The Ogre Ear succulent (Crassula ovata) is an intriguing plant with unique appearance and care requirements. Its vibrant hues and distinctively textured leaves add a whimsy touch to any indoor or outdoor space. But how do you care for this succulent?
Tending to an Ogre Plant is far from an intimidating task. So, roll up your sleeves, wear your gardening gloves, and let’s get into the real gardening business.
Before diving into this plant’s growth and care tips, let’s recap some facts about the Ogre Ear plant.
|Common Name||Shrek Plant, Ogre Ear, Gollum Jade|
|Scientific Name||Crassula ovata|
Now let’s examine how to grow and care for Shrek’s Ears.
- 1 Choosing the Right Location
- 2 Optimal Soil and Pot Selection
- 3 Watering Requirements
- 4 Temperature and Humidity
- 5 Fertilizing
- 6 Propagation
- 7 Pruning and Maintenance
- 8 Wrapping Up
Choosing the Right Location
The Ogre Ear succulent thrives in bright light conditions but should be protected from direct sunlight. Direct sunlight may lead to sunburn and leaf damage.
It’s best to place the succulent where it gets a few hours of the less intense morning sun. If you’re keeping the Ogre Ear succulent indoors, place it near a window that receives morning sun but is shaded during the intense afternoon hours.
East or west-facing windows are often suitable for providing the right balance of light. You can also use blinds to filter the sunlight and create a diffused lighting environment.
When growing the Ogre Ear succulent outdoors, choose a location that offers partial shade or filtered sunlight. Under a tree shade or on a patio with overhead shading can provide the ideal light conditions.
Avoid placing the plant in areas with direct exposure to the scorching afternoon sun, especially in regions with hot climates.
IMonitor your Ogre Ear succulent for any signs of stress or sunburn. If you notice the leaves becoming pale, yellow, or developing brown spots, it might show the plant is receiving too much direct sunlight.
In such cases, move the plant to a slightly shadier location or provide some shade during the sunniest hours of the day.
The Ogre Ear is generally hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9-10. It can withstand temperatures down to approximately 20°F (-6°C) without significant damage.
If you live in cold regions, it’s advisable to grow the plant indoors or provide protection during freezing temperatures.
Optimal Soil and Pot Selection
The Ogre Ear requires well-draining soil to prevent soggy conditions. Use a succulent potting mix specifically formulated for cacti and succulents.
These mixes are lightweight and have excellent drainage properties. They usually combine organic matter, such as peat moss or coconut coir, and inorganic components, like perlite or vermiculite.
Add perlite or coarse sand to the succulent potting mix to improve soil drainage. These additions help create air pockets within the soil, allowing excess water to flow more easily.
A general rule is to have about 50% of the potting mix composed of organic matter and the remaining 50% of inorganic components for optimal drainage.
Pick a pot with holes at the base. These holes allow excess water to escape, preventing water accumulation.
The pot should be of an appropriate size for the Ogre Ear succulent. A pot slightly larger than the plant’s root ball is ideal, allowing some growth. A large pot can lead to excessive moisture retention in the soil.
When placing the potted Ogre Ear indoors, it’s advisable to use a saucer or tray underneath the pot to hold any water that drains through the holes. Always empty the saucer or remove excess water.
Similar to most succulents, the Ogre Ear plant has low water requirements. Succulents are adapted to arid environments and can store water in their leaves and stems. This allows them to withstand periods of drought.
When you water the Ogre Ear succulent, thoroughly water it. Water until excess water flows through the pot’s drainage holes. Thorough watering ensures the water reaches the root zone and promotes healthy root development.
During the winter months, when the Ogre Ear succulent enters a dormant phase, its watering requirements decrease further. As the plant’s growth slows down, reduce the frequency of watering.
Temperature and Humidity
The Ogre Ear succulent prefers average room temperatures ranging from 65-75°F (18-24°C). These temperatures are comfortable for most indoor environments and are suitable for the plant’s growth. It’s important to avoid exposing the plant to extreme heat or cold.
While the Ogre Ear can tolerate higher temperatures, it may struggle in extreme heat. Keep it in a well-ventilated area and protect it from direct exposure to intense sunlight, especially during the hot summer. The Ogre plant is not frost-tolerant and should be protected from freezing temperatures.
Most indoor environments have relatively low humidity levels, which is generally suitable for the Ogre Ear.
You don’t need to take specific measures to increase the humidity unless your home has exceptionally dry conditions. However, avoid placing the plant near sources of dry air, such as heating vents or drafty areas.
Use a balanced liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for succulents. Consider a fertilizer with an NPK ratio (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) close to 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. These ratios indicate a balanced blend of essential nutrients suitable for succulent plants.
You’ll need to mix the liquid fertilizer with water to create a diluted solution. Follow the recommended dilution ratio specified on the fertilizer packaging.
You can fertilize the Ogre Ear succulent during the growing season, which usually extends from spring to summer. A general guideline is to fertilize once every 4-6 weeks. Overfertilization can lead to excessive salt buildup in the soil and cause plant damage.
The specific dosage of the fertilizer will depend on the concentration and the size of your Ogre Ear succulent.
It’s better to start with a slightly lower dosage and observe how the plant responds. Reduce the dosage further if the succulent shows signs of stress or fertilizer burn.
When applying the fertilizer, it’s best to water the plant first and allow the soil to become slightly moist. Then, pour the diluted fertilizer solution onto the soil, avoiding direct contact with the leaves or stems. This process helps prevent leaf burn and allows the roots to absorb the nutrients effectively.
You can propagate the Ogre Ear plant through stem or leaf cuttings. Here is a step-by-step explanation of the propagation process:
Choose healthy stems or leaves from the mature Ogre Ear succulent plant for propagation. Ensure the parent plant is in good condition, free from diseases or pests.
Cutting and Callusing
Using pruning shears, take a stem cutting about 3-4 inches long or a healthy leaf from the plant. Allow the cut end to dry and callus over for a few days. Drying helps prevent rotting when planted in soil.
Preparing the Soil
Use a well-draining soil mix suitable for succulent plants. To improve drainage, you can create a mix by combining regular potting soil with coarse sand or perlite. Fill a small pot with the soil mix.
Planting the Cuttings
Once the cuttings have callused, gently insert the cut end of the stem cutting or the base of the leaf into the soil.
Plant the cuttings deep enough to provide stability but avoid burying the entire cutting. If propagating stem cuttings, you can plant multiple cuttings in the same pot, spacing them apart.
Providing Initial Care
After planting the cuttings, lightly water the soil to settle it around the cuttings. Avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to rotting. Avoid exposing the cuttings to direct sunlight initially, as this can cause sunburn.
Over the following weeks, the cuttings will begin to develop roots. Water the cuttings when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Mist the cuttings occasionally to provide some humidity, aiding root development.
Transitioning to Regular Care
Once the cuttings have developed a sufficient root system, you can treat them as mature Ogre Ear succulents.
Gradually introduce them to more sunlight by increasing their exposure over a few days or weeks. Water the newly rooted plants according to the care guidelines for mature Ogre Ear succulents.
Pruning and Maintenance
Below are ways of maintaining your Ogre Ear plant.
Generally, Ogre Ear succulents do not require regular pruning. These plants have a naturally compact and attractive growth habit.
If you notice any leggy or elongated stems, you can trim them to maintain a more compact shape and enhance the overall appearance. Prune just above a leaf node or joint to encourage new growth.
Inspecting for Pests
Regularly inspect your Ogre Ear succulent for signs of pests, such as mealybugs or scale insects. These pests can affect the health and appearance of the plant if left untreated.
Check the leaves, stems, and crevices for any visible pests, webbing, or sticky residue.
If you detect any pests on your Ogre Ear, it is crucial to address the issue promptly. A practical method is to use an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution. Apply the solution to the affected areas, covering the pests and their eggs.
Repeat the treatment until the infestation is under control. It is advisable to isolate the infested plant from other succulents to prevent the spread of pests.
The Ogre Ear succulent is a fantastic addition to any indoor or outdoor plant collection. You can enjoy the beauty of this plant by providing the right amount of light, well-draining soil, and proper watering.
Maintain a gentle fertilizer regimen, propagate when desired, and perform occasional maintenance to keep your Ogre Ear thriving for years.