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Watch Chain/Crassula muscosa is a type of succulent often referred to as watch chain succulents. For the purpose of this article, I will be referring to this interesting succulent as watch chain succulents.
Watch chain succulents look very different from the mainstream succulents you find artistically placed in offices and funky homes. They look very busy and untidy, which is a great plant to have in a bare space as it breaks up a monotone looking environment.
When people are first introduced to watch chain succulents, they almost look like a plant that should be grown underwater. They have long, thick stems with spiky and very rubbery leaves that are even in size.
In this article, you are going to learn how to care for your watch chain succulents properly to ensure they grow to their full potential. Enjoy!
Where Do Watch Chain Succulents Grow in the Wild?
Watch chain succulents grow naturally in the South African and Namibian wilderness. They are tough plants that do not need a lot of maintenance; however, caring for them can be a challenge as they are very different from the house plants you currently have in your home.
What do I need to Know About Watch Chain Succulents Before Growing them At Home?
Before introducing your new house plant into your home, there are a few things you should know about watch chain succulents. Have a look at the important information below before heading out to your local garden center so that you can be certain these wild plants are right for you:
Pets and Watch Chain Succulents
Certain types of succulents and other houseplants are toxic to animals. Unfortunately, watch chain succulents are toxic to pets and should be kept out of reach of small children too.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grow watch chain succulents in your home, but you need to be mindful of where you put your pant. If you keep your succulent on the windowsill away from your dog or baby, then there is no reason to worry about intoxication.
Do bear in mind that cats manage to get to harder to reach places than dogs, and finding an appropriate place for your watch chain succulent that is out of reach for your cat may be a challenge. After all, you don’t want your succulent to be so out of reach that no one can enjoy its beauty!
Watch chain succulents are not cold hardy plants, although they can grow in temperatures that drop to as low as 20° F (-6.7° C). The temperature is far easier to control inside your home, and therefore outside weather conditions shouldn’t play a huge role in whether you decide to grow a watch chain succulent or not.
These plants are summer dormant, which means that they grow the most during fall, winter, and spring. Sounds confusing right? The most important thing to remember here is that although these plants grow well in cool conditions, frost, snow, and heavy rainfall affect the plant negatively, so keeping the plant outside of the house full time is not a good idea.
During hot summer months, watch chain succulents will not grow very much. You may need to take extra care of your succulent during warmer seasons if you live in a very hot and humid part of the world.
If you care for your plant well and protect it from the heat or extreme cold, there is no reason why your watch chain succulent will not survive a long hot summer or very cold winter if it grows outside.
Below are some tips for keeping your succulent healthy during the summer or in frosty temperatures if you choose to grow your plant in the garden:
- If you can, move your succulent inside during extremely hot weather
- Create shade wherever possible. You can do this by strategically planting your succulents next to tall plants that will provide them with protection from the heat and strong sun.
- Use shade cloths to cover your plants during the hottest times of the day.
- Catch rainwater around your plant so that excess water does not drown your succulent. You can do this by digging holes next to your plant so that the rainwater can drain away from it. (I recommend planting your succulent in a pot rather than in the ground as they require very porous and sandy soil in order to survive)
Other Fun Watch Chain Succulent Facts:
- Watch chain succulents stay small and grow to a maximum height of 12 inches tall.
- Watch chain succulents will grow into a small bush if they are not trimmed and pruned properly.
- These succulents were originally only found in dry deserts.
- Watch chain succulents are generally very pest resistant.
- If you cut your watch chain succulent leaves correctly, you can use the timings to grow a new plant.
- Some people mistake watch chain succulents for cacti.
Caring For Watch Chain Succulents – Ultimate Care guide
Now that you know everything you need to about the mysterious succulent type that is called watch chain succulents, now it is time to get to the important part; caring for your plant! Succulents are very low maintenance plants, but getting everything spot-on when it comes to their care is vital.
You will not need to put together a watering schedule for your watch chain succulents. I recommend a more go-with-the-flow approach. Watch chain succulents do not need a lot of water to survive. In fact, they do not even need to be watered every day.
Make a habit of checking the soil on a daily basis. Touch the soil to see if it is wet, damp, or dry. Only re-water the plant if the soil is dry. Your watering frequency will vary from season to season, but as long as you water the plant only when the soil is dry, your succulent will stay healthy.
Ideal Growing Location
Your succulent will be easier to care for if it is inside; however, it is not impossible to grow your watch chain succulent in the garden either. As long as you remember the tips and pointers mentioned earlier in the article, your plant will be just fine.
Here are some more tips and suggestions on where to grow your watch chain succulent:
- Place your succulent in a room that gets a lot of natural sunlight if you are planning to grow it indoors.
- Watch chain succulents look stunning when they grow in hanging baskets. If you avoid over trimming and let the branches grow undisturbed, they will spill over the baskets and create a beautiful waterfall effect.
- These plants look gorgeous in rock gardens. I recommend a more wild and un-kept look for rock gardens, so you will not have to trim and maintain your succulents very much if you grow them in a rock garden.
- If you are planting your watch chain succulent outdoors, plant it in an area where it will not interfere with other plants as it can be very invasive.
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Plant your succulent in very porous soil. Mix a bit of dry, sandy soil with garden soil to get the right drainage and consistency. Never plant your succulent directly into fertilized shop-bought soil as it is not the right consistency or chemically balanced and will kill your succulent.
Always plant your succulent in a pot with lots of drainage holes. If you fail to do so, your plant may drown or develop root rot which is very hard to treat. Only plant your watch chain succulent directly into the ground if you are experienced in growing succulents and feel confident in your abilities to care for them.
Watch chain succulents need about six hours of sunlight per day. If you are keeping your plant indoors, you should keep it on a southern-facing windowsill or in an area that gets direct sunlight for six hours or longer every day.
Watch Chain Succulent Dos and Don’ts
Here is an overview of the most crucial watch chain succulents do’s and don’ts:
- Allow the plant to get more than six hours of sunlight every day
- Check to see if your plant’s soil is dry and needs watering
- Plant your succulent proudly where you and your guests can enjoy it
- Bring your succulent indoors if you feel like the weather is too hot or too cold outside
- Don’t grow your plant in an overly shaded area
- Never overwater your watch chain succulent
- Avoid placing the plant in an area where your pet or child will reach it
- Don’t forget about moving your succulent around so that it gets enough sunlight and shade
I hope you enjoyed this article. Have fun growing your watch chain succulents, and most importantly, keep the experience lighthearted! Good luck on your watch chain succulent growing mission!
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