Are you in the market for a new outdoor carpet? Has your local exterior design store run out of your favorite? Well, look no further, because “Crassula Exilis Ssp. Schmidtii” is here to the rescue. Its name may be hard to pronounce, but this succulent is very easy to grow and care for.
Also known as the “Fairy Tongue” succulent, this evergreen perennial is native to South Africa and will be happy to bloom both indoors and outdoors with a multitude of small and star-shaped pink to plum-colored flowers. It’s a very versatile plant and, because of its carpeting nature, can be used in a multitude of arrangements – you can put it in a pot alone or with other succulents, create a literal carpet of it in your garden, or even put it on a wall.
This flowery succulent will grow into a beautiful outdoor mat that is guaranteed to capture all the attention in your garden, or at least enhance its appearance.
Read on if you want to learn more about growing, watering, and propagating Fairy Tongue succulents.
Images in this post were taken from https://www.crassulaceae.ch
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About Fairy Tongue Succulent
- The Fairy Tongue succulent is part of the Crassula genus alongside over 190 other species.
- Crassula Exilis Ssp. Schmidtii is a herbaceous plant that is perfect for beginners as it is easy to maintain and can be repotted very easily in a couple of ways.
- Fairy Tongue is commonly recognized as a variety of Crassula Exilis Ssp. Cooperi. They are very similar in appearance, with the Cooperi having flowers that bloom in lighter shades and meatier leaves.
- The Crassulaceae family members are low-maintenance succulents also known as stonecrops.
- The Fairy Tongue succulent gets its name from the pink shade of its leaves which can be achieved by exposing it to direct sunlight.
- Due to the nature of its native habitat, Fairy Tongue succulents prefer warm and dry ambiances, but they can withstand lower temperatures. They’ll survive temperatures that are even as low as -5 degrees Celsius for very short periods – as long as their surroundings are kept dry.
- It is recommended that the Fairy Tongue get more than 6 hours of light every day while avoiding direct sunlight during heatwaves as it can easily get sunburned, so please take note of the climate you live in and plan accordingly.
- Like most other succulents it is a low maintenance plant, with a high tolerance for dry environments and well-draining soil.
Fairy Tongue Features: An Overview
- Fairy Tongue succulent is a carpet forming plant, which means that it extends horizontally and can cover vast spans of space if needed.
- The stems of Fairy Tongue succulents can reach up to 20 cm in height when they are in bloom and the plants can reach up to 30 cm.
- The leaves of Fairy Tongue succulents are bunched up in what is commonly referred to as rosettes along the branches.
- The leaves that form rosettes can reach up to 6-7 cm in diameter.
- Aside from their beautiful flowers, which can vary in color from rose to pink and plum, one other distinctive mark of the Crassula Exilis Ssp. Schmidtii consists of the small dimples that form on each leaf.
- The flowers of the Crassula Fairy Tongue are very little and shaped like pink stars that can vary in hue.
- The flowers are arranged in umbels that can reach up to 7 cm in diameter.
- The stems and leaves are usually hairy with small velvet-like hairs covering their surface. These hairs are called meals.
- Unlike other succulents or cacti, Fairy Tongue will bloom throughout the year during the warm season if kept in proper conditions.
Growing Fairy Tongue Succulents
Taking care of a Crassula Exilis Ssp. Schmidtii is fairly easy as long as you consider its natural environment and pay attention to some guidelines. It is worth mentioning that these guidelines apply to most other succulents as well. So if have other succulents and cacti, chances are you already know what to do.
Crassula Exilis Ssp. Schmidtii is an evergreen plant, meaning that it will be green throughout the year. However, its growth will be more visible during the spring and summer while the blooms are most visible during the autumn and winter.
The option to plant the Fairy Tongue indoors or outdoors depends greatly on where you live. If you want to move your Fairy Tongue plant outdoors, make sure you keep it out of the direct mid-day sunlight. Succulents can be sensitive to extreme heat and they prefer filtered sunlight. So, the transitions from indoors to outdoors should be done with an intermediate step during which the plant gets used to the new environment.
This type of plant prefers well-lit ambiances as total shade will cause it to grow disproportionately and to lose its density. Moreover, because of their “hairy” nature, Crassula Exilis Ssp. Schmidtii succulents are highly susceptible to mealybugs if kept in humid conditions.
Like most succulents, Fairy Tongue plants are pet friendly and are not that attractive to them in the first place. So you can rest assured when bringing Fairy Tongue succulents indoors, that your furry babies are safe.
Planting and Repotting Fairy Tongue Succulents
Planting and repotting Crassula Exilis Ssp. Schmidtii succulents should be done during their growing season, which is between spring and summer. This will encourage fast root development. Fairy tongue succulents have a natural tendency of expanding horizontally, and they do it up to 30 centimeters, so bear that in mind when planning your layout.
The soil mix that most gardeners use for growing Fairy Tongue succulents is cacti and succulent soil mix. it needs to be airy and to provide very good drainage. The Fairy Tongue likes dry environments, so a classic mix of cacti or succulent soil will do the trick, but you can also use a homemade soil mix. This type of mix is typically composed of regular garden soil mixed with peat, pumice, and coarse sand. The more drainage the soil can provide, the better.
When repotting the Crassula Exilis Ssp. Schmidtii – which is recommended on average every 3 years (when the succulent outgrows its pot) – you should be mindful of the root system and not destroy it. This process should be carried out preferably when the soil is dry, cleaning out as much of the root system as you can, with a minimum of 10 percent of it being available when placed into the new pot.
Watering Fairy Tongue Succulents
Succulents, in general, are prone to rotting roots if left in puddling water for prolonged periods and the Fairy Tongue makes no exception.
Regular watering should be ensured during the growing season – spring and summer – being careful to leave the soil dry out completely in between watering sessions. If you are not sure whether you need to water the plants or not, check the soil with your finger. It should feel dry to the touch.
During the winter, you can get away without watering your Fairy Tongue succulents. It all depends on where you live and what the humidity levels are. That being said, you should ensure that watering is done seldomly and that there is no freezing risk on that day as you will run the risk of the plant or its roots freezing. The rule of thumb here is that the colder it gets the lesser you should water your Fairy Tongue.
When it comes to providing additional nourishment for your Crassula Exilis Ssp. Schmidtii, it is recommended that you feed it during its growing season. Succulents can benefit from an increase in nutrients until early autumn. It’s best to use a classic cacti fertilizer which can be diluted. This process should be stopped completely during the winter months.
Have you, by chance, overwatered your Fairy Tongue? This is a very common mistake that every gardener has made at least once. Overwatering usually happens in the case of potted plants, especially succulents and cacti, and the recommended course of action is to repot them in a dry mix and allow them to dry without additional watering until they regain their strength.
Propagating Fairy Tongue Succulents
Fairy Tongue multiplication is usually done by leaf cuttings and it is a fairly simple process. You need to pick one of the leaves of the plant, preferably one that looks healthy. Let it dry for a day or two to allow it to form a callous, and then place it in the soil. Wait for it to develop roots and provide it with temperatures between 10 and 18 degrees Celsius. You will know the process has succeeded once the planted leaf starts to develop a rosette.
The fairy Tongue can also be propagated by cuttings. The process is very similar to propagation through leaves.
Fairy Tongue Crassula is a very attractive succulent that can provide a constant spot of color to any garden or windowsill. It will keep its flowers for most of the year and you can also place them in combinations with other Crassula varieties, other succulents, or even cacti that will enhance the color palettes and textures.
These herbaceous succulents will require minimal intervention if not for repotting or propagation. Their easy-going nature makes them perfect for people on the go who want to have an evergreen houseplant. This means that you can have one on your desk, your window, in your garden, or as a decorative wall either at home or in the office.
The Fairy Tongue has been also used as a ground cooler in some parts because it tends to grow in a mat and can protect the soil from excessive heat and dryness so it’s not only just a pretty little thing, but it can also prove useful in maintaining the prosperity of its environment.
Are you growing Fairy Tongue succulents? Share your experience in the comments below!