The Crassula muscosa [pronounced KRASS-oo-la muss-KOH-suh] the watch chain succulent plant is native to South Africa and Namibia.
The new name, “muscosa”, means ‘moss like’, referring to the look of the plant.
The plant is known by several common names:
- Crassula princess pine
- Zipper Plant
- Lizard’s tail succulent
- Clubmoss Crassula
- Rattail Crassula
The succulent princess pine plant is grown for use as a houseplant and groomed to suit the space it is growing in without affecting its growth.
It’s easy care always looks neat. It makes a great addition to indoor spaces without looking too wild.
Crassula Muscosa Plant Care
Size and Growth
The watch chain plant doesn’t grow very tall. It grows to about 12″ inches tall with a width of 8″ inches. The appearance of the plant’s light green leaves is reliant on the light conditions it is growing in.
When placed in a south-facing window, the leaves will grow close, tight and compact leaves. While plants growing in areas with less light will be more soft and open.
Flowering and Fragrance
The watch chain crassula is a small shrub with slim zipper-like stems. It has compact, tree-like branching and the leaves are placed in tiny rows opposite to each other.
The plant generally does not have any recognizable scent.
There are many variations to the typical species. Some look like a cockscomb while others have a red or brownish-yellow tint.
It also comes with silver stripes and grows out like a corkscrew. However, the main variety, with its simple and beautiful of greenish-white flowers, remains the most attractive.
When growing well indoors, it is unlikely to bloom.
However, in certain conditions, small, pale yellowish-green, musty smelling flowers may appear along with the leaves on the stems during spring to mid-summer. It usually happens after a bout of rains or irrigation.
Light and Temperature
Like most types of succulents, the zipper plant enjoys the sunlight. However, it is still able to flourish in darker areas if it is kept in a cool room.
It is hardy to around 20° degrees Fahrenheit but it doesn’t bode well when it’s cold and wet at the same time.
On the other hand, it should not be kept at temperatures higher than 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Watering and Feeding
Crassula watch chain plants are good at tolerating droughts but they thrive best when they are watered regularly during the summer and about once a week, or even less, in winter. However, like with all succulents, you should be careful not to overwater them or the roots will rot.
These plants should be fed monthly during the summer with a controlled release fertilizer. They can be fed weekly as well, with a weak liquid solution.
Soil and Transplanting
Plant Zipper plants in well-drained soil and grow the plant in partial or full sunlight. When choosing a pot, make sure that it’s not too large.
An ideal option is a 4″ inch clay pot. Use a cactus mix or a mixture of half potting soil and half perlite or pumice.
If you’re going to relocate your zipper plant, relocate during the warmer seasons. Make sure the soil is dry while repotting the plant.
Remove any old soil by shaking off the roots before planting them in a new pot. Discard any dry or damaged roots.
Grooming and Maintenance
Zipper plants can deal with excessive pruning. However, in order to promote branching, it is advisable to pick out the tips only occasionally.
How to Propagate Zipper Plant
This species of plant is invasive and easily propagated from stem cuttings. Plant 3 to 5 cuttings in each pot and place them in the shade. Water it with caution until it starts to grow.
To provide the best environment for growth, maintain the temperatures between 68° to 70° degrees Fahrenheit with adequate humidity and brightness.
Crassula Muscosa Pest or Disease Problems
Zipper plant is susceptible to mealy bugs and scale insects. These pests can spread from other affected plants in the vicinity.
Treat the plan with Neem oil insecticide and move the affected plants to another area.
Suggested Uses for Zipper Plant
Due to the nature of this plant, it is easy to grow and maintain as a balcony plant or even indoors. It’s a great way to get the kids interested in plants and gardening.
If you already have plants around the house, zipper plants can easily be trimmed and tamed to fit into the same area without their growth being disrupted.