Ogre Ears Succulents: Shrek’s Green Thumb Secrets to Lush and Happy Plants!

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCrassula ovata “Ogre ears”
Common Name(s)Ogre Ears, ET’s Fingers, Hobbit’s Pipe Jade, Trumpet Jade, Spoon Jade, Hobbit, Shrek Plant, Horseshoe
FamilyCrassulaceae
GenusCrassula
OriginSouth Africa

Ogre Ears Succulent Overview

Ogre ears succulent is a unique plant from the Crassulaceae family, along with other popular succulents, such as jade plant, sedum, echeveria, aloe, etc. This plant is native to South Africa, where it thrives on rocky surfaces and in arid conditions. 

The scientific name for the Ogre ears succulent is Crassula Ovata

What makes this plant special is its leaves, which are almost tubular shaped, and resemble the ears of ogres, magical creatures (or Shrek, if you’re more into cartoons). Leaves are fleshy, light to deeper green, with reddish edges.

This plant blossoms occasionally, late in the autumn when growing indoors, with small, white to pale pink star-shaped flowers grouped in clusters.

How To Care For Ogre Ears Succulent

Light

Ogre ear succulents best thrive with at least four hours of direct sunlight daily. However, they can survive in bright indirect light, but leaves might become dark green and droopy due to insufficient light.

If you keep your plant indoors during the winter, when you bring them outside, expose them to light gradually. If they receive too much direct light, it may cause scorched leaves.

Soil 

When planting your succulents, make sure you’re using well-draining soil with little organic matter to prevent water retention. The best choice is a special soil mix for succulents and cactus. You can also use a regular potting mix and add perlite or sharp sand to improve drainage.

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Temperature 

Ogre ear succulents prefer temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C). They belong to USDA hardiness zones 9-11, so they can survive shorter periods of mild frost if growing outdoors.

However, it is not frost-hardy, and you shouldn’t expose it to extended periods of low temperatures. If you keep your plant indoors, night temperatures shouldn’t drop below 55 degrees.

Watering 

These plants, like every succulent, prefer sparingly watering, as they already contain water in fleshy leaves. During the growing period, water your plant thoroughly, and let the top layer of soil dry out before the next watering.

In the winter, you can allow the soil to almost completely dry out between waterings. In any case, remember that overwatering is the fastest way to kill your Ogre ears succulent.

Fertilizing 

Those succulents are not heavy feeders. You can feed them once in two months with balanced liquid fertilizer for potted plants during the growing season. You can also dilute it to half its strength and apply it more often.

Important Note: Avoid fertilizing during the winter, as the plant is dormant and can’t use nutrients.

Repotting 

A plant doesn’t need frequent repotting, as it loves to be rootbound to some extent. If the roots appear through the drainage holes or on the soil surface, it is a signal to repot your plant. Use the pot just one size larger than the current one, with drainage holes. The best time for repotting is early in the spring before active growth begins.

Pests And Diseases 

Ogre ear succulents are relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but they may occasionally be affected by the following:

Mealybugs

You can spot these small, white insects on the leaves and stems of your plant. They feed on a plant’s sap and produce sticky matter called honeydew, which often serves as a surface for developing the fungal disease sooty mold. You can wipe affected leaves with alcohol or treat the plant with neem oil.

Spider mites

These tiny, red mites are often hard to spot, but we can discover their presence by the small webs on the plant. They are usually not dangerous to the plant, but we can eliminate them in cases of heavy infestation by flushing the plant with water.

Root rot

Ogre ears succulent is very sensitive to overwatering, which may lead to root rot. This condition often manifests as black spots on the leaves. You can dig your plant and remove damaged roots, but the plant is not guaranteed to survive.

Sooty mold

Sooty mold is a fungal disease that develops on the leaves and stems affected by mealybugs. It is a grey coat that prevents photosynthesis and leads to plants’ weakening and eventual death. You can treat affected plants with fungicides.

How to Propagate Ogre Ears Succulent 

Ogre ear succulent is a plant you can propagate easily using leaf or stem cuttings

Choose a healthy leaf or stem and use a sharp and sterilized blade when taking cuttings. Leave it to dry and form a callus, often in a few days to one week. 

Put the cutting in potting soil to stand upright and place it in a bright, indirect light. Water it slightly every few days. Roots will develop in a few weeks as well as the new growth.

Sometimes, fallen or broken leaves would develop roots and give a new plant, which you can place in a separate pot.

Are Ogre Ears Succulents Toxic to Pets?

According to ASPCA, Crassula Ovata is a toxic plant that can cause digestive problems, vomiting, and diarrhea if ingested. In contact with skin, it may cause irritations and rash, so wear gloves when pruning or propagating. Keep your plant on elevated surfaces around children and pets.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS [FAQs]

What is the difference between Ogre ears and Gollum jade?

Ogre ears succulent and Gollum jade are cultivars of the Crassula Ovata and have much in common. However, there are some minor differences in their appearance. Ogre ear is a more robust plant than Gollum jade. 

Leaves are a more secure way to tell one from another. Ogre ear has elongated, tubular leaves, often not wholly closed, and ends with reddish edges. On the other hand, Gollum jade has more slender, slightly curved leaves, often closed on the edges, resembling the fingers of J.R.R Tolkiens’ character Gollum.

How big do Ogre ear succulents get?

Ogre ear succulent is a slow-growing plant. It can grow up to 2-3 ft high and wide when fully mature. If they’re growing in a warm climate and planted in the ground, they can significantly outgrow indoor plants. 

How long do Ogre ear succulent lives?

Your succulent may live 50-70 years in ideal conditions. It’s often the case with plants in their native environment. However, with proper care, your houseplant will cheer you up for many years, even decades.

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