I've been noticing a lot of crested succulents lately on Facebook and Instagram. For a long time I didn't really understand what they were or why they were different or interesting. Now that I've seen more and asked some questions I find them quite fascinating!
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Cresting is a mutation that occurs as the plant grows. Instead of producing more branches or stems, the plant flattens out and creates a wide flat surface. The leaves generally grow along the top of the ridge of this wide growth and they are very compact. It's something that happens naturally and can't be forced so they are rarer than their non-crested counterparts.
I saw my first crested succulent (at least that I'm aware of) in person in the garden of Mimi from I Dream of Succulents. This crested Aeonium ‘Starburst' was beautiful!
She was kind enough to give me a smaller version of this same plant and I love it! That was the first crested succulent I owned. I still have it, although it is slightly sunburned so I'll have to show it off when it's looking a little happier. I saw a crested ‘Topsy Turvy' in Rancho Garcia Nursery's shop on Etsy and knew I needed to add that to my collection. They are just so amazing!
If you'd like to buy your own, I recommend buying from CTS Airplants. They have a few varieties to choose from.
I was in Santa Barbara a while ago and saw several crested succulents at Seaside Gardens (amazing place… definitely worth visiting). They had an amazing collection of crested Aeoniums.
I love how this one also had a bunch of normal stems coming off it too.
While I was looking over some cold hardy succulents I had planted at my parents house, I came across this little crested Sedum Angelina. I was so excited to have a succulent that crested on it's own in a garden under my care. It was so small that I decided to pull it out and plant it in a container so I can nurture it. Hopefully it does a little better that way.
Aren't crested succulents amazing? It's fun to have something rare in your collection but often rare plants are too expensive to justify owning. Crested succulents, while somewhat rare, aren't too pricey so they are the perfect addition to your succulent collection! So head over to CTS Airplants and pick out your favorite!