Crassula pellucida, also known as the Crassula Calico Kitten, is a charming, colorful succulent that belongs to the Crassulaceae family. Native to South Africa, it’s beloved by gardeners and houseplant enthusiasts for its heart-shaped variegated leaves and cascading growth habit.
The Crassula Calico Kitten, native to South Africa, is a perennial succulent that grows approximately 6 inches (15 cm) tall, though its trailing branches can extend up to 1 meter. The small, heart-shaped leaves that adorn its cascading branches are the most distinctive feature of this plant.
The leaves exhibit various colors, primarily green, cream, pink, and purple. This multicolor display, reminiscent of a patchwork quilt, is where it gets its common name, ‘Calico Kitten.’ These leaves are somewhat translucent – ‘pellucida’ is Latin for transparent, reflecting the leaves’ semi-see-through nature, particularly when backlit.
The ‘Calico Kitten’ produces tiny, star-shaped flowers in late winter or spring under optimal conditions. These delicate blossoms range from white to soft pink, contrasting the vibrant foliage.
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Crassula Pellucida Care
- Watering: Like many succulents, Crassula pellucida is susceptible to overwatering. The plant’s watering needs vary with the seasons – during the growing season (spring and summer), this plant requires regular watering. Reduce your watering frequency by half in the dormant season (fall and winter). Remember, it’s always safer to go underwater than overwater a succulent.
- Soil: Crassula pellucida requires a well-draining soil mix, typical for succulents, to prevent soggy conditions. A good mixture can be made from equal cactus mix and perlite. Adding gravel or coarse sand to the mixture can improve drainage further.
- Light: This plant thrives under filtered/indirect light. It can tolerate partial shade, but for the leaves to show their best colors, they require a good amount of light. However, care must be taken to protect the plant from harsh, direct sunlight, especially in the afternoon, as this could cause leaf scorch.
- Temperature: The ‘Calico Kitten’ prefers warm temperatures and cannot tolerate frost. Ideal daytime temperatures for this plant range from 70-75°F (21-24°C), with nighttime temperatures no lower than 50°F (10°C).
- Fertilizer: While not necessary for survival, applying a diluted (to half-strength) balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season can boost growth and foliage color.
- Pruning: Trimming and pruning the ‘Calico Kitten’ can encourage a bushier growth habit. Also, removing dead leaves or branches will maintain their attractive appearance and help prevent the spread of diseases.
- Pests and Diseases: Watch out for succulent pests like mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. Use insecticidal soap or a diluted rubbing alcohol solution to combat these pests. As for diseases, root rot is a potential threat if the plant is overwatered or the soil doesn’t drain well.
DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>Richard Miller – Succulent City
Crassula Pellucida ‘Calico Kitten’ is easily propagated from stem or leaf cuttings. After cutting, let them dry for a few days to allow the wound to callus, and then plant it into a well-draining soil mix.
The Crassula pellucida ‘Calico Kitten’ is a vibrant, unique succulent that’s easy to care for by any plant enthusiast. Its beautiful coloration and charming, cascading growth habit make it a standout in any collection. Do you like this plant post? Help me share this post if you think it’s helpful!
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