The Crassula muscosa is a succulent plant native to South Africa and Namibia that belongs to the family of Crassulaceae and to the genus Crassula. It is commonly called Watch Chain Plant, Rat Tail Plant, and others as a reference to its appearance. (Not to be confused with the Rat Tail Cactus, which is a different plant entirely)
The arrangement of the leaves is their main point of interest. They are thick, green, and strap-shaped with pointed ends. They grow densely overlapped on long, thin stems that can be as tall as 20 cm. Small, yellow-green flowers form at the end of these stems.
This plant is one of the easiest plants on earth to care for: You don’t need anything more than a sunny spot and water once every few weeks! So if you’re looking for an addition to your garden or home decorating scheme- look no further than this versatile little plant!
Watch Chain Plant Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Watch Chain Plant, Watch Chain Succulent, Watch-Chain Cypress, Moss Cypress, Princess Pine, Rattail Crassula, Toy Cypress|
|Botanical Name||Crassula muscosa|
|Synonyms||Crassula lycopodioides, Crassula pseudolycopodioides|
|Native Range||South Africa, Namibia|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||9a to 10b|
|Mature Size||15 to 20 cm|
|Propagation methods||by seeds, by cuttings|
|Sun||Full sun to Part shade|
Watch Chain Plant Care
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance succulent to add to your collection, the Watch Chain Plant is a great choice! We’ll discuss the basics of caring for this fascinating plant.
Light and Location
Watch Chain Plant does best in bright light. It won’t mind a little bit of shade every now and then, but it turns leggy and weak if kept in the dark for too long. They also don’t want to be placed directly under harsh sunlight. In winter, the sunlight is milder, so there won’t be any problems, but the harsh sunlight becomes unbearable as soon as summer arrives.
As with most succulents, these cacti are very drought tolerant. They can go several weeks without water and still look healthy. When you do water them, make sure to give them a good soaking so that the water reaches the roots. Don’t water again until all the water is drained from the pot and the soil is completely dry.
In winter, water even less often since the plant is dormant and doesn’t need as much moisture.
These plants like it on the warm side and can’t tolerate cold temperatures. Therefore, they should be kept above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. If they are exposed to frost, they may start to lose leaves.
Watch Chain Plants don’t mind a little bit of humidity, but they don’t need it. They will do just fine in average household conditions.
Fertilize your Watch Chain Plant in the spring and summer with a succulent fertilizer or a high-potassium fertilizer diluted to half strength. Don’t fertilize in the winter since the plant is dormant.
Propagating Crassula muscosa
Crassula muscosa is very easy to propagate from cuttings. Just take a stem cutting that has healthy, thick leaves on it. You can use a sharp instrument or twist it off with your hand; the stems are fragile and come off easily.
Then, plant it in well-draining succulent soil and water it lightly. Mist the cutting twice a week, and the cutting should take root within a few weeks. Of course, you can also propagate from seed, but it’s much easier to take cuttings.
Potting and Repotting Crassula muscosa
These cacti prefer well-draining soil. You can use a succulent or cactus potting mix or make your own by mixing 1 part perlite with 1 part sand. Pick a pot with drainage holes or drill them yourself, as these succulents hate getting waterlogged. Use a clay pot for the best results, but other types of pots like ceramic or plastic can work fine as well.
Watch Chain Plants are not fast growers, so they won’t need to be repotted very often. Every two or three years should be fine. Check for when the roots start to come out of the drainage holes. In addition, they like to be slightly pot-bound and will do just fine in the same pot for several years. When you do repot them, do it in the springtime. Use a well-draining succulent potting mix and only move them up one pot size at a time.
Crassula muscosa is a non-toxic succulent that is safe for both people and pets.
Common Pests and Diseases
Watch Chain Plants are pretty resistant to pests and diseases, but they can be susceptible to mealybugs. If you encounter these pests on your plant, you can remove them by hand or with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. However, if the infestation reaches into the crevices, you might need to use standard pesticides to deal with the problem.
Watch Chain Plant: Tips for Care and Maintenance (Video)
How To Propagate Crassula muscosa?
Crassula muscosa is very easy to propagate from cuttings. In fact, stem cuttings propagate so readily that a randomly fallen stem part can develop into its own plant without human intervention. You can also propagate from seeds, but it’s harder than cuttings, so there isn’t much point.
How To Grow Crassula muscosa?
Here’s how to grow Crassula muscosa:
1. Keep temperatures on the warm side.
2. Avoid humidity.
3. Water well, but allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. In winter, water sparingly as the plant is dormant.
4. Fertilize in the growing season but don’t overfeed.
“File:Crassula muscosa var. obtusifolia 2019-12-13 5904.jpg” by Salicyna is marked with CC BY-SA 4.0.