Have You Heard Of The Unique Succulent ‘Adromischus Cristatus’?

What is green, plant-like, and has large hefty leaves that look like an awkward hand waving ‘hello’? That’s right. It’s the Key Lime Pie succulent.

This chunky leafed succulent is botanically known as Adromischus Cristatus. It also goes by the name ‘Crinkle Leaf Plant’. It is a slow-growing succulent from the Crassulaceae family that originally inhabited the shaded rocky outcrops of Lower Baviaanskloof and Langkloof west of Humansdorp, in Eastern Cape, South Africa.

adromischus cristatus
Photo by @idsuculents via Instagram

A Mental Portrait Of The Key Lime Pie Plant

The Key Lime Pie succulent comprises a few rosettes of fat, and reverse triangular leaves with wavy edges. The leaves resemble clamshells and have tiny hair-like structures coating the foliage, giving them a silvery blue-green tint. This exquisite dwarf succulent also has a short stem wrapped, fibrous aerial roots that turn a bright reddish color when exposed to the sun. During the spring and beginning of summer, these chubby plants bloom with tube-shaped white flowers with hints of red on 8-inch (20.32 cm) stems. This succulent can grow between 4-6 inches (10.16-15.24 cm) tall and 1-2 feet (30.48-60.96 cm) wide. It makes it the perfect addition to your windowsill decorations.

Cultivating The Exotic Key Lime Pie Succulent

The Key Lime Pie succulent is technically a no-mess-no-fuss plant. They adore bright light and good airflow.  This succulent has a beautiful time outdoors or in sunny rooms where it can get about 6 hours of sunlight a day and would appreciate some afternoon shade when the sun gets intense. While this plant may tolerate some cold temperatures compared to other succulents, it is not a cold-hardy plant. It does well in warm, dry conditions and would prefer to be indoors when the weather gets colder than 20° F (-6.7° C).

These super-fast, growing species thrive in well-draining soil, preferring a gritty succulent and cactus mix in pot containers with suitable drainage holes. It is not a big drinker and would appreciate some water when the soil is arid, or the leaves start to look slightly shrunken.

During the winter months, this succulent is comfortable going without a drink. The succulent roots are prone to root rot, and they would be thankful if they do not sit in water for long periods. These plants do well with the ‘soak and dry’ method of watering, especially if the soil is left to dry out between bath sessions completely.

These succulents prosper with a bit of misting during the cold season. It is always better to err on the side of underwatering than overwatering because the plant can recover much better after a dry spell than when it is waterlogged.

key lime pie succulent in a pot
Photo by @_lifesuccs_ via Instagram

Propagating Adromischus Cristatus

This succulent can be grown from seeds, although this method is more complex and less reliable. The seeds will need to be planted in warm temperatures or grow light and a seed warmer. The seeds can be sowed in well-draining soil, and germination can take several weeks, depending on your growing environment.

The easiest way to propagate the Key Lime Pie succulent is leaf cuttings. All you need to do is carefully pull off a healthy leaf from the base of the plant. Be careful when pulling the leaf that it does not tear and is entirely intact.

Let the leaf dry out for a couple of days until it begins to callous. If it does not entirely scab, it will absorb too much moisture and is likely to rot and die. Place the callused leaf on top of potting soil formulated for cacti and succulents and place it in bright, indirect sunlight. Do not water the plant until you begin to see small roots growing from the end of the leaf. In no time, you should spot a small plant growing at the base of the leaf.

This hefty plant looks and feels good in small eccentric pots and would add character to a rock garden.

key lime pie succulent outside
Photo by @_lifesuccs_ via Instagram


While the Key Lime Pie succulent is an excellent addition to your home, you should be aware that it is highly toxic when ingested by cats, dogs, and inquisitive children. This plant should be placed in a location that is not easily accessible to curious toddlers or pets.

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Posted in Succulents