Crassula muscosa, Crassula lycopodioides, Crassula pseudolycopodioides, Watch Chain Plant

How to Grow & Care for Crassula muscosa, aka The Watch Chain Plant – Crassula muscosa, Crassula lycopodioides, Crassula pseudolycopodioides

Hi Plant Lovers 😀

In this Blog / Article I will be talking about the very wonderful Crassula muscosa Succulent Plant aka Crassula muscosa, Crassula lycopodioides, Crassula pseudolycopodioides, and more commonly The Watch Chain Plant.

Crassula muscosa, Crassula lycopodioides, Crassula pseudolycopodioides, Watch Chain Plant
Crassula muscosa, Crassula lycopodioides, Crassula pseudolycopodioides, The Watch Chain Plant.

I have made a special video on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to Care for and Grow Crassula muscosa and you can watch this video below: 

ABOUT:

Crassula muscosa grows in its natural habitats in South Africa in the Winter & Summer rainfall areas of the Western and Eastern Cape growing in well draining rocky quartz fields.

Crassula muscosa is a spreading growing Succulent Plant that can grow fast during the growing period, as the plant grows larger its common for stem segments to drop off and root readily where they land, and you can often see the stem segments that has dropped off growing in nearby plant pots or nearby places in your yard and garden.

Commonly called the Watch Chain Plant because of its tiny tight rosette leaf arrangements resembling the links of a jewellery chain and a watch chain, the word muscosa is Latin for ‘mossy’ due to this plants moss like appearance.

This plant is commonly sold and seen for sale as part of a plant and succulent bowl garden arrangement.

My Crassula muscosa plant ( pictured above) was also part of a plant arrangement that my friend gave to me over 12 years ago.

LIGHT:

Grows best in full sun or in very bright light, a sunny window or patio or other sunny and bright position is ideal, but if grown in intense midday sun in the Summer plenty of ventilation should be given, too little sun or too much intense sun without ventilation can cause leaf segments to go brown and hard and woody and they will drop off more readily, these plants grow well under full spectrum LED plant grow lights if you don’t have a sunny window or position to place them in.

SOIL:

Like all succulents these plants need a very well draining soil so that the soil can drain easily and does not stay too wet for long, a good quality commercial cactus & succulent soil can be used, or you can make up your own using 3 equal parts of Loam, grit (or perlite) and horticultural sand. If you want to know how to make your own soil for cacti and succulents then check the video below I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to make your own soil for cacti and succulents in 3 easy steps: 

WATER:

Spring and Summer and early Fall water every time the soil in the pot has dried out, in my experience these plants can take a lot more watering in Spring Summer and Fall, but ideally its best to allow the soil to dry in between waterings,

in late Fall and Winter its best to keep these plants more on the dry side and a good watering once a month is plenty, although this plant is Winter flowering it is not Winter growing and does not need to be watered as regularly, once a month is best, if you are growing these plants indoors on a sunny window and indoor house temperatures you may need to water them twice a month in Winter if they start to go limp or drop segments, but remember if in doubt its safer to under rather than over water.

FERTILISER:  

In Spring and Summer fertilise these plants once every 2-3 weeks with a good quality fertiliser especially for Cacti and Succulents, in Winter there is no need to fertilise even when these plants are in Winter flower, because although these plants are winter flowering they are not winter growing.

RE POTTING: 

Re pot in Spring and Summer or early Fall into a pot the next size up, plant into well draining cactus and succulent soil, after repotting its best to wait a few days before watering again to allow any roots to settle into the soil.

TEMPERATURE: 

In Spring and Summer a good temperature is around 70-75 Fahrenheit / 21-24 Celsius, they can take higher temperatures than this as long as long as plenty of ventilation can be given, open windows if growing on windowsills indoors on very hot summer days or install a circulating fan in hot greenhouses.

In Winter these plants can take very cold temperatures and is hardy to 20 Fahrenheit / -7 Celsius but ideally a temperature around 41 Fahrenheit / 5 Celsius is a safer minimum temperature for these plants in Winter.

HUMIDITY:

Like all succulent plants they don’t like high humidity as this can encourage fungus and rots, plenty of ventilation must always be given in very hot and wet weather, the ideal humidity for these plants is 50% or lower, but they can take much higher than this if the soil is allowed to dry out in between watering, and the soil is kept much drier in Winter.

FLOWERING: 

Crassula muscosa is a Winter flowering succulent, although it is not uncommon to see these plants flower in the Spring, Summer and Fall too.

Crassula muscosa, Crassula plants, Crassula muscosa flowers, Crassula muscosa, Crassula lycopodioides, Crassula pseudolycopodioides, Watch Chain Plant
Crassula muscosa, Crassula lycopodioides, Crassula pseudolycopodioides, Watch Chain Plant in flower.

The miniature flowers start off white and then turn brown as they age and are absolutely tiny, in fact most growers don’t even notice the extremely tiny blooms on these plants and the rather unusual strange scent of the blooms are often noticed before the flowers are seen.

The miniature blooms smell musty and soapy and the scent of these blooms is hard to compare to anything else, its a scent you either love or hate haha.

If you want to see what the blooms on Crassula muscosa look like up close then check out my video on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon of my Crassula muscosa in Bloom, you can watch this video below:

PRUNING:

Crassula muscosa is best pruned every year in Spring to help prevent the stems from growing unruly and pruning this plant back also helps to prevent the stems from dropping off from the weight of the stems as they grow.

These plants can be easily re started again as cuttings if the stems start to look too dry and brown.

PROPAGATION: 

These plants are very easy to propagate especially when pruning the stems in spring, cuttings root very readily in water, its always best to root cuttings in Spring and summer, just place the cuttings into a cup of about an inch of water and they will send out roots within 2-6 weeks, you can also plant the cuttings directly into well draining soil. 

I have made a video on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to take cuttings and Propagate Crassula muscosa and you can watch this video below: 

PESTS & DISEASES:

The most common insect pests you are likely to see are mealy bugs, thrips, scale insect and the like, If I spot pests on my plants I like to use Horticultural Neem oil mixed with Horticultural soap and spray the plant/s thoroughly once a week for 6 weeks until no signs of the pests remain.

Fungus and root rot are the most common types of diseases on succulent plants although thankfully not that common on Crassula muscosa, root rot is best corrected by taking cuttings and re starting the plant, but if fungus is a problem its best to treat the whole plant with Horticultural Neem oil mixed with Horticultural soap and spray the whole plant thoroughly every week for a month.

I have made a video on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to use Neem oil to treat insect pests and diseases on Succulent plants and you can watch this video below: 

I hope you enjoyed this article on how to grow Crassula muscosa, and for lots more tips and tricks on how to care for and grow Cacti and Succulents please check out my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful plant powered day <3 

 

 

 

 

 

Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,

Top 5 Succulent Plants To Grow for Beginners

Hi Guys 😀 

In this Blog I share with you my Top 5 Succulent Plants To Grow For Beginners 😀 

There are many Succulent Plants that are wonderful to grow but these are my recommendations on what I think are very easy for beginners to start with, and in this Blog I will be sharing links to pages and videos that I have wrote on this website and also videos I have made on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon to help newbies to grow and care for these incredible succulents.

Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,
Me with some Echeveria plants that I could not resist buying from my local Supermarket.

1,ECHEVERIA:

Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,
An Echeveria in beautiful flower at Dublin Botanic Gardens.

Echeveria’s are one of the most beautiful Succulents to grow, they grow with a rosette appearance that always remind me of a flower. There are many different types of Echeveria that are easily available for sale at many garden shops, and plant nurseries. 

If you can provide them with plenty of sunshine in Spring and Summer and a well draining soil, and a cool and mostly dry winter rest period then they will readily flower all through the Spring, Summer and often into late fall /Autumn too.

Graptopetalum and Graptosedum are also excellent plants to grow for beginners and resemble Echeveria and the care for both of them is the same as Echeveria.

graptopetalum, graptopetalums, graptopetalum succulents, Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,
My Graptopetalum Succulent Plant, this plant resembles Echeveria and the care is the same.

I have made a video on my You Tube channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Care For Echeveria and I share lots of tips and tricks on How to care for them and you can watch this video below:

2, GASTERIA:

Gasteria, Gasteria's, Gasteria succulents, Gasteria in flower, Gasteria flowers, Gasteria blooms,
A Gasteria in flower at Dublin Botanic Gardens, many Gasteria have wonderful variegated fan like leaf arrangements.

Gasteria’s are wonderful small growing compact plants that are ideal for people who do not have the space for large growing plants. The are often variegated and have wonderful patterning to them. Gasteria’s are also more shade loving than many other Succulents, making them ideal for growers who do not have south facing windows or positions, although many Gasteria’s can also tolerate full sun too as well as more shade. 

Provide Gasteria with a bright position and a well draining soil and they will also readily flower from spring and Summer and into the Fall / Autumn.

I have made a video on my You tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to Care for Gasteria and you can watch this video below:

3, HAWORTHIA:

Haworthia, Haworthia's, Haworthia plants, Haworthia succulents, Haworthia attenuata, Haworthia attenuata - fasciata, Haworthia succulents,
My 36 year old Haworthia attenuata – fasciata plant, one of my very first succulent plants. This plant was just a small Rosette and has over the years formed into a wonderful large bowl arrangement with many Rosettes.

Haworthia plants are very easy to grow and also nice and compact making them ideal for growers who do not have much space for the larger growing succulents. Haworthia is also perfect for people who don’t have sunny windows or positions as Haworthia prefer to be grown in more shade than many other Succulents, and although they appreciate some early morning sunshine, they can be grown in a bright position with indirect sunshine, or even a bright well lit position that does not receive any sun, although these plants will flower more readily if either a couple of hours f morning sun or indirect sunshine can be provided.

The rosettes form into little clumps over time and will eventually fill a bowl with their rosettes, the rosettes can also be separated from the parent plant and be planted up individually.

The flowers are not the most impressive on these plants but their foliage and rosette appearance to the leaves make them very attractive to grow for their foliage and ease of care.

Haworthia, Haworthia cooperi, Haworthia's, Haworthia, Haworthia plants,
My Haworthia cooperi Succulent plant

Haworthia like all Succulents like a very well draining soil mix and to dry out in between waterings, and prefer to be kept more cool and dry over the Winter.

4, ALOE: 

Aloe arborescens plant, Aloe plant, Aloes, Aloe succulents, Aloe plants, Aloe arborescens,
Our Aloe arborescens plant, this particular Aloe can grow very large over time, however there are many Aloes that stay small and compact, this genus is very varied. Photo by Hans Muller

Aloe Plants have to be one of the most famous of all succulent plants to grow, the most well known being the very common Aloe Vera, Aloe Vera is commonly always seen for sale at almost any garden shop or plant nursery, its a very easy and fast growing succulent with many well known medicinal and skin care uses.

There are many different types of Aloe plants, some are smaller and some can grow very large over time, making them ideal specimens for growers who love larger plants or have greenhouses or conservatories. Many Aloes especially the many hybrids now available will stay small and grow into clumping rosettes, and because this genus is so varied it makes it ideal for growers who love either small growing or very large growing Succulents.

Aloes do need lots of sunshine otherwise they will grow thin and leggy. However if growing Aloes behind glass or in a greenhouse its best to provide some shade in the strong midday sun in Summer. Aloe plants need a very well draining soil, water only when the soil has completely dried out in the pot before watering again, keep the soil dry during Winter with occasional watering if growing Aloes indoors in winter.

I have made a video for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Care For Aloe and you can watch this video below:

5, CRASSULA:

Crassula, Crassula falcata, Crassula Falcata, Crassula falcata propeller plant, Propeller plant,
My Crassula falcata plant in beautiful bloom, Photo by Hans Muller

Crassula is a very large and very varied range of many Succulent plants, the most common one being the Jade Crassula Ovata, also known as the Chinese Jade Money Plant. Crassulas are wonderful plants for beginners and also perfect for growers who want to see flowers in Winter, as many Crassula will flower in Winter as well in Summer and quite often Crassula’s will prefer to have a bit of a dormancy in mid Summer when everything else is in flower and growth.

Crassula like a sunny position to encourage them to flower, they also need a well draining soil and the soil to dry out completely in between waterings,

There are many small growing Crassula that are ideal for a nice sunny windowsill and also many crassula like the Crassula ovata that grow large into a tree over time.

If I had to pick just one Crassula to grow I would chose the Crassula ovata, its a classic favourite and easy to prune and keep in shape and if you want to know How to get your Jade Crassula ovata to Flower check out this video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Get your Jade Crassula Ovata to Flower and you can watch this video below:

I hope you found my Top 5 Succulents to Grow for Beginners Blog helpful and if you want to watch a video that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on the Top 5 Succulent Plants To Grow for beginners you can watch this video below:

Thank you all for reading Guys and Happy Growing to you <3 

 

 

 

 

Aztekium, Aztekium hintonii, Aztekium cactus,

How To Care for Aztekium Cactus

Hi Guys 😀 

In this Blog I share my tips and tricks on How to care for the Aztekium Cactus.

Aztekium, Aztekium hintonii, Aztekium cactus,
My 23 year old Aztekium hintonii grown from seed ( not by me ) 

I have made a video on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants Of Avalon on How To Care for Aztekium, and you can watch this video HERE:

ABOUT AZTEKIUM:

There are just three species of Aztekium, 1, Aztekium ritteri, 2, Aztekium hintonii, and 3, Aztekium valdezii.

Aztekium valdezii has only recently been discovered from 2011.

The Aztekium Cactus grows in its natural habitat in Mexico growing on steep cliff faces that consist of mostly gypsum and some limestone gravel.

Aztekium is extremely slow growing and forms into little clumps over many years, it is one of the slowest growing cacti both in natural habitat and in cultivation. 

I have grown my Aztekium hintonii for over 23 years, I got it as a young seedling that was grown from seed from a Cactus Grower in the U.K called David Quail, it was the just size of my thumbnail and in all of that time it has grown only about 2 inches in height and width.

Because of their extremely slow growth and difficulty to grow when young on their own roots, these cacti are often seen for sale grafted onto other more hardier cactus stock, but once established on their on roots they can survive long term as long as a very careful watering is maintained and a very gritty well draining soil is used.

Aztekium, Aztekium hintonii, Aztekium cactus,
My 23 year old Aztekium hintonii

HOW TO CARE FOR:

LIGHT:

Aztekium like most cacti need bright light with some sunshine to grow healthy, however these cacti prefer to be protected from very strong midday sunshine and prefer more shade than a lot of the other types of Desert Cacti, and Aztekium would be best positioned where they can get either early morning or very late afternoon sunshine.

WATERING:

Aztekium prefer soft water that is not alkaline and clean rainwater is best to water these cacti with. Its best to avoid watering these cacti with water than has a pH higher than PH 7, as hard alkaline water can cause damage to the roots. If you use tap water check that the PH is not higher than PH 7 and allow the water to sit for 24 hours to allow the chlorine and other gases to dissipate.

If you are growing Aztekium that have been grafted, then the pH of the water is not as much a concern as most cactus stock used for grafting Aztekium are mostly Trichocereus or Pereskioposis, and these cacti are not so sensitive to water PH, however careful watering should still be given with all Aztekium cacti.

Water Aztekium from Spring through Summer ALWAYS allowing the soil in their pots to fully dry out before watering again.

Keep Aztekium totally dry throughout the Winter rest period with no water from Fall / Autumn and Winter, introduce water again from Spring when their active growing period returns.

SOIL:

The soil used for Aztekium must be extremely well draining, this is very important especially for Aztekium cacti that are growing on their own roots, especially when they are young as they can be very prone to rot, which is why they are often seen grafted.  If grafted onto hardier root stock such as Pereskioposis and Trichocereus they are far less prone to rot and grow faster, but as with all cacti except the epiphytes, the more well draining the soil the better.

Some growers of Aztekium like to add lie to the soil, but I have had success over 23 years of growing this cactus with my well draining soil mix that I use for most of my arid loving cacti.

Avoid using peat and houseplant soils for these cacti as they need a VERY well draining and gritty soil.

I like to use a soil mix of 3 equal parts of loam, horticultural sand and grit for my Aztekium hintonii, For more information on How I make my own Cactus soil click HERE:

FEEDING:

Feed Aztekium once a month in Spring until mid Summer with a good quality cactus fertiliser. Because these cacti are extremely slow growing its best to use the fertiliser at half the strength they recommend for normal cacti.

FLOWERING:

The flowers on Aztekium are very tiny and white or pink or lilac coloured, they grow from the top of the cactus when the plant is mature often after many years. 

Aztekium forms a woolly tuft and fine spines from the crown of the cactus when the plant is mature enough to flower.

I have not had my Aztekium flower for me in 23 years, but I hope one day to see flowers, patience is definitely the key when growing cacti haha, but I have heard of many growers who have had their Aztekiums flower after 10 years or less.

Grafted Aztekiums will flower much sooner than if grown on their own roots.

TEMPERATURE:

In Spring and Summer Aztekium can take high temperatures but they must be protected from extreme heat and strong midday sunshine, especially if they are grown behind glass in glasshouses or windowsills, and they like to have plenty of ventilation.

In Winter its best to overwinter Aztekium cool and dry above 5 Celsius / 41 Fahrenheit

PROPAGATION:

Propagation of Aztekium is done by seed that are very dust like, but it is extremely difficult and slow to grow from seeds, although germination rate can be high at first lots of seedlings will often die within the first few months of germination. 

I have never tried to grow these from seed myself but when my Aztekium flowers for e in the future and I get seed I will definitely have a go at trying to grow this amazing and unique little cactus from seed.

If you want to grow Aztkium from seed or any other type of cactus from seed read my page on this website Growing Cactus from seed  by clicking HERE

Here is a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants Of Avalon on How To Care For Aztekium Cacti and you can watch this video below:

 

Thanks so much for reading Guys and Happy Growing to you all <3