How to Care Crassula Obliqua Gollum

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Crassula obliqua gollum is a succulent plant that belongs to the jade plant family (Crassulaceae). It is native to South Africa and Mozambique, where it grows in dry and rocky habitats. It is also a popular houseplant and bonsai specimen in cooler regions, as it can tolerate low temperatures and drought. In this article, we will explore the features, benefits, and care tips of this fascinating plant.

Care Guide

Crassula obliqua gollum is a relatively easy succulent to grow, as it has similar requirements to other crassulas. Here are some of the main aspects of its care that you need to pay attention to:

  • Water: Crassula obliqua gollum is drought-tolerant and prefers to be watered sparingly. You should only water it when the soil is completely dry, and avoid overwatering as this can cause root rot and fungal diseases. Water thoroughly, but make sure the excess water drains out of the pot. Reduce watering in autumn and winter, when the plant is dormant.
  • Fertilize: Crassula obliqua gollum does not need much fertilizer, but you can apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during its active growth period in spring and summer. Do not fertilize in winter, as this can cause leggy growth and weak stems.
  • Pruning: Crassula obliqua gollum does not require much pruning, but you can trim off any dead or damaged leaves or branches to keep them healthy and tidy. You can also prune it to shape it or control its size, as it can grow up to 3 feet tall and wide. Pruning is best done in spring or early summer, before the flowering season.
  • Soil: Crassula obliqua gollum needs well-draining and loose soil that allows air circulation around its roots. You can use a commercial cactus or succulent potting mix, or make your own by mixing equal parts of peat moss, perlite and sand. You can also add some bone meal or charcoal to improve drainage and prevent root rot.
  • Potting suggestions: Crassula obliqua gollum can be grown in pots indoors or outdoors, as long as they have drainage holes at the bottom. Choose a pot that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant, and repot every 1 to 2 years as the plant grows. You can also grow it in a shallow dish or tray with gravel or pebbles at the bottom to create a miniature rock garden.
  • Sunshine: Crassula obliqua gollum loves bright light and can tolerate partial sun to full sun. However, it needs to be acclimated to full sun gradually to prevent sunburn or sun damage. Provide at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for optimal growth and coloration. If you grow it indoors, place it near a south-facing window or under artificial lights.
  • Temperature: Crassula obliqua gollum is not cold-hardy and prefers warm temperatures between 18°C and 25°C (64°F and 77°F). It can survive temperatures as low as 5°C (41°F), but it should be protected from frost and freezing. If you grow it outdoors, bring it indoors when the temperature drops below 10°C (50°F). If you grow it indoors, avoid placing it near drafts, heaters or air conditioners that can cause temperature fluctuations.
  • Planting time: Crassula obliqua gollum can be planted at any time of the year, but spring and summer are the best seasons for planting or repotting. This is when the plant is actively growing and can establish itself quickly in its new environment.

Morphological Characteristics

Crassula obliqua gollum has a shrubby or tree-like habit, with a thick and branching trunk that can reach up to 80 cm in height. The leaves are tubular, trumpet-shaped, and green, with a depression in the center that gives them a hollow appearance. The tips of the leaves are often red, especially when exposed to full sun. The flowers are small, star-like and white or pinkish-white, with pink stamens. They appear in clusters at the end of the branches in winter.

Distribution Range

Crassula obliqua gollum is endemic to South Africa and Mozambique, where it occurs in the provinces of Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo. It prefers rocky slopes, cliffs, and outcrops, where it can grow in crevices and cracks. It is adapted to dry and sunny conditions and can survive frost and drought. It is also widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in other parts of the world, especially in temperate and Mediterranean climates.

Reproduction Methods

Crassula obliqua gollum can be propagated by seeds, stem cuttings or leaf cuttings. Here are some tips for each method:

  • Seeds: You can sow the seeds in spring or summer, in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and place the pot in a warm and bright location. The seeds should germinate within a few weeks. You can transplant the seedlings when they are big enough to handle.
  • Stem cuttings: You can take stem cuttings in spring or summer, using a sharp and sterile knife or scissors. Cut a healthy stem that is about 10 cm long, and remove the lower leaves. Let the cut end dry for a day or two, then insert it into a pot filled with moist, well-draining soil. Place the pot in a bright spot, but avoid direct sunlight. The cutting should root within a month. You can water it lightly once a week until it is well-established.
  • Leaf cuttings: You can take leaf cuttings at any time of the year, but spring and summer are preferable. Choose a healthy and plump leaf, and gently twist it off the stem. Let the leaf dry for a few days, then place it on top of moist, well-draining soil. Do not bury the leaf in the soil, as it may rot. Place the pot in a bright spot, but avoid direct sunlight. The leaf should sprout roots and new leaves within a few weeks. You can water it sparingly once a week until it forms a new plant.

Pest and Disease Control

Crassula obliqua gollum like any other plant, Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ can suffer from some pest and disease problems that can affect its health and appearance. Here are some of the most common issues and how to prevent and treat them.

Disease

One of the most common diseases that can affect Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ is **root rot**, which is caused by overwatering or poor drainage. Root rot can cause the roots to turn brown and mushy, and the plant to wilt and drop leaves. To prevent root rot, make sure to use a well-draining potting mix, water only when the soil is dry, and avoid letting the plant sit in water. To treat root rot, remove the plant from the pot, cut off any rotten roots, and repot in fresh soil.

Another disease that can affect Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ is **powdery mildew**, which is caused by high humidity or poor air circulation. Powdery mildew can cause white or gray patches on the leaves and stems, and reduce the plant’s growth and flowering. To prevent powdery mildew, keep the plant in a bright and airy location, avoid splashing water on the leaves, and reduce humidity by using a fan or a dehumidifier. To treat powdery mildew, spray the plant with a fungicide or a solution of baking soda and water.

Pests

Some of the most common pests that can infest Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ are **mealybugs**, **spider mites**, and **scale insects**. These pests can suck the sap from the plant, causing yellowing, curling, or dropping of leaves, and weakening the plant’s immunity. To prevent pests, inspect the plant regularly for any signs of infestation, isolate any infected plants, and keep the plant clean and dust-free. To treat pests, wipe off any visible bugs with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, spray the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil, or use a systemic pesticide.

Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ is a beautiful and unique succulent that can add interest to any indoor or outdoor garden. By following these tips, you can prevent and treat some of the most common pest and disease problems of this plant, and enjoy its healthy growth and flowering for years to come.

Main Values

Watch

One of the reasons why Crassula obliqua gollum is popular among succulent lovers is its unique appearance. It has tubular, trumpet-shaped leaves that are green with red tips. The leaves are flared at the end and depressed in the center, giving them a resemblance to the fingers of Gollum, a character from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The plant grows as a small tree or shrub, with a thick and branching trunk that can reach up to 80 cm tall. It is a good specimen for bonsai, as it can be pruned and shaped easily. It also produces clusters of small, star-like, white, or pinkish-white flowers with pink stamens in winter.

Medicinal

Another value of Crassula obliqua gollum is its medicinal potential. Although there is not much scientific research on this specific cultivar, there is some evidence that Crassula ovata, its parent species, has some health benefits. For example, a study found that an extract of Crassula ovata leaves had anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in mice. Another study showed that Crassula ovata had antioxidant and antibacterial properties against some common pathogens. Moreover, some traditional uses of Crassula ovata include treating warts, corns, diarrhea, ulcers, and wounds. Therefore, Crassula obliqua gollum may have similar or even enhanced effects, due to its different chemical composition.

Economic

A third value of Crassula obliqua gollum is its economic importance. As a succulent plant, it is very easy to propagate and maintain. It can be grown from stem or leaf cuttings, or seeds. It does not require much water or fertilizer, and it can tolerate a range of light conditions, from full sun to partial shade. It is also resistant to most pests and diseases. These characteristics make it a very suitable plant for indoor and outdoor cultivation, as well as for commercial production and trade. Crassula ovata is one of the most widely grown succulents in the world, and it has a high demand in the ornamental plant market. Crassula obliqua gollum may have an even higher value, due to its novelty and rarity.

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