Also known as airplane plant, the propeller plant is a pretty succulent that gets its name from the shape of its leaves. Sickle- or propeller-shaped – the fleshy leaves are attractive enough, but this plant also bursts forth with stunning red flowers. Read on to get the propeller plant information that will help you successfully grow this delightful succulent.
What is a Propeller Plant?
Propeller plant (Crassula perfoliata var. falcata) is a succulent native to South Africa. It is commonly known as airplane or propeller plant because the gray-green leaves are shaped like airplane propellers and radiate out horizontally, in pairs. The overall look is reminiscent of the propellers on a plane.
The leaves are velvety and fleshy and make an attractive addition to a succulent garden or container but are also pretty alone in a pot. With proper propeller plant care, you’ll also get a stunning cluster of red flowers in the summer. Each individual flower is small, but they are packed into dense clusters that bloom for nearly a month. The propeller plant can grow up to two feet (0.6 m.) tall.
How to Grow a Propeller Plant
Growing an airplane plant is similar to growing any succulent. These are plants from warm climates, so they only work outdoors if you have mild winters. In the U.S., propeller plant is only hardy in zones 9 and up, including areas like the Pacific coast, Arizona, Texas, and the southern parts of the southeastern states. However, like other succulents, the propeller plant can be grown indoors nearly anywhere or moved inside for the cold winter.
Give your airplane plant soil that drains very well. For containers, use a basic cactus mix. Place it in a sunny spot indoors and make sure the pot has a drainage hole. Overwatering and standing water are deadly to succulents. The best way to water your plant is to completely soak it and then only water again when the soil has totally dried.
This is about all you need to do for propeller plant care. As long as it gets some light and is not overwatered, it should thrive. It will grow slowly, though, so be patient with your airplane plant, and be prepared for not getting flowers for a while if growing indoors.