How to Grow and Care for Cremnophila Succulents (Cremnophila spp.)

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There are only two known species in the Cremnophila genus. These are Cremnophila nutans and Cremnophila linguifolia. Both species have fleshy, succulent leaves with rounded margins that are around four inches long.

These leaves are arranged in dainty rosettes that are no more than 7 inches in diameter. When these plants flower, they have inflorescences that are quite long and either horizontal or pendant (hanging down). It’s these characteristics that set these plants apart from both Sedums and Echeverias.

The flowers on Cremnophila nutans are yellow and star-shaped while the flowers on Cremnophila linguifolia are white or greenish.

History

The genus Cremnophila was first proposed by Rose in 1905. This is because the two species were closely related to each other but would not comfortably fit in any other genus. 

The name, Cremnophila, comes from two Greek words. “Kremnos”, which means cliff or slope, and “philos” which means friend. This makes sense when you understand that these plants were first found growing from cracks in canyon walls in Central Mexico.

Plant Facts

Scientific nameCremnophila spp.
Common namesNone
GenusCremnophila
FamilyCrassulaceae
HeightLow-growing
WidthEach rosette can grow up to 7 inches in width
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone10a to 11b
OriginCentral Mexico
Flower colorsYellow, white, greenish
Blooming seasonSpring and Summer
Plant/Flower special featuresThere are only two species in this genus simply because they couldn’t be placed in any other genus.

How to Plant and Grow Cremnophila Succulents

Because these plants are fairly low-growing and are also slow to grow, they make ideal specimens to plant in small decorative pots. Just make sure you use a well-drained mix and that the pot you use has drainage holes.

How to Propagate Cremnophila Succulents

These cute little succulents are easy to propagate using leaves, offsets, or even seeds. Bear in mind though, that these succulents are extremely slow growers so propagating from seeds is not really recommended because it may take a long time.

To propagate succulents from leaves, just cut some healthy leaves from the plant and leave them in a warm, dry spot until a callus forms over the cut end. You can then put the leaves, cut side down into a small pot or propagating tray filled with a succulent mix. Keep the mix moist but not wet until roots have started to form. Then, pot up the small plants into their own pots.

Sometimes, your plant will produce offsets and these can be used to propagate new plants. All you have to do is cut the offsets from the mother plant with a sharp knife. Then, leave them to sit for a few days until callus forms on the cut end. Once that happens, plant the offsets into a succulent mix and keep moist but not wet until roots start to grow.

Care and Maintenance

These succulents are very easy to take care of even for beginners. They only require watering when the soil has completely dried out and benefit from lots of bright, indirect light. Other than that, just give them a little fertilizer in spring and they’ll grow happily for you.

Soil

You can use a normal succulent or cactus mix for these plants as long as it’s free-draining.

Water

Just like many other species of succulents, these plants need to dry out in between watering. It is best to use the soak and dry method. This means that you should flood the plant with water and let all of the excess water drain away. Then, let the soil dry out completely before watering again.

With these plants, it’s really important not to let any water sit in the rosettes as this can cause rot to develop. Therefore, take care to only water the soil and try to keep the leaves dry. 

Fertilizer

Fertilize your succulents in spring with some diluted houseplant fertilizer or cactus food. 

Sunlight

These succulents thrive in bright, indirect sunlight when grown indoors. If you live in a warm climate (USDA zones 10a to 11b) you can grow these succulents outdoors in full sun or partial shade as long as they get plenty of morning sunshine.

Temperature and Humidity

Cremnophila succulents prefer warm temperatures and are not frost-tolerant. 

Pruning

These plants don’t require regular pruning except to cut off the inflorescences once they’ve finished blooming.

Pest and diseases

These plants don’t have any common pests or diseases.

Uses of Cremnophila Succulents

Cremnophila succulents are mainly grown for their ornamental value as they make very attractive small houseplants.

Common Varieties and Cultivars

There are only 2 species in the Cremnophila genus:

  • Cremnophila linguifolia
  • Cremnophila nutans

Conclusion

The two species in the Cremnophila genus are cute little succulents that belong in everyone’s collection. They’re very easy to grow and require minimal maintenance.

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*image by vodolej/depositphotos