Care Guide: Rare and Beautiful Crassula Umbella “Wine Cup” Plant

The Crassula Umbella plant is as stunning as it is alluring. 

The unique plant shape will impress and pique the curiosity of your guests. You’ll want to keep them as healthy as possible so they’ll be vibrant and flourish as a centerpiece. 

Taking care of them is simple. With this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about caring for your Crassula Umbella. 

What is Crassula Umbella?

The Crassula Umbella is also known as the “wine cup,” a distinct shape that defines these plants.

They are members of the succulent family and have a rimmed leaf surrounding their stem, which forms the cup. A compelling, thin red flower protrudes out the middle. 

Succulents are a category of plant that has dense and bulging green leaves. They usually retain water in these engorged membranes and use it to survive in arid and dry climates.

Some famous succulents include cacti like Aloe Vera and Peyote. 

More specifically, Crassula Umbella is from the Crassula family. Crassula means “thick” in Latin and represents the plump leaves of these plants. The most famous of the family is the Crassula Ovata or Jade Plant. 

The Crassula Umbella is a modestly sized succulent, growing to an average of 6 inches in length and the same in diameter.

The cape of South Africa is their native habitat, and, like most succulents, they thrive in hot and dry environments.  

Caring For A Crassula Umbella Plant Properly

Most succulents don’t require that much care. Their leaves and stems can store up from 90-95% water capacity, and they don’t need a lot of sunlight.

Look at our other Crassula Umbella care tips below. 

Don’t Overwater Them

Overwatering a plant leads to risks from root rot and many other fungal diseases. Succulents are especially vulnerable to overwatering.

Giving them too much water will kill them.

Wait until the soil is dried before you water them. Use the “soak and dry” method

Take some water and pour it on the soil, then let it seep in and dry thoroughly.

If the water seeps in faster than 30 seconds, you can add a little bit more—also, water the Crassula Umbella less in the wintertime.

Pro Tip: Cold water can kill succulents if left in the soil for too long. Water your plants with room temperature water. 

Light Exposure

These plants like direct sunlight. Find a sunny windowsill or bookshelf, and they will grow there happily.

However, they are very enduring and will thrive just as well on a coffee table away from direct light. 

Keep in mind that very hot light can burn the plant.

Take it out of the beams in the hottest parts of the afternoon. Ideally, it will have 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. 

The amount of sun it receives will affect the color of Crassula Umbella’s flower.

Without enough sun, it will likely go back to green. With more sun, it will become a vibrant and deeper shade of red. 

Soil

The most important thing about the Crassula Umbella’s soil is drainage.

The plant needs its soil to dry out quickly to help with water absorption, so you’ll want to buy very porous dirt.

You can help drainage by adding some rocks or sand to the soil. 

Most gardening stores will sell soil for succulents, and this works fine for the Crassula Umbella.

You can also mix your succulent soil using a few simple ingredients.

Climate

Succulents prefer hotter climates. They thrive in 65 – 70℉ weather but make it down to 50℉ in the wintertime.

Succulents are resilient and can survive some temperature spikes and drops, but too much of either will cause death.

It lives in the USDA hardiness zones of 9a to 10b

Changing Pots

Spring is the period of active growth for the Crassula Umbella and the best time to repot it.

Make sure the soil is dry and knock off any excess stuck to the roots.

Then leave the plant in the new pot for a week or two before watering it.

Consider a small amount of active fertilizer during the spring as well to encourage growth. 

Pruning

Unlike other Crassulas, Crassula Umbella doesn’t require any pruning.

They do not grow excess leaves, and the plant is more beautiful when full of leaves. If one of the branches appears to be dead, you should remove it. 

Why is My Crassula Umbella Plant Dying?

If you followed all the care tips and your Crassula Umbella still isn’t looking too good, it could be for one of the reasons below. 

You Overwatered It

Succulents operate on a very specific water distribution system. They are built to store water, not for regular feeding. If you’re not sure your plant is getting enough water, check the lower leaves. 

Crassula plants’ leaves shrivel when they are low on water and fatten back up when full. Keep those lower leaves plump, and you’ll have a healthy plant. Potted Crasullas require more water than those in the ground. 

If you’re overwatering the Crassula Umbella, then it will turn yellow, and the leaves will begin to droop and fall off. Usually, at this stage, it’s too late to save the plant. 

You’re Underwatering It

Just because they don’t need a lot of water doesn’t mean they need none.

Crassula Umbellas require watering at least once a month, but the best way to check is their soil.

Once it gets bone dry and crumbles to the touch, it’s time for a good watering. 

Mealybugs

Mealybugs are tiny parasites that live in succulent plants.

You know you have them when a white crust starts to form on your plant. When the insects become adults, they resemble small crabs

Their queen will kill your Crasulla Umbella by laying up to 600 eggs inside. Once they hatch, they will suck the life from inside. Fortunately, it’s easy to get rid of mealybugs.

Take a rubbing alcohol-soaked q-tip and rub it on the bugs. This gets rid of them without hurting your Umbella. 

For outdoor plants, you can invest in good bugs which will protect the plant. Be observant!

Mealybugs can live in the roots as well and go undetected until it’s too late. 

How to Revive a Crassula Umbella

Depending on whether your plant has been underwatered or overwatered, it is possible to save it. 

If you feel your plant hasn’t gotten enough water, and that’s why it’s dying, then you can soak it in water for 10 minutes then remove it. This will guarantee the water reaches the roots and gets absorbed. 

For overwatered Crassula Umbellas, you can change the soil using the repotting methods we mentioned above.

Try switching it to a pot with holes in the bottom to avoid soil oversaturation in the future. 

Can You Propagate Crassula Umbella?

Yes, you can Propagate a Crassula Umbella. To do so, follow the steps below.

Propagating Crassula Umbella

1. Choose a Strong Leaf

There is a tricky medium here because you want to pick a stem that is strong enough to thrive on its own but also not vital to the plant you’re retrieving it from.

Most Crassula Umbellas have moderately sized leaves on the outer edges of the plant, which are perfect for propagation. 

2. Remove the Leaf

Removing the leaf with a knife or scissors could kill it and hurt the plant. Instead, twist it from the base to remove the leaf. 

3. Allow the Leaf to Callous

You will need to let your leaf dry out and callous the wounded part which can take several days.

Any leaf that gets withered will not work for propagation, and you should throw it away. 

4. Leave It In the Soil and Wait

Use a soil mix that drains well and moisten it slightly. Then you can place your leaf, with the cut end down, into the soil and wait a few days.

Eventually, the leaf should begin to develop roots and grow into the soil. 

Where to Buy Crassula Umbella

The best place to buy Crassula Umbella plants is at your local florist or plant retailer.

They are a difficult plant to find, so you might want to call around before heading out.

In fact, many people say they are impossible to find.

I was able to find a few listings for Crassula Umbella seeds on Ebay, so that might be an option.

Sites like Amazon offer many succulents, but not Crassula Umbella. 

You can oftentimes find cuttings or even entire plants on Etsy, so that’s worth checking as well.

Local plant shops and florists will be able to give you more important information about the life of your Crassula Umbella.

You’ll have a better chance at a good start for the plant’s life because it won’t have to go through the agitating delivery process. 

When buying a Crassula Umbella, it’s essential to check its condition first.

Watch for how many leaves (it should have at least five) and the flower and leaves’ color.

If it is yellow or has a green flower, it hasn’t been adequately taken care of. 

Conclusion

The Crassula Umbella is a conversation starter, an incomparable beauty, and pretty darn easy to maintain.

As long as you’re watching your water levels and staying conscious of the temperature, you should have a very healthy succulent on your hands. 

Also, try to avoid pests and remember the tell-tale signs of overwatering.

Check the moistness of the soil weekly. Succulents are great plants for beginners, and maintaining one will put you on the path to starting a perfect garden.