Crassula falcata (Propeller Plant)

In this post we review care, propagation, and problems for the Crassula falacta (Propeller Plant). A stunning succulent that is on many collector’s wish list.

Crassula falcata also known as Propeller Plant is pronounced KRASS-oo-la or KRAS-soo-la Fal-KAY-tuh. This unique beauty has a striking appearance. Definitely the perfect contrast plant in succulent arrangements. Specifically adding height and texture.

It is commonly called the Propeller Plant or Airplane Plant. Indeed because of the unique, oblong, propeller-shaped leaves that grow outward in opposite directions. Also, greenish-grey velvety leaves grow in an overlapping pattern and can grow up to two feet (61 cm) tall. 

Definitely makes a statement when planted with other succulents. It propagates easily and does great indoors.

Crassula perfoliata falcata
Crassula perfoliata falcata

In summer, dense clusters of reddish-orange flowers bloom and smell similar to cinnamon. This is pretty rare for a succulent bloom to have a fragrance. Their stunning star-shaped flowers  open slowly and last 3 weeks or more, but the color will fade over time. 

“Scarlet Paintbrush” is another common name referring to it’s magnificent blooms. In fact, their flowers also attract butterflies and bees. To get this beauty to continually bloom, it needs lots of bright light and it thrives in full sun. It also needs cooler temps (above 60° F) in winter for the best blooming in summer. So be sure to avoid excess warmth in the winter.

Red flower of succulent Crassula perfoliata var. minor

Crassula perfoliata falcata can be grown in full sun to light shade. Hardy to  20°F (-6.7°C). They add a unique texture to succulent arrangements and flower beds. 

In fact, they are one of the few succulents that grow really well indoors in containers. However, if they do not get enough sun they may begin to grow etiolated or stretched out.

Crassula falcata flowers
Crassula falcata flowers

Propeller Plant should receive regular watering throughout the summer. Especially in hotter climates. The Propeller Plant has the same watering needs as most succulents. Allow the soil to dry between each watering.

In the winter, reduce watering, especially if stored indoors in a cool room. I prefer to water with the soak and dry method. Which is basically soaking your pot in a larger container filled with water. 

Crassula falcata
Crassula falcata

You can apply a diluted liquid fertilizer once per month during the summer. As the plant matures you can expect it to reach up to 9-12 inches (23-30 cm) tall and 12 inches (30 cm) wide.

As with most succulents, Crassula falcata prefers a well draining soil. Cactus soil or regular potting soil mixed with sand & perlite/pumice works great.

Crassula perfoliata falcata
Crassula perfoliata falcata

Watch our Crassula Falcata video below or keep on reading!

The Propeller Plant can easily be propagated by cuttings or removing the offsets. Seed and leaf propagation is also possible with the Propeller Plant. To remove offsets, cut from the main stem with a clean shears. You can also take cuttings to propagate. Especially if your Propeller plant is growing too tall.

Allow the removed offset or cutting to callous over for 3-5 days before planting in well-draining soil. Specifically to ensue the ends heal or scab over. Water propagation also works well and is my favorite way to propagate the Propeller Plant. 

Check out my cutting that is propagating well in water below. I will wait until a bit more roots form before planting in well-draining soil. Once transferred into soil, I will resume regular watering. In fact I tend to give them even more water in the first few weeks to get them acclimated to the soil.

Propeller Plant Propagating in water
Propagating Propeller Plants in water

Crassula falcata can develop red spots. Typically when there is a change in temperature and light exposure. In fact, they can even appear in shades or purple or pink. Some may even mistake these spots on the Propeller Plant as rust.

This isn’t really a problem though and not damaging to the plant at all. In fact, I think it is beautiful. If it was growing in shade for sometime, then getting more light as seasons change, then it is not uncommon for spots to appear.

Crassula falcata
Crassula falcata red spots

Watering from above, can occasionally cause water to get trapped the at the place where the leaf connects to the stem. The plants starts to rot the leaves. In fact this can be common for many Crassula plants.

Additionally, your propeller plant may get wrinkly when he is thirsty. In fact, I have noticed he likes to be watered more than the other succulents in my collection. So, if the soil is bone dry and there’s no root rot, then it’s probably in need of a good drink.

As with most succulents Aphids, mealybugs, powdery mildew, fungal leaf spot, as well as stem and root rot are possible if it is over watered. More info on succulent pest care can be found here.

This succulent was previously grown as Rochea falcata and grown commonly as Crassula falcata. However, it is actually Crassula perfoliata var. minor. Crassula falcata is still commonly used. 

It’s varietal name, falcata (from the Latin word falcat) means “sickle-shaped” with reference to it’s curved leaves. Also, it is commonly called Airplane Plant for it winged shaped leaves.

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