brown spots on the leaves, it is either stress or sunburn. If they are in a pot, try moving it to an area with less sun. If they're outdoors, try giving them a nice soak and they should perk up.

Grown in pots Spoon Jade will remain small and are often used for bonsai. They will grow slowly and can be trimmed into the shape of trees. In the ground they will eventually reach a height of 4 to 5 feet tall. Older plants take on an otherworldly, gnarled look.

I love succulents because they are easy to grow and care- free. They are great if you don't have time to fuss over a plant. Crassula happily oblige and even produce blooms in later winter. This increases their value as a landscape plant in my book as winter blooming plants are uncommon. They produce flower clusters that look like tiny bouquets of daisies. Bloom color can range from light to dark pink, some have a salmon/orange tint. The plant I started as a small cutting two years ago is blooming for the first time this year. Established plants should bloom reliably each year.

They are called succulent plants because they store their water in their trunks and leaves. This allows them to get by with little water. All that stored water can make them susceptible to rot if they sit in a pool of wet dirt. Let the soil dry out between watering to keep them happy. Crassula are best grown in USDA Zones 9b � 11.

Normally, the plants in my succulent garden are able to take a light frost for a few hours. This year we had freezing nights for a few days in a row and the top 1/3 of my plants became frozen and brown. The stalks that survived are now sprouting new leafs. They need overhead protection in winter if you are in a cold area. They also have a better chance of surviving frost if the plants have been kept on the dry side.

Xeriscaping with drought tolerant cactus and succulents has become popular out here in the southwest where we sometimes have water rationing and shortages. These succulent plants add a dramatic touch and look like some sort of sea plant or coral to me. Crassula are and easy and reliable addition to any water-wise garden.

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Author: Laura Zinkan
Laura Zinkan is a writer and artist in, California. She cultivates a gardening website at www.theGardenPages.com with plant profiles, growing tips about succulents and native plants. Or drop by the new garden blog at thegardenpages.blogspot.com She also cooks up www.MomsRetro.com where you can find retro art and kitchen tips for busy cooks. Copyright 2008 by Laura Zinkan. This article may be reprinted as long as author credit is given with website. All rights reserved.

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