Looking for a new succulent to add to your collection? How about a lovely Propeller Plant? Everything from its unique appearance to its color, beautiful flowers, and minimal growing requirements make the Propeller Plant an excellent houseplant.
Propeller Plant, or else known as Airplane Plant, is a pretty succulent that gets its name from the shape of its leaves that look like, well, you’ve guessed it: an airplane’s propeller. This succulent is a great and unique addition to any garden, be it outdoors or indoors, thanks to its lovely greyish color and long-lasting red flowers that resemble broccoli.
Native to South Africa, Propeller Plant is one of the most exotic succulents you can grow indoors. Propeller Plant has pretty much the same requirements most succulents have to grow happy and healthy, meaning that caring for it won’t give you a hard time.
Ready to learn more about growing, watering, and propagating Crassula Falcata? Keep reading below!
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About Propeller Plant
- The botanical name of this exotic succulent is Crassula Falcata, and it belongs to the family of Crassulaceae. Other common names include Airplane Plant, thanks to the shape of its leaves, and Scarlet Paintbrush, thanks to the color of the lovely flowers it produces.
- Crassula Falcata is one of the few succulents that thrive indoors. It looks great in any interior environment, be it your home or office, but make sure to place them near a sunny window.
- When planted outdoors, the Propeller Plant’s bright red flowers attract bees and butterflies, so your garden will look very much alive in the spring. What’s more, the flowers of this succulent smell like cinnamon, a lovely scent to have in your home or garden.
- Propeller Plant loves sunny spots, and it needs full sun to thrive. We recommend placing your succulent in a spot where it receives full sun for at least 6 hours a day.
- Like most succulents, Propeller Plant is very sensitive to overwatering, and it doesn’t like wet feet. In fact, this Crassula succulent needs less watering than other succulents. So, it’s crucial never to let your plant sit in water, and the best way to make sure you don’t overwater it is to use the “soak and dry” method.
- Propeller Plant is not cold hardy, meaning it cannot survive freezing temperatures for a long time. This succulent prefers and thrives best in warm temperatures over 64°F (17° C). During the cold season, it can survive temperatures down to 20°F (-6.7°C).
- This Crassula is summer dormant. In other words, during the summer, your plant goes through a temporary inactive phase. What does this mean? It stops growing. Keep in mind that during your plant’s dormancy phase, you need to stop watering or fertilizing it.
- Propeller Plant is particularly vulnerable to mealybugs and spider mites. Spider mites pose a common threat to the plant when the succulent is grown in a dry environment. You can remove the bugs using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. As for spider mites, the infestation can be treated with insecticide. Yet, we recommend using insecticide in small amounts, with caution, because these substances can produce phytotoxicity to your Propeller Plant’s leaves. For major infestations with spider mites, the best option is to get rid of the succulent before the infestation spreads to your other plants.
- If you want to grow your Propeller Plant indoors, the good news is that it is not toxic to humans or pets.
Propeller Plant Features: An Overview
- Crassula Falcata is a succulent that features flat and fleshy leaves colored gray-green. Its leaves are horizontally stretched, giving the resemblance to an airplane’s propeller.
- A mature Propeller Plant can reach up to 9-12 inches (23-30.5 cm) tall and 12 inches (30.5 cm) wide. When it reaches maturity, this succulent tends to produce basal offsets, which are basically new small plants that are easy to root and grow.
- The roots of the Propeller Plant are fibrous and dense.
- In spring to mid-summer, Propeller Plant produces magnificent clusters of red-orange flowers that are massed together in dense clusters. The flowers smell like cinnamon.
- The flowers produced by this succulent can last for an entire month after they are fully bloomed.
Growing Propeller Plant
Growing a Propeller Plant is really easy. Whether you are an experienced or a novice grower, caring for this succulent won’t give you a hard time. It has the same basic growing requirements most succulents have. If it is provided with all its minimal needs, this succulent makes an excellent ornamental houseplant.
Ready to learn how to grow your Propeller Plant?
First, it’s essential to consider Propeller Plant’s lighting requirements. As mentioned above, this succulent loves sunny spots. It needs full sun to thrive, grow healthy, and bloom in the spring. So, make sure that you find a sunny place in your home or garden to place your Airplane Plant. We recommend placing your succulent in a spot where it gets 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. However, keep in mind that prolonged exposure to direct light can scorch its leaves.
Another key aspect to consider when growing a Propeller Plant is that it needs fertilization. Many people wrongfully believe that succulents don’t need feeding at all. Yet, fertilization is essential for your Propeller Plant to grow healthy and happy and to produce flowers in spring. What fertilizer to you for this succulent? We recommend using specially designed succulent and cacti mix fertilizer. Feed your Propeller Plant one or two times in the growing season.
Very important! Don’t fertilize your Propeller Plant during its dormancy period.
How to Plant Propeller Plant
When it comes to planting Crassula Falcata, there are a few important aspects to keep in mind, including its lighting requirements, preferred temperatures, and soil needs. Before you plant or repot your Propeller Plant, carefully read these needs it has.
First things first, as we’ve already mentioned, the Propeller Plant needs a lot of direct sunlight. So, when planting your succulent, make sure you choose a sunny corner where it will get enough sunlight to grow. If you plant it in a container and keep it indoors, find a south-facing window to place the container.
Besides proper light, Propeller Plant also needs warm temperatures to grow and survive. Remember that the minimum temperature this succulent survives is 20°F (-6.7°C)? Well, if you live in an area that frequently gets colder than that, plant your Propeller Plant in a container and keep it indoors.
Propeller Plant thrives indoors. So, it’s best to plant it in a pot and grow it as a houseplant to prevent it from dying from subzero temperatures. If your home’s average temperature is over 64°F (17° C), your Propeller Plant will grow happy and healthy and produce magnificent flowers in the blooming season.
Another important thing to consider when planting a Propeller Plant is the soil. Like most succulents, this Crassula needs well-draining soil as it is sensitive to overwatering and prone to root rot. To prepare well-draining soil, we recommend making your potting mix by adding 80% coarse substance, be it crushed lava rock, perlite, or sand, and 20% potting soil. The coarse substance will ensure that the extra water will get through it and protect your succulent from root rot.
Watering Propeller Plant
The Propeller Plant, like most succulents, is drought tolerant but also prone to root rot if you overwater it. With this in mind, carefully read below to see how to water your Crassula Falcata properly.
In general, watering your Propeller Plant once or twice every month during the growing season should be enough to cover its needs. Yet, if you are living in a particularly hot area and dry climate, you may have to water it more frequently, such as 3-4 times every month. If you live in a humid area, you may have to cut back on water and water it only once every month.
However, remember that this succulent is really sensitive to overwatering. So, if you are not sure about the right watering schedule, use the “soak and dry” method. This means that you should allow the top few inches of the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
Very important! Cut back on watering during its dormancy season, in summer.
Propagating Propeller Plant
Want more Propeller Plants in your home or garden? We’ve got you covered!
Crassula Falcata can be propagated via offsets, leaves, stem, and from seed. In general, your mature Propeller Plant will self-propagate by growing offsets at its base, which you can cut from the main stem and repot.
Leaf propagation is generally the most difficult method, while stem propagation is the most common and easy type of propagation. Propagation from seeds is also possible, but it can take a very long time for the plant to establish.
This is all you need to know about growing and caring for a Propeller Plant. As long as you make sure that your succulent gets enough light, you don’t overwater it, and feed it once or twice during the growing season, your Propeller Plant should thrive.
Crassula Falcata can be a fantastic ornamental houseplant when taken care of properly. Bring it inside or plant it in your garden if you feel the environment needs a fresh touch.
Are you growing Crassula succulents? Share your experience with us in the comments!