How to Grow and Care for Crassula Baby Necklace (Crassula rupestris) Indoors


Crassula rupestris, Crassula Baby Necklace

Botanical name: Crassula rupestris
Synonym: Crassula perfossa, Purgosea rupestris
Family: Crassulaceae
Common names: Crassula Baby Necklace, Rosary Vine, Baby's Necklace Vine, Bead Vine, Necklace Vine, Kebab Bush, Concertina Plant, Rock Crassula

Description

Crassula rupestris commonly called Crassula Baby Necklace, Rosary Vine, Kebab Bush, Concertina Plant or Rock Crassula is a highly branched succulent whose thin stems are packed with thick, rounded-triangular leaves.

Crassula Baby Necklace leaves start off grey-green and change to creamy-yellow with rose-red (reddish) margins in bright light which resemeble a string of beads on a child's necklace hence the common name.

The species name, 'rupestris', is Latin for 'rocks or found on rocks' in reference to its natural growing habitat where it is found growing among the rocks. The common name, 'Rock Crassula' is due to this characteristic.

The red stems start off upright but with age, they begin to hang and spill over the sides of the pot which makes it ideal for a hanging basket.

Crassula rupestris is often mistaken for Crassula brevifolia and Crassula perforata (String of Buttons) but it can distinguished by its smaller leaves with rose-red (reddish) edges under good light.

Flower

Crassula Baby Necklace Succulent blooms in spring to summer although it is unlikely to flower when grown indoors. The flowers are small, star-shaped, pale-pink and occur in tight clusters at the stem apex. They are attractive to bees, moths and bumble bees.

Size

Crassula Baby Necklace grows to a height of about 1 ft and 3 ft wide in about 5 years.

Origin

Crassula rupestris also called Crassula perfossa or Purgosea rupestris is native to Cape provinces of South Africa and Namibia.

Crassula rupestris, Crassula Baby Necklace

Crassula rupestris Care Indoors

Crassula rupestris Succulent (Crassula Baby Necklace) thrives in bright light with direct sunlight of at least 4-6 hours, average warmth and moderately moist, well-drained soil which is low in organic matter coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Crassula Baby Necklace has no need for high humidity. Repotting is only needed when it is pot-bound or when the potting medium is completely broken down. Pruning is necessary to keep the plant neat, to reduce pest and disease infestations and to rejuvenate growth. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Crassula rupestris requires bright light with at least 4-6 hours of morning or late afternoon sunlight. Keep it away from midday hot direct sunshine to avoid scorching the leaves.

Crassula Baby Necklace can be grown outdoors, however, gradually acclimate it and place it in a shaded place to prevent scorching of the leaves.

Regularly rotate the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth and to prevent lopsided growth.

If the light is not sufficient, the plant will become etiolated with elongated stems and pale leaves.

Rock Crassula can also be grown under a grow light where the natural lighting is not adequate.

Watering

Water Crassula rupestris deeply during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings to avoid rotting.

Reduce the amount and frequency of watering in the cold period as growth is minimal at this time, thus, the plant does not need much water.

Use water that is at room temperature to water the plant to avoid shocking it as it can cause sudden brown leaf spots and reduced growth.

Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is fast-draining to prevent the Crassula rupestris from sitting in soggy soil as it can result in rotting and death of the plant.

Take care not to wet the foliage to avoid fungal diseases or water from the bottom instead.


Temperature

Crassula rupestris prefers an average warmth between 16-250C during the growing season and a minimum of 40C in the cold season.

Keep the Crassula Baby Necklace away from frost and cold drafts like breezy doors and windows, air conditioning units among others as they can cause the death of the plant.

Humidity

Crassula rupestris has no need for extra humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for this plant. Clean the leaves regularly by splashing water on them to get rid of dust and also discourage pest infestations.

Ascertain that there is good air circulation for the Crassula Baby Necklace to prevent fungal disease infestations which are prevalent in damp, poorly ventilated conditions.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Crassula rupestris is a light feeder, therefore, feed it monthly during the growing season with a Cactus and Succulents Fertilizer to promote lush growth.

Withhold feeding for Crassula Baby Necklace in the cold season as growth is reduced and feeding at this time can cause fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant.

Repotting

Repot Crassula rupestris at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes pot-bound or when the potting medium is completely broken down. Use a pot that is 1 size larger than the current one to avoid overpotting and retention of excess moisture.

Confirm that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy to prevent root-rot and eventual loss of the plant.

Use a clay pot rather than a plastic or ceramic pot as a clay pot is porous and allows the soil to dry out faster to keep it from staying wet for too long.

Before repotting, ensure that the soil is dry. Slip the Crassula rupestris out of its pot and brush off soil from the roots. Snip off any dead or dry roots and treat the wounds with a fungicidal solution.

Place the plant in its new pot and back fill with fresh, loose, fast-draining soil while spreading the roots as you fill the pot.

Do not fill the pot to the brim but leave about 1 in. unfilled to allow for watering space.

Put back the plant to its display position and keep it dry for about 5-7 days to reduce the risk of rot-root disease.

Soil

The best soil for Crassula rupestris should be coarse, low in organic matter and one that drains easily to prevent it from getting soggy. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out easily.

Cactus and Succulents soils like these Cactus and Succulents Mixes available online at Etsy are ideal for the Crassula Baby Necklace.

Pruning

Pruning Crassula rupestris is easy as it involves removal of any dead or diseased leaves to keep it neat and also minimize pest and disease infestations.

Snip the leaves at the base with a sterilized knife or pair of scissors to prevent diseases transmission.

Cut back the plant at the beginning of the growing season if it is has become too large and unruly to encourage a compact growth.

Minimize the number of cuts as much as possible to avoid unnecessary injuries to reduce fungal disease infestations.

Propagation

Crassula rupestris (Crassula Baby Necklace) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from offsets, leaf cuttings or stem cuttings.

How to propagate Crassula rupestris from stem cuttings

Take 2-3 in. stem cuttings from a healthy Crassula rupestris and allow the cutting to dry out (callus) for a few days.

Once callused, insert the lower cut end of the stem cuttings in moist, well-drained, rooting soil.

Place the set up in a well-lit, warm place and maintain the soil slightly moist until the stem cuttings are rooted. Rooting may take about 2 weeks.

Ensure that there is good air circulation to reduce the risk of fungal diseases infestations.

Allow substancial growth before transplanting the new Crassula Baby Necklace after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Crassula rupestris Succulent from offsets

Carefully seperate the offset from the mother Crassula rupestris by cutting with a clean, sharp knife while ensuring that the offset has adequate roots.

Pot the offset in its individual pot in moist, loose, free-draining soil and place in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight. Ascertain that there is good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases.

Keep the soil slightly moist through out until the new Crassula Baby Necklace is well established after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Crassula rupestris from leaf cuttings

Take leaf cuttings complete with the petiole from a healthy Crassula rupestris. Allow the leaf cutting to dry out (callus) for a few days to prevent rotting.

Once calloussed, lay the leaf cutting on moist, fast-draining, rooting mix while ensuring that the cut end does not come into contact with the soil to prevent rotting.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil slight moist. Ensure that there is good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases.

With time, the leaf cutting will form roots and eventually a small rosette will form at the base of the leaf cutting. This may take from 4-6 weeks.

Allow substancial growth of the rosette before transplanting the new Crassula Baby Necklace into individual pots after which routine care can begin.

Crassula rupestris, Crassula Baby Necklace

Crassula rupestris Problems Indoors

Crassula rupestris (Crassula Baby Necklace) problems indoors include wilting leaves, leggy growth, leaf spots, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Leggy growth and yellowing

Leggy growth and yellowing in Crassula rupestris is due to two possible reasons. One possible reason is overwatering or soggy soil in the cold season.

Greatly decrease watering in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time, therefore, the plant does not need a much water.

In addition, ascertain that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil drains easily to prevent it from getting soggy.

The second possible reason for leggy growth and yellowing in Crassula Baby Necklace is too little light during the growing season.

Position the plant in bright light with at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight during the growing season or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.

Wilted Leaves

Wilted Leaves in Crassula rupestris is due to underwatering which results in too little moisture in the soil.

This means that the plant cannot obtain enough water to take up to the leaves as such the leaves loss their turgidity and begin to wilt.

To prevent wilting, water the plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Decrease watering in the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely for a prolonged period of time.

Brown soft leaf spots

Brown soft leaf spots in Crassula rupestris are caused by leaf spot disease which is prevalent in poorly aerated, overwet (damp) conditions.

Improve the ventilation and make sure that there is good air circulation at all times. In addition, water the Crassula Baby Necklace from the bottom to avoid wetting the leaves.

Diseases

Besides leaf spot disease, Crassula rupestris is also prone to powdery mildew and black leg disease which are prevalent in overwet conditions coupled with poor air circulation.

Isolate the affected plant to minimize spread to other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil. Improve ventilation and make sure that there is free air circulation for the plant.

Water the Crassula Baby Necklace from the bottom to avoid wetting the rosette of leaves and always allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Do not allow the plant to sit in soggy soil by ensuring that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil drains easily to prevent it from getting soggy.

Pests

Common pests in Crassula rupestris are scale insects, mealy bugs and spider mites. Isolate the affected plant to minimize spread to other houseplants.

Spray the plant with an Insecticidal soap to get rid of the pests. Make sure to cover the entire plant.

Is Crassula rupestris toxic?

Crassula rupestris (Crassula rupestris) like its cousin, Jade Plant, is thought to be toxic to both humans and pets as outlined by ASPCA.

If ingested it can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Keep the plant away from the reach of children and pets.

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