How To Make A Crested Succulent

Perhaps the most unusual and stunning plants you will ever see are succulents. They have unique shapes and rosettes in a variety of colors that will create an incredible spectacle in any living area.

Additionally, succulents are renowned for having water-filled stems, branches, and leaves that protect them from the sun’s harsh rays during dry spells. But how exactly should one be cared for and what makes crested ones different?

What is Crested Succulent and how does it form?

Similar to variegated succulents, crested ones are the result of a genetic flaw in the apical meristem, which is the region of the plant’s root tip where growth occurs. This genetic flaw typically develops when a normal plant with a single growing point experiences physical damage that results in the development of multiple growing points. The plant will now be unable to produce a single rosette as it starts to cluster and push against one another, pushing it to take on unusual, twisted, and curvy shapes that give it a completely different appearance from the typical one.

Can Crested Succulents Revert Back To Normal?

Yes, there is a good probability that some of your succulent will resume its usual development, especially after your crested plant begins to feel overcrowded (this is called&nbspdefasciation). Therefore, if you wish to keep your succulent’s distinctive, crested appearance, start pruning back any normal growth that you see before it overshadows the crested areas or, if left alone, causes the entire plant to revert to normal.

Caring for Crested Succulents

In general, crested succulents are more delicate and require gentler care than their ordinary counterparts because it is unusual for a succulent to be cresting and they are not well-adapted to this form. &nbsp

More specifically, because they are more susceptible to rot than your other standard succulents, your crested succulents should receive fertilizer and less water. Additionally, they should be planted in a pot or container with a well-draining potting mix and placed in a high location with lots of sunlight.

Where to get a Crested Succulent?

Of course, you can purchase one from us. The following are a some of our most well-liked succulents out of the many that we have to offer:

Coconut Cactus

Also known as “Euphorbia lactea ‘Cristata’, this succulent, which was created by grafting together two other succulents, is wonderfully beautiful and grows in the most unusual way. It is not a cactus. You may anticipate this plant to mature and grow to a height of up to 36 inches and a diameter of about 24 inches.

See more of our collection of cacti with unusual shapes. They are fantastic for any house, workplace, or garden to create the ultimate green area because they are simple to cultivate, very versatile, largely pest-free, and low care.

Aeonium Crested Sunburst

A crested succulent with a range of white, yellow, and green-colored leaves that, when exposed to bright light, can also grow red edges. The stems and leaves of crested Aeonium Sunbursts are different from those of normal Aeonium Sunbursts in that they will eventually flatten out.

Frosted Crested Cubic Echeveria

A lovely succulent with a distinctive shape and gorgeous lavender frosty leaves. Creating clusters of lavender rosettes up to 10 inches in diameter, this extremely unusual plant can grow up to 8 inches tall.

Frosty Crested Echeveria

Echeveria Pulvinata ‘Frosty,’ which is also described as a stunning, “furry” crested succulent, is a wonderful addition to your collection. This plant produces some yellow-orange flowers in the summer and has whitish-green rosettes that are heavily covered in silvery-white hairs.

Echeveria of Crested Blue Atoll

A distinctive evergreen crested succulent with pale leaf edges that are light blue-green in color. It blooms in the spring with tiny orange and yellow flowers on stalks that can reach a height of 8 inches.

Where can I find a crested succulent?

Your succulent is unquestionably growing in what is known as a “cristate or crested form.” When the original plant experiences harm to the single, typical growing point, it produces many growing points. These all collide and create the wavy, fan-like shape. We are unable to identify the plant with certainty; we can only speculate that it is probably a type of echeveria because it is unable to develop in its typical shape, which is a single rosette. It appears that might be the case off the right side of the picture, but we can’t see it, that it will occasionally throw out a plant that has returned to normal. This will assist in locating the plant. In order to be safe, I would carefully unpot it and fill the pot with soil so you could repot it at a higher level. This will improve airflow around the base, where rot problems can frequently develop, and remove all the old, dead leaves from the soil, which can lead to a fungus problem. Other than that, you seem to be handling everything fairly well. You don’t want the soil to be moist for very long, which is what it appears to be a little bit. Water well when you do, but wait to do so until the soil has begun to dry up to approximately your first knuckle on your finger before doing so again. Keep it as bright as you can, even with a little sun.

How do you know whether a succulent has a crested surface?

Recently, I’ve seen numerous crested succulents on Facebook and Instagram. I struggled for a long time to comprehend what they were, how they differed, or why they were so intriguing. I find them to be extremely fascinating now that I’ve seen more of them and asked some questions!

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As the plant develops, a mutation known as cresting takes place. Instead of growing additional stems or branches, the plant flattens down and forms a broad, level surface. The leaves are extremely compact and typically grow along the top of the ridge of this vast growth. They are more unusual than their non-crested cousins because it is something that occurs naturally and cannot be forced.

In Mimi’s garden from I Dream of Succulents, I encountered my first crested succulent (that I’m aware of, at least). It was lovely to see this crested Aeonium “Starburst”!

I adore the smaller form of this plant that she kindly gave to me! I had never owned a crested succulent before. I still have it, but since it has a little sunburn, I’ll have to display it until it recovers. A crested “Topsy Turvy” that Rancho Garcia Nursery has for sale on Etsy caught my eye, and I immediately knew I needed to add it to my collection. They truly are fantastic!

If you want to buy some, I suggest going to CTS Airplants. There are several different types available.

When I was in Santa Barbara previously, I visited Seaside Gardens where I spotted a number of crested succulents (amazing place… definitely worth visiting). They possessed an incredible assortment of crested Aeoniums.

I discovered this tiny crested Sedum Angelina while perusing some cold-tolerant succulents I had planted at my parents’ place. I was overjoyed to see a succulent in my garden that crowned on its own. Since it was so tiny, I made the decision to pluck it out and put it in a pot so I could take care of it. I’m hoping that helps it perform a little bit better.

How wonderful are crested succulents? It’s wonderful to have a rare item in your collection, but uncommon plants are frequently too pricey to warrant buying. Despite being rather uncommon, crested succulents are inexpensive, making them the ideal addition to any succulent collection. Visit CTS Airplants and choose your choice there.

Can a cactus be forced to crest?

Is it possible to make a healthy plant become ceested or monstrous? Cacti Prevail! Damage to the growth point may result in a crest, but it usually leads to additional branches or heads.

Why are crested succulents so pricey?

The occurrence of cresting succulents is unusual, hence they are rare or special. Online prices show that they are more expensive than a typical succulent. However, because there are many of them available for purchase, perhaps we should just refer to them as odd. Aeonium “Sunburst” is frequently seen on websites that offer crested plants.

Even less water and fertilizer than is required for your typical succulents must be used when caring for crested or monstrous succulent plants. The best outcome for this unique development is to let nature take its course. Monstrous curiosities with crests are more prone to get rot and perhaps revert to regular growth, ruining the effect of the crest.

Naturally, you’ll want to give your odd plant special attention. It should be planted high in the container with the right soil mixture. If you’ve purchased or been given the opportunity to raise a crested succulent, learn about it and give it the care it needs.

What results in a plant cresting?

The remarkable variety and diversity of forms and textures these plants exhibit is one of the many (many) reasons we succulent enthusiasts are enthralled by them. We often develop a preference for the rarer kinds. You won’t find more weird, unusual, and wonderfully interesting forms anywhere else than among monstrous cacti and crested succulents. Cristata succulents and “monster cactus” are the results of aberrant plant development, just like the majority of variegated succulents. This is a difficult to replicate naturally occurring event. Plants with crests have dramatically bent, twisted, and undulating morphologies that differ significantly from those without crests. Crested cacti frequently resemble coral, writhing snakes, or even human brains. These curiosities may pique your interest. Or perhaps you have a plant that is exhibiting unusual growth and would like to understand it. Find out why some cacti and succulents have crests and how to take care of them.

What are Crested Succulents and Cactus?

Let’s first examine how typical plants grow and develop in order to comprehend crested succulents and cacti. We discussed meristem nature. When we looked at reproducing succulents by both leaf and stem cuttings, the meristem tissue in plants contained identical tissue. Immature cells that can mature into any type of plant tissue the plant requires, such as a stem, root, or leaf, make up meristem tissue. It is comparable to animal stem cells.

Apical meristem refers to the meristem tissue that is located at the very terminals of roots and shoots. The basic growth of the plant occurs at a tiny point that forms at the apex. The plant grows taller thanks to apical meristem tissue, adding additional leaves for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the method through which plants produce the oxygen we breathe. In order to reach and access more water in the soil, the apical meristem on the roots grows longer, wider-spreading roots at the same time. These activities are essential for the plant. Apical meristem tissue does grow and is in charge of the shape and size of the plant, while all meristem tissue is capable of growth under the correct conditions.

An apical meristem genetic flaw leads to crested succulents and cacti. The traditional vertical, columnar features of a normal saguaro cactus are produced by the apical meristem tissue. The cactus occasionally forms branches, but for the most part, it keeps growing upward. The apical meristem no longer forms a single point when a saguaro crests. Instead, a broad line is formed, with additional growth sites appearing all along it. Along that line, the resulting plant shape is greatly bent and contorted. The plant starts to curl and fold in upon itself as it gets higher and wider along the resulting crest. The Latin word cristata is added to a crested succulent or cactus’ biological name. Therefore, a Carnegiea gigantea saguaro that crests another Carnegiea gigantea is known as a cristata.

What is a Monstrose Cactus or Succulent?

Another type of genetic flaw in a plant’s apical meristem is monstrose. The ordered points of new development disperse into random formations around the plant’s body, allowing new growth to appear wherever. A crested cactus or succulent still exhibits controlled growth and is more likely to develop symmetrically. But all throughout the plant, sporadic growth sites turn into a monstrous cactus. As a result, the shape is bumpy, knobby, and uneven. Monstrous cactus can occasionally grow strange spirals that resemble corkscrews or additional ribs that have few or no spines. Similar to crested succulents, monstrous cacti are prized and valuable plants.

Monster cactus is a common name for monstrous cacti. Both words derive from the same wordmonstrum root, which means a birth defect with an unnatural or disfiguring growth. While strangely shaped animals might strike us as monsters, similar genetic muddles frequently result in plants that look oddly cool.

Although genetic flaws are the cause of both cresting and monstrous forms, they are not inheritable. An injury to a young plant’s apical meristem typically leads to a crested or monstrous plant. This damage could have been caused by the wind, weather, insects, birds, or animals. Sometimes cresting or monstrose might be caused by a nutrient shortage or hormonal imbalance. It can be brought on by illnesses or viruses or even appear to happen on its own when cells divide incorrectly. A crest develops when the injured cells quickly and imperfectly structured expand. That is a monstrosity when the plant experiences fresh growth everywhere. Any plant can grow crests or monstrosities, although cacti and succulents tend to exhibit them more frequently. These plants are probably more resilient than other plants, which helps them grow to maturity even if they have genetic flaws.

It is uncommon for cresting and monstrous formations to be passed on to a plant’s children because they are the result of damage to the plant. An offset does not become injured from a damaged parent. But some euphorbia and cactus species are more likely to crest than others. Additionally, this tendency is inherited. On the same plant, you could notice both crest-like development and regular growth. All three kinds, together with monstrous growth, might possibly be present. Although a plant’s growth might peak at any time during its existence, monstrose growth usually occurs in extremely young plants.

There are just a select few kinds that can be easily reproduced through cuttings and do dependably pass on their quirks to their progeny. The Crassula ovata Hobbit, Gollum, and ET’s Fingers variations of the perennially well-liked jade plant are notable examples. These adorable plants not only resemble the extended fingers of a few people from Middle Earth, but they also flourish in low light environments indoors.

Each crested and monstrous succulent grows into a fantasy shape that is particular to the particular plant. Over millions of years, plants have evolved their growth rates, shapes, and sizes to enable them to flourish in their natural habitat. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that these unique plants are a little more susceptible to environmental stresses than their counterparts without crested leaves. Succulents and cacti with crests and monsters can flourish for years with proper care and maintenance. More so than un-crested plants of the same species, they frequently exhibit increased sensitivity to excessive watering and fertilization. The aberrant tissues are more vulnerable to rupturing, decaying, or further harm. Give the crested form even less water, less frequently, and with less fertilizer than you would for that succulent kind. Maintain the same lighting and temperature settings. This is referred to as “hardening up” the plant.


To multiply (PRAH-puh-gate) a plant is to increase its number, and pruning crowned and monstrous cacti

The spectacular morphologies are not handed down to the plant’s children since crested and monstrous succulents are the product of harm rather than genetics. Collecting and replanting the plant’s seeds will not result in the growth of further crested succulents. Instead, cuttings taken from a section of the plant that is cresting are used to cultivate crested succulents. Similar to how moon cactus are grown, these cuttings are typically grafted to a tough cactus rootstock. By using a healthy, thriving plant to give the root structure during grafting, the plant becomes more stable.

A typical succulent may eventually start to form a crest. A crested or monstrous cactus may occasionally exhibit normal development. The plant may return to its regular development patterns or it may sprout from the rootstock. Cut back any regular plant development shoots if you wish to keep the crested form. The crested growth may eventually lose out to normal growth, causing the entire plant to regress.

The strange shapes of crested and monstrous succulents excite a lot of succulent aficionados. Even though they are uncommon, it is not difficult to locate crested succulents of high quality. Even at big box retailers, occasionally. These amazing plants may be found at my favorite succulent sellers. A fascinating selection of 16 different monstrous and crested succulents are available from Leaf & Clay. They sell both the regular and crested variants of some plants, such as Echeveria “Cubic FrostTM.” Succulents with crests and monstrous varieties are both available at Mountain Crest Gardens. The Succulent Source offers a wide variety of crested, monster, and cactus succulents. You can select the precise crested or monstrous plant you want from some of their assortment, particularly the larger examples.

On Amazon and right here on Etsy, you may also discover crested and monstrous succulents. I hope you’ll try one of these fantastical beauties wherever you acquire your plant!

I hope this crazy side stroll was enjoyable for you. Do you already cultivate crested succulents or do you intend to attempt one of these fantastical beauties? I would adore hearing from you! Please let me know by leaving a comment if you have a moment. particularly if you have any inquiries!