Tree fat woman
View like fatty tree (Crassula arborescens) belongs to the genus Crassula, Crassulaceae family. This plant is endemic and in nature it can be found only in South Africa at the Western Cape. It usually grows on sunny, hilly slopes, sometimes forming fairly large colonies.
Such a succulent stands out from the rest in that it has a squat and rather thick trunk. The bark on it is smooth green in color, and on its surface there are traces of scars that remain from dead leaves. Thanks to this feature, the fat woman is similar to a tree with a rather lush crown. The height of an adult plant can reach 3 meters. Its leaves are simple, fleshy, almost petiolate, whole-edged and opposite. They seem to be a little inflated. The slightly curved leaf reaches 2 to 5 centimeters in length and has a rounded-oval shape. The leaf plate is painted in a greenish-bluish color, and on its surface there is a layer of white waxy bloom. In this case, along the edge of the leaf is painted in burgundy red.
In nature, such a fat woman blooms in the spring. However, when grown indoors, flowering is a rare event. The small five-petalled pinkish-white flowers are star-shaped. They are collected in axillary inflorescences that have the shape of a brush. When the plant has bloomed, it will produce 6mm oval fruits containing many small seeds.
This plant has 2 subspecies. Namely, treelike crassula, subspecies treelike (Crassula arborescens ssp.arborescens) and crassula treelike, subspecies undulatifolia (Crassula arborescens ssp. Undulatifolia). In this case, the second subspecies has slightly wavy leaves that grow on the shoot almost vertically upwards. These subspecies grow in different habitats that do not overlap. So, the first of the subspecies grows in the territory from the province of KwaZulu-Natal and Swaziland to the Small Karoo, and the second - in the southern regions of Klein and in the mountains of the Eastern Cape.
The tree fat woman is relatively popular among flower growers. Such a flower is grown not only because of its attractive appearance, but also because of the existing belief. It lies in the fact that the fat woman is able to attract luck and wealth into the house. It is also popularly called the "money tree".
Caring for a tree fat woman at home
Such a plant is undemanding to care for and does not differ in a whimsical character. It can be grown quite easily by both experienced flower growers and beginners.
This is a very light-loving plant. For him, it is recommended to choose a well-lit place, while the presence of direct rays of the sun is mandatory. It is recommended to put it on a window of south-west or south-east orientation. When placed on a south-facing window, the fat woman will need shading from the midday rays of the sun in the summer. Otherwise, sunburn may form on the surface of the leaves.
When placed on northern windows, such a plant will develop and grow quite normally. However, its stems will be less massive and longer, and the crown will lose its spectacular fluffiness.
Such a flower will grow and develop normally if, in the warm season, it is provided with a temperature regime of 22 to 30 degrees. In winter, it needs a coolness of 10 to 12 degrees. If it is warmer in the room at this time, this will lead to stretching of the shoots and the death of some of the foliage. To prevent this, during a warm winter, you need to arrange additional lighting for the plant. To do this, you will need powerful artificial lighting similar to solar. Daylight hours in this case should be equal to about 10 hours.
It should be remembered that the tree bastard reacts extremely negatively to drafts and sudden changes in temperature. In the warm season, it is recommended to move it outside. In this case, you should choose a place for it, protected from precipitation, but at the same time letting in a sufficient amount of sunlight.
How to water
During intensive growth, moderate watering is required. So, experts advise watering the plant only after 2/3 of the soil in the container is dry. In winter, watering should be sparse, but the earthen coma should not be allowed to completely dry out.
This flower is quite suitable for living in conditions of not too high humidity. Moreover, it does not need to be humidified from the sprayer even during the heating season. For hygienic purposes, a warm shower is recommended. However, this procedure should be carried out carefully so as not to damage the wax coating on the foliage.
This plant is not very demanding on the soil mixture. So, a suitable soil should be loose, allow water and air to pass through, and be well drained. You can buy ready-made soil for planting at the store. You will need a succulent and cactus mix. If you wish, you can do it yourself, for this by combining sheet, clay-sod and humus soil, as well as coarse river sand in a ratio of 1: 2: 1: 1.
It is recommended to plant a fat woman in a fairly wide and low container. The fact is that it has fibrous superficial roots. Don't forget to make a good drainage layer at the bottom. To do this, you can use broken clay shards or expanded clay.
Top dressing is carried out quite carefully. It is necessary to fertilize the plant from mid-spring to the beginning of the autumn period 1 time in 4 weeks. To do this, use a special fertilizer for succulents and cacti. In winter, fertilizers cannot be applied to the soil.
While the plant is young, it should be transplanted every year. It is carried out in the spring and takes a container slightly larger than the previous one. Adult specimens are transplanted once every 3 or 4 years.
Can be propagated by stem as well as leafy cuttings; in rare cases, seeds are used for this. Carefully separate the cutting and plant it in a 1: 1 peat-sand substrate. Such a procedure is carried out in the spring. Under favorable conditions, full rooting will occur after about 3 months. Watering should be very sparse. So, you just need to moisten the substrate a little.
Before you start sowing seeds, study the instructions on the package or in the special literature.
Pests and diseases
Resistant to pests. In rare cases, a spider mite can settle. To destroy it, use fitoverm or actellic.
The plant can hurt due to a variety of rot, which appear as a result of improper watering or due to high humidity.
Attention! It is impossible to ingest parts of this plant inside, because it contains a high content of arsenic.
Money tree: care and flowering at home
Every woman knows a simple secret: in order to make an office space more comfortable for work, you need to decorate it with a potted flower.
Ideally, beautiful, but unpretentious, because in a busy working environment, it is rarely possible to allocate time to take care of the plant. It is not surprising that the fat woman or, as it is commonly called, the "money tree" has gained such popularity.
Money tree care
While plants love the warm, dry conditions found in most homes, they are not as drought tolerant as other succulent species. It is important to keep the soil slightly moist.
- Temperature.The best daytime temperature for Crassula is 18-24 C. Cold and humid weather is not very suitable for the plant. It loses its color and becomes yellow and soft. But fat women tolerate drought well and can survive cold nights if they get plenty of sunshine and warmth the next day.
- Watering.You need to be careful when watering your succulent. They collect water in their leaves and don't like being watered often. One of the most frequently asked questions is, "How often should these plants be watered?" It depends on the soil and the plant itself. Excess water can kill the plant. Therefore, to check if the fat woman needs water or not, stick your finger in a 1 cm pot. If it is completely dry, it's time to water the plant. If it is wet, do not water the flower. Allow it to drain when watering. Then remove excess water from the pan. Do not leave water in the sump, otherwise the effect will be the same as with abundant watering.
- Lighting.Lighting is essential for any plant. Succulents are very fond of light, but not so necessary. Some succulents, such as the tiger fern, can survive for a long time without sunlight. Try to keep the plant about a meter from the window. Cash plants also don't do well in the scorching sun, so check to see if your plant is getting sunburn. If the leaves appear yellowish or the plant has become leggy, try placing it elsewhere or increasing the frequency of watering.
- The soil.You can use regular potting soil as long as it doesn't contain too much moisture. Like any other succulent, the potting soil for these plants needs aeration and proper drying. Add coconut or pine bark to help drain the soil.
- Fertilizer.A money tree doesn't need a lot of fertilizer. But for better care, you can fertilize it once every six weeks. The fertilizer concentration should be lower than you would normally use. Do not fertilize your plant when the potting soil is dry - this will damage the roots.
- Air humidity.Low humidity is best for crassula, 30 to 50% is just perfect. Place the plant either on a balcony, windowsill, or by an open inner window to allow air to circulate well around it.
Reproduction and planting of a fat woman
You can grow a fat woman with leafy cuttings or shoots, slightly drying them and planting them in the ground. Or put in the input and wait for the roots to grow.
For planting a fat woman, a soil mixture is suitable, both for succulents and for cacti and universal soil. If you decide to prepare your own soil for planting, then take one part of sand and earth and three parts of leafy soil.
The reaction of the soil should be neutral or slightly acidic. Also, brick chips, clay, humus and ash should be added to the substrate. Be sure to put drainage in the planting container. The fat woman is unpretentious and not capricious, but still do not forget that this is still a living plant.
Caring for a fat woman at home
To provide these "highly succulent" plants with the appropriate maintenance, first of all, you will have to take care of the correct planting (the choice of the pot and the composition of the soil). Since the volume of the root system in the fat woman is relatively small (even in adulthood), the pot for it must be chosen small and shallow, and for tree-like specimens, it is also desirable to be stable, ceramic. To the composition of the soil (as well as to top dressing), fat women are not too demanding - they can grow in a standard substrate for succulents, but in order to avoid caking it is recommended to mix it with expanded clay or coconut substrate (chips) that drain well excess water. This plant is also excellent for growing in hydroponics: "planted" even in a clean coconut substrate or expanded clay, it is quite content with very rare (once a month) fertilizing and watering. By the way, it is not recommended to transplant a fat woman, in order to injure the already meager root system as little as possible. But since this succulent does not differ in rapid growth, in order to avoid decay of the roots, it should not be initially planted in a bulky dish anyway. The ideal option is planting in a small pot, periodic (once a month) top dressing and careful transfer as needed into a slightly larger container. Note: "money trees" as they grow, may need support or firm root anchoring in the pot (using heavy stones), since the "modest" root system does not always manage to keep large plants in the desired vertical position.
By the way, the "correct money tree" Feng Shui strongly recommends not buying, but growing it yourself from a cuttings or leaves. It is difficult to judge how useful a purchased (donated) adult plant will be, but in practice it was noticed that the older the fat woman, the more painfully she reacts to a change in conditions of detention. Therefore, for successful cultivation, it is still advisable to buy a younger plant, and initially place it immediately in a permanent place - preferably on a well-lit southwestern window, so that a spectacular reddish (variegated) shade is added to the standard green color of the leaves and the fat woman "has enough" the amount of light for future flowering. With a lack of light, many species look less decorative - they lose their bright color, stretch and "lower" the tops.
Caring for all the above-described species, as a rule, causes difficulties only in terms of organizing the irrigation regime. The fat women tolerate the summer heat and dry air of apartments without problems, from spring to autumn they grow well in the fresh air (on the balcony, in the garden), but with a slight shade from the direct sun. Air humidity does not play a fundamental role for them, although they still have to be hidden from rain. As practice has shown, even with good lighting and active growth, due to excessive soil moisture, the roots of bastards can quickly rot. Therefore, depending on the temperature of the content, it is recommended to water them only after the substrate has completely dried - in summer, on average, once a week, and in winter, not more often than once a month. Since the optimum temperature for the growth of the jellyfish is the usual room temperature (18 - 22 ° C), some species (herbaceous varieties, "Hobbit"), provided they are properly watered, and under phytolamps can continue to grow in winter. But the most capricious (the tree-like fat woman and the "Temple of Buddha"), even with careful maintenance, often die at this time, so they are recommended to arrange a cool dry winter - without watering, at a temperature of 10 - 12 ° C and poor lighting - in order to suspend the growth of plants until spring ... If the cool content of the "money tree" can also be combined with bright light, adults (over 5 years of age) specimens may even bloom. Based on the selected regime, the species wintering in the coolness are fed once a month with fertilizers for cacti (or any mineral) from spring to autumn, and those that continue to grow in winter - all year round. With any method of keeping all fat women, it is advisable to periodically arrange quiet ventilation (not drafts!) And warm shower procedures (cover the soil from waterlogging!). Pay attention: both to insufficient watering, and to waterlogging of the soil and drafts, the "money tree" reacts in the same way - it sheds its leaves, but in the first case they darken, lose their shine and wrinkle, and in the second, they turn pale and wither. Pests on bastards appear very rarely, therefore, plants do not need prophylactic protective spraying, only if necessary - insecticide treatment.
As for the formation of a fat woman, in this matter it all depends on the preferences of the florist and the general appearance of the flower arrangements.Herbaceous specimens, of course, do not need regular pruning, but periodic thinning of the shoots will not hurt them - the plant will be better illuminated and ventilated. Growers manage to form "money trees" and their compact variations both with large trees and in the form of neat bonsai. To do this, pinch a young rooted shoot at a height of 25 - 30 cm, stimulating the appearance of lateral shoots of the second, third, etc. orders, which then, as they grow, also pinch in accordance with the selected shape. Some growers prefer to first grow a "money tree" in the form of a bush (pinch briefly), and then leave 1 - 2 skeletal shoots, and the rest are planted in a succulent "forest". Please note: adult fat women who need shaping are not recommended to be subjected to a one-time strong pruning, therefore it is carried out in 2 - 3 doses.
It is interesting that the above-described drought-resistant species of the fat woman have a very moisture-loving relative - Fat Helms (Crassula helmsii). In nature, this low (up to 40 cm) herbaceous herbaceous plant with needle-shaped fleshy leaves grows in swamps and damp places along the banks of rivers, grows very quickly and loves the sun. At home, it can be grown both at high humidity in well-lit aquariums and phyto showcases, and in dry indoor air as a ground cover "decoration" in compositions with other light and moisture-loving plants. This type can be recommended to especially "compassionate" novice flower growers, in whom the "excessively dry" content of the above described fat women constantly causes pity, a desire to water them more often and doom them to death due to excessive watering.
And the last thing I would like to wish when growing fat women: in caring for plants, do not try to shift the solution of your financial problems onto them. Try to treat them like ordinary houseplants and organize the necessary conditions, and well-developed and healthy specimens themselves will begin to "work in the right direction."