Propeller plant is tender succulent that has impressively shaped leaves and a spectacular red flower that lasts for weeks. These growing tips for crassula falcata will make sure your plant performs to its best.
Crassula is a genus of succulents that are often seen at garden centers in many different shapes. They are grown as stand alone plants or in dish gardens of mixed succulents.
If you are looking for a plant which is great for those with a brown thumb, succulents are a good choice for you.
They are perfect for those new to growing succulents and propeller plant needs very little extra care.
Some succulents are difficult to grow indoors, but this is not the case with propeller plant. It is easy to grow, even in less than ideal sunlight.
This post may contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you purchase through an affiliate link.Crassula falcata is a unique succulent with gray green leaves that look like the propellers of an airplane. The flowers are bright red-orange and long lasting. See how to grow this beauty on The Gardening Cook. #crassulafalcata… Click To Tweet
Facts about propeller plant
Propeller plant is a succulent plant in the family crassula. The plant is native to South Africa, particularly around the area of the Cape of Good Hope.
This unusual succulent is also known by the common names “propeller plant” and “airplane plant.” It is not to be confused with the airplane plant – chlorophytum.
It is easy to see where the common names for this succulent come from when you look at the plant’s leaves. With leaves shaped like propellers, the plant looks as though it might possibly take off!
- Family: crassulaceae
- Genus: perfoliata
- Cultivar: ‘falcata’
How to grow propeller plant
Crassula falcata is a succulent plant with thick gray green leaves and bright red-orange flowers. It is very easy to grow and a succulent that does very well indoors.
Sunlight needs for crassula falcata
Give propeller plant at least 3 hours of sunlight a day. 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight is ideal. Indoors, this means a south facing window.
The plant will require some partial shade if grown outdoors.
Watering requirements when growing a propeller plant
During the spring and early summer months, when the plant is actively growing, water this succulent regularly. Be careful not to overwater, since the plant is prone to decay if it receives too much water.
Add additional water when the soil is dry to the touch.
Most succulents can take a bit of neglect in the watering department and still thrive. This makes them ideal for beginning gardeners who tend to forget to water a plant.
A good way to water is the “soak and drain” method. To do this, bring the plant to the sink and give it a good soak, allowing the water to drain out of the drain hole in the bottom of the pot.
During the winter months, reduce the amount of water that you give the plant considerably, since the soil tends to retain moisture longer. Water only enough to keep it from shriveling.
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Soil needs for propeller plant
Succulents have small root systems so small pots are often used. This makes the need for specially formulated soil a must.
Like all succulents, a well draining soil mix is needed for propeller plant since the plant is prone to root rot.
Top dressing items such as moss and rocks or pebbles add a nice look to the pot.
In general succulents like a slightly acidic soil with a pH about 6.
How to fertilize crassula falcata
Fertilize propeller plant with a cactus fertilizer or all purpose liquid fertilizer that is diluted to half strength. The best time to fertilize is during the active growing stage in late spring.
Fertilize once a month in the summer months.
Ideal temperature range for this succulent
Propeller plant is happiest growing in warm temperatures above 64°F (17° C). During the winter months, it can survive temperatures down to 20°F (-6.7°C).
Flowers and foliage of propeller plant
Propeller plant produces flowers in the summer and fall months. The velvety gray-green leaves grow in a twisted pattern of opposite pairs, which are arranged in an overlapping pattern.
The leaves also grow at slight angles, which creates the look of an airplane propeller.
The flowers start out as tiny buds in a large cluster and open to a spray of tiny red flowers. The scent is mild and reminiscent of cinnamon.
The bright orange-red flowers of crassula falcata attract butterflies and bees. Flowers on indoor plants don’t grow as easily as those which have a summer outdoors.
To encourage flowering each year, try to avoid temperatures over 60° F during the winter.
Mature size of a propeller plant
Crassula falcata generally will grow 9 to 12 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Very mature specimens can reach two feet in size.
Larger plants tend to have stems that “flop over” the side of the pot. To discourage this, take stem cuttings to make the plant shorter and it will bush out to a better shape.
The plants are slow growing, so be patient with your propeller plant. However, they are also big plants and can get top-heavy and might need to be repotted regularly.
The plant looks good in a pot on its own or as a focal plant in a container with other succulents
Diseases and Insects that will bother crassula falcata
Like most succulents, fungal diseases caused from over-watering are something to be on the look out for. This could show itself with limp leaves that easily fall off.
Also look for rotting roots as a sign of fungal infection. Remove the rotting roots and treat the infection with a fungicide if you find any.
Mealybugs, and spider mites are insects that can be a problem for propeller plant. Mealybugs show up as tiny white insects that have a cotton-like look to them.
Mealybugs can be removed with a Q Tip dipped in rubbing alcohol.
Spider mite infestation will be shown with tiny spider webs visible under the leaves.
Spider mite infestations occur in the dry season. They are very hard to get rid of if allowed to develop.
Remove any infected plants with mealybugs and spider mites to a separate location. These pests can easily spread to an entire succulent collection.
Cold hardiness zones for propeller plant
Propeller plant will not winter outdoors unless you live in the hardiness zones 9 and above.
Get some ideas for succulent containers for your propeller plant. You’ll be amazed at some common household items that can be used.
How to propagate propeller plant
To propagate crassula falcata from the leaves, twist the leaf gently to remove it from the stem of the plant.
Allow the leaf to callous over for 2-3 days. It will then be ready to plant.
Place the calloused over leaf on its side in well draining soil. In a few weeks, roots will attach the leaf to the soil.
After a few more months, a new plant will form at the tip of the leaf.
Stem cuttings can be done the same way, except that you’ll use a whole section of stem which has calloused over.
The stem is then inserted into potting soil and will soon grow larger.
Leaf cuttings are a great way to get a lot of small plants for free. Stem cuttings will give you larger plants initially.
Propagating propeller plants from offsets
Crassula falcata sometimes self propagates by sending out offsets – small plants that are identical to the parent plant.
Cut the offsets away from the main plant with a sterilized knife. Allow the offsets to develop callouses for a few days.
Plant the offsets into well draining soil.
Toxicity of propeller plant
Some types of crassula (jade plant in particular) are toxic to pets.
Crassula falcata is generally considered non toxic to humans and pets.
Note: Although this plant is considered non toxic, one should always take care growing plants around small children and pets.
Even though some plants are considered safe, children and animals like to chew on things within their reach. This might give mild affects once they are ingested.
Where to purchase propeller plants
Check the garden center of both Lowe’s and Home Depot. I found my plant at a small local garden center.
The Farmer’s Market is also a great place to purchase succulents. The plant is also available online:
- Propeller plant on Etsy
- Crassula falcata on Amazon
- Propeller plant at Annie’s Annuals
- Crassula falcata at Mountain Crest Gardens
Be sure to check out my tips for buying succulents. This gives information on what to look for both locally and when buying online.
The easy care of propeller plant makes it an ideal choice for those who are new to growing succulents. As long as it gets some sunlight and doesn’t get overwatered, it should grow well.
Why not try growing one today?
Pin these propeller plant growing tips for later
Would you like a reminder of these tips for growing crassula falcata? Just pin this image to one of your Pinterest succulent boards so that you can easily find it later.
You can also watch our video for growing propeller plant on YouTube.
- 1 crassula falcata plant
- Well draining cactus soil
- Cactus fertilizer
- Hose or watering can
- Place your crassula plant in a pot with well draining soil.
- Water well during the actively growing season of spring and early summer.
- Gradually reduce watering in the late summer, fall and winter when growth slows down.
- Fertilize every month with half strength fertilizer in the growing season.
- Place in a sunny window indoors.
- Outdoors give some relief from direct sunlight.
- Flowers appear in early summer and are long lasting.
- Propagate from stem cuttings, leaf cuttings and offshoots. Allow cuttings to callous over before planting.
- Cold hardy in zones 9 and warmer.