top of page

CRESTING: What are Crested Succulents & How are They Different from Other Succulents?

In this blog, we'll discuss the basics of how to care for a crested succulent, including proper watering and light requirements, as well as tips for pruning and propagating.

Crested Echeveria Cubic Frost (bottom) & Non-Crested (top)

What Is a Crested Succulent?

Succulents with crests; often called cristata, cristate, or fasciated succulents, are quirky plants. They have an intriguing character because of their crested or undulating stems.

While they require some special care, with the correct knowledge and techniques, you can ensure that your crested succulent will stay wonderfully healthy for a very long time.

You can find crested succulents in various shapes, sizes, and colors, making them popular among gardeners and collectors. They can add a beautiful, eccentric touch to your home or garden, creating something one-of-a-kind. While you may see them marketed as rare, we wouldn't call them rare, just unique, since many are available and sold online.

crested pachyphytum compactum succulent
Pachyphytum Compactum Cristata

How Does Cresting Happen?

Cresting is a genetic mutation affecting the structure of growth points and occurs when a growing tip stretches. This stretching transforms a single point of growth into a widened line or ridge of active cell growth. Over time, this sideways spreading results in a fan-like or wave-shaped stem.


Can Crested Succulents Revert To Normal Growth?

Yes, through a process known as defasciation. A normal succulent may also suddenly mutate and develop a crest during its lifespan.

Our Tip: Trim off any regular growth if you want to keep your succulent's crested appearance, because if you leave it alone, it will eventually overtake the crested areas and cause the plant to revert to its previous state.

succulents & propagation - tiny crested succulent laying on open palm hand
Succulents & Propagation | A Tiny Reverted Crested Succulent Pup

Defasciation: The defasciation is a process leading to longitudinal cleavage of a linear crest, rather to the complete division of the stem into individual normal shoots. Crests may remain at any stage for a long time. But at the stage of brain-shaped crest when the curves begin to crowd defasciation occurs rather often. That is the linear meristem turns into a number of small apical meristems that form normal shoots. More seldom defasciation occurs without any reason at an earlier stage of the development of the crest.

Crested Echeveria Topsy Turvy Stem Cuttings

Can You Propagate a

Crested Succulent?

Totally! Crested succulents can be propagated by obtaining cuttings from a crested plant.

Our Tip: Check out our propagation tips & tricks. Have general question? Try our propagation FAQs.

Caring For Your Crested Succulents

While crested succulents are aesthetically pleasing, they are prone to attacks from disease and pests more than their non-crested counterparts. Though crests have the same basic nutrient and watering needs as non-crested succulents, they are slower growing because of their mutated form. Conservative care and fertilizing will help reduce these issues. Exposure to sunlight depends on the variety, just make sure to harden any off before introducing them to full sunlight. Crests can burn quickly!

Our Tip: Keep your eye on those lower leaves to know when to water. To brush up on succulent watering needs, click here.

Sunburnt crested succulent

Do You have any Crested Succulents? We Would Love to See Them! Post Yours in Succulents & Propagation


Keywords: crested succulents, cristate succulent, crested cactus, cristate care tips, how to identify crested succulents, propagating crested succulents, cristata succulent, cristata succulents, fasciated succulent, fasciated succulents, how to propagate a crested succulent, how to propagate succulents,Is cresting a bad thing? What causes cresting in succulents? How to propagate crested succulent



bottom of page