How to Grow and Care for Crassula capitella 'Campfire' Indoors


Crassula Campfire, Red Flames Plant, Crassula capitella 'Campfire'

Botanical name: Crassula capitella 'Campfire'
Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Common names: Crassula Campfire, Campfire Crassula, Red Flames Plant

Description

Crassula capitella 'Campfire' commonly called Crassula Campfire, Campfire Crassula or Red Flames Plant is a perennial succulent with propeller-like leaves which start off light-green and become a bright reddish color in bright light, hence, the common names, 'Red Flames' and 'Campfire Crassula'.

Crassula Campfire's leaves appear stacked on a short stem where they are larger at the base and get smaller near the top of the rosette forming floral bracts.

Campfire Crassula's fleshy leaves and stems store water which allows the plant to go for a considerably long period without being watered. Therefore, take care not to overwater this plant to avoid rotting.

The stems form roots at the internodes which take root if they come into contact with the soil and cause the plant to for a mat with a spread of upto 3ft.

Flower

Crassula Campfire blooms in summer though it is unlikely to flower indoors. The flowers are small, white, star-shaped tinged with pink and form around a thick, upright stem about 6 in. tall. They attract bees and butterflies.

Size

Crassula Campfire can grow upright to a height of 1 ft and a spread of about 3 ft.

Origin

Crassula capitella 'Campfire' is native to Transvaal Free-state and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa and Southern Namimbia and Botswana.

In its native habitat, the roots are dried and crushed into a powder which is used by the native people to heal wounds.

Air Cleaning

Crassula Campfire is a CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) plant. CAM plants are plants that harvest Carbon dioxide at night and use it during the day to make their food.

As they make their food, CAM plants store the oxygen they produce in the process and release it at night.

This is an adaptation of CAM plants to their drought-prone climate which enables then to survive the harsh climate.

Therefore, having this plant in your living spaces ensures a higher oxygen concentration and cleaning of the indoor air.

Where to Buy

Campfire Crassula is readily available online at Etsy. Buy Crassula Campfire online from Etsy.

Crassula Campfire, Crassula capitella 'Campfire', Red Flames Plant

Crassula capitella 'Campfire' Care Indoors

Crassula capitella 'Campfire' thrives in bright light with some direct sunlight of about 4-6 hours, average warmth and moderately moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Campfire Crassula has no need for high humidity or regular repotting as it grows best when pot-bound.

Pruning is necessary to keep the plant neat, to discourage pest and disease infestations and to rejuvenate growth. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to provide them.

Light Requirements

Crassula Campfire grows best in very bright light with at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. Keep it away from too hot direct sunshine to prevent scorching of the leaves.

Should you choose to grow the Campfire Crassula outdoors, gradually acclimate it and place it in a shaded place to avoid scorching the leaves.

Rotate the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth and to prevent lopsided growth.

If the light is not adequate, Red Flames Plant will grow leggy with weak stems and small leaves.

Where the natural lighting is not adequate, consider instaling a grow light to supplement it.

Watering

Water Crassula Campfire liberally during the growing season and allow the top half of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.

Cut down on watering during the cold period to maintain the soil barely moist but do not let it dry out completely.

Use water that is at room temperature to water the plant to avoid shocking this tropical plant which can cause sudden leaf loss.

Confirm that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent the plant from sitting in soggy soil as it can cause rotting and death of the plant.

Be careful not to wet the foliage as it can result in fungal diseases or water from the bottom instead.

Temperature

Crassula Campfire requires an average warmth between 15-260C during the growing season and a minimum of 100C in the cold season. Keep it away from cold drafts like windy windows and doors as they can cause brown leaf spots.

Humidity

Average room humidity is ideal for Campfire Crassula as it has no need for high humidity. Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pest infestations. Take care not to damage the fragile leaves.

Make sure that there is good air circulation for Red Flames Plant to prevent fungal disease infestations which are prevalent in damp still air.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Crassula Campfire monthly during the growing season with a balanced, liquid fertilizer for lush growth. Take care not to overfeed as the plant is a slow grower.

Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and feeding at this time can cause fertilizer burn and death of the plant.

Repotting

Repot Crassula Campfire at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes crowded in its current pot. Use a pot that is only one size larger than the current one to avoid overpotting.

Ascertain that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual loss of the Red Flames Plant.

Select a clay pot for Campfire Crassula. A clay pot is porous and therefore allows the soil to dry out faster which prevents it from staying wet for too long.

Soil

The best soil for Crassula Campfire should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.

Cactus and Succulents soil is ideal for Campfire Crassula as it allows water to drain easily and does not hold excessive amounts of water like these Cactus and Succulents Mixes available at Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Crassula Campfire is easy as it involves removal of any dead or diseased leaves to keep it neat and also reduce pest and disease infestations. Cut back the bare and straggly stems at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth.

Propagation

Crassula capitella 'Campfire' can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from offsets, leaf cuttings or stem cuttings.

How to propagate Crassula Campfire from offsets

Carefully seperate the offset from the mother Crassula Campfire by cutting with a clean, sharp knife while ensuring that the offset has adequate roots.

Pot the offset in its individual pot in moist, loose, free-draining soil and place in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight.

Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Campfire Crassula is well established after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Crassula Campfire from leaf cuttings

Take Crassula Campfire leaf cuttings complete with the petiole. Allow the leaf cutting to dry out (callus) for a few days to prevent rotting.

Once calloussed, lay the leaf on moist, free-draining, rooting mix while ensuring that the leaf leaf surface comes into contact with the soil.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until a beautiful rosette is formed at the base of the leaf cuttings.

Allow substancial growth before transplanting the new Red Flames Plant after which routine care can begin.

How to propagate Crassula Campfire from stem cuttings

Take 3-5 in. stem cuttings from a healthy Crassula Campfire and allow the cutting to dry out (callus) for a few days.

Once callused, insert the lower cut end of the stem cuttings in moist, well-drained, rooting soil.

Place the set up in a well-lit, warm place and maintain the soil moist until the stem cuttings are rooted. Rooting may take about 4 weeks.

Allow substancial growth before transplanting the new Campfire Crassula after which routine care can begin.

Crassula capitella 'Campfire', Red Flames Plant

Crassula capitella 'Campfire' Growing Problems

Crassula capitella 'Campfire' common problems include leaf drop, leggy growth, leaf spots, wilting, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Elongated stems or leggy growth

Elongated stems or leggy growth in Crassula Campfire is due to two possible reasons. One possible reason is overwatering during the cold season.

Cut down on watering during the cold season to keep the soil barely moist as growth is reduced at this time, therefore, the plant does not require much water.

In addition, make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent it from retaining excessive amounts of water.

The second possible reason for elongated stems or leggy growth in Red Flames Plant is too little light during the growing season.

Position the Campfire Crassula in very bright light with 4-6 hours of direct sunlight during the growing season or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not sufficient.

Sudden leaf drop

Sudden leaf drop in Crassula Campfire is due to two possible causes. One possible cause is watering the plant with very cold water which results in plant shock.

Use water that is at room temperature to water the plant to avoid shocking this tropical plant.

The second possible cause of sudden leaf drop in Campfire Crassula is underwatering which results in too little water in the soil.

Therefore, the plant cannot obtain enough water to take up to the leaves for food making. In a bid to save energy, the plant drops the leaves.

To prevent leaf drop, water the plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top half of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.

Significantly decrease watering in the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Brown dry leaf spots

Brown dry leaf spots in Crassula Campfire are due to underwatering during the growing season as the plant requires that the soil be maintained moderately moist through out.

Water the Campfire Crassula liberally during the hot season while allowing the top half of soil to dry out between waterings but do not allow it to dry out completely.

Wilted and discolored leaves

Wilted and discolored leaves in Crassula Campfire are caused by overwatering during the cold period. Greatly reduce watering in the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is reduced at this time.

Brown soft leaf spots

Brown soft leaf spots in Crassula Campfire are caused by leaf spot disease which is enhanced by poor air circulation coupled with overwet (damp) conditions.

Improve ventilation and ensure that there is free air circulation at all times and water the Campfire Crassula from the bottom to avoid wetting the leaves.

Diseases

Apart from leaf spot disease, Crassula Campfire is also prone to powdery mildew and black leg disease which are prevalent in overwet conditions coupled with poor air circulation.

Isolate the affected plant to minimize spread to other houseplants. Improve ventilation and make sure that there is free air circulation for the Campfire Plant.

Water the Campfire Crassula from the bottom to avoid wetting the rosette of leaves and always allow the top half of soil to dry out between waterings.

Maintain the soil moderately moist during the growing season and barely moist in the cold period.

Do not allow the Red Flames Plant to sit in soggy soil and make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.

Pests

The common pests in Crassula Campfire are scale insects, mealy bugs and spider mites. Isolate the affected plant to reduce spread to other houseplants.

Spray the plant with a solution of 4 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol to get rid of the pests. Make sure to cover the entire plant.

Toxicity

Crassula capitella 'Campfire' like its cousin, Jade Plant, is considered toxic to both humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA.

If ingested it can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Keep the plant away from the reach of children and pets.

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