Crested or Monstrose Form Succulents
A “cristate” is a mutation of the original plant. The normal growing point gets damaged therefore multiple points grow perpendicular to the usual growing direction. This does not damage the plant from growing but it will prevent it from growing a normal single rosette so it will start to look completely different to its normal counterpart. Just above the root tip and below the surface of the branches of a plant is the apical meristem which is continually dividing. A crested succulent happens when there is a genetic defect within the apical meristem.
Fasciation creates a fan of flattened, wavy leaves that grow elongated to look almost like a mermaid’s tale. The leaves are generally very compact and grow along the top edge of the plant which can be so beautiful as each particular plant has it's own unique growing pattern.
Monstrose form or crested succulents may be a little more sensitive than the regular plant so monitoring the health, soil and watering is necessary. Generally speaking, you should water and fertilise your crested types less to prevent root rot. Place your crested succulents in a well lit, sunny spot and ensure (like most of your succulents) that there is good drainage.
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to propagate from leaves and seeds as the damage starts to the young plant so cannot be inherited. Taking good care of your monstrose form succulents will ensure they will continue to have a sturdy, thick stem and firm, clustered leaves.
There are quite a lot of Echeveria's in our crested range but we have had around 40 varieties from all of our collections. As these are rare plants, the stock levels vary from time to time but if you do have an eye for something different and unusual (genetically defected) these are a cheaper option to variegated succulents.
- Bridgette Fleming