The Crassula coccinea, [KRASS-oo-la kok-SIN-ee-uh] more commonly known as ‘Red Crassula’ belongs to the family of Crassulaceae plants that originate in South Africa.
The name Crassula comes from the Latin word crassus meaning ‘thick’ while coccinea comes from the Greek word ‘coccos’ referring to scarlet.
The name is a perfect reflection of the plant itself with its beautiful fleshy leaves and bright, brilliant red tubular flowers.
Red Crassula is found naturally along the Western Cape, flourishing most in mountains and rocky slopes. However, it is easy to grow at home or in your garden.
Caring For Crassula Coccinea Succulent
Size & Growth
Since Sunglow is a summer blooming succulent plant, it blooms best outdoors during the summer. But it thrives just as well in a sunlit window.
In the wild, it can grow to a height of about two feet. If grown indoors, expect plants 8″-12″ inches in size.
If you are planting them outdoors it is recommended for USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11. Outdoors place the plant in a sunny spot with well-drained soil and good air circulation.
If propagating from seed or cuttings, seeds are best sown in autumn in shallow trays with a sandy mixture.
Germination happens in around three weeks, and seedlings can be planted outside as soon as they are big enough to handle.
The most popular coccinea variety is Crassula ‘Campfire’.
Flowering and Fragrance
Sunglow has two main varieties. The most popular is the scarlet flowered plant however there is also a white-flowered version as well as a red flowered variety that has a single white flower in the center.
Sunglow is known for its striking flowers early in the year around June and can continue up until August. The flower does not have any recognizable fragrance.
Temperature and Lighting
To bloom properly, Sunglow needs plenty of full sun – hence, the name Sunglow. The plant can tolerate high temperatures from 45°-50° degrees Fahrenheit.
However, try and keep the plants out of harsh sunlight otherwise leaves, and flowers may turn pale.
Watering and Feeding
The red crassula is driught tolerant and overwatering can damage any succulent but especially Sunglow. This is why controlling how much you water the plant is important.
In the spring and summer, water and feed the plant regularly. However, in the fall cut back on the watering and stop feeding altogether.
In the winter, keep the soil moist, that’s it.
When watering, try and keep water off the leaves otherwise droplets can act as lenses for the leaves and leave burn marks.
People often over water their plants, they also underfeed them with fertilizer.
Though the main focus should be to feed them during the spring and summer, be careful about how much.
Feed your succulents during the growing season with a weak liquid fertilizer solution.
For younger plants, use a fertilizer with nitrogen. For older plants, balanced fertilizer at ¼ strength works best.
Soil and Transplanting
The ideal pH for ideal growth is slightly acidic around 6.0. You should use a cactus mix or regular potting soil with some extra sand.
It is best to repot in fresh soil in February or March before the plants begin active growth again.
Grooming and Maintenance
To encourage branching, pinch young plants in early spring to keep the stems the same length.
Red Coccinea Pests and Disease Control
The sunglow is susceptible to pests and diseases which is why it is important to take extra care with the plant, so it remains in peak health.
Though it doesn’t require a lot of care like some other complicated flowers, it is a good idea to keep checking for signs of pests or mildew and use the appreciate fungicide to control it before it spreads.
The plant can be a beautiful addition to your home whether its indoors or outdoors and is a great starting point if you want to experiment with succulents.
Follow the guide above, and you will have an easy to maintain, a gorgeous addition to your garden!